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Explore the New Loop Food Hall Inspired by the 1893 World’s Fair

DMK’s Hayden Hall, opening Monday, sports 10 restaurants, two bars, and a coffee shop

Hayden Hall is the first food hall to open in Chicago this year.
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

Hayden Hall, a new food hall at the corner of Wabash and Jackson — inside the famously red John Buck Company building in the Loop — opens on Monday with two bars, a coffee shop, and 10 restaurants (including one full-service option). The rumbling of CTA trains that pass in front of the windows upstairs gives the food hall a uniquely Chicago design, setting it apart from the numerous food halls across the city.

DMK Restaurants’s David Morton and Michael Kornick worked with prolific designer Karen Herold to shape the 25,000-square-foot space. Herold and her Studio K have designed a few popular restaurants before. Customers will walk upstairs and veer toward the left to see a hallway with seven food stalls. They will also be greeted by a video screen showing estimated wait times for individual vendors. Each stall also has a touchscreen that runs software developed by Grubhub (called Grubhub Ultimate) for the food hall. Customers will have to swipe a credit card to begin their order. They could also order via the Grubhub app.

A digital screen at the top of the stairs shows wait times.
Each restaurant has these screens, which were made in partnership with Grubhub.

The lime green below each station give off an art deco feel. Customers will order, provide a phone number, and then be texted when their food is ready. Grubhub is also offering delivery of select items.

Julia Coffee is on the first floor, to the right of the entrance and under the stairs.
Love Foods is where customers can find salad and hot bars, plus grab-and-go items. There’s also beer and other drinks.
Seven stalls sit next to each other down a narrow hall.

Here’s the food hall’s lineup:

  • Julia Coffee & Brioche (coffees from multiple roasters and pastries, based on DMK’s Werewolf Coffee)
  • Love Foods (salad, hot bar, and grab and go)
  • County BBQ (smoked meats from DMK’s Taylor Street spot with influence from Virtue chef Erick Williams)
  • Great Lake Meat Co. (New from DMK, featuring pastrami, sausages, and other sandwiches)
  • Brown Bag Seafood Co. (casual seafood from Donna Lee with other locations at Revival Food Hall and inside Willis Tower, among others)
  • 10Q (Wings and bimbimbop from Korean-American burger specialists BopNGrill)
  • Mana Food Bar (A revival of the beloved Wicker Park vegetarian restaurant)
  • Victory Italian (Meatballs, pizza, heroes from chef Joe Farina)
  • Taqueria DeColores (barbacoa, pastor, and Impossible brand ground beef tacos from the Pilsen Mexican restaurant that also has a location at Midway Airport)

Two other restaurants, a second location of Ada Street and Anaba Handrolls, are in the section where the two bars stand. Ada Street will be full service, allowing customers to make reservations. Anaba and Mana abruptly closed in the same Wicker Park space in 2018. Co-owner Susan Thompson is reviving them for the food hall.

Hayden Hall is an incubator for like-minded folks, said DMK’s Morton. It’s not necessarily for chefs looking for their first big breaks, but for those in the restaurant world who are already established and could benefit from shared resources.

Japanese hand rolls are prepared at Anaba Handroll Bar.

The food hall also includes two bars. Sophia’s Wine Bar will focus on small plates and natural wine. Another bar, toward the center of the space, is for cocktails and beer. The space is named for Sophia Hayden — keeping up the trend of restaurant owners naming spaces after women. Hayden designed the Woman’s Building for the 1893 World’s Fair. Much of the design takes cues from the Columbian Exposition with a mural (by Grip Design) that leads up the stairs featuring obsolete maps, and whimsical monkey lamps found throughout the space.

Sophia’s Wine Bar features natural wines and small plates.
Much of the space is influenced by the 1893 Columbian Exposition.

DMK is staying busy this year with out-of-state projects and the Exchange, its Japanese listening bar opening later in 2020.

Take a stroll through the space below. This is Chicago’s first food hall to open in 2020. It won’t be the last of the year, either.

Hayden Hall, 333 S. Wabash Avenue, opening Monday.

The entrance is on Jackson Boulevard.
Julia Coffee has beans from roasters including Passion House, Groundswell, and more.
The steps lead to the hall, though there’s an elevator, too.
There’s a unique art deco feel to the space.
This hallway leads to the main seating area and two bars.
Water stations are found throughout the space.
Customers sitting in this area will hear the rumble of CTA trains passing by the windows.

Everyone loves a little shuffleboard.

These round booths have a Great Gatsby feel to them.
Teach out-of-towners what the Loop really is by looking at the trains.
Cocktails and a small selection of beers are served from this bar.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago
The benches have a funky aesthetic.
The back room has space for private gatherings.

Hayden Hall

333 South Wabash Avenue, , IL 60604 (312) 763-3337 Visit Website

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