The Atrium Food Market, in Cincinnati is no run-of-the-mill office tower food court. The space in the Atrium One and Two complex is an chef-driven concept that combines an open kitchen, four food stations, a tempting variety of grab-and-go meals and snacks and a small selection of gourmet groceries. Opened at the end of 2022, it serves breakfast and lunch.
The four stations rotate biweekly and include these concepts developed by operator Parkhurst Dining…
• Firehouse Grille—burgers, chicken and sliders
• Corner Mercantile Express—elevated deli
• Hello Bistro Express—salads
• Billie’s Coop House Sandwiches—chicken sandwiches and tenders
• Leaf and Grain—grain and salad bowls
• Hot Tomato Pizza Co.
• Pastasciutta—fresh-made or locally sourced pasta
• Cinco Cantina—Mexican
• Wild about Waffles—Belgian waffles
• Slo Smoke—barbecue
Atrium is run by award-winning chefs Josh Campbell and Derek Dos Anjos, both of whom previously ran their own restaurants in the Cincinnati area. “Food is a very important thing to us, and we think it’s important to a lot of people,” says Campbell, who also serves as GM, with Dos Anjos taking on the executive chef role. Both are putting their spin on the recipes, with approval from Parkhurst.
“We’re trying to achieve something that’s not normally found in a corporate atmosphere. You’ll find an escape, a good meal that’s good for you, and it won’t cost a lot of money.”
Campbell says about 95 percent of products sold at Atrium are made in house. “We have a $2 million, state-of-the-art kitchen here, and we really take advantage of it,” he adds. Equipment includes a rotisserie, combi ovens, a smoker, even a pasta maker.
“We’re feeding people what they would get at a nice restaurant, but they’re getting it at lunch prices,” he says. Ticket averages across breakfast and lunch are about $10.50.
They’re also getting it quickly: Campbell says ticket times average just under four-and-a-half minutes. And all orders are packaged in takeout containers, allowing patrons to dine in (with seating for up to 200 in the lobby) or take it back to their desks.
Because of its location, in a cluster of office buildings, grab-and-go plays a central role in Atrium’s business model. The selection includes wraps, sandwiches, parfaits, salads and individual charcuterie servings and is available from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. Cookies, muffins and scones, baked in-house by the staff pastry chef, are also on offer.
And because everyone knows that people eat with their eyes, Campbell says presentation is probably even more key with grab-and-go options. “Once you take away that visual, when people can’t see the product, they’re less likely to buy it,” he says. Cookies, packaged in brown paper bags when the operation opened in December 2022, sell better now that they’re offered in clear bags. Salads are presented in black-bottom clamshells with clear tops, and wraps appear in craft boxes, both designed to show off the ingredients.
Labels are also essential to the takeout items. They provide the nutritional breakdown and all the potential allergens. It’s relatively easy to do, since all the recipes are in Parkhurst’s database.
To make it convenient for the office workers to grab meals quickly, Atrium Food Market also provides online advance ordering and payment. The Click-It Kitchen app allows ordering from anywhere, even onsite when lines at the ordering kiosks back up.