Hotel Cheval to open gourmet food store in Paso Robles

Haymarket Gourmet Food Purveyors is set to open this summer at the corner of Pine and 11th streets in downtown Paso Robles.
Haymarket Gourmet Food Purveyors is set to open this summer at the corner of Pine and 11th streets in downtown Paso Robles.

The company that runs a boutique hotel and wine bar in downtown Paso Robles is expanding its brand into the retail food business.

Hotel Cheval is working to open Haymarket Gourmet Food Purveyors this summer at the corner of Pine and 11th streets.

The enterprise is designed to complement Hotel Cheval and its adjoining Pony Club wine bar, both located on the same block on Pine Street.

“We’ve been thinking about doing a gourmet shop for a long time,” managing director Judy Hudson said. “Everyone always says they wish they had a place to pick up something to eat somewhere other than a restaurant.”

The market will be the third business under the Hotel Cheval brand owned by Robert and Sherry Gilson.

Haymarket’s roughly 1,000-square-foot location was previously home to Vivant Fine Cheese, which moved across from the train station earlier this year.

The space, which also features a patio, is in the back of the ornate Fairbairn Building once used as a municipal bath house for the city’s natural hot springs when it was built in 1906.

The Gilsons, who have restored and redeveloped a number of downtown properties, own the building and operate the hotel’s kitchen and offices from it as well. A candy shop and clothing store also rent out window-front spaces facing Downtown City Park.

The market will sell freshly prepared to-go foods such as entrées, salads and sandwiches from a walkup counter as well as packaged items from the shelves.

The store will also have deli cases for appetizers, desserts such as French pastries and a small collection of cheese. Entrée selections, to change daily, range from beef tenderloin with garlic mayonnaise to smoked salmon lasagna and salmon burgers with ginger, Hudson said. Homemade muffins, scones and coffee cake will also be available each morning,

Haymarket will carry over the company’s equestrian theme — from Cheval meaning “horse” in French — and be decorated with black-and-white tile floors and birch shelving.

Work to open the store also included renovations to Hotel Cheval’s kitchen, as well as a wine cave located underneath the space.

“We use it for hotel guests and (soon) for special tastings for Haymarket guests with our sommelier,” Hudson said.

Haymarket will be staffed by five full-time employees and two part-time employees.

Hudson declined to disclose how much money was invested in the project.