Vegan restaurant Life Bistro is opening a second location in Peoplestown, becoming the first stall to officially sign on as part of the Switchman Hall food hall at the Terminal South development. Located along Ridge Avenue, Switchman Hall is expected to open in 2024, featuring 14 restaurant stalls and outdoor seating on a former loading dock.
Chef and owner Issa Prescott opened Life Bistro in Sylvan Hills seven years ago, a neighborhood he says was a “food desert with very few healthy [dining] options” available to residents. Life Bistro serves a variety of dishes, including a seafood gumbo made with konjac shrimp, a portobello mushroom Philly, grilled oyster mushroom carbonara, and a selection of alkaline-only dishes. The restaurant offers weekend brunch, along with beer and wine, cold-pressed juices, and organic coffee.
Look for some of Life Bistro’s most popular dishes at the Switchman Hall food stall, like its portobello steak rasta pasta and oyster mushroom po’boy and new dishes with a “New Orleans twist,” such as etouffee and beignets. Cold-pressed juices will also be available.
An Atlanta native, Prescott began cooking when he was just seven years old, helping his mother prepare meals for the family. He uses his mother’s recipes for the collard greens and black-eyed peas served at Life Bistro, and says expanding to a new location has been a “longtime goal”. Prescott says opening a food stall at Switchman Hall is “exactly what we were looking for” in terms of finding the “right fit” for a second location.
One of the developers leading the Terminal South adaptive-reuse project for owner Stafford Properties, Melissa Ahrendt, lives less than two miles away and says she’s invested in making sure the food hall and other retail spaces suit the neighborhood and surrounding communities. Since first announcing Switchman Hall in March, Ahrendt says the interest in opening at the food hall prompted them to add two more restaurant stalls. A representative for the project previously told Eater that Switchman Hall will offer a variety of affordable food options and reflect “the diversity of the neighborhood,” with a focus on local Black- and minority-owned businesses.
Switchman Hall takes over one of two former warehouse spaces on the property. The second warehouse will include two full-service restaurants, one with a patio facing Hank Aaron Drive. Terminal South is the final stop on MARTA’s planned bus rapid transit (BRT) route originating in downtown Atlanta and is just steps from the Southside Beltline trail.
Switchman Hall is one of more than a dozen food halls now open or opening in the coming year around Atlanta.
In April, Citizens Market opened at Phipps Plaza with eight restaurant stalls from renowned chefs like Dani Garcia, “Iron Chef” Masaharu Morimoto, and Italian chef and master butcher Dario Cecchini. The Hall at Ashford Lane opens May 26 in Dunwoody with full table service from its nine restaurant stalls, as well as a full bar and a TopGolf simulator. A new 13-stall food hall should open in the former Sears building at the Stonecrest Mall complex in 2024 offering stalls from the Atlanta Breakfast Club, the Original Hot Dog Factory, and a cafe from Black-owned coffee roastery Dope Coffee.