Korean street food, spice shop added to Ponce City Market’s Central Food Hall offerings

Nani’s Piri Piri Chicken now open, Vietvana coming soon
Dishes from the menu of Nani’s Rotisserie Chicken. / Photo by Thomas Schambach

Credit: thomas schambach

Credit: thomas schambach

Dishes from the menu of Nani’s Rotisserie Chicken. / Photo by Thomas Schambach

Ponce City Market’s Central Food Hall is expanding with several new food and beverage concepts.

Opening today is Chef Meherwan Irani’s Nani’s Piri Piri Chicken. which will specialize in all-natural rotisserie chickens rubbed with Piri Piri or Herbs de Provence spice blends from sister company Spicewalla. Sandwiches will include Chicken Salad Melt and Nani’s Chicken Burger, with sides including savory corn pudding, charred and chilled green beans and ancient grains salad. The counter-service restaurant -- which opened its first location in Asheville in November 2020 -- was inspired by Irani’s daughter’s maternal grandmother, often referred to in Indian culture as “nani.”

In the coming months, Irani will also open the first retail space for his spice company, Spicewalla. Founded in 2017, Spicewalla offers more than 250 spices and blends ground and packed in Asheville. While Spicewalla’s storefront is being built, a pop-up kiosk in the Courtyard at Ponce City Market offers spices, cookbook bundles, pantry goods and spice tools.

Irani, a James Beard-nominated chef, also owns Botiwalla in Ponce City Market, Chai Pani in Decatur and several restaurants in Asheville.

Here’s a selection of dishes at Vietvana Pho Noodle House, where the full menu still is available. CONTRIBUTED BY HENRI HOLLIS

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Opening in the Central Food Hall in December will be the third metro Atlanta location of Vietnamese restaurant Vietvana. Owned by husband and wife Dinh Tran and Khanh Dang, Vietvana specializes in phở and bánh mì, with rice noodles made in-house daily. Other menu items include bubble teas, crispy egg rolls, fried rice and soups. The counter-service restaurant will not offer seating inside its space, but communal seating will be available inside the food hall. Vietvana opened its first location in Avondale Estates in 2019, with a second following in 2020 in Midtown.

Coming in 2022 will be Umbrella Bar, a kiosk from Poke Burri co-founder Seven Chan. The concept will serve “traditional Korean night market foods with a twist,” according to a press release, including kimbob, bibimbap, meats on sticks and Korean corn dogs. Beverage offerings will include Korean beers, soju and “creative plays on Korean cocktails,” like Melona, South Korean ice pop slushies. Umbrella Bar will feature two counters with seating, which will be connected by an alleyway with colorful umbrellas suspended from the ceiling.

In addition to several Poke Burri locations, Chan is also involved in Sweet Octopus in Duluth and Ph’east at the Battery Atlanta.

The restaurants and shops are located on the first floor of the Central Food Hall, with entrances across from The Roof’s Ticket Booth in the Courtyard and through the existing Central Food Hall, by Collier Candy Co. and El Super Pan. Design elements include “polished concrete floors, red accents and elements honoring the character of the existing historic building, including exposed brick walls and open ceilings.” In total, the new wing adds over 5,000 square feet of space to the Central Food Hall.

A major expansion was announced for Ponce City Market in late 2020, with plans to add a four-story office building, additional shopping and dining space surrounding an outdoor courtyard and 400 units of what developer Jamestown described as “hospitality living.”

The existing development includes offices — more than 5,200 people work at Ponce City Market — and residential units in addition to dining and shopping.

Existing Ponce City Market food and beverage concepts include Sweetgreen, Bar Vegan, Pizza Jeans and Eleven TLC as well as longer-term tenants like H&F Burger, Farm to Ladle, Marrakesh and Ton Ton.

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