Upscale food court coming to Old Orchard

Westfield Old Orchard announced plans Monday for a new dining area to replace the food court that closed more than two months ago.

The Skokie mall plans to launch an “open kitchen and natural food market” in early summer, said Senior General Manager Deb Mattes.

The new concept will resemble a European food market, she said. The venue will highlight an array of foods from sushi to chicken nuggets.

The 22,500-square-foot food court will feature gourmet food items, organic offerings, specialty foods, seasonal fresh produce and other grocery items, Mattes said.

Richtree Market Restaurants Inc., a Canadian food service firm that has created innovative restaurant and marketplace concepts in a number of Canadian shopping malls, is launching the new concept at Westfield Old Orchard.

“We believe that, with its multiculturalism and well-known passion for food, Chicago is the perfect city to host our first U.S. location,” Richtree spokesman Kevin McCormack said in a release.

The natural market will serve organic, sustainable and natural freshly prepared foods, meat, produce, seafood and specialty items that shoppers can eat at the mall or take home. Pizza, fresh pasta, French Rotisserie, a carving station, smoked meats, bakery, omelets, cheese, Asian specialties, pastries, gelato and coffee creations are part of the mix.

The open kitchens will be arranged as a series of stations or kitchens, where food will be prepared in front of shoppers.

There will be common seating areas both indoors and out.

“We're extremely excited about this. This will be a real game changer for the mall as well as the community,” Mattes said.

A new upscale food court at Westfield Old Orchard will feature everything from sushi to pizza and childrenÂ’s menu items. Photo Courtesy Westfield Old Orchard