The Galley Group, the organization behind Pittsburgh’s food hall and restaurant incubator Smallman Galley, has announced that they will be bringing the concept to Detroit in fall 2018. The forthcoming project will find a home inside of the Federal Reserve building downtown owned by Bedrock.
The food hall and incubator is the fourth project from the group, which opened its successful Pittsburgh location in 2015. Owners Ben Mantica and Tyler Benson have since opened a second location on Pittsburgh’s North Shore, as well as a third in Cleveland.
Mantica says part of the reason why the duo chose Detroit is because of its community’s support for local business. “[Detroit is] a city and a community that really gets behind its own,” says Mantica. “Our concept really thrives on people, customers supporting local businesses.”
The incubator will provide chefs a low-risk, low-cost environment to launch new culinary concepts. “We assume 100 percent of the capital cost for building out the kitchens and building out the restaurant,” explains Mantica. “The chefs that operate in our space, they are essentially responsible for their food and their labor cost. We take care of everything else.”
Each chef will invest roughly $7,500 – $10,000 to be a part of the incubator. In the past, Mantica says chefs regularly make that money back within the first month. Still, the startup cost for the incubator is significantly cheaper than the cost of traditionally opening a restaurant.
“Every chef wants to own their own restaurant and work for themselves, but really, the average to start a restaurant is somewhere between $500,000 and a million dollars,” explains Mantica.
The group is accepting applications for chefs until May 1. “We don’t have any preconceived ideas for what types of cuisine we want,” says Mantica. Instead, the group is just looking for chefs with clearcut management experience and a connection to the city. “That’s really our goal,” he explains, “To find people that really care about Detroit and the food scene in Detroit.”
While new to Detroit, the food hall and incubator concept is pretty simple at its core. “We just want people to have a great time, have great food, and really become a great community spot,” says Mantica.
Once the food hall opens, four resident chefs will operate in separate kitchens inside the 8,646-square-foot space. Guests will be able to order from each of the individual kitchens, as well as a centralized bar in the middle of the space, which will serve Michigan beers and locally sourced spirits.
For more information, visit galleygrp.com