Iron Chef Jose Garces Debuts New Restaurant, Coffee Shop, Bakery, Wine Shop and Marketplace

-Courtesy of Aversa PR & Events

James Beard Award Winner Chef Jose Garces announces the grand opening of Garces Trading Company at Cira Centre (2929 Arch Street). The reinvented concept is back in an all new way as a collection of casual cafes that are part coffee shop, restaurant, bakery, marketplace, wine shop and corporate catering solution. The first of several locations to come is located next to 30th Street Station and situated at the gateway to the Schuylkill Yards neighborhood. The Cira Centre location features an open kitchen, seating for 130 people, a balcony full-service dining room, fast casual coffee and lunch service, bakery and pastry displays, grab and go offerings, wine shop and marketplace. 

Additional locations will be announced later this fall. Each location will share a common vision, menu items, marketplace offerings and general aesthetic, yet each location will also shine individually with unique menu and marketplace offerings, plus complimentary vibes and layout to perfectly pair with each unique location and space. For more information about the return of Garces Trading Company, visit www.garcestradingcompany.com and follow on social media at @GarcesTradingCo. For more about Chef Jose Garces and Garces follow @ChefJoseGarces and @GarcesGroup.

“Garces Trading Company is really special to me,” said Chef Jose Garces. “The concept is centered around an exchange of cultures that neighbors, friends, family members, coworkers and commuters can explore and connect over new dishes and flavors. Garces Trading Company is truly an outpost for foodies that incorporates discovery and connections – and I am excited to bring new life back to the GTC idea but in an all new way.”

The new concept aims to create connections through food, discovery and community. The refreshed concept and innovative marketing approach positions Garces Trading Company as both a must-visit dining and shopping experience. Working collaboratively while remaining true to Chef’s vision, Garces Trading Company will be the “go-to” destination for friends to connect, visitors to explore flavors and dishes, and all to discover local artisans and unique wares.

Chef Jose Garces takes inspiration from the original marketplace and wine shop concept that first opened back in 2008 and elevate them with expanded offerings from the concept’s virtual return in 2020 as one of Philadelphia’s most ground-breaking ghost kitchens. The new brick and mortar cafes will now be a mix of coffee shop, restaurant, bakery, marketplace, wine shop and corporate catering solution.

THE SPACE
For the launch of Garces Trading Company, Chef Garces and the Garces Restaurant Group, in partnership with Ballard Brands, has tapped the creative talents of Architect Amy Styre for the first location’s design. Her name may sound familiar, as she is currently working with her design team on the final touches for the unveiling of the new Buena Onda locations.

For the design, look for cafes that are contemporary and driven by purpose, drawing guests in using texture and warmth to create an organic flow through the offerings and areas within. Each space will amplify its surroundings as well as the unique voice of GTC.

For vibes, Styre worked with the teams at Garces and Brandywine to ensure the space incorporated the contemporary state of the art building’s elements into the scheme. The existing concrete bar which stretches into the Lobby was repurposed to the ordering counter with all new equipment, lighting, bamboo patterned carved wood back bar panels, storage and a pastry case. Cafe tables and chairs adjacent to the bar area within the lobby will make for a great place to grab a coffee and pastry or for a full sit-down experience.

A new introduction adjacent to the ordering counter is the marketplace for grab and go items, order pick up and Garces brand delectable for purchase, which was created with thematic king star tile floors, light wood display cabinetry and new drywall ceilings and pin lighting.

Inside the restaurant at the heart of it all is the experiential kitchen, with all new equipment, flooring, and oxidized panel exhaust hood. Surrounding the kitchen is a new custom thematic terrazzo dining counter, hammered metal backsplash tiles, clear glass barriers for watching food prep, bronze under counter wall panels, and a renovated pizza oven.

There are two separate first floor dining areas for large or smaller parties. One has concrete floors and exterior windows with bronze wall sconces and thematic ‘cayenne’ colored columns. The other internal room offers slatted acoustical wood panels, a sliding barn door, and views to the remainder of the restaurant.

New two-story sheer window treatments create a gauze-like effect scrim to the street and 30th Street Station, which offset the natural woven pendant lighting. The floors throughout have been replaced with 2 x 2 concrete look tiles, which anchor the white café tables and black and cane daily dining chairs. Daily dining maintains a light, airy, ethereal feeling.

One level up is the carpeted mezzanine with an atrium room for special parties and seating overlooking the kitchen and restaurant. Dark acoustical wood wall panels, new wood sconces, teal upholstered banquettes with multi-colored pillows, walnut wood tables and leather type upholstered chairs create an executive feel to a quitter more intimate approach.

THE FOOD
Built on the idea that every meal should be a great meal, GTC means even a salad grabbed on the run between meetings should be fresh, delicious and made with care and quality ingredients.

Each meal should be built on connections through food. Breaking bread together is only the beginning. GTC is not just creating spaces for people to share a meal or a cup of coffee, the vision is to also build connections between farmers, makers and purveyors with guests, foodies and clients.

The menu is rooted in the welcoming traditions of Chef’s childhood. While GTC dishes take inspiration from around the world, the cafe’s sense of hospitality stems from Jose’s home and hearth. His warmth, sophisticated culinary approach, and commitment to the community are set to shine in every aspect of the Garces Trading Company.

For the menu, look for a strong emphasis for breakfast, lunch and bakery offerings. For the coffee program, GTC will tap Ballard Brands’ own PJ’s Coffee to feature several exclusive GTC signature blends, with additional rotating selections curated by Chef Jose Garces himself. For the bar, each new location for Philadelphia will have a liquor license and offer a full selection of spirits as well as signature cocktails.

Breakfast offerings will feature locally sourced partners, when possible, to promote community connections, and include house-made ensaimadas (Spanish bagels), house made Spanish pastries, croissants, breakfast sandwiches and tacos, plus yogurts, fruit, quiches, overnight oats and other favorites. Breakfast will be counter service and grab-and-go. Lunch offerings will focus on soups, salads, sandwiches, other handhelds and more.

THE COFFEE
With Chef Jose Garces, something new is always brewing! With the opening of Garces Trading Company, look for two new exclusive coffees from Chef Jose Garces. El Puente and Redefining Farm to Table.

Under the leadership of culinary icon and award-winning chef Jose Garces, Garces Trading Company applies the concept of “Farm to table” in an innovative way by developing Direct Trade relationships with Central American coffee growers.

Chef Garces appropriately named this blend of coffee, El Puente, which means “The Bridge”, as he continues to foster connections between ours and distant farm communities.

Padre e Hijo- “Coffee is home”. Chef Jose Garces understands that coffee is so much more than just a beverage, and Garces Trading Company’s Padre e Hijo is something worth experiencing.  To chef, coffee is home. From fond memories of time spent with family to morning meditations, coffee has woven a rich tradition throughout Chef’s life.  An easy drinking upright blend, the sweet and smooth Padro e Hijo hopes to become a part of your every day.  

Both varieties are being served at Garces Trading Company, and both will be available for retail sale in the marketplace in coming weeks.

THE MARKETPLACE
Garces Trading Company and its cafe and marketplace creates opportunities for guests to be curious and explore, checking out the latest seasonal merchandise in the cafes, learning more about our farmers and purveyors, or just trying something other than “the usual”—which is the highest compliment a guest can give.

For the new GTC marketplaces, Garces has teamed up with Merchandise Food, a local company that specializes in food retail spaces. Garces has partnered with Merchandise Food at Okatshe in Atlantic City, as well as at the original Garces Trading Company location.

The marketplace grab-and-go offerings includes Garces’ famous lavender truffle honey, salsas, tortilla chips, guacamole, spice blends (with uses and/or recipes), hummus, chocolate bars, chocolate covered espresso beans, signature coffees and much more.

Garces Trading Company will operate from 7:30am to 7:00pm to start. On the first floor, look for breakfast hours at the fast casual coffee shop and case from 7:30am to 10:00am, lunch and all-day items from 11:30am to 7:00pm, and the marketplace from 7:30am to 7:00pm. Happy hour will run from 5:00pm to 7:00pm. Upstairs on the second floor balcony, look for a full-service dining room to be open 11:00am to 3:00pm.

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