What’s cooking at Halidom, the new food hall bound for East Atlanta

An Art Deco-style food hall, full of small businesses, opens May 10

The Halidom logo adorns a wall lined with greenery and florals.

It was only 10 years ago that Krog Street Market and Ponce City Market opened, marking the beginning of Atlanta’s food hall boom. Today, there are numerous food halls, big and small, around the city and into the suburbs—so many, in fact, that we’ve stopped taking note. But Halidom promises to be different. Created by Hal Blackman, founder of IST Management Services (a technology company with 1,800 employees), Halidom is the name of both a new food hall and a mixed-use development in East Atlanta (1341 Moreland Avenue Southeast). The food hall opens May 10.

Blackman ran IST from Glenwood Park for 15 years. When he ran out of space, he decided to go back to his roots. See, Blackman worked in hospitality for Marriott for years, and he views IST as an extension of the service industry. He purchased eight acres of land and built IST a new headquarters on Moreland Avenue, with a plan to open the ground floor to the public.

“I wanted to create an oasis where people can put down their differences, break bread together, and have fun,” he says.

Halidom, which means “sanctuary” in Middle English, will open in May as a food hall with 320 seats, 11 stalls, and a bar. A two-acre green space with picnic tables and walking trails will follow. Eventually, apartments, shops, and Halidom Fitness will complete the development. The entire area is pending an open-container permit. “We’re going to create a buzz in Atlanta,” Blackman says.

He worked with a food curator to find stall operators that shared his vision for a community-oriented space. After meeting with each vendor and sampling their food, he selected a diverse group of small business owners—many are family-owned businesses. “My wife and I both come from families with small businesses. We are personally invested,” he explains.

Although each stall will have its own design, the entire space will have an Art Deco look and feel with a lot of pink and green, brass railings, and a sparkly floor. Blackman was inspired by the tropical vibrancy of South Beach—his wife is from Miami.

A concierge will greet guests, who can order from individual stalls or via a single app. Takeout and delivery orders are kept in temperature- and personal code-controlled lockers. Ample free parking will be available. Read on to see what’s cooking.

Inside Halidom, slated to open May 10

Bar La Rose
Named after Blackman’s wife Rosa, the bar will focus on Instagrammable specialty cocktails with particular attention to the garnishes (picture an “H” for “Halidom” written in foam). Blackman describes the menu as “pages long” with both classic and signature cocktails and photos of every drink. Wine, beer, and champagne will be offered, too.

Buena Papa Fry Bar
With a name that means “good potato,” Buena Papa got its start accidentally. Husband-and-wife James and Johanna Windon were making Columbia dish Bandeja Paisa when they ran out of rice and tried substituting hand-cut fries instead. It was a hit! At Buena Papa, they’ll serve fry-forward dishes like the Mexicano (loaded with carne asada, guacamole, sour cream, and pico de gallo) and the Puerto Rican-inspired Boricua (with garlic, pernil (pulled pork), guacamole, and pico de gallo). Each dish is inspired by a different country.

Deallo’s Seafood
After 25 years of working for other people, chef Deallo Frazier is going out on his own. He’ll be making Cajun seafood, including blackened salmon, shrimp and grits, lobster mac and cheese, and loaded seafood nachos. “One of my favorite cuisines is Cajun. I love to create recipes with ample herbs and spices,” he says in a press release.

A close-up of a light fixture inside Halidom

Grind Time Coffee Co.
A pandemic project, Grind Time Coffee is the brainchild of platinum-selling songwriter Kirsten Spencer. Now, when she’s not writing songs with Nicki Minaj (“Red Ruby Da Sleeze”), she’s sourcing coffee beans from Uganda and Central and South America. Beverages will range from cold brew to “nottes” like the 24 Carrot Magic, made with turmeric, coconut milk, ginger, black pepper honey, and edible gold flakes. Spencer’s sister chef Dana Rene is creating an all-day cafe menu full of fresh fare.

Just Dogs ATL
McDonough residents have been enjoying Gregory DuLac’s chili cheese dog and Chicago hot dog for years; now East Atlantans will get the chance as well. In addition, Blackman loved DuLac’s hot dogs but felt strongly that Halidom needed a burger. Thus, the Doggie-Style Burger was created, topped however the guest chooses.

Luca’s Brooklyn Pizzeria
Owner Jeremy Gatto combined the names of his son and daughter for his Italian food stall, which also has a location at Politan Row at Colony Square. His Brooklyn-inspired pizza is made with San Marzano tomatoes from Italy and dough that he ferments for 72 hours. Look for calzones and salads, too.

Locale Island Eats
After running Locale Caribbean at Politan Row at Colony Square for three years, Taylur Davis is ready to expand. Locale Island Eats will sell oxtail and jerk chicken with Davis’s own marinades and traditional coco bread.

Luze Mexicano Cocina
Twins Luis and Lucero Martinez Obregon are bringing their Mexican street food to East Atlanta. Known for Zocalo in Midtown and Taqueria La Luz at the Works, the pair will serve indigenous Mexico City fare plus their popular Sangria Swirl Margarita and aguas frescas.

Mad Dads Philly’s
Husband-and-wife team Tony and Pamela Sharpe look to Tony’s hometown of Philadelphia for this stall. Food will be similar to what they cook at Mad Dads in Buckhead Eats—expect cheesesteaks, hoagies, and blueberry sriracha wings.

Mango Indian Grill
Born in India, husband-and-wife Mathi Pothiyappan and Priya Somasundaram both worked in IT until 2016, when they began serving Indian food at the CholaNad at the University of North Carolina. At Halidom, they plan to make high-quality, quick-serve Indian fare. 

Press Waffle Co.
The first location for sisters Zainab Turay and Aminata Keister, Press will serve customizable Belgian waffles. As seen on Shark Tank, the dough is proofed for 24 hours before being pressed to order and topped with items like cookie butter, whipped cream, and strawberries.

Wasabi Sushi & Ramen
Feel like sushi? Wasabi will allow guests to create their own rolls and tailor their ramen to their liking. Owner/chef Alex Lim learned to cook from his grandmother and later apprenticed in Japan. At Wasabi, he’ll create a concise menu with numerous customizable options.