The Livery on Main, a forthcoming 22,000-square-foot food and arts hub in downtown Sebastopol, is coming into focus as culinary heavy hitters like Village Bakery sign on for a space in the building’s food hall.
Slated for a late 2022 opening, the modern three-story space will take shape on a large parcel of unused real estate at 135 South Main St., next to K&L Bistro and across the street from Retrograde Coffee Roasters. The name refers to a livery, or stable, that once was on the property.
The food hall will be located on the first floor, called The Stables, and will feature food from a variety of small local restaurants, including vegan dishes from Santa Rosa’s Cozy Plum Bistro, burgers from the Lunch Box Sonoma County pop-up, Mexican-style mariscos (seafood dishes) from Santa Rosa’s El Charro Negro food truck and Greek food from Taverna Lithi, a new restaurant from Dino’s food truck owner and chef Dino Moniodis. Village Bakery, with two locations in Santa Rosa, will be making its return to Sebastopol in the food hall after losing its retail shop and production kitchen in The Barlow during the flooding in 2019.
Farm to Coast Collective, a “public benefit corporation” owned by Sebastopol company The Beale Group, will operate The Livery on Main and will provide on-site management, staffing and marketing to the food hall vendors in return for licensing fees (30% of gross revenue from food hall vendors). It’s a business model that, in different configurations, has gained traction in cities like New York and San Francisco with its lower startup costs compared to opening a stand-alone restaurant, plus other perks such as shared expenses and more consistent foot traffic.
“Restaurant startup and operational costs are expensive. We believe that our comprehensive shared services food hall model is the sustainable future of the (food and beverage) industry,” said Gregory Beale, founder of The Beale Group. As local restaurateurs continue to grapple with labor shortages and rising rents, the food hall concept can help address those challenges, The Beale Group said in a news release.
In addition to the food hall, The Livery on Main will be home to shared work spaces on its second floor, called The Loft, along with a speakeasy lounge called Farriers that will serve local beer, wine and spirits. The upper floor, The Rafters, will be dedicated to an event space and rooftop garden.
To finance The Farm to Coast Collective, The Beale Group has launched a campaign on WeFunder, a crowdfunding site that connects startups with investors. So far, $7,000 has been raised toward the $50,000 goal. According to the fundraising campaign, construction will begin in September 2021. Find more details at livery135.com.