La Cocina, an SF-based nonprofit that primarily helps low-income food entrepreneurs grow their businesses, is set to host a soft opening of its much-anticipated Tenderloin food hall — aptly called the Municipal Marketplace — sometime in the coming months.

The pandemic has delayed or extinguished intended openings and product launches for many businesses. La Cocina's Tenderloin Municipal Marketplace at 101 Hyde Street, which is described as being a place where women- and minority-owned businesses can flex and extend their culinary businesses, was one such venture affected by COVID-19. But after months of pandemic-related delays, the opening of the food hall (with construction having started back in 2018) is set to open... eventually.

Hopefully, before the summer.

As reported by Hoodline, organizers of the food hall expect to hold a soft opening this spring — starting with takeout and delivery options — after having been set back by construction and safety delays due to COVID-19.

“The focus right now is providing food insecurity meals for the community,” said Naomi Maisel, La Cocina's community partnerships and food justice advocacy manager, to the hyperlocal news outlet. One of the many businesses to shapeshift amid the pandemic, La Cocina pivoted toward offering food delivery services — via the help of a partnership with SF New Deal, another local nonprofit that uses donations to pay local restaurants to assemble free meals — to in-need San Franciscans last year, as opposed to supporting and mentoring food businesses (which it still did, but in a smaller capacity).

“We’ve provided more than 150,000 meals for food-insecure populations so far, in partnership with DISH and TNDC, and we have a new partnership with La Voz [Latina],” Maisel added to Hoodline. Both DISH and TNDC  provide supportive affordable housing options in the Tenderloin and across the city; La Voz Latina has been providing targeted service to Spanish-speaking immigrants and families in the Tenderloin since 2005.

For its initial run, six local food providers will offer meals from the Municipal Marketplace starting this spring. More are expected to occupy the former United States Post Office location later in the year, but for now, you can expect the following businesses to serve sustenance at the market place when it opens:

The marketplace’s opening date is still in the air, but the proposed hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. during its working days. If you’re interested in filling out La Cocina's survey on what's missing (regarding food choices, that is) in the Tenderloin, you can fill one out one in either English and Spanish.

To donate to the ongoing efforts organized by La Cocina and SF New deal, you can do so here and here, respectively.

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Image: Screenshot via La Cocina's website