The Garage Food Hall in Indianapolis (www.garageindy.com) makes me walk in saying, “I love this” and leave saying, “I want this in my city!”
In the past there have been markets, cafeterias and food courts at the mall, but this is the current answer to convening with large groups of friends and strangers and breaking bread.
Dayton now has the same beautiful opportunity that so many other cities around us and across the country have enjoyed.
Dayton’s first food hall — W. Social Tap & Table, located at 1100 W. Third St. — is now open in the Wright-Dunbar District near downtown Dayton. Organizers are planning an awesome “West Social BLOCK PARTY!” on Friday, Aug. 5 from 6 p.m. to 9:45 p.m.
It’s an opportunity to celebrate our city’s first food hall and try out one of the local restaurants serving up their specialties with a cocktail on the patio.
The food hall, featuring food from six independent restaurants, is a $2.1 million project that took a former conference center and outfitted it to allow groups of people to explore food in a more entertaining format than a typical sit down or fast casual format.
De’Lish, Grind House Coffee & Tea Co., The Lumpia Queen, SOCA, ILLY’S Fire Pizza and Taco Street Co. are the independent restaurants serving up food around a bar that anchors the space in the center serving up cocktails and draft beer.
Lumpia Queen is named after lumpia — a crispy spring roll common in the cuisine of the Philippines and Indonesia. Start with the namesake hand-rolled lumpia that can be made with your choice of protein or veggies and explore the menu from there.
SOCA is cuisine from owner Shafton Greene’s home of Trinidad. There’s plenty to explore on the menu but start with the flavorful and satisfying roti — a chickpea, chicken, potato curry mix stuffed into a flatbread that is a favorite the times I’ve had it from the SOCA food truck. At Taco Street Co. I can’t wait to order the up the street corn and birria tacos I have long enjoyed from that food truck. Even better now that I don’t have to track it down and can find it whenever I want it.
I haven’t yet had the pleasure of enjoying ILLY’S Fire Pizza, but I can’t wait. All ILLY’S pizzas are made with turkey meat that is antibiotic and hormone free. All vegetables and herbs are organic. The “ILLUXE” ($15) is made with turkey pepperoni, turkey sausage, spinach, onions, mushrooms, olives and feta cheese. I’m thinking I’ll start there and make my way through the menu as I continue to visit.
Grind House Coffee & Tea Co. has the teas and coffees you would expect, but also some surprises. A Cinnamon Toast Crunch Frozen Latte for example. This is a spot to start the day out with a bang whether it be caffeine, sugar or both.
De’Lish opening back up is a really special addition to this concept. Jasmine Brown owned and ran De’Lish for eight years at N. Main Street serving southern and Cajun dishes. When it closed in 2018 I along with so many was sad to see it go. I’m excited to see her back serving her wonderful comfort food staples.
The beauty of the food hall concept is a little bit of this, a little bit of that, all over a drink and a little bit more if you feel like it. It’s eating your way on your terms whether you are dining solo or in a large group. It’s a casual adventure where you can relax and graze as you wish.
Whether you can make it on Friday for the party, any time you can get to W. Social Tap & Table is a reason to celebrate. Dayton now has a food hall! A place to gather with a small or large group and celebrate flavors from all over the world with a cocktail or a cold brew.
Not all dreams come true, but this one did and like so many others in town, I can’t wait to enjoy it.
Dayton Eats looks at the regional food stories and restaurant news that make mouths water. Share info about your menu updates, special dinners and events, new chefs, interesting new dishes and culinary adventures. Do you know of new exciting format changes, specials, happy hours, restaurant updates or any other tasty news you think is worth a closer look at? E-mail Alexis Larsen at email@example.com with the information and we will work to include it in future coverage.
Turn to us every Sunday in Life & Arts for the latest menu updates, special dinners and events, new chefs, interesting new dishes, and culinary adventures brought to you by contributing writer Alexis Larsen. Bon appetite!
HOW TO GO
What: W. Social Tap & Table Block Party
Where: 1100 W. Third St., Dayton in the historical Wright-Dunbar District
When: August 5 from 6-9:45 p.m. with a rain date planned for Aug. 7
Music: Flash Top Secret will open at 6 p.m. followed by headliner Distant Cousinz from Toledo
More info: www.facebook.com/wsocialfoodhall