An Italian market, eatery, wine bar, and culinary club called Bellina Alimentari will open in Ponce City Market’s Food Hall this spring or summer. At 4,000 square feet, it will inhabit the largest space in the food hall. The mind behind the project, Tal Postelnik Baum, is an Israeli architect and designer who spent the last seven years in Florence, Italy working in restaurants. After moving to Atlanta to be with family, she decided to “bring some of that Italian charm back to the [South],” she says. She shares her plans for Bellina Alimentari below.
What foods will Bellina serve?
The market will have all imported goods from small producers in Italy. We’ll have unique pasta sauces, antipasti platters, olive oil, condiments, and, of course, pasta. Our food will be Tuscan-inspired dishes ranging from charcuterie boards to mozzarella that we make daily in house. We’ll have fresh pasta dishes made from scratch in the dough room, Panini, meat stews, and homemade desserts.
Are you cooking?
I am the architect of the project—I have the vision—but I will not be cooking. Bellina will have an amazing chef—someone local with a lot of experience with Italian cuisine. I can’t reveal who it is yet.
What will be served at the bar?
Toward the backside of Bellina, we’ll have an intimate wine bar. It’s the only area where you can enjoy the full dining experience. It’ll feel like a trattoria. It’s approximately fourteen seats. It’ll be first come, first serve. We’ll have Italian-inspired cocktails like negroni and cuba libre, some nice local beer, and Italian wines. You can get a glass of wine even if you don’t sit at the bar—we’ll have a wine tap next to the cash register. It’s a fast-casual concept, but we still want you to have the full Italian experience.
You’re also planning to start a culinary club. Tell me about that.
The main goal is educating people on what Italian cuisine is all about. We’ll use the dough room where we’re baking our bread during the day. At night, it’ll be transformed into a cozy and almost residential kitchen. [Customers] can book a private event dinner or sign up for a class like pasta making, using truffle cream, or wine tasting with antipasti. We’ll change the program every week.
It sounds like you’re doing a lot. How big is the space?
We have the biggest space in the Food Hall. It’s almost 4,000 square feet. Smith Hanes (the Optimist, Watershed on Peachtree) is doing the design. It’ll be very eclectic—no tacky Italian red and white tablecloths or anything like that. It’ll have warm colors, neutral materials, very earthy and welcoming. My inspiration is little historic coffee shops in Italy.