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Food hall opens at Zero Irving a.k.a. E. 14th St. ‘Tech Hub’

BY THE VILLAGE SUN | For some, the words “Tech Hub” evoke the bitter aftertaste of a contentious rezoning struggle that failed and of a promise reneged upon.

Now that the aforesaid towering hub, officially known as Zero Irving, has been built, a new food court in the place is offering up an array of tempting cuisine and beer on tap.

Urbanspace, New York City’s “leading market maker,” according to a press release, recently opened Urbanspace Union Square, a 10,000-square-foot food hall with an expansive back patio space at Zero Irving, just steps from Union Square Park and the Union Square transit hub.

The airy food hall features 13 food entrepreneurs ranging from “iconic restaurants” to up-and-coming concepts. The food hall is located on the ground floor of Zero Irving, described as “a ground-up, tech-focused mixed-use/office building” recently completed by RAL Development.

The Zero Irving project was created to deliver community benefits to the Union Square-14th Street neighborhood — including tech education, workforce development services and a large public food hall — in addition to “trophy office space.”

As part of Zero Irving’s public benefit commitments to the New York City Economic Development Corporation, Urbanspace set out to reserve 25 percent of the vendor spots for first-time entrepreneurs or start-up companies that have operated for less than four years. Ultimately this goal was greatly exceeded as nearly half of vendors fit this qualification, including: Summer Salt (Baja tacos and burritos), Twenty One Grains (gluten-free grain bowls), Kid Brother Pizza (market-driven pizza by chef Michael Davis), Pita Yeero (Greek gyros and salads), Plant Junkie (plant-based comfort food) and Goat Cafe (specialty coffee and pastry).

The full list of vendors is rounded out with Bao by Kaya (bao buns and noodles), Bobwhite Counter (fried chicken and sandwiches), Playa Bowls (fresh smoothies and juices), Wafels & Dinges (Belgian waffles), Top Hops (craft beer and cocktail bar), Casa Toscana (Italian focaccia sandwiches) and GoFish (sushi boxes).

Urbanspace is also the group behind the annual Union Square Holiday Market, which just wound down after the close of the Christmas season.

“Providing a launch platform for concepts to incubate and watching them grow is the most rewarding part of our business,” said Eldon Scott, president of Urbanspace. “After operating in Union Square Park with our Holiday Market for 29 years, we’re honored to add to the fabric of the vibrant Union Square community. We anticipate serving a diverse mix of students, office workers and local residents.”

“The Union Square-14th Street neighborhood has been eagerly awaiting the opening of Urbanspace Union Square at the new Zero Irving tech center and we are thrilled the day has arrived,” said Ed Janoff, acting executive director of the Union Square Partnership. “If there’s one thing Union Square is known for, it’s great food options, and with more than a dozen exciting new purveyors under one roof — including six first-time operators and start-ups — this is sure to be the hottest new destination for local workers, residents and visitors to grab a bite.

“Urbanspace Union Square joins a long list of over 100 ground-floor businesses that have decided to open in Union Square-14th Street in the last two years, furthering the district’s role as an ever-burgeoning hub for creativity, tech, culture, jobs and more, while also serving as a terrific indicator that the area continues to rebound, with even more exponential growth on the horizon.”

“We are excited to see Urbanspace Union Square opening at Zero Irving. This vibrant food hall experience will help deliver on our vision for a modern, mixed-use building that connects with its local environment,” said Josh Wein, managing director at RAL. “We believe Urbanspace Union Square becomes a true destination for the neighborhood at large and an incredible amenity for Zero Irving’s office tenants.”

Urbanspace Union Square is the fifth New York City food hall from Urbanspace. Earlier this year Urbanspace opened Urbanspace Pearl in the Financial District as well as Urban Hawker, a Singapore-style hawker center in Midtown. Urbanspace Union Square is located at 124 E. 14th Street on the ground floor of Zero Irving and open Sunday through Wednesday 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday 7 a.m. to midnight.


  1. Mary Reinholz Mary Reinholz January 8, 2023

    A high-tech horror story with robots mechanically eating in the window from food in neon-lit spaces. What has magical Manhattan come to?

  2. Carol from East 5th Street Carol from East 5th Street January 8, 2023

    I don’t know if the “neighborhood has been eagerly awaiting the opening of Open Space Union Square” but I wish them well.

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