Food hall coming to Frisco in 2021 set to be ‘pandemic-proof’

The food hall adjacent to the Frisco Fresh Market will open in early 2021. (Elizabeth Uclés/Community Impact Newspaper)
The food hall adjacent to the Frisco Fresh Market will open in early 2021. (Elizabeth Uclés/Community Impact Newspaper)

The food hall adjacent to the Frisco Fresh Market will open in early 2021. (Elizabeth Uclés/Community Impact Newspaper)

Image description
The food hall spans two floors, each of which will have a bar. (Elizabeth Uclés/Community Impact Newspaper)
Image description
The back of the food hall near the Frisco Fresh Market will house a beer garden. (Elizabeth Uclés/Community Impact Newspaper)
Image description
The west side of the food hall’s property will be used for larger live music acts. (Elizabeth Uclés/Community Impact Newspaper)
A new food hall coming to Frisco next year plans to enhance the Frisco Fresh Market development while also differentiating itself from other similar concepts in the area.

Main Street Food Hall is expected to open in early 2021 along John W. Elliott Drive, said Doug Farr, vice president of The Taste Buds Group, the franchise developer behind the Frisco venue.

Variety of food choice is the No. 1 reason food halls are so popular, said David Daniels, senior vice president of marketing of The Food Hall Co., which brought Legacy Food Hall to Plano.

“It creates a communal eating experience,” Daniels said. “It’s just the diversification of cuisine and the opportunity to experiment and discover new things.”

Frisco Mayor Jeff Cheney said the project will be “a big win for the city” and that it will tie the downtown, Frisco Square and The Rail District areas into one large entertainment district.

“It’s great for Frisco to start having ribbon-cuttings again,” Cheney said.

What’s coming

About 10,000 square feet of space over two floors will hold 10 total restaurant vendors and a bar on each floor. Compared to the first-floor bar, the second-floor bar will be more of an upscale sports bar that can host brunch or transform into an acoustic space for small music acts, Farr said.

Selected vendors include fast-casual restaurant Fatburger and a french fries-based concept by The Taste Buds Group, said Curtis Croft, the group’s CEO. Pizza and dessert vendors are also in the works for the food hall.

Farr said Main Street Food Hall plans to feature “unique” and “eclectic” restaurants.

“We don’t want large menus,” Farr said. “We want people who do very few things very, very well.”

The food hall’s offerings will also extend to the outdoors. A beer garden with a capacity of 250 people will be located on the north end of the facility.

The beer garden will also serve as a music venue for smaller acts, and a 1.5-acre lot on the west side of the food hall will hold a stage for larger performances. These outdoor spaces will be able to facilitate concerts and festivals, Farr said, and an event team for bookings will be based at the food hall.

“We want the community to be proud to have this space, to make it like it’s their own,” Farr said.

Adding to the trend

Main Street Food Hall is the latest such operation in the Dallas-Fort Worth area; it joins Legacy Food Hall in Plano, Urban8 Food Court in The Colony, Dining Hall West in Richardson, Oak St Food & Brew in Roanoke and the soon-to-open Harvest Hall in Grapevine.

Bringing a food hall to Frisco is likely to keep residents from leaving the city to dine out, Cheney said.

“We’ve talked for a long time as a council [about] really trying to develop experiences,” he said. “And these food hall concepts are becoming very popular destination experiences where it’s a different look at dining.”

Consulting firm Cushman & Wakefield released a report in May, and confirmed in October that there are an estimated 237 food hall concepts in the United States, with another 175 in development.

A 2019 report from the firm said food halls are attractive to real estate brokers and chefs alike, as they typically have fewer operating expenses than traditional restaurants and offer a versatile dining environment.

However, Main Street Food Hall will not mirror the typical, 35,000-square-foot-plus, multiple-floor venues that have become popular in the metroplex, Farr said. Its comparatively smaller size will be “very intimate” and family-friendly, he said.

The smaller square footage will also give vendors more exposure, Croft said.

“We’re going to be working with some people to develop their own restaurant concepts,” he said.

Cheney said he believes Main Street Food Hall will serve as a “restaurant incubator” to launch new restaurants.

“I think it’s going to create a really great opportunity for so many smaller restaurateurs to test their concepts,” he said.

Planning amid the pandemic

The Taste Buds Group is working with a third-party developer on an app and a web-based platform that will enable guests to order online and have their food delivered to their table. This saves guests’ time by presenting all of the menu options in one interactive space.

“You can spend more time with the people you brought there than ... in lines, waiting for your food,” Croft said.

This app will also help make the food hall “pandemic-proof,” Farr said. In the event of another virus surge that shuts restaurants down, Main Street Food Hall will transform into a “ghost kitchen” at which guests order food to go, Farr said.

“Everybody’s still going to be working and pumping out orders, and [everything] will be fully integrated with all the third-party platforms and delivery platforms,” he said.

A takeout center inside the food hall will be available for the facilitation of takeout and curbside orders, Croft said.

As Frisco continues to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, Cheney said, ensuring the city is as pandemic-ready as possible is essential for the future.

“If we saw similar situations like we did earlier in the spring, as far as restaurant closures and having to make more to-go orders, they would very easily be able to pivot [to] these types of concepts to cater to that and give consumers a lot of different choices,” he said.

Connections to nearby developments

Main Street Food Hall will be part of the larger Frisco Fresh Market development, which was first approved by City Council in 2015. The outdoor market, which opened in 2018, is right next door.

Original plans for the food hall were in the works by the Frisco Fresh Market, said Preston Cheng, the market’s junior developer.

“But we met these guys, [the Taste Buds Group],” Cheng said. “They have had a past in doing concepts like these, and it just made a lot of sense.”

In the future, the food hall is likely to add nightlife opportunities, Cheng said, which will benefit apartment dwellers in the area. Alcohol services from the food hall will enhance the market’s offerings as well, he said.

Frisco Fresh Market’s days of operation, Saturdays and Sundays, may be expanded to include Thursdays and Fridays, which would give guests more opportunities to engage with both the market and food hall, Cheng said.

“We see a lot of great synergy and opportunity in opening up this next phase,” he said.

Cheney said the market and food hall will “complement each other very well.” Furthermore, the addition of Main Street Food Hall will help to connect surrounding entertainment areas, such as Frisco Square, downtown, The Rail District and Toyota Stadium.

“With these types of development in between, you’re going to really start to blur those lines a little bit, which is definitely a goal of ours—where, in the end, it’ll feel like one continuous district,” he said.

Miranda Jaimes contributed to this report.

By Elizabeth Ucles
Elizabeth is the reporter for Community Impact Newspaper's Frisco edition. She graduated from St. Edward's University with a degree in Writing and Rhetoric with a journalism concentration and a minor in Spanish in May 2019. Elizabeth covers public and higher education, development and transportation.


A Layne's Chicken Fingers restaurant will open in Roanoke in 2021 at the site of the former Dairy Queen on US 377. (Courtesy Layne's Chicken Fingers)
Layne's Chicken Fingers to open in Roanoke; meat, seafood market set for Frisco and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

The B-12 Store opened a new location in Frisco on Dec. 4. (Courtesy The B-12 Store)
The B-12 Store opens at Frisco's Stonebriar Centre mall

The B-12 Store opened Dec. 4 at Stonebriar Centre mall in Frisco. It focuses on the sale of injectable vitamins and wellness shots..

The former Beal building will get a new tenant and a new look in 2021. (Rendering courtesy Gensler)
Construction on Frisco's award-winning library to begin in spring

A key attribute of the new library, officials said, will be its versatility. Its many nooks and crannies, for instance, may host a bicycle workshop one day, a jazz trio the next and a microbrewery lesson the day after.

Wild Fork Foods is slated to open its first Texas location in Frisco sometime in April or May. (Community Impact staff)
Florida-based Wild Fork Foods to open first Texas office in Frisco

Wild Fork Foods, a Florida-based company, will open its first store in Texas at 4770 Eldorado Parkway, Ste. 100, Frisco, sometime in April or May.

The franchise's new Frisco location is set to open in March. (Courtesy Clean Juice)
Clean Juice coming to The Shops at Starwood in west Frisco

Clean Juice is opening a new location at The Shops at Starwood at Lebanon Road and Dallas North Tollway in March.

The new 945 area code will be deployed Jan. 15 for the region that presently uses area codes 214, 469 and 972. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Frisco gets new area code; Popeyes to open in McKinney and more top DFW news

Read the top news from the past week from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Burnt BBQ & Tacos' menu offers several different barbecue and taco options. (Courtesy Burnt BBQ & Tacos)
Burnt BBQ & Tacos opens in Plano and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Candidate filing for the May 1 election opened Jan. 13 and will close Feb. 12. (Community Impact staff)
Filing period now open for Frisco ISD board of trustees election

As of noon on Jan. 14, two incumbents—Place 6 trustee John Classe and Place 7 trustee René Archambault—have filed paperwork for re-election that has been uploaded to the district website. 

The auto repair shop, located on Lebanon Road, will celebrate its first anniversary Jan. 15. (Courtesy Stonebriar Auto Service & Repair)
Stonebriar Auto celebrates first anniversary in Frisco

Stonebriar Auto & Repair Services LLC will celebrate its first anniversary in Frisco on Jan. 15.

Filing for Frisco city elections, as of Jan. 13, is now open. The last day to file for a place on the ballot is Feb. 12 by 5 p.m. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Filing period now open for two Frisco City Council races

The races for two seats on Frisco City Council have officially begun.

Apricot Lane, a women's clothing boutique, will open a west Frisco store at the end of January. (Courtesy Apricot Lane)
Apricot Lane coming to west Frisco

Apricot Lane will open a store in west Frisco at 4350 N. Main St., Ste. 130, Frisco, on Jan. 28.