“We’ll celebrate once things get back to normal,” said owner-developer Rich Dippolito, who partnered on the project with Ed Lee.
“It has been a very difficult journey for all of our restaurants,” he said of the food hall’s 18 eateries, most of which have shuttered temporarily.
Currently operating are Grand Champion BBQ, Lucky’s Burgers and Brew, Forno Vero, Ponko Chicken and Four Fat Cows Ice Cream and Bakery. They offer curbside and takeout, and delivery service. The building is open, so guests can enter to pick up food orders. The dining room remains closed for inside dining.
Since my Sunday visit, decisions have been made that could bring more business to Marietta Square Market. Gov. Brian Kemp announced that, beginning Monday, Georgia restaurants can reopen their dining rooms, as long as they comply with certain guidelines. That prompted Dippolito to open limited outdoor seating on the deck, subject to social distancing restrictions, starting next Wednesday.
The hall and tenants have decided to keep the dining room closed for several more weeks. “We believe it is in the best interest of our customers, tenants, and their employees,” Dippolito said. He added that the dining room could open as early as May 15th, “however we may need to wait until June 1.”
Another 10 of the food hall’s eateries are projected to open May 10, providing curbside, takeout and delivery.
Dippolito has issued a memo to tenants outlining policies and procedures regarding employee health and cleanliness, cleaning and disinfecting, and social distancing. It also notes that, to ensure the safety of workers and guests, Marietta Square Market will limit hours of operation and, among other things, place hand sanitizer dispensers throughout the market and restrooms, reduce seating and sanitize trays. Curbside pickup and delivery will be offered. Eventually, customers will be able to place an order from multiple restaurants via one central ordering system.
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MARIETTA SQUARE MARKET
Menu: Currently operating are Grand Champion BBQ, Lucky's Burgers and Brew, Forno Vero, Ponko Chicken and Four Fat Cows Ice Cream and Bakery, with more reopening May 10.
What I ordered: Forno stuffed peppadew peppers and bella salad; Grand Champion pork plate; Lucky's Georgia Dawg Pounder with sweet fries; Ponko basic chicken box with fries, and basic tofu box with rice. The fun of a food hall is that you've got a lot of options, and everyone gets to pick whatever suits their mood. This was a fun food selection that we turned into an indoor picnic due to rainy weather. Forno's ricotta and goat cheese-stuffed roasted peppadew, and the bella, featuring a hefty mound of burrata and nice portion of fresh cherry tomatoes, both were delicious starters. We got our greens in before biting into Lucky's winning cheeseburger (my favorite among the dishes in my order), featuring a fried pimento cheese ball on top of the patty, along with red pepper jelly, mayonnaise and the typical burger fixin's (tomato, lettuce, etc.). I admit to making groaning noises after that first bite, when the pimento cheese ball burst. Ponko's breaded chicken and tofu both retained crispiness after a nearly 30-minute drive. And, Grand Champion's pulled pork was smoky, juicy and still hot when we scarfed it down. (Four Fat Cows opened after my visit.)
Safety protocols: Marietta Square Market has detailed policies and procedures for vendors, and emphasizes adherence to guidelines from Cobb & Douglas Public Health, the FDA and the CDC. Transactions can be contact-free, with online ordering and curbside pickup.
Address: 68 N. Marietta Parkway NW, Marietta
Hours: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Wednesdays-Sundays
Read the AJC Fall Dining Guide: The Noodle Edition
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