Restaurant incubator coming to Federal Reserve Building

Candice Williams
The Detroit News
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Detroit — A vacant space on the ground floor of the Federal Reserve Building in the city’s downtown will become the home of a food hall and restaurant incubator, Bedrock announced Thursday.

Galley Group, creators of Pittsburgh’s food hall and restaurant incubator, Smallman Galley, will open its fourth project at 160 W. Fort St. in the fall.

“We are excited to open in this historic building,” said Tyler Benson, Galley Group’s co-founder. “We’re even more thrilled to have a part in finding and assisting some of this city’s best undiscovered culinary talent.”

The incubator concept allows Detroit’s area chefs to test their food offerings in what Galley Group calls a “low-risk, low-cost” environment. The 8,646-square-foot space will have an open floor-plan, four kitchen spaces and a centralized full bar. Galley Group provides a fully functioning kitchen, mentoring and front of house staff.

The space will be open to the public for dining.

Diners will select their menu items from the restaurants, pay and the food orders will be delivered to their table. Bussers will be on hand to clear tables.

Galley Group has no preconceived idea of the types of restaurant concepts that will fill the four kitchens, said Ben Mantica, Galley Group’s co-founder.

“However, we try to identify any gaps in any market we go into and that does play a small part in what we look for,” he said. “Ultimately, it comes down to the applicants and everything they bring to the table when applying.”

As an example in Pittsburgh’s Smallman Galley, the four current food offerings include hand-forged pizza, Latin American cuisine, modern Vietnamese food and American cuisine in a fast-casual setting.

Mantica said Galley Group was attracted to Detroit for similar reasons that led them to Pittsburgh and other Rust Belt cities.

“Detroit is in the process of reinventing itself, and the people here are so passionate about the city — it’s contagious,” he said. “We’re excited to give chefs the opportunity to start a business in their home town.”

The incubator model is a proven success in Detroit, said Bedrock CEO Jim Ketai.

“Many of the most successful local brands are alums,” Ketai said. “In fact, several of our own tenants did stints in places like Ponyride or Bedrock’s seasonal markets before opening their brick and mortar locations.

“Creating opportunities for Detroiters and helping local entrepreneurs achieve their dreams are paramount to Bedrock’s development strategy. It will be really exciting to see what great ideas are born and nurtured through Galley Group.”

Benson and Mantica, two former U.S. Navy lieutenants, launched Smallman Galley in Pittsburgh’s Strip District in 2015. Since that time a second food hall, Federal Galley, opened in Pittsburgh’s North Shore. Also set to open in the fall is a location in Cleveland.

Detroit-based Kyle Evans Design will design the space. Rosetti is the lead architect.

Chefs interested in kitchen space can submit their restaurant ideas by May 1. Applications are available at

Twitter: @CWilliams_DN

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