Chef, television host, and author Harry Pagancoss is opening a food hall called Caravaca Market in the heart of Midtown this summer. Located at 780 Peachtree Street, the 5,000-square-foot space takes its name from the city in Spain and offers Atlantans the opportunity to “taste the world locally.”
“My intention is for Caravaca to be a social institution,” Pagancoss says. The Puerto Rican chef moved to Atlanta from Miami about five years ago for a contract with Turner Broadcasting.
Unlike the other major food halls in the area, Caravaca won’t have sit-down restaurants; it will be all stalls runs by line cooks. These include a “Taste Bar,” wine bar, pizza stall, market, and a bakery/cafe. “In general, the idea is to focus on local Georgia-grown items with some international products. We’re working toward bringing good quality and concise offerings,” Pagancoss says.
“I base my food on my travels,” he continues. “There are wonderful options on Buford Highway, but here you can eat cultural food without leaving Midtown: Peruvian, Latin American, Scandinavian, Mediterranean, African, Asian, Danish, and Swedish. We’ll have occasional themes around a country or region to celebrate those foods. Every 29th of the month will be ‘gnocchi day,’ based on [a South American tradition].”
Read on for more details from chef Pagancoss. And if you don’t live near Midtown, worry not; Pagancoss plans to open another Caravaca location in Atlanta, along with others across the country.
Why did you choose this location for Caravaca Market? I live in Colony Square and love Midtown. I’m a concrete rat and like to feel like I’m in the city. After Atlanta [saw success with] Krog Street Market and Ponce City Market, I thought it was the right time and wanted to bring the experience of other cultures to the city. It’s close to the Fox Theatre. Midtown needed some more international affairs. It’s in a brand-new luxury apartment building, Trace. We’re taking the whole downstairs. We’ll have outdoor seating with a gorgeous view of Saint Mark church, just like in Caravaca, Spain, where everything is centered around the church and fortress.
What will the market look like? I’m working with architect Daniel Sweeney. It’ll have a simple, casual, colorful, Mediterranean, modern decor reminiscent of Caravaca, Spain. The color palate is based on desserts from Harry Bakes Cafe: guava, espresso, tres leches, and red velvet.
Tell me about Harry Bakes Cafe. It’s the bakery I used to have in Miami. I’m bringing it back as an anchor. We’ll have Italian coffee, an espresso bar, pastries baked in house. There will be Danishes, British scones with clotted cream and jelly, croissants, empanadas, Mallorca bread, and sandwiches, and some gluten-free stuff. I love sweets and flour! This will be a place to go every day.
What kind of food will be served at Taste Bar? We’re drawing from Spanish way of eating—it’s all about sharing and having variety. There will be a full bar with simple drinks. [Food offerings may include] ropa vieja with rice and beans translated into a small bite, tomato salad, burrata, definitely octopus, and Brazilian stew.
I assume you’ll have cheeses and charcuterie at the wine bar? Yes, specialty cheeses served as a platter with olives and cold cuts. It’s a very traditional way of drinking wine with nibbles. American-made wines will be the priority, with a featured flavor of month. There will be monthly wine, beer, whiskey, and bourbon tastings. I think of it as a way to educate and expose people to something new.
What should we expect from the craft beer and pizza stall? We’ll have two or three flavors of pizza, and two to three local beers on tap, with some international offerings in bottles. Pizza will be by the slice. It could be square, like at Pizza Rustica in Miami. It’s street food. It’s taking from how people eat in New York or Italy.
Thick or thin crust? I like to keep my license of creativity. Most likely both!
What will you sell at the Provisions Market? Georgia-grown items. Not just food, but soaps and candles. Peaches, pecans, chocolates, salts, Georgia beef, cold cuts, cheeses, and freshly baked breads. I haven’t finalized the brands. There will be some rotation of items. The key is to have something people can connect with. Maybe on weekends local producers will come and interact with customers.
We’ll also have a picnic box with food made that day—ones that are good for entertaining. We’ll sell sandwiches, broth bowls in different flavors (chicken, pasta, or vegetarian), soups, and prepared foods made to be warmed at home (an alternative to a meal delivery service). We’re looking to sell honest food that’s full of flavor.