The Team Behind Chicago’s Best Burger to Open Food Hall This November
On the north end of Chicago’s swankiest shopping district sits the 900 North Michigan Shops Building. Swivel through the revolving doors to find yourself in a beige palace of natural light, with high ceilings and an atrium surrounded by seven levels of luxury shops. And, in just a few weeks, the fifth and sixth floor will be occupied by one of the biggest hospitality brands in the city, in the form of a 16-station food court.
Announced in early 2017, Aster Hall is the 22,000-square-foot emporium meant to appeal to diners on their lunch break, tourists, and the after-work crowd. The partnership between the high-end mall and Brendan Sodikoff of Hogsalt Hospitality will include four staples that made the brand ubiquitous: Au Cheval, Green Street Smoked Meats, 3 Greens Market, and Donut Vault—the bonus outpost located on the ground floor. (As we noted last year, Au Cheval's burger is one of the most obsessed-over in America.)
“We knew food was a missing key piece of the building,” says Stacy Kolios, a spokesperson for Hogsalt. “Food halls have been done before. The difference here is this will be one operator."
Aster Hall is Chicago’s seventh food hall in the last five years, but don’t write it off as a trend. Sodikoff's new venture promises to offer something different. For one, the space will have the elegant, casual touches synonymous with Hogsalt. Renderings show metal and marble offset by jewel-toned couches. Kolios says seating of 300 will be split between both floors. The sixth floor includes a full bar where diners will have views of the Magnificent Mile and Oak Street Beach.
Food “vaults,” labeled as such due to the appearance of the concave space in which they're nestled, will house meal options like tacos, sushi, vegan dishes, a full salad bar, hot dogs, ramen, and pizza—all of which is being finalized in these last few weeks.
Diners will have the ability to order off kiosks located throughout the floors, or through a mobile app.
In a press release, Sodikoff says he wanted to open Aster Hall “because I thought it was a wonderful opportunity to bring more vibrance to that end of Michigan Avenue. When I think of Chicago, I think about being part of the city, and this seemed like a great way to contribute, to invest in the place we all live. Chances like this don’t come along very often.”
With more than one Sodikoff concept under one roof, it's safe to say this is one of Chicago's biggest openings of the year.