The owner of the Hall on Franklin will open a new food hall at Midtown Tampa, developers for the ambitious new project announced Tuesday.
The Hall at Midtown, from the Hall on Franklin founder Jamal Wilson, will open with seven new restaurant concepts inside a sprawling mixed-used development early next year.
The 1.8 million-square-foot complex at the southeast corner of N Dale Mabry Highway and Interstate 275 is projected to open in early 2021. The New York-based real estate developer Bromley Companies is behind the $500 million project, which will include office towers, luxury apartments, a dual-branded Aloft and Element hotel, an REI co-op, the Tampa Bay area’s largest Whole Foods Market and multiple restaurants.
The new food hall will be located at Midtown Drive directly beneath The Loft, the property’s boutique office space. Like the Hall on Franklin, which opened in 2017 in Tampa Heights, the new food court will function as an all-day full-service dining experience, where guests can order in a mix-and-match format from all seven food concepts. There will also be a private dining room with a private kitchen, where guests can book the space for parties and hire a chef for the evening and a digital golf driving lane.
Two previously announced food hall additions from Wilson include a site in Orlando, set to open later this fall, and the Hall on Central, in St. Petersburg’s EDGE district. An opening date for the St. Pete location has not yet been announced.
The new hall at Midtown Tampa will allow for plenty of outside space and outside dining, one of the attributes that made it an attractive business proposal during the coronavirus pandemic, Wilson said. While the Hall on Franklin has limited sidewalk seating, the new hall will feature a 1,200-square-foot patio space with both an indoor and outdoor bar area. In total, the 8,000-square-foot hall will be able to seat 300 people, making it the largest of all the restaurant concepts at Midtown Tampa so far.
Other restaurants already announced include Ponte from local restaurateur Chris Ponte, Shake Shack, BellaBrava New World Trattoria, Burtons Grill & Bar, True Food Kitchen and Joffrey’s Coffee Tea Cafe.
The Hall on Franklin, like other restaurants, was forced to temporarily close in March, part of the state-mandated shutdown to curb the spread of COVID-19. In May, the landlord for the Tampa Heights building filed an eviction lawsuit over unpaid rent. Wilson did not comment on the lawsuit at the time, and the hall has since reopened and is operating at 50 percent capacity with adaptations like contactless ordering and curbside pick-up, things Wilson said will most likely be featured at the new hall as well.
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As for the financial challenges presented by COVID-19, Wilson said he remains optimistic for the future of the restaurant industry.
“We’re going to have to evolve and make changes,” he said. “But we believe in our business so we’re pushing forward.”