The Bourse reopens as Philadelphia’s artisanal food hall.
No visit to Philadelphia is complete without a stop at The Bourse. A “must-see” according to most travel guides, this Beaux-Arts beauty, completed in 1895, has been transformed into a crafty destination dining spot as diverse as the city it calls home.
The term “food hall” conjures up images of massive fast-food dining courts at your local mall.
Happily, a new trend brings high-end, artisan dining and shopping together, creating a new type of culinary adventure.
“We believe that the best food halls provide a high-quality array of experiences,” says Michael Morris of CANAdev, an organization responsible for some of the hottest food halls in the nation. Now, Philadelphia is finally getting in on the fun.
Morris and his team transformed The Bourse, located right on Independence Mall, into a food destination worthy of the building’s architecture. “The Bourse was literally the first commodities exchange in the United States,” says Morris. Back in 1891 Philadelphian George E. Bartol, a grain and commodities exporter, modeled it after a building he saw in Hamburg, Germany. With a striking façade of Carlisle Redstone and Pompeian buff brick, The Bourse was the first location in the U.S. to house a stock exchange, maritime exchange and grain-trading exchange under one roof.
When Morris and his team considered the site as an option for Philly’s first high-end dining hall, they saw endless potential. “We were fortunate to find unique architectural details that were still in great shape throughout the building – most of which haven’t been seen in over seventy years.”
“Our inspiration was to restore the glory back to this historic building and provide Philadelphia with a destination that reflects the diversity of the city and its quality food scene.”
The location of The Bourse makes it a convenient spot for Philadelphians and visiting tourists alike. With over 4 million annual visitors, “we saw a great opportunity to create a world-class amenity for the city,” says Morris.
For any visit to The Bourse, Morris and his team promise cuisine that is as acclaimed as the building’s historic architecture. “What makes The Bourse Food Hall so special is that it is a place of discovery. With over 30 vendors, there’s something for everyone,” Morris explains. Indeed, there is! Looking for some fast-casual, halal-prepared, modern Egyptian cuisine? Stop by Ka’Moon to try what was voted “Best Food Truck” by Lehigh Valley Style readers for three years running.
For those with a sweet tooth, Barry’s Buns is an all-natural, made-from-scratch bakery that specializes in gourmet sticky buns, cinnamon rolls and Belgian waffles. Mighty Melt, an inventive grilled cheese spot, is the brainchild of Philly’s own Chris DiPiazza of Mighty Bread Company and Stargazy’s Sam Jacobson. All this is only the tip of the iceberg for Philly’s newest dining hot-spot.
TAPS Fill Station, The Bourse’s homage to Draught Lines’ favorite beverage (if you weren’t sure… it’s beer), features 21 beer taps, 5 cider taps and even a few kegged cocktails. Expect to see a whole host of beers sourced from within a 250-mile radius of TAPS. The bar also has a “solid focus on eco-friendly and sustainable practices,” continues Morris. The entire bar front is made from recycled plastic, and customers are encouraged to return bottles and growlers for reuse.
With over 30 different vendors rounding out The Bourse’s eclectic group of tenants, it’s going to take more than a few visits to get a taste of everything this new marketplace has to offer. But from our first go-round, one thing is certain, The Bourse and its diverse collection of food offerings will be enjoyed and celebrated in this city for quite some time. Says Morris, “Our team is passionate and enthusiastic about maintaining this grand building, while creating an experience that residents of Old City, Society Hill and the rest of Philly will love for years to come.”
111 S. Independence Mall E
Philadelphia, PA 19106