Friday, May 17, 2024

A rendering of the CanalSide food hall expected to open at CambridgeSide in October. (Image: Rode Architects)

When the mall gets a makeover, so does the food court.

Renovating and rebranding its food court into CanalSide Food + Drink, a food hall with a bar, is the latest in a series of redevelopment changes for CambridgeSide, the East Cambridge mall opened in 1990 that is being rebuilt into more of a mixed-use neighborhood that deemphasizes its retail roots.

Designed by Rode Architects, CanalSide is slated to open in late October with eateries arranged around a central C-Side Bar – with the selection of local eateries, the difference between a food hall and a food court, said Melissa LaVita, regional marketing director for CambridgeSide. (The modern food mall is considered only 17 years, dating back to the opening of the first Eataly. “Many celebrate quirkiness versus uniformity,” as The New York Times once drew the distinction, while Slate offered a more cynical take on the food hall but at least acknowledged the species’ “no-nonsense emphasis on food.”)

“We have some of these new office and lab buildings, and as part of a reimagined destination, we wanted to do something a little different with the food court,” LaVita said.

Tenants in the food hall include Lala’s Neapolitan-ish Pizza. (Photo: Lala’s)

The mall’s food court was closed during redevelopment and has been replaced with a pop-up dining experience from Fooda, which has rotating lunch and dinner options from local restaurants. Open daily since February, it will remain open until the CanalSide project is complete.

Eleven of the eateries that will fill CanalSide were announced Thursday, spanning bubble tea to Mexican street food, including a few that have stalls at TimeOut Market, another food hall in Boston: anoush’ella, which serves Eastern Mediterranean street food; InChu, an Asian fusion bowl spot; and Lala’s Neapolitan-ish Pizza, which makes naturally leavened pizza.

DalMoros Fresh Pasta To Go is another food hall tenant. (Photo: DalMoros)

“We knew we wanted it to be a diverse mix, and we wanted the vendors to be local eateries as opposed to the chains that were here before,” LaVita said.

The other eateries cover beverages (Caffé Nero, which has locations in Cambridge’s Central and Porter squares, and Teazzi Tea Shop), Mexican food (Chilacates, also in Central Square), pasta (DalMoros Fresh Pasta To Go), burgers (Nu Burger), ramen (Sapporo Ramen, relocating from Lesley University’s University Hall near Porter Square) and a deli (Fresh). There are still three eateries to be announced in the coming months, LaVita said.

The Fresh deli is another expected food fall. (Photo: Fresh)

The 50-seat C-Side Bar is a collaboration from a new hospitality group founded by Ran Duan of Baldwin Bar and Blossom Bar, Jon Rosse of Birds of Paradise and Brahm Callahan of Grill 23 & Bar. The beer, wine and cocktail menu for C-Side isn’t finalized, LaVita said.

As part of the CanalSide redevelopment, CambridgeSide is adding an entrance that will enable pedestrians to walk from First Street directly into the food hall, “a nice addition and a nice connection to the neighborhood,” LaVita said.