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Highly Anticipated South Loop Food Hall Reveals First Wave of Chefs

Hayden Hall will feature barbecue, a seafood test kitchen, and two full-service restaurants

A big red skyscraper juts out among grey buildings.
Hayden Hall plans to open inside the CNA Center in January 2020.
Nick Ulivieri

Chicago’s food hall fever continues with the South Loop’s forthcoming bi-level food and drink venue inside the “Big Red” skyscraper. Hayden Hall, a new venture from developer John Buck Co. and DMK Restaurants, is slated to open in January 2020 at 333 S. Wabash Avenue. Representatives have announced the first wave of their vendor lineup, which includes DMK’s County BBQ, a partnership with acclaimed local chef Erick Williams (Virtue), a new project from the owners of shuttered vegetarian stalwart Mana Food Bar, and more.

In addition to County BBQ, DMK also plans to open a coffee and baked goods vendor called Julia Coffee and Brioche, new hot sandwich spot Great Lake Meat Company, and a grab-and-go market with a prepared food and salad bar named Love Foods. The company will also operate two full-service restaurants in the space: a second location for Ada St., a 75-seat space that will be open for lunch and dinner, and Corkey’s, a 16-seat full service wine bar.

Adored for its vegetarian delicacies, Mana shuttered in Wicker Park in August 2018. Owners are at work on a new project that isn’t yet named, and at Hayden Hall they plan to offer a version of their popular “Mana sliders” and green tea soba noodles. 10Q, a collaborative project from the team behind Korean burger restaurant bopNgrill, will offer its panko-crusted buttermilk brined fried chicken sandwiches (togarashi mayo, Korean radish), as well as wings and other chicken dishes.

Hayden Hall will also be home to fast-casual seafood chain Brown Bag Seafood Co.’s first test kitchen. Diners will be able to choose from a selection of the chain’s most popular dishes as well as new options including miso cod. The brand already operates 12 locations in Chicago, but Morton still saw an opportunity for growth. “We wanted to encourage people to make new things, as we ourselves applied the same rule to our own thinking,” he said. “Why not do some new items to delight fans and take care of regulars that we hope to see in there?”

DMK co-owners David Morton and Michael Kornick have cultivated the venue over two years. Vendor diversity played an important role in the selection process, according to Morton. Williams is African American, the team at 10Q are Korean American, and Mana’s new project and Brown Bag Seafood Co. are women-owned businesses. “Diversity of collaborators is important to us and always been an important part of our ethos,” Morton said.

A Chicago-based group, DMK operates restaurants and bars including Ada Street in the Elston Corridor, River North’s Rec Room, Marshall’s Landing inside the Merchandise Mart, and Little Italy’s County Barbecue.

Stay tuned, because the next round of announced vendors is likely to come in the next few months. Hayden Hall is slated to open in January 2020.

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