The renovations inside the long-vacant Old Post Office are impressive. Walk through the renovated lobby and visitors will see tall ceilings mixing modern design elements with nods to the building’s history. Workers built the post office in 1931, and the latest changes are thanks to an $800 million renovation that’s lured new corporate tenants such as Uber, Cisco Systems, PepsiCo, and Walgreens.
With From Here On — which opened in June — the owners of Revival Food Hall seized an opportunity. 16” on Center (Dusek’s, Pizza Friendly Pizza) kicked off a food hall renaissance in Chicago in 2016 when Revival opened in the Loop. The hospitality group brought together several well-known restaurants under one roof in Downtown Chicago to give tourists and office workers a tour of the city without needing to commute all over town.
The pandemic shook consumer confidence, especially in shared spaces like food halls. Many restaurants also decided to pull out of food halls and other projects, wanting to concentrate on their main locations. In response, Revival reloaded on the fly and found new tenants in the forms of unproven culinary talent. They lacked the big-name reputation but had strong resumes working at top restaurants around town or running successful pop-ups.
That’s the approach at From Here On, which features eight restaurants and a bar. West Town’s Tempesta Market, known for its gargantuan Italian sandwiches and meats, could be the best known. Others, like Flo’s Kitchen, a taco truck that permanently docked outside an Avondale home during the pandemic; Hot Chi Chicken Cones, a South Side chicken stand that makes an outstanding and unique sweet and spicy chicken using harissa and Kashmeri chilis; and Phodega, the Wicker Park Vietnamese restaurant that’s offering an expanded menu under a new name at the post office (Phobox) get chances to wow customers they wouldn’t normally have a chance to reach. Phobox is a collaboration with Phodega and Chicago Lunchbox.
Familiar Bakery, an operation from pastry chef Ashley Robinson (Japonais, Spiaggia, Spinning J), provides baked goods. Robinson already runs a location out of Revival. She’s hoping for companies to take notice and make big catering orders — perhaps breakfast sandwiches for early morning meetings.
Fare, a vendor that’s been in other food halls pre-pandemic, provides healthy options. There’s also a diner that suburban Chicagoans may be familiar with: Millie’s Pancake Shop, which has been around since 1959 in Addison, has a food hall location with counter seating.
Walk through the space below. From Here On is now open.
From Here On, 433 W. Van Buren Street, open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays.