Salt City Market: Restaurant “Food Hall” Concept Opens Friday January 29th in Downtown Syracuse

Salt City Market adds something new to downtown: a true cultural crossroads where people from diverse backgrounds and economic means can come shop and socialize.

Immediately upon walking into Salt City Market you are visually whisked away into an assortment of colorful signs, each representing a different restaurant. The highly anticipated Salt City Market’s preparing to open January 29, 11am – 9 pm with the most diverse assortment of food you can find under one roof in Syracuse. Setup with 10 vendors the space is similar to what you’d see at a casino, mall or (gasp) Wegmans, Dewitt. You will have access to an array of culinary experiences that makes this a festival of nations for food.

Sleyrow Mason’s “Soulutions”

Salt City Market is about food, culture and helping people build financial security by doing what they love. According to Salt City Market leaders, “Picture a bustling market in downtown Syracuse: stalls with merchants selling beautiful foods from around the world, a grocery store, café, bar, events, play space and the opportunity to live and work above it. That’s what we’re building a place where everyone feels like they belong.”

They didn’t simply build out the bricks and mortar with a concept of placing individual food vendors under one roof. The project went into the guts of starting a restaurant – equipment.  Salt City Market supplies each stall with plumbing/electrical, hood, Ansul, oven, griddle, grill or fryer (if requested), refrigeration, 3-bay sink, prep tables and POS (Point of Sale). These expenses alone are enough to stop any business dream.

Vendors were also assisted in building relationships with financial institutions. Pathfinder Bank’s Calvin Corridors was singled out as being instrumental in working with Salt City Market restaurants for needed financing.

Firecracker Thai Kitchen

Below the restaurants, out of sight contains storage areas for each vendor. Each has access to their own dry storage area in addition to allotted individually sanctioned space in a large walk-in cooler. Salt City Coffee & Bar (Café/bar) has a unique set-up, Kegs leading to taps are located directly below, providing easy access. The result of this design is visual on the first floor as vendors have a clutter free selling space, cooking is visible to the consumer. You can watch as your food is being prepared.

Firas Hashim owner of Baghdad Restaurant said, “I like this style it’s open for the customers, you can see the Chwarma, chicken, and gyro, everything is made fresh.” He also shared that his food will be special because of the spices he uses, outlining how there may be several ways of seasoning food based on the region. That’s why he believes Baghdad Restaurant will be well received by the customers, “this is different from anything you’ve tasted in Syracuse”.

Miss Prissy’s Dreamer Glen

Dreamer Glen, owner of Miss Prissy’s Soul Food reflected on what inspired her to start this venture, “My grandmother inspired me, my grandmother was an avid cook, people loved what she cooked and when she cooked people were happy. I learned everything that I know from her, she was my inspiration. When she passed away it was up to me to keep the family meals going, my mom and my aunts, that’s what we do.

What drew her to City Market? Ms. Glen continues, “The opportunity presented itself, and for black and brown people especially women in the city of Syracuse things can be very hard. Access to funding, access to financing and the Salt City Market was a competitive process. And the end result was this, so I said, ‘why not give it a go and see what happens’. We competed with some of the best, of the best. And here we are, it’s wonderful, so I would say that access to funding and capital made it difficult. I’ve been catering for 17 years but never able to have a brick & mortar. It’s exciting to be able to do that under the auspices of Syracuse Urban Partnership and the Allyn Foundation. Making these opportunities available for us, we have some skin in the game also. But it’s a great partnership.”

Meg O’Connell, Dave Allyn and Maarten Jacobs

According to the Syracuse Urban Partnership, “Salt City Market adds something new to downtown: a true cultural crossroads where people from diverse backgrounds and economic means can come shop and socialize. We feel that the best way to create such a space is by: Helping incubate small food businesses. Creating a mixed-use space with everything from a grocery store to play space for kids to an evening cocktail lounge; in addition to weekly events series designed for and by our community.”

Apartments are currently being rented upstairs from Salt City Market at affordable rates read more about it : Affordable Downtown Living Upstairs from City Market

The Allyn Family Foundation and the Syracuse Urban Partnership have created a project that if successful will become the envy of those working to bring positive energy and economic diversity into a beleaguered urban area. This must be the most wholistic approach to economic empowerment ever implemented in Syracuse. The only conundrum left is which food to select, for your first visit to Salt City Market which opens January 29th  

Salt City Market is the embodiment Mayor Walsh’s vision – “a growing city that embraces diversity and creates opportunity for all”  As stated at the groundbreaking for the project, “this investment, the Allyn Foundation would not have made without Ben Walsh as Mayor. ”

Salt City Market

Regional and International Cuisines from Talented, Driven Entrepreneurs


Salt City Market Vendors