Plant-based Life Bistro first tenant to sign on at Switchman Hall food hall

Credit: Courtesy of Life Bistro

Credit: Courtesy of Life Bistro

A vegan restaurant is the first tenant set for the forthcoming Peoplestown food hall Switchman Hall in the Terminal South development.

Life Bistro will be one of 14 stalls, up from 12 when the project, located at the corner of Ridge Avenue and Hank Aaron Drive, was first announced in February.

Led by chef/owner Issa Prescott, Life Bistro is a vegan fine dining restaurant that opened its first location in 2020 in Sylvan Hills, an area that Prescott described to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution as a food desert with few healthy dining options.

He said he’s looking forward to having a location that has built-in foot traffic with its proximity to the Southside Beltline and the final stop of MARTA’s future bus rapid transit line in Peoplestown, but also appreciates that the neighborhood is still something of a food desert.

“I want to be able to hold on to that as part of our identity,” Prescott said. “I like the idea of coming to areas that other restaurants aren’t necessarily coming to at first.”

He was also attracted to Terminal South’s mission to involve the community “and not just let it become another gentrification project,” by donating a portion of profits to local scholarship funds, employing nearby residents, and bringing in business owners who reflect the diversity of the area.

Prescott also liked the idea of being the first tenant to sign onto the project.

“In Atlanta, things move fast. If you want to get into Ponce City Market, you can’t wait until it’s Ponce City Market,” he said, referencing one of Atlanta’s first food halls. “We think Switchman Hall and Terminal South are going to be the next big thing in Atlanta. Plus, we’re well-known in the city now, and we hope that other restaurants that see us doing this will follow suit.”

Credit: Courtesy of Life Bistro

Credit: Courtesy of Life Bistro

Prescott, an Atlanta native who grew up in the Capitol View neighborhood, developed a New Orleans-influenced menu for the Switchman Hall location, with dishes including étouffée and beignets, as well as Life Bistro favorites like portobello steak rasta pasta, zucchini fries and an oyster mushroom po’ boy.

Other offerings will include cold-pressed juices, sandwiches and handhelds like crunch wraps and small plate versions of existing entrée options. He also plans to offer several items under $10.

Credit: Courtesy of Life Bistro

Credit: Courtesy of Life Bistro

Project developer Melissa Ahrendt said the increase in the number of stalls at Switchman Hall was due to high demand, and all are committed and in various stages of lease negotiations. The hall will also include a bar concept, and there are also plans for at least one full-service restaurant that will have a patio facing Hank Aaron Drive.

Set to open in summer 2024, Switchman Hall will offer indoor seating for about 125 people, while there will be seating for several hundred people on an expansive outdoor terrace.

The 45,625-square-foot mixed-use Terminal South development features the adaptive reuse of two former warehouse structures. In addition to Switchman Hall and full-service restaurant concepts, the development will also be home to retail and office space.

Once it opens, Switchman Hall will join more than 10 food halls across metro Atlanta. There are also several food halls slated to open in the coming months, including Lee + White food hall in West End and Halidom in East Atlanta.

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