Ghost Kitchen Company Pounces on Downtown Space Where Food Hall Folded

The 10,500-square-foot Wells Street Market space has been vacant since September, and what was once an alluring downtown spot isn’t so attractive during COVID-19. But four months later, Kitchen United, a California-based ghost kitchen company has announced it will take over the space at 222 N. Wells Street. The company, which entered the Chicago market in late 2019 with a River North location, hasn’t revealed when the Loop location will debut.

a dining room table: Ghost kitchens are coming to the former Wells Street Market space.

© Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago
Ghost kitchens are coming to the former Wells Street Market space.

This move will expand Kitchen United’s delivery footprint, bringing more of its brands to Downtown Chicago. The new location will follow a similar design as the company’s first Chicago ghost kitchen at 831 N. Sedgwick with a few key differences, according to a rep. The space will eventually serve as a de facto food hall when it unveils indoor and outdoor seating, something absent from the Sedgwick location. It’ll contain 10 kitchen spaces with a central order and pickup area in the middle.

Both outposts will operate allow customers to get food from multiple restaurants in one orders, paying for it all with one bill. It’s a similar approach to that seen at

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Pandemic Pivot: Vending and catering company launches ghost kitchen

Torpedoes Sub Shop is slated to be the latest of several restaurant concepts Trolley Eats will offer when the sub shop goes live in mid-January. The ghost kitchen, which launched in December, plans to add more concepts to its lineup in the future. (Images courtesy of Trolley Eats)

As all three wings of its business have been getting shellacked by the coronavirus pandemic, a local vending company is looking to the ghost kitchen concept to ride out the storm.

Trolley House Refreshments, which provides breakroom and vending refreshments for workplaces, launched Trolley Eats in mid-December. Trolley Eats operates a handful of restaurant concepts without a physical dining space, a relatively new culinary concept known as a ghost kitchen. The model relies strictly on delivery service, and it has become increasingly popular in the Richmond area in recent months.

Trolley House owners Scott Halloran and Michael Calkins hit on the ghost kitchen idea to create a new revenue stream tailor-made for times that are less friendly to their other ventures. Trolley House also owns and operates catering company Groovin’ Gourmets and Parterre Restaurant at The Linden Row Inn downtown.

“We’re kind of in the bull’s eye of COVID across

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