FAQs On TRADE, Orange County's Next Food Hall

Rendering of the dining space at TRADE
Rendering of the dining space at TRADE
Courtesy Lincoln Property Company

We reported construction on a future food hall in Irvine back in January. After being invited to walk the property, we finally have a formal update. Here's what we know so far.

What is TRADE?
Formerly the Palm Cafe food court, TRADE is a marketplace. At its core, an Irvine craft food hall bookended by retail and anchor eateries. Not just a lunchtime stop, TRADE expects to draw crowds in the evening and over weekends. One design feature that will set TRADE apart from other halls: an indoor/outdoor dining space featuring fire pits and bar with full liquor license.

Where is TRADE located?
TRADE is down the street from John Wayne Airport, by the intersection of Von Karman and Michelson. A street light at Bixby is the main driveway into the center. If you ever stopped by the original location of OC Wine Mart, you would know exactly where we're referring to.

How are we going to find parking?
This was our only real question concern during our site visit. When we used to frequent The Chippy, it was always a zoo in the parking lot. Lincoln Property Company (the owners) expect most of the day traffic to consist of employees from surrounding businesses. For everyone else, there are talks of valet parking and off-site employee parking (among other ideas) to assist with traffic flow.

When is TRADE expected to open?
Depending on who you ask, this answer may vary. Our property contact states 60 days. One tenant thinks longer. Our bets are on mid-September. We are only predicting the completion of food establishments. Additional retail and service storefronts were not confirmed with us.

Who will be occupying TRADE? 
The question you're probably most curious about. Anchoring one end of the plaza is Ootoro Sushi from Walnut. We counted over 90 years of restaurant experience between the three sushi experts. On the opposite end, KRISP Fresh Living. Specializing in acai bowls, smoothies and pure teas, they are currently open in Newport Beach. We agree with their website when KRISP founders explain that, " . . .healthy eating shouldn't be a chore."

Indoors, the one returning Palm Court vendor is Gyro King. Working our way around, you'll find Butterleaf, a "vegetable diner", as well as Two Birds—- both concepts are linked to Andrew Gruel of Slapfish Restaurant Group. The Sandwich Society will make its second home here (the first is in Santa Ana). Portside advertises fresh seafood made to order, and is a project associated with Andy Nguyen. Maybe you've heard of him? Then Hop Phan will launch two spots; his infamous Dos Chinos as well as Megadon. We're talking a mass fusion of Latin, Asian, Mexican and Hawaiian. In the end spot, a dessert offering from the guys who founded GD Bro Burger.

As the restaurants are closer to completion, we will provide additional details. For now, we're looking forward to a rare, non-Irvine Company property.

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