SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The Salt City Market in downtown Syracuse has taken another important step forward towards its planned November opening.

The food hall has picked the eight merchants, dubbed the “Fab 8”, who will be making and serving their cuisine there.

There will be a heavy presence of soul and southern cuisines as well as Southeast Asian dishes.

“I think a lot of what we’re going to be doing is new to folks. I hope and trust we’re going to be doing some really bold things, some exciting things that people haven’t seen before even if they are somewhat familiar with those cuisines, and I know we also need to offer comfort as well,” Market Manager Adam Sudmann tells NewsChannel 9.

Each of the “Fab 8” were individually surprised with the news after spending months going through two rounds of recruitment, training and public auditions.

“It was a shock, it was a welcomed surprise,” says Dreamer Glen, one of the “Fab 8”. She’ll be bringing her soul food to the market.

“We were able to do a site visit and actually walk around the construction site and it became very, very real, and it’s exciting,” she adds.

Duyen Nguyen will be joining her in another of the eight food stalls, with a bakery. “Even though my mom had a bakery in Vietnam for so long I learned the technique from her, but make my own recipe from whatever I see out there,” she explains.

Sudmann says, “We had a big, big meeting on Monday where I walked them through 2020 and what’s coming next, all the business development, all the events we’re having, the hiring, brand development.”

The market is about to launch the search for two existing food businesses to join the “Fab 8” and fill out the 10 total food stalls.

“Not startups, but looking for existing businesses that want to open a second location and have that mentorship mentality,” Sudmann says.

If you would like to be considered for a spot at the Salt City Market, you can fill out a form here.

Work is also moving along quickly on the building itself. A good deal of concrete has been poured, and steel will start going up in the next couple weeks.

The Salt City Market is backed by the Allyn Foundation. It will be 78,000 square feet and four stories tall and will sit at the corner of South Salina Street and West Onondaga Street.

It will feature 10 food stalls, a grocery store, cafe bar operated by Salt City Coffee and a teaching kitchen. The second floor of the building will be office space and the top two floors will hold 26 apartments.

For more local news, follow Jeff Kulikowsky on Twitter @JeffNC9

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