Food halls have grown into a booming business in Atlanta and the surrounding suburbs, starting with Krog Street Market in 2014, followed by Ponce City Market a year later. Since then, food halls like Marietta Square Market, Politan Row in Midtown, Citizens Market in Buckhead, Chattahoochee Food Works in Underwood Hills, and the Market Hall at Halcyon in Forsyth County have joined the ranks. Several more food halls are in the works, too, including Politan Rows in Dunwoody and Peachtree Corners, Halidom Eatery in Woodland Hills, Switchman Hall in Peoplestown, and a food hall at Lee and White, which recently opened with just a handful of restaurant stalls.
So what’s driving this food hall phenomenon in Atlanta? Do Atlantans really need (or want) this many food halls? What are food halls adding to the dining scene? And do these restaurant collectives have a viable future in Atlanta?
Each time we report on a food hall opening, readers take to the comments to voice strong opinions. Some simply call food halls glorified mall food courts, asking what the point is behind the hype. Others express dismay over the lack of originality in opening another food hall when more neighborhood restaurants are needed. Then there are those who see food halls as an exciting dining addition, allowing local chefs and food producers who may otherwise lack access to proper financing an opportunity to start small while they break onto the Atlanta restaurant scene.
Do you have an opinion about Atlanta’s current food hall craze and want to weigh in, suggestions on improving food halls, or maybe a question for a developer or food hall operator? Send your food hall thoughts and questions to email@example.com.
We plan to share a few responses as part of an upcoming story, along with intel on Atlanta’s food hall scene from developers and food hall operators. Names of respondents will remain anonymous unless otherwise specified.