Aakash Patel has been a business owner in Rockford for years selling tacos at the outdoor city market. Now, he’s looking to bring a different type of cuisine to the new Indoor City Market.
"We want to do something simple in terms of curry and maybe have a few side items like rice, some pickled onions and so forth," Patel, the owner of Curry Bowls! says.
That dream will soon be a reality with construction on the Indoor City Market in downtown Rockford officially beginning. The Rock River Development Partnership says the $8 million project will provide indoor vendor space as well as an area for cooking demonstrations and classes for the public.
"There will be a food production kitchen on the second floor that people can rent to produce goods for retail, to produce goods for catering, to produce product if say they’re a market vendor."
Other vendors set to open up in that building include LuLu’s, a Mexican specialty restaurant, and Crust & Crumbles, a bread bakery are also set to open this fall.
"I think bread is really like the staple, you know it’s really there as a center piece of the meal so i feel like it was really a good place for us to be and provide that for our community too," Jo Jo Gendenaatar, the owner of Crust & Crumbles says.
City leaders say it’s been a long road to get to this point, but the work isn’t finished.
"We’re making slight and agile tweaks to the plans and focused on getting open and then we’ll have a new set of problems in making sure it’s adequately programed and staffed and all of those kinds of things so just on to the next challenge really," Provenzano says.
But for now, construction has started, vendors are excited to move in and the city looks forward to bringing the outdoor fun inside at a new Indoor City Market.
The Rock River Development Partnership says it hopes to have the indoor market open by this fall.