A new food hall is headed to Dunwoody in the first quarter of 2021. The food hall, dubbed The Hall at Ashford Lane, opens by next spring inside the former Henredon Furniture store at Perimeter Place (soon to be renamed Ashford Lane) on Olde Perimeter Way.
Professional athlete-turned-entrepreneur Jamal Wilson first opened The Hall on Franklin in Tampa three years ago. It was meant to “revolutionize” the food hall concept by offering people seven restaurants and a bar under one roof. People have the option to order from the restaurant stalls themselves or opt for a more traditional, full-service dining experience, where people are seated, served, and guided through the menus by “Taste Architects.”
“The Hall manages all of the front of the house and operational aspects, so chefs can focus on delivering their culinary experience,” a representative for the Hall says.
The Atlanta location should operate in much the same way as its Tampa counterpart, with nine restaurant stalls planned for the food hall offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and cocktails from the food hall’s bar. Wilson is in the process of scouting chefs and food businesses to fill the stalls for the Hall in Atlanta, and for forthcoming locations in Orlando (The Hall on the Yard) and midtown Tampa. An additional location is slated to open in Nashville next fall.
The Hall is offering pre-approved financing packages for chefs and culinary businesses interested in opening a stall. Most food halls offer licenses rather than leases between stall operators and the landlord. A food stall license costs less than a month-to-month restaurant lease and averages one to three years in length. It typically covers rental fees, length of the license, dimensions of the stall, use of common space and storage, and scullery services and general maintenance.
“The goal of this program is to introduce, chef/entrepreneurs to a new and more balanced restaurant opportunity, allowing them to create or expand their business. As a chef, in order to open your own restaurant, it requires you to raise capital, ultimately ending up in you relinquishing large amounts of equity to investors, as accessing loans for a startup restaurant is beyond difficult...and this was before Covid,” Wilson tells Eater of the Hall’s finance packages. “I want to create an easier method of entry for chefs and allow them to keep 100% of their ownership.”
Stalls at the Hall are licensed for three years, with owners paying a fee that includes rent and utilities and other costs, such as for labor and point of sales systems.
Wilson is currently running a contest for people to win stall space at one of the Hall locations in Florida or Atlanta. Those interested in vying for a stall are asked to complete an online form and submit a photo of their “signature dish” and a short bio on their restaurant concept by November 6. The public will then vote on submissions, beginning on November 16, with the winner announced on December 1.
In addition to food and drinks, the Hall also offers co-working and private event spaces and the ability to “shop the space” by purchasing various pieces of furniture, light fixtures, and other home decor items in the food hall.
Update, October 15, 4:00 p.m.: This story has been updated with comments regarding financing packages for stall operators from the Hall owner Jamal Wilson.
4550 Olde Perimeter Way, Dunwoody. explorethehall.com.