Tuesday morning marks the opening of Garces Trading Company, Jose Garces' sixth project in four years and four months.
Garces Trading is a U-shaped gourmet market/cafe -- and in a first-of-its-kind arrangement with the state Liquor Control Board -- has a mini-State Store inside. Buy a bottle and uncork it right there, or take it home. The cafe is 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Full service meals: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Wine shop hours will be 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays; noon to 5 p.m. Sundays.
It's in the Western Union Building (1111 Locust St.), filling the space that was Union Gourmet Market & Cafe for about eight minutes.
In a vaguely Di Bruno's-like setup, Garces and crew will sell house-made artisanal and imported foods under his own label, such as breads, coffees (seven blends and roasts), jams and jellies for pairing with cheeses. Hanging charcuterie, too. You can shop the store and eat at a communal table, or order to-go at the counter, or sit in the center seating section and order from a waiter. (More details here. The menu is here. The coffee/dessert menu is here. The initial list of wine and spirits is here.)
Garces told me that he considers it "my culinary epicenter that embodies all things that get me really excited about food."
He also said his next project will be a still-unnamed farm-to-table restaurant at the Cira Centre, the former Rae, opening in late spring or early summer. He's also moving his corporate offices into the Cira. He says "early summer" for the opening of a beer-and-brats concept at the former Letto Deli at 13th and Chancellor Streets.
A Garces timeline, plus Craig LaBan reviews: