In the midst of business centres and modern apartment buildings, Europa is opening its doors to Dialogai – a food hall that has been developed and nurtured for a period of over six months. The aim is for the hall to become a new centre of attraction, which will become operational on 24 January. Due to the pandemic, the opening celebration has been postponed to a later date, but the food hall and its restaurants in it are starting to operate at full speed according to the flow of visitors throughout the day.
“The concept of the food hall and the restaurants was chosen with regard to the target audience comprised of the people working and living in the surrounding area, who have been waiting for this place for as long as we have. It is designed for meetings between colleagues or partners, chatting with friends who have not seen each other for some time, and also for taking a break from the office environment. It is a space for long-awaited dialogues, where the connections are made through food and experiences,” said Eglė Juškienė, General Manager of the SC Europa.
According to Juškienė, even though the food hall occupies a large space measuring almost 900 sq. m, it is filled with natural light and greenery – so it synergistically blends into the whole shopping centre. This decision to celebrate the opening of the food hall is appropriate because the hall is one of the most important parts in the ongoing renewal of Europa, and it also marks the half-way point in the shopping centre renovation project.
“We created the Dialogai brand in the belief that this food hall will become the beating heart of the SC Europa, as a multi-layered place for re-charging your energy and including new experiences in the rhythm of a busy day. We have distanced ourselves from food links in the name and the visual image. This is because even though visitors will definitely find food at Dialogai, we are also aiming to open the doors to conversation, allow surprises to happen, and provide new experiences by allowing visitors to the enjoy space, their companions and, of course, the food,” explained Asta Grabliauskienė, Director of TBWAVilnius.
The food hall, created by the Finnish architectural studio Bolder, can cater up to 300 guests at a time and they will be able to choose dishes from 10 different restaurants. Some of these are well-known names, but there are also new restaurants being introduced by experienced market players. The food hall will be managed by Sapus.
"We have worked hard over the last six months to develop the vision of our new-generation hall together with the restaurants, who have enthusiastically contributed to its implementation. We have carefully coordinated the menu and the speed of service, while placing a priority on the experiences and the social needs of our visitors, as well as their usual work and leisure hours. These trends are on par with the food areas currently under intensive development in Europe and the United States,” said Aurimas Namajuška, Managing Partner of Sapus.
According to Namajuška, most of the traffic in the food hall Dialogai will take place during the day, but the space is available for visiting in the evening. Italian cuisine is represented by the well-known pizza experts La Storia Pizzeria, Mediterranean dishes will be prepared by Itališka keptuvė, there will be a Sakartvelo menu at Chačapuri, special burgers are available at Archie’s Burger, South Asian cuisine will be represented by MyWok, Noodle City, Wrap House, and in the case of Japan by EatSushi, while Potato House and Sava will offer dishes from Lithuania and Eastern Europe. The food hall will also have an integrated pop-up culinary space for events and short-term leases.
The Dialogai food hall will remain open in the shopping centre from 10:00 to 21:00 on both weekdays and weekends. A national certificate or an equivalent document is required for visitors on their arrival at the food hall as well as in the shopping centre itself.
In total, Baltic Horizon Fund, as owner of the SC Europa, is investing EUR 6 million in the renovation, with EUR 3 million of this amount allocated to the food hall and the adjacent leisure area. All the renovation work is scheduled to be completed in the first half of 2022.