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Restaurateur Plans Cocoa Beach Food Hall

Cocoa Beach Mercado

Cocoa Beach, a Florida town near Port Canaveral and the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, is set to get a new food hall next year that will include about 12 restaurants and the town’s first craft brewery.

Daniel Todd, a local restaurateur who owns the popular 4th Street Fillin Station—a former gas station that he turned into an all-day gastropub—is spearheading the development of the 27,000-square-foot Cocoa Beach Mercado.

Plans call for the food hall to feature a diverse variety of foodservice concepts, which have not yet been identified. It will also have a 2,300 square-foot private event space, an 8,000-square-foot covered courtyard for live music and other entertainment, and a 3,300 square-foot rooftop bar.

Cocoa Beach Mercado is currently recruiting potential foodservice concepts for the space, according to its website.

“There could be 13 or 14 restaurants, but we’re looking at about a dozen,” Todd said in an interview with local TV station WKMG.

The brewery will provide beer for the entire facility, including the rooftop bar and the downstairs bar, he said.

“We’re excited to bring something new to the town,” he said.

Construction on what is now a vacant lot is expected to begin this fall, with a target date for completion sometime next year. The Mercado will be located near the Banana River on the main north-south roadway through the town.

“I am excited to see this project come to life,” said Keith Capizzi, mayor of Cocoa Beach, in a statement. “This will be an amazing upscale dining and entertainment venue for Cocoa Beach residents and tourists alike.”

Cocoa Beach, located three hours north of Miami and about an hour east of Orlando, is known as a surfing mecca and tourist destination that hosts an eclectic variety of eateries, including beachfront tiki bars, popular pizza joints, and, of course, a variety of seafood restaurants. Although it does not have a brewery of its own, nearby Cape Canaveral is home to Carib Brewery (formerly Florida Beer Co.), which brews about 28 beers and other products, including Hurricane Reef pilsner, Key West pale ale, and Caribé tropical hard ciders, according to its website.

Todd, a Cocoa Beach native, has earned local acclaim for his previous restaurant endeavors. In 2018 he acquired the gas station/garage that he and his business partners would transform into the 4th Street Fillin Station. They continued to operate it as a fuel station as they remade the garage bays into an open-air dining area and set up an outdoors patio/hangout, complete with picnic tables, yard games, and other amenities, in the station’s shady backyard.

The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, offering a menu of tacos, burgers, bowls, and other gastropub fare, along with a drink menu that includes a wide variety of beers on tap, wine and cocktails.

Todd also operates The Alibi Cocktails & Bites in Cocoa Beach, a more upscale destination focused on drinks, small plates, a handful of entrées and other fare in what is described as a “speakeasy-style” atmosphere.