A Brooklyn transplant has big plans for an entrepreneurial food court in downtown Troy. Cory Nelson on Tuesday unveiled the floor plan for what he is calling “Troy Kitchen: A Gourmet Food Court,” at 50 4th Street.
The project, which will revive a long rectangular space extending back from the street, is intended to include four permanent food vendors, a wine and beer bar and a coffee bar. Nelson is hoping to have tenants in all the venues by early fall.
The former Union National Bank building includes original marble and brass elements, and a grand lobby with walls rising 32 feet to a glass ceiling. The lower level has a vault Nelson refers to on his plans as a “secret basement.”
The brick-fronted venue, which features an arched-front design, is located a block from the Franklin Plaza Ballroom, which itself is in a former bank building, and just steps from the multi-level Uncle Sam Parking Garage.
Nelson is partnering with Kyle Engstrom, about whom he says, “I couldn’t have asked for a better partner in this venture. [And} thank you to the entire city and region for all the positive words and support thus far. It means the world to us. We will continue to keep everyone updated of our progress. Also feel free to reach out if you have a questions or just want to say hi. This project doesn’t belong to me or Kyle, but to the entire city, so we want everyone to feel involved and excited about it just as we are.”
Nelson, 26, who moved from Brookly to study computer science and chemistry at Howard University in Washington, DC, now lives in Troy. He has given major credit for beginning his project to the example of local husband-wife entrepreneurs Vic Christopher and Heather LaVine. In just a few years, they have revitalized three once-crumbling buildings to create the Lucas Confectionery Wine Bar, The Market grocery, and the restaurant-tavern Peck’s Arcade, all in the Monument Square neighborhood.
Although no details have been announced on potential tenants, if one is inclined to read the Facebook tea leaves, Brian Bowden may be involved in the new “food court.” The well-regarded and well-traveled chef just left his position as founding chef at Mingle On the Avene in Saratoga Springs. And, he is a resident of Troy. Bowden has posted mention of the project on his Facebook page, and recently “friended” Nelson.
Bowden’s resume includes stops at such popular restaurants as The Ginger Man in Albany, Creo’ in Guilderland, and Javier’s Nuevo Latino in Saratoga.