Plenary Group attracts budding chefs to shipping container food hall concept at Melbourne's South Wharf

Plenary Group attracts budding chefs to shipping container food hall concept at Melbourne's South Wharf
Plenary Group attracts budding chefs to shipping container food hall concept at Melbourne's South Wharf

Up and coming chefs are lining up for the opportunity to show case their cooking skills in a new concept food hall, with eateries constructed out of old shipping containers.

There are 11 colourfully painted shipping containers in The General Assembly food hall, a refurbished former cargo shed at Melbourne’s South Wharf promenade, across from Docklands.

The project has been developed by Melbourne Convention Centre owners the Plenary Group, with the aim of turning the precinct into an eating and entertainment destination.

Each shipping container is fitted with brand new kitchen equipment specifically designed to accommodate 11 different cuisines alongside communal bars and dining spaces.

Fitzroys agent Mitchell Humphreys who along with colleague James Lockwood has handled the marketing campaign, says the project has attracted more than 70 expressions of interest.

The campaign closes today.

The chosen chefs and entrepreneurs will receive two-year licences to operate their restaurants.

There is no cost involved.

“The Plenary Group is fitting and running the General Assembly at a substantial loss,” Humphreys tells Property Observer.

“The idea is to draw people to the South Wharf Precinct and give young up and coming chefs an opportunity run something at low risk to them.

Humphreys says the food hall should be and running in six to eight weeks.

“Young up-and-coming operators typically don’t have the capital to invest in setting up at a site long-term and completing their own fit-out,” he says.

They also want to remain independent and don’t want to be swallowed by larger corporations.

“We’re giving young, energetic people the chance to come in at no cost to them to serve their own cuisine.

The South Wharf precinct takes in the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre, the Hilton South Wharf and surrounding retail offerings.

It receives over six million visitors throughout the year, as well as having 2,500 on-site workers and tens of thousands within a one kilometre radius.

The Plenary Group is an infrastructure and property development business with operations in the Americas and the Asia Pacific region.

It works on public–private partnership (PPP) projects with its current most noteworthy project being the $1 billion Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre being built by Grocon for the Victorian government.

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer

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