A new food hall in Dunwoody looks to reinvent the concept with full-service dining

The Hall at Ashford Lane is part of a larger revamp of the Perimeter Place shopping center

A rendering of the Hall at Ashford Lane

Courtesy of Robert Ibarra

A rendering of the speakeasy

Courtesy of Robert Ibarra

Carrabba’s, Outback, Cheeseburger in Paradise—these big-box chain restaurants once anchored the Perimeter Place strip mall in Dunwoody. Now, the Super Target-adjacent shopping center is undergoing a complete redesign and rebrand as Ashford Lane—a community hub with a 70,000-square-foot central lawn, outposts of intown hotspots like Grana, Superica, and Hawkers, and popular casual eateries including Sweetgreen, Brown Bag Seafood, and Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. The project is expected to be complete by the fall, and perhaps most unique to the area is a new food hall called the Hall at Ashford Lane.

A food hall, as most Atlantans know it, is usually a collection of order-at-counter mini restaurants with central, communal seating. When it opens in the spring, the Hall at Ashford Lane is set to change that. Created by Jamal Wilson, who owns a similar food hall in Orlando, the Hall at Ashford Lane will be full-service. Diners will order off a single menu featuring food and drinks from nine different restaurants and two bars, and a server will bring everything to their table.

“It’s full-service, but you can try things from different places,” Wilson says.

Country fried chicken with lavender-butter cornbread from Fork & Hen

Courtesy of the 21st Agency

Local braised beef and mofongo from Pasion

Courtesy of the 21st Agency

Options run the gamut, from Nashville hot chicken sandwiches to scallops and beef tenderloin, making the price range stretch from approximately $5 to $32. Expect about 125 offerings, plus a separate menu for brunch and another for beverages. The majority of the “restaurants” are repeats from Wilson’s Orlando Hall. There’s Huli Bowl (poke), Wabi Sabi (Asian street food), Fork and Hen (Southern), Itzayana (Mexican), Humbl (vegan), Pasion (Latin-fusion), and Chef & I (high-end American). Wilson says he’s looking for two or three local concepts to join the mix.

The 400-450-seat space has “a more elevated look and feel compared to your typical food hall,” Wilson says. The “industrial chic” space will feature cement tiles, metal and leather chairs, and large chandeliers. Accordion-style doors connect the interior to the patio. A private event space features a golf simulator and is named the Grey Room after Wilson’s son, Greyson. A speakeasy with specialty drinks is called the Myles Theater, after Wilson’s other son. The Library sits in the middle, offering overflow seating and additional events space.

Creative beverage director Babatu Sparrow is compiling a drink menu near as expansive as the food offerings. Wilson describes it as “wine-heavy,” with New and Old World varietals available by both the glass and the bottle. There will be approximately 16 self-serve beer taps featuring local brews and sold by the ounce. Cocktails will include traditional options, as well as some with local influences, such as a peach Old Fashioned.

Overall, Wilson says to think of the Hall as a restaurant with a lounge. Live music and DJs are planned, and servers will hand out poker chips to diners to allow access into the speakeasy. Reservations will be welcome.

Tijuana short rib barrio ramen from Wabi Sabi

Courtesy of the 21st Agency

Cracklin’ shrimp fried rice from Wabi Sabi

Courtesy of the 21st Agency