New Leaks About Anthony Bourdain’s New York Hawker Center Set to Open Soon

We know now that it will be named Bourdain Market and is projected to open this year.

I’m skeptical on the opening date, since they haven’t even confirmed the location though it’s believed to be 3 World Trade Center, a location that suggests to me opening might not come quickly. They skyscraper component of the project isn’t slated to be completed until 2017 and construction projects delay more often than they don’t.

Unlike Singapore’s Hawker Centers where stalls tend to specialize in a single dish, it’s likely that Bourdain’s new place will have venues with multiple dishes each.

I infer this from taking literally two reports: the claim that there will be 40 to 50 food stalls while Bourdain claims there will be “hundreds of options.”

As for what those options will be, it’s been hinted that there will be an outpost of Xi’an Famous Foods. While Singapore’s Hawker Center’s are a primary inspiration, Bourdain has said in the past that he expects food from Spain, Hong Kong, and elsewhere. X’ian is Northern Chinese.

My predictions:

  • Though commercialized, the offerings will be good. Bourdain is a TV personality, but his brand is intimately tied to reasonably priced authentic experiences.
  • It won’t really be like a Singapore Hawker Center, or even eating local food in Bang Rak, Bangkok or the local foods in the suburbs of Kuala Lumpur.

  • Pricing will be higher than what one is used to for Hawker Centers.. or even for these same food experiences elsewhere. Rents will certainly be higher at 3 World Trade Center (or any similar development) than on the outer edges of New York’s Chinatown, let alone Flushing.

  • As with Hawker Centers generally, the close proximity of the various food outlets will generate significant competition. This will limit price, and drive quality. While this will be offset by the Bourdain brand making this place focal, it’s Bourdain and his investors that will reap the lion’s share of profit from the enterprise.

(HT: Michael W Travels)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I read about this yesterday and I can’t wait! It will be the best thing ever and I am hopeful it will succeed. That said, I am not sure it will get the exposure it needs if it’s by WFC, but we’ll see! I am looking forward to it.

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