Downtown Houston Dining Center Unveils Awesome Patio and New Restaurants – Finn Hall Embraces the Outdoors

DThe city of Houston is finally back to business. And the powers that be at Finn Hall, the 20,000 square foot food hall, located on the ground floor of the Jones on Main building, are opening their patio doors for alfresco dining as warmer weather arrives. of Houston.

Designed by SWA, Finn Hall has unveiled a new outdoor dining area that spans half the building’s Main Street block. Completion of the 75-seat patio was funded through Houston’s “More Space: Main Street” program, which allows downtown restaurants to expand their alfresco dining by closing off select blocks of Main Street to cars.

Warmer weather invites you to dine on Finn Hall’s new terrace. (Photo courtesy of Finn Hall)

In October 2019, I wrote about the thriving development of several downtown food halls aimed at feeding the thousands of employees who walk in and out of these skyscrapers by day, and the growing number of downtown residents. town looking for dinner after dark. But when these food halls, including Finn Hall, were just getting off the ground, the pandemic hit in March 2020.

In response, owners of Jones on Main Lionstone Investments, Midway and JPMorgan Chase joined forces to launch “Finn Hall Feeds the Frontlines” when the food hall first reopened in May 2020. The innovative campaign provided financial support to small business operators inside the food hall who in turn worked to feed Houston’s healthcare heroes by preparing and delivering restaurant-quality meals to frontline workers at Ben Taub and Lyndon B hospitals Johnson of Harris County Health.

Now, Culinary Director David Buehrer (owner of Greenway Coffee Company, also located in the lobby for all coffee cravings) has fully reopened the famous food hall with a number of exciting restaurants and programs. There’s even a cocktail bar in the site originally known as the Gulf Building, a historic landmark considered one of the most significant examples of Art Deco architecture in the United States.

A beginner at Finn Hall? Here’s your guide to dining options that cook up delicious food.

Your guide to Finn Hall

Local fast-food chain, Dish Society offers a condensed version of chef/owner Aaron Lyon’s menu in its Finn Hall outpost. But you’ll still find fan favorites like pretzels with queso, chili cheese crackers, pork belly bites, and stuffed sweet potato belly here.

After their beloved Kitchen 713 fried chicken restaurant closed, chefs Ross Coleman and James Haywood have teamed up again to launch Lit Chicken, a new restaurant in Finn Hall. The duo known for their global soul cooking opened Lit Chicken to serve fried chicken and sides, dishes rooted in Southern culinary tradition with influences from West Africa and beyond.

Papalo strives to provide authentic Mexican cuisine, sourcing many of its ingredients from areas of Mexico. Papalo Taqueria was conceived by Stephanie Velazquez and Nicolas Vera, whose two resumes include working with Chris Shepherd’s Underbelly Hospitality band and Hugo Ortega’s Xochi. You can feast on tacos like the vegetarian Zanahoria made with candied carrots, salsa de pepita, mixed greens, queso fresco and pumpkin seeds, tepache chicken thighs marinated in pineapple vinegar and smoked pepper and rice bowls served with black beans and your choice of protein.

Chef and owner Francisco Sierra’s Pizza Zquare was born out of his passion for pizza, especially romaine pies. Blending his Texan roots and affinity for Italian cuisine, the Pizza Zquare menu offers a variety of original pizzas like Baked Potato Pizza and BBQ Pulled Pork Pizza. Order whole pies, single squares or mix and match up to nine fresh handmade pizza squares from eight different menu options. Plus, ready made Italian deli sandwiches and fresh salads.

5 – Pizza from Pizza Zquare;  Photo courtesy of Finn Hall
Jalapenos and pepperoni from Pizza Zquare at Finn Hall (Photo courtesy of Finn Hall)

At Pho Binh, you can order a bowl of Pho, this soul-satisfying Vietnamese soup that originated in northern Vietnam. Choose from chicken soup made with rice noodles, white and dark meat chicken, and a boiled egg. Or go for red meat with options ranging from rare steak to fatty brisket to beef meatballs.

Daniel Ajtai, the former chef of La Grange and Cottonwood, brings modern Korean cuisine to Finn Hall with his new restaurant Yong. Cooking with family recipes passed down from her mother, you’ll find accessible Korean cuisine like Korean barbecue bowls, fried chicken with a myriad of sauce choices, and her family’s favorite spring rolls dubbed “Mom’s Eggrolls,” stuffed with 12 ingredients. .

David Buehrer and Ecky Prabanto started Greenway Coffee with the goal of sourcing coffee from small growers and cultivating relationships along the supply chain, from growers to baristas. Now joined by Ecky’s sister, Niken Prabanto, the team – supported by a dedicated staff who are also passionate about crafting coffee – have been able to establish Greenway as a sustainable source of high-quality coffee in Houston. .

Swallows Nest, perched upstairs at The Finn, serves up fun cocktails like Daddy’s Buttermilk Pie, made with whiskey and hard cider, and Gin at the Finn, made with gin, bitters, and canned apples. apricot before being foamed and finished with an egg white. You will also find wine on tap and draft beers.

Finn Hall has definitely grown up.

Located at 712 Main Street (at the intersection with Rusk), Finn Hall is open for breakfast, lunch, happy hour and dinner from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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