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What’s Going on With the Hall at Ashford Lane in Dunwoody?

A sign at the Dunwoody food hall reads “closed until further notice” and no one knows why

The Hall at Ashford Lane
Beth McKibben is the editor and staff reporter for Eater Atlanta and has been covering food and cocktails locally and regionally for 12 years.

The Hall at Ashford Lane is permanently closed just two months after opening in Dunwoody

A sign posted at the entrance to the Hall at Ashford Lane appeared Thursday, July 6. The sign simply read, “This business is closed until further notice.” The Hall at Ashford Lane’s Instagram account was deleted and the website no longer links to the Atlanta location, which continues to list it as “now open”.

However, further reporting by Atlanta publication Rough Draft indicates some former employees are now accusing owner Jamal Malek Wilson of not paying wages owed them and hiring undocumented workers to keep the food hall afloat. “All employees are being paid as we speak, as we had some financial difficulty,” Wilson told Rough Draft when questioned about the claims.

Recent reviews by people who dined at the Hall at Ashford Lane are a mixed bag of positive and negative, with the latter speaking of staff arguing with one another, long waits for food and drinks, high prices, subpar and underwhelming food, and an experience that left one person calling it a “bland, soulless waste.” Many reviews did praise employees for managing as best they can in what appears to be a somewhat chaotic dining scene at the Hall.

While the Hall does include nine separate food stalls, some of the stalls are run by the company overseeing the Hall, making it more like a restaurant with one big menu, offering everything from Japanese street food to Southern dishes.

Despite Eater’s attempts to confirm what’s really going on at the Hall at Ashford Lane, the owners of the Hall are staying mum and representatives from the Ashford Lane complex “have no comment” on the situation.

Wilson opened his first food hall, the Hall on Franklin, six years ago in Tampa. It was meant to “revolutionize” the food hall concept by offering people seven full-service restaurants and a cocktail bar all under one roof. Diners have the option to order from the restaurants themselves or opt for a more full-service dining experience, where people are seated, served, and guided through the menus by “Taste Architects.” The Hall on Franklin closed in 2020. Wilson went on to open the Hall on the Yard in Orlando a year later, which also includes nine restaurant stalls. It’s unclear if he still plans to open the Hall at the Grove in Snellville later this fall.

Ashford Lane, a renovated retail complex on Olde Perimeter Way in Dunwoody, features several new restaurants, including Hawkers Asian Street Food, Paris Baguette, Hobnob, Sweetgreen, Brown Bag Seafood, Superica, Nawabi Hyderabad House, and Jeni’s Ice Creams. A location of gaming restaurant Culinary Dropout is headed to the development in the coming months and sushi restaurant Omakase by Yun and a location of chef Pat Pascarella’s Neapolitan pizzeria and Italian restaurant Grana should open before the end of the year.

The Hall at Ashford Lane

Update, July 10: This story was updated with new reporting by Rough Draft on why the food hall closed.


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