Snaking lines and sellout menus were the norm for Ono Hawaiian Plates at a series of church-based pop-ups last spring.
For the next year, fans of chef Warren Seta’s Hawaiian plate lunches won’t have to fight over the last Spam musubi. Ono Hawaiian Plates is one of four new restaurants taking up semi-permanent residency at North Loop Galley, a food hall launching next month.
The other vendors are Soul-Fu, serving southeast Asian cuisine; Wrecktangle Pizza, which brings Detroit-style pies to Minnesota; and Thigh Times Birdhouse, a chicken spot.
The Pittsburgh-based Galley Group operates food halls in Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Detroit — with a twist. The food halls serve as incubators for new restaurant concepts. Chefs operate from the food hall for a year, with provided front of house staff, marketing, business strategy support and equipment. After a year, they move on — hopefully to launch their own restaurant — and new concepts come in.
The 8,000-square-foot space is located in the new Nordic office building, at 729 Washington Av. N., Minneapolis (galleygrp.com). It has communal tables to seat up to 200 guests, a 22-seat bar with local beer and spirits, and an outdoor area with lounge seating and fire pits.
“We are thrilled to be serving the North Loop neighborhood and partnering with local community members, up-and-coming chefs and vendors to deliver a high-quality dining experience that everyone can enjoy,” said Blake Sileo, North Loop Galley General Manager, in a news release. “The Twin Cities culinary scene is one of the best in the nation and we are looking forward to supporting and creating opportunities for local chefs and artisans in the community.”
North Loop Galley opens Monday, Dec. 16. Happy hour at the bar features half-price specials Monday-Friday, 4 to 6 p.m.
The Twin Cities is undergoing something of a food hall boom. North Loop Galley joins another new food hall in the neighborhood, Graze, at 520 N. 4th St. The Dayton’s Project, another food hall, is expected to open sometime next year in the former Macy’s/Dayton’s in downtown Minneapolis (700 Nicollet Mall, Mpls.), and Malcolm Yards (501 30th Av. SE., Mpls.) is coming to an old machinery building in southeast Minneapolis in 2020.
Even former food courts in the Minneapolis skyways are flipping into food hall concepts, like Elevate (100 Washington Av. S., Mpls., 612-455-3750). In St. Paul, Keg and Case Market (928 W. 7th St., St. Paul) and the Market House Collaborative (289 E. Fifth St., St. Paul, 651-202-3415) have become foodie destinations. And Potluck at Rosedale (1595 Hwy. 36, Roseville) is showing how local food can refresh the idea of a mall food court.