New food hall plans at landmark former department store in Hull

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Plans have been submitted for a “European-style” food hall in the former House of Fraser store in Hull, which could create around 40 full-time jobs.

The store, in a prominent position opposite the Paragon Station on Ferensway, closed in August after welcoming shoppers for more than a century.

Concept behind the food hall at the former Hammonds department store

Concept behind the food hall at the former Hammonds department store

The landmark shop was built as Hammonds in 1916 and rebuilt after being destroyed in the Second World War and is still referred to locally as Hammonds.

The application from Hammonds of Hull, with Artisan Food Hall Hull Limited, proposes boutique food stalls and communal tables on the ground floor extending into surrounding streets “to give a real European experience”.

It could also create as many as 80 part-time positions.

A similar concept has already been piloted in Hull’s Trinity Market to great success.

The Hammonds store closed earlier this year

The Hammonds store closed earlier this year

Traders in the market on Wednesday said they welcome the competition - as it would up everybody's game.

Philip Thurston, from Tart Me Up, who creates handmade sweet and savoury tarts, said:"Generally with food the more outlets there are the quality goes up - it is basic competition

"But to survive it will have to attract new people into Hull from the surrounding area, particularly weekends.

"If anyone can cook pastry or tarts better than me then they deserve to take the business."

Joe Roper and Roxana Avery from micro artisan bakery Flour and Feast, support more diversity.

Mr Roper said: "You need to have competition, diversity, it brings everyone up. This is not just about food, it is everything, the creative sector.

"Hull is still a blackhole - we're at least 10 years behind what's going on in London.

"It depends what they are trying to do (at Hammonds) - I hope it doesn't become a giant Pret A Manger."

Another trader said he was "not remotely bothered" about the new food hall, saying: "Trinity Market has a history of being a market since 1904.

"Their's is a department store and they will have to do the legwork of changing people's perceptions."

The proposed hours of operation for the new food hall are Monday - Saturday: 7am - 11pm and Sunday: 7am - 10pm.

Eann Smith of Artisan Food Hall Limited said: "We want to create a really exciting space for the city and we’re confident that, by working with the Hammonds of Hull landlords, we can turn this concept into a reality and bring new visitors into Hull as well as improving the offering for residents.”

A spokesman from Hammonds of Hull said: “We truly believe that it will create a real buzz around the city, offering something completely new and unique to the North of England and is an excellent example of landlord and tenant partnership.”