With not one but two food halls lining the Atlanta BeltLine Eastside Trail, not to mention Q Trinh’s We Suki Suki “Global Grub Collective” in East Atlanta Village, it was only a matter of time before someone started a food hall the other side of town. And that someone is chef Todd Ginsberg. He, Shelley Sweet, and Jennifer and Ben Johnson (the team behind Fred’s Meat & Bread, Yalla, the General Muir, and West Egg Café) are opening a micro food hall called the Canteen in Midtown early next year. Located in the space formerly home to the Spence, the Canteen will feature mini outposts of Fred’s and Yalla, a spinoff of the General Muir called TGM Bagel, and a combination juice bar/liquor bar named Square Bar.
“While we didn’t necessarily set out to open multiple locations of Fred’s Meat & Bread and Yalla, we are proud of those two stalls at Krog Street Market and spent a lot of time tweaking not only our flavors, but also our processes in a counter service model that was new to us,” Ginsberg said. “So, when a location became available with a diverse audience that we thought would appreciate both concepts, we decided it just made sense to build on those stalls rather than invent something new. Add in TGM Bagel, spinoff of the General Muir, and we think we have a great range of dining options, all under one roof. Square Bar ties all of the stalls and the communal seating area together and takes the space to a new level as far as being a destination.”
The Fred’s and Yalla menus will be similar to those at the Krog Street Market locations with the addition of some new items such as a chopped salad and Cobb salad. Ginsberg is also experimenting with a roast pork sandwich inspired by some he tried in Philadelphia, and a pastrami hoagie with cucumber salad, dill, and mustard.
TGM bagel will, of course, sell bagels (baked onsite!), as well as sandwiches like fried egg, pastrami, gruyere, onions, and harissa ketchup on a soft roll; and ricotta and house jam on an English muffin. There will be open-faced seasonal toasts, such as avocado, radish, cucumbers, and tahini; and heirloom tomato, olive oil, garlic, labneh, and harissa. Yogurt and granola, grain bowls, and pastries will be available, too.
Looking for something sweet to start the day? Square Bar will serve juices, energy shots, and smoothies in the morning. At night, beer, wine, cocktails, and frozen drinks will be available. The beverage program will be developed primarily by Sweet. Jennifer Johnson describes is as fun and approachable. “Think boozy slushies, not complicated cocktails,” she says.