Amid Tampa Bay’s booming restaurant scene comes a first for Dunedin: a food hall.
Dunedin Mix, a food hall, event space and rotating bar, is expected to open in December.
Brandon Stanley purchased the property at 990 Broadway in 2018 with his mother, Kristen Ernst. The location is near several breweries and 100 yards from the intracoastal waterway.
Stanley has a commercial construction company, Paramount Construction Group, which specializes in hotels.
Stanley has lived in the Tampa Bay area for 25 years, and was inspired to open a business in Dunedin because his wife, Ashley, lived there for most of her life.
The original concept was for a mixed-use residential and retail space. But after visiting food hall concepts Sparkman Wharf and Armature Works, they were inspired to follow suit.
Stanley said he wanted to build Dunedin Mix out of shipping containers, but that design wasn’t approved by the city.
They kept the idea to build a space around a central courtyard and were inspired by the cobblestone alleyways of Paris and New Orleans.
There were other setbacks, including the pandemic. And in 2021, Hurricane Elsa caused a microburst — a mini tornado — that ripped through half of the block masonry that had been started.
But now things are on track for a December opening. With a total of about 10,000 square feet, there is about 6,000 square feet of air-conditioned space upstairs.
Stanley’s company is doing the buildout of the ground-level storefronts, which will have unique designs as opposed to generic stalls. Two vendors have been announced: Huli Bowl & Rotisserie and Al Dente Pasta & Pizza. The other vendors will be announced on social media each week going forward, for a total of six.
One of the storefronts will remain unoccupied for events like cooking classes and painting classes.
There will be seating for 100 in the courtyard and back patio, where live music will happen. Guests can also dine from cantilevered balconies. Rather than full meals, restaurants will serve a la carte items.
“The whole idea behind it is we want you to go there and not get totally full on one vendor,” Stanley said. “We’d like you to go there and, you know, sample a little bit from everybody. ... We’d like everybody to kind of try everything.
A carousel bar called Circle 1852 will have seating for 21 people. The rotating element was imported from overseas, created by a company that builds trains and has an arm that makes the carousel. Stanley had the bar top made by a Tampa fabricator.
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The upstairs space is geared for events, like small weddings or parties, and consists of three different-sized rooms. There will be pop-up events there, like a dueling piano act, and there are plans to have an indie-style market.
Stanley’s idea to build a concept from shipping containers is still lingering. He said if Dunedin Mix is successful, he wants to open another location in a smaller town that will approve it in shipping containers.
Visit dunedinmix.com for more information.