LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) – A new food hall in Lakeland aims to be a haven for foodies and design enthusiasts.
“It gives you an elevated food offering at a fast-casual price point in a very fun and new and exciting environment,” said Jonathan Bucklew, co-owner of The Joinery.
Bucklew, and his wife, Sarah, opened The Joinery on East Main Street Monday.
“The most overwhelming and exhausting work stretch that I’ve had but it’s also been the most fun I’ve ever had in my life,” he said.
It includes seven fast-casual restaurants, a floral boutique and a brewery.
It takes over the building that formerly housed a cleaner and Lakeland Brewing Co.
“I think the most exciting part about this area and where The Joinery is specifically is all the development that’s happening,” said Bucklew.
“We’re definitely growing at a very fast rate right now,” said Julie Townsend, executive director of Lakeland Downtown Development Authority.
A new multi-story executive office building is being built next door to the Joinery.
A few doors down, Catapult 3.0, a business incubator company, is building its expanded office, set to open by summer.
The downtown development boom also includes a 300+ unit apartment complex, a multi-story parking garage and a new office to house the workers’ comp company, Summit Consulting.
“They just made a deal with the city. They’re going to bring 500 plus new employees to downtown. So those folks are going to be eating lunch, staying after work and having a beverage,” said Townsend.
She believes there is an economic development boom occurring across Lakeland.
“I definitely think Lakeland is booming, not just in downtown but all over. With the number of restaurants, residential that is being built all throughout the city, we’ve got new projects with the hospital,” she said.