The Chicago French Market opens at 7:30 a.m. Thursday at MetraMarket in the West Loop. It's set in a building that used to be mostly unused space, in the concourse of the Ogilvie Transportation Center at 131 N. Clinton, under the Metra tracks.
The market promises an indoor market offering organic, local and seasonal produce, meats and fish, breads, pastries, small batch cheese, wine, chocolates and prepared meals. Unlike seasonal farmer's markets, the French Market will be be open year-round, six days a week.
The 12:15 p.m. grand opening ceremony will include the cutting of a four-foot cake shaped to resemble the Eiffel Tower with "local Chicago touches." Which could mean.... a machine gun? A hot dog with everything? We'll have to see.
The project is intended to draw West Loop residents as well as Metra passengers.
Metra is spending $6 million for structural improvements to the space. In exchange, Metra expects its share in the project's revenue will be between $38 million and $40 million over the next 25 years.