The Hall on Franklin’s friendly vibe, sights, sounds, and tastes, brings additional pizazz to the Heights. This one-stop, multi-options, emporium is housed in an 8,000-square-foot, Twenties’ yellow brick building just north of downtown.
Whether you go for grab-and-go noshing or a fine-dining sit-down with friends, one server takes care of you in this open-culinary concept. The handful of dining choices solves our dilemma of where to have fun with a group. How many times has it taken a dozen texts to satisfy different requests and taste profiles?
Jamal Wilson, 42, says his place offers tried-and-true and hot-and-new breakfast, lunch, dinner, or brunch.
Wilson may be clairvoyant to pursue this hall concept, which took him almost two years to finish. In hindsight he says he would already have its patio seating ready. The former mortgage-bank owner says he got the nerve to tackle the endeavor after remodeling a 5,000 square-foot house. Wilson knows that halls are the answer to finicky diners.
Brokerage firm Cushman & Wakefield, which tracks such industry trends, says food halls have exploded by a whopping 700 percent in recent years.
Because this dining destination is a major draw, know that getting in is a hot ticket. You won’t breeze in at 7 on a Saturday night and be seated (reservations are only taken for six or more.)
Wilson says he has eaten at The Hall every day for months and still hasn’t worked his way through the entire list of options.
Meet The Hall’s operators:
The Melt Shoppe: Serial entrepreneur Dave Burton turns out breakfast all day and such savory, melted sandwiches as Jimmy Two Times (salami, provolone and marinara to dip,) and Magnum PI, a ham and cheese sandwich. Pursue its pirogies with ground beef or bacon and pimento cheese. Still have room, then taste the old-fashioned PBJ or S’more shakes.
Heights Fish Camp: Inspired by the fresh catch from local waters, you’ll see seaside favorites such as pretty pink shrimp, lobster corndog nuggets, fried gator bites, and oyster combos. This second stop by Burton also features Salmon Reuben’s.
North Star Eatery: Fans of Anise Global Bistro will snack on Stinky Buns at this Asian Fusion stop created by Kevin and Singh Hurt. Zucchini, pork belly panko shrimp, curried chicken and bbq pork are among the fillings of these one-bite wonders. Thai Beef salad, papaya salad, pork ramen and smoked tuna tacos, add to the charm here.
Poke Rose is the creation of Jason Cline, previous chef for the Birchwood and Vin 27. Two Tamarind-Curry bowls with cobia and chicken, along with Sesame-Ginger Tofu, Citrus Ahi Tuna, draw attention. Top them with such additions as: macadamia nuts, picked papaya, chia seeds, marinated mushrooms and toasted coconut, to guild the lily.
Bar Kȯ-fē: Sleepy heads can awaken to the espresso, cappuccinos and other brews, along with specialty, aromatic infusions, coffee cocktails and coffee beers from beverage guru Ty Beddingfield.
Bake ’N’ Babes: Confectionery wizard Julie Curry knows flourless chocolate torte, hazelnut waffles, breads, cakes, cheesecakes and a bevy of other decadent sweets beguile our imagination. Gluten-free desserts also rock.
The Collection: The Hall’s many spirits and cocktails by mixologist Ro Patel keep all the food company.
Best of all, no matter where you eat or drink, the people watching here always delivers. Open every day of the week, Wilson hopes to extend hours on Sunday night to capture the crowds heading to the Straz.