Tell me if this situation sounds familiar: you are really craving tacos, but your significant other had Chipotle for lunch so they ain’t in the mood.
You spend countless hours on Google searching for a spot that can satisfy your taco needs while also finding a menu option that will please whatever your significant other wants.
You have two options after all the searching: sacrifice quality menu options for variety … or end your relationship.
But, the struggle is real, and outside of the North Market and local festivals, you can’t really wrangle a variety of the city’s taste in one spot. We are living in the heart of a major city, yet we are still in a constant state of battle of trying to find somewhere to eat that will please everyone’s palates. It might seem like an impossible battle—does a place that hits everyone taste preferences even exist?
It does now.
One of two concepts cutting ribbons in 2018—Cameron Mitchell has their own version on deck at the Budd-Dairy building—Food Hall is hitting the Short North this spring with five local kitchens under one roof.
Building off the momentum of other major cities like Denver, Chicago, and New York City with food halls, Corso Ventures—the people who brought you Short North staples like Pint House and Standard Hall—has cleared a space on High St. where patrons have the option to choose from five different local kitchens to provide for maximum variety and a chance to discover new eateries in the city—and chefs and restaurateurs have a small-scale chance to expand and experiment.
The Short North Food Hall is now home to Short Grain Sushi and Shokudo Modern Asian Kitchen, Legacy Smokehouse, Tortilla Mexican Street Food, and Vinny’s Italian Kitchen (a new concept from Corso Corporate Chef Vince Marti). Going back to our hypothetical taco conundrum, you can swiftly make your way to the Tortilla line for all the tacos you desire while your significant other picks up some smoked barbecue brisket from Legacy. We like to call these types of situations a win-win.
“This gives us an opportunity to fill the gaps in the types of culinary options offered in this neighborhood, while providing a truly unique dining experience,” explained Reed Woogerd, president of Corso Ventures. “Imagine never arguing about where to go to eat, and even better, no one in your group ever has to miss out.”
However, the eateries in the Food Hall aren’t set and stone. There isn’t a set time limit for how long the vendors will be there—Woogerd said they are just looking to build mutual success with these eateries while showcasing their food without forcing the restaurants to go through the process of opening a restaurant.
As for in interior, it won’t be like what you’d expect from the Corso Ventures group, either. Rather than running with the rustic appearance of the historic building, the Short North Food Hall will have a much more modern feel to it as it will feature custom tile work, bright colors, and an emphasis on the “old meets new” ideal. Woogerd likened it to a French bistro—if a French bistro could boast about 7,000 square feet of space.
With all the available real estate, the Food Hall can be more than a spot with five eatery options.
“In an effort to keep things interesting, we will be hosting a weekly collaboration night, where vendors will be collaborating on menu items amongst each other. We also have the ability to bring in chefs to do pop-ups and other fun culinary events,” Woogerd said.
He also mentioned a rooftop patio that would include another kitchen and bar that would have year-round access, but that’s more for the second stage of development. There’s also rumblings about developing an app for patrons to use to order their entrees from vendors, but that too will be a future feature.
For now the Food Hall will serve as a celebration for the local shops, and a further feather in the culinary cap of an emerging city.
“Columbus is a foodie town,” Woogerd said. “I believe we not only live that, but we celebrate it. People want to try different foods, they want to talk about food, take pictures, and now, more than ever, people want to share food. Whether you’re sharing it on social media, or with a friend, this concept allows all people—foodies or aspiring foodies—to get their fix.”