Quick, what’s a food hall?
We’ve heard so much about that particular local and national trend lately, we may actually have ourselves fooled into the idea that we know what a food hall really is.
Best we can tell, the definition is a work in progress, and therein lies the beauty. A food hall can be whatever it wants to be.
The Lynhall, opening next Wednesday in the former Zeus Jones headquarters at 26th and Lyndale in Uptown, seems to know what it wants to be, potentially filling in corners where restaurants leave off.
The beautiful, whitewashed space feels a lot like what you imagine Martha Stewart’s house to be like, or at least that Kenwood mansion you’ll never afford. (No worries, for the price of a cappuccino, you can hang out here.) Anchored by a long community table, there’s also an alcove with a wood burning fireplace and a prominent bar letting you know that drinking is on the agenda.
On the far wall, find a deli with pretty pastries and the oft-discussed rotisserie and kitchen run by Shane Oporto, formerly of La Belle Vie. Off that rotisserie will come not only chickens to eat here or grab-and-go, but also whole hens, leg of lamb, whole roasted suckling pigs, and all sorts of interesting veggies, salads, and breads for pairing.
During the day, find a full bakery with sweets and savories, yogurt parfaits, and from the Bittercube bar, bloodies, mimosas and shrub drinks. Lunch means interesting sandwiches and tartines, and lots of local beer.
Curio cabinets and walls are inconspicuously filled with wares from local artisans, all for sale. The charming little canapé plate, the perfect size for a strawberry-mousse eclair? For sale. The flower arrangements? You know it.
Without doubt, the most interesting aspect of the space is the business incubator and television studio. Television producer Eric Gislason is in charge of the controls.
So why do you need a TV studio in a food hall? Again, you decide. Gislason said they are open to all potential partnership ideas. It seems like an obvious choice for large corporations seeking a production space for commercials, but they insist your small project is just as relevant. Want a place to shoot your YouTube cooking channel? You can do that here, with help from Gislason. Want a place to test recipes for a potential product? The business incubator wants to provide that service to you, with that state of the art kitchen as your home base. (Inquire at Lynhall for rates and schedules.)
Aside from the gloriously Hamptons-esque space, it’s still a little unclear how The Lynhall will operate differently than any other restaurant, except for one important distinction. If I had a buck for every time someone asked me about restaurants that offer private space, I’d have a lot more hamburger money. Most don’t, and if they do, they book out quickly. The various spaces at Lynhall can be broken up or closed off, and they offer food and beverage minimums for your corporate breakfast, your mommy brunch, your birthday dinner, even your wedding. The audio/visual capacity is part of the deal, making a party here seem like a no-brainer.
So, is a food hall a big bar, a community table, a bakery, a rotisserie, a fireside chat, a catering space, a TV studio and a shopping mall?
At The Lynhall it is, and it’s all available starting Wednesday, June 14 at 6:30 a.m.
2640 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis