The owners of a downtown Apopka restaurant have purchased a long-standing feed store across the street with plans to convert the space into a food hall.
Ella Duke, the co-owner of Propagate Social House, told GrowthSpotter that she and her team acquired Hall’s Feed Store last week for $695,000.
After an extensive redevelopment of the building’s interior, it will become Hall’s on 5th with as many as six full-service restaurant vendors, a full bar serving cocktails and locally brewed craft beers, a main dining room area, and outdoor seating.
Propagate Social House, a popular breakfast, brunch, and lunch spot located at 40 E 5th St., will remain open.
“We are super excited,” Duke said. “We think it (the food hall) is going to be really welcome. Everything that we’ve heard from customers and people commenting online has been very positive.”
This is the second food hall in the works for downtown Apopka. A short drive to the east, Taurus Investment Holdings is bringing one to its Apopka City Center mixed-use project located near the intersection of U.S. 441 and S.R. 436. This food hall is slated to cover 12,500 square feet with nine restaurant tenants and a brewery.
Craig Govan, the development partner at Taurus Investment Holdings, said this week that the proposed site for the food hall has changed recently to make room for more retail and restaurant development. It will now be built along the west side of McGee Avenue. Earlier plans had it going on the east side.
“Everything is going unbelievably good” for this project, he said.
Hall’s Feed Store had been serving customers in Apopka since the late 1920′s. It moved to its current location in the early 1960s, according to property records.
Chris Hall, who most recently ran the business started by his great-grandfather, told GrowthSpotter that he had been contemplating the feed store’s future before Duke approached him with her idea.
“There are no generations coming up that want the feed store,” he said. “It’s a lot of work. But it’s hard to figure out how to go out when you’ve been in business that long. I just kept praying, and then they came to me. And I said, ‘What a perfect way of going out of business.’ They’re going to carry on the legacy of the building and they’re really good folks.”
He added that the food hall concept will meet the need for more dining options in downtown Apopka.
“I think it’s great,” Hall said. “I think Apopka needs this, there’s nowhere to eat in Apopka. They are going to put a beautiful restaurant in there and they have a really good crew. They will do an amazing job. It’s good for them. Good for me. And good for Apopka. Everybody wins.”
For the food hall project, Duke and her team at Propagate Social House — Joanna Timm, Michael Fonner, and Jay Kleinricher —are teaming up with Lusia Donovan, the owner of Apopka’s Aviate Inn.
Donovan has experience with renovation projects. Her business involves transforming airport hangars into luxury short-term rental units.
Duke said the redevelopment work on the 4,138-square-foot feed store has already begun but declined to provide an estimate on what it will cost.
She noted that the majority of the makeover will impact the interior. Old, porous wood floors need to be stripped. Kitchen infrastructure has to be added.
“The good thing is that there is very little demo work,” Duke said. “It’s one long rectangle, which is actually really nice. It’s like a blank canvas. We are happy to be starting with a blank campus so we can put everything where we want it to best suit our vendors.”
Aside from a fresh coat of paint and the addition of an outdoor dining space, the exterior will see little changes. The sign painted on the facade bearing the “Hall’s Feed” name will remain intact, Duke said.
“It was really important to us that we preserve the name in some way and honor the family legacy,” she said, adding that she also plans to draw inspiration from other food halls in the Orlando area.
“We love places like East End market,” she said. “We love places like Henry’s Depot (in Sanford). We are really excited about all of the growth happening in Apopka and how many new young families are moving into the area. Overall, this is an opportunity to do some of the cool stuff that we really like about downtown Orlando.”
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