Canyon Market is the prototype of the new Market on Market in the Twitter building

New Mid-Market food emporium to be 1st in high end SF chain

Pedestrians walk outside the new locally owned grocery store named Market on Market on the first floor of the Twitter building  in San Francisco, Calif., on Thursday, October 23, 2014.  Under construction Market on Market is scheduled to open by the holidays. Photo: Liz Hafalia, The Chronicle

The Art Deco Market Street building that houses some of San Francisco’s hottest new-economy companies, including Twitter, will soon be home to an ambitious startup in a decidedly old-world business: groceries.

Behind the Art Deco facade at 1355 Market St., the old San Francisco Furniture Mart, construction workers are building out a sprawling $5million food emporium that will be a hybrid grocery market and foodie food court. It will have the staples to take home — milk and eggs, cereal and veggies, meats and breads — but also a taco bar, pizzeria, oyster bar, sushi shop and wine bar.

The market in the Twitter building could be just the start for the Market on Market team. As well as 1355 Market, they are taking over the vacant Big Apple grocery store at Polk and Clay streets. That store, 11,000 square feet that will include a basement sushi bar, is set to open in the spring. A third deal for a 10,000-square-foot store is in the works at Lumina, a 656-unit condo complex Tishman Speyer is building at Main and Folsom streets.

Farm to table

Chris Foley, a San Francisco real estate investor, said the concept is a Northern California farm-to-table play on the Mario Batali’s Eataly Italian emporiums in New York and Chicago. His partners include Bruce Slesinger and Tom Collom of BAT Architects, which designed Small Foods South of Market, as well as Richard Hoff, who ran Napa Farms Market at San Francisco International Airport.

Market on Market will also include six subtenants: Malaysian street food-inspired Azalina’s, Nuubia Chocolat, Blue Bottle Coffee, Farmgirl Flowers, EO Products (skin care) and Project Juice. “We wanted to create community … a bunch of different spaces within the market where you can get to know your neighbors and the people you work with,” Foley said.

When the group first drew up plans to open the grocery store, they envisioned an 8,000-square-foot food hall similar to Canyon Market in Glen Park, where Foley is an investor. Shorenstein Properties, which owns the Twitter building, liked the concept so much it suggested it be bigger.

“Shorenstein said, ‘No, we have 13,000 square feet for you,’” Foley said. “We said OK. Then they came back and said, ‘We have 18,000 square feet.’ We said OK. They came back and said, ‘Why don’t you take it all?’ Now we are at 22,000 square feet and, honestly, if we had another 2,000 square feet, we would be really happy.”

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