Have you made progress on your search? I’m not quite in your area but I have been looking into several food vending options for a while (catering, vending at festivals, canning some of my sauces and chutneys); at every turn I have been advised to "rent a commercial kitchen" but I have SO not been able to find one!!! A couple of places I have approached said "our insurance wouldn’t cover that."
Just a few days ago an opportunity presented itself to perhaps rent a restaurant that went out of business a couple years ago. The new owners don’t want to be bothered with it (it came with a big piece of land, and they’re building houses or apartments or something) so they offered it to a neighbor of mine who organizes local music events, open mics, etc FOR A RIDICULOUSLY LOW $500/MONTH! My neighbor doesn’t have time for it so he’s trying to get me involved. Now, from what I understand they are not willing to put any money into it, and I don’t HAVE any money to put into it, and the kitchen needs some equipment (it’s very large but pretty much only has a stove/oven, walk-in fridge, dismantled dishwasher…no counters/shelves/etc), but I think there’s a lot of potential and I don’t want to pass up the opportunity.
We too are thinking of things you mentioned, such as renting it out as a hall, or for yoga classes, band rehearsals, art studio…but I really want to get the kitchen up to code and put it to good use, even if we never use the rest of the building. I want to have a mobile kitchen at some point, but having this place for water, electricity, extra cold storage & prep area, parking etc would be fabulous.
It’s a roundish stone building with a stage, several fireplaces and 3 bars, right on a creek and with a big field and lots of parking. Quiet & somewhat isolated–warehouses across the street. Right off of Route 23 and used to be part of Gingerbread Castle.
There are many costs and details I have to ask about, but if you (or anyone)wants to get involved please contact me.
PS The location is in a pretty rural area and hasn’t been successful for quite some time; that’s why I’m thinking of it more as a home base for catering and mobile food vending. We are pretty close to the Sussex County Fairgrounds; lots of big events most of the year that would be good for concessions.