Vietnamese, chicken concepts to be part of Ponce City Market’s expanded Central Food Hall

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

Atlanta mixed-use development Ponce City Market is expanding its Central Food Hall, with plans to add six new restaurants and retail shops.

Two restaurants have been announced for the new 5,000 square feet of space, which will also offer additional communal seating.

The team behind Chai Pani Restaurant Group will open Nani’s Rotisserie Chicken, which will specialize in all-natural rotisserie chickens rubbed with Piri Piri or Herbs de Provence spice blends from sister company Spicewalla. Sides will include savory corn pudding, charred and chilled green beans and ancient grains salad. Co-owner Meherwan Irani came up with the concept for Nani’s when “he saw a need for comforting, take-home friendly food,” according to a press release. Nani’s -- 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 addition to Nani’s, Chai Pani Restaurant Group also owns Botiwalla, also located in Ponce City Market, as well as locations of Chai Pani in Decatur and Asheville and Buxton Hall Barbecue 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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Joining Nani’s will be a third location of Vietvana Phở Noodle House. 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.

“Ponce City Market is the perfect location for us to keep connecting with people and teaching them about the complex and sophisticated flavors that we love from our native country,” Dang said in a prepared statement.

Vietvana will debut new recipes for its phở and bánh mì at Ponce City Market, with noodles made from imported rice flour from Vietnam and using a custom-made noodle machine.

Hours will be 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays and 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sundays.

Set to open early this summer, the first floor food hall expansion will take over the former Onward Reserve space (which has relocated to the second floor) and a former property management office. The aesthetic “will mirror the design of the main Central Food Hall with polished concrete floors, red accents, and elements honoring the character of the existing historic building, including exposed brick walls and open ceilings,” according to a press release.

Additional concepts will be announced in the coming months.

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 recently opened Bar Vegan, Pizza Jeans and Eleven TLC as well as longer-term tenants like H&F Burger, Farm to Ladle, Marrakesh and Ton Ton. Salad chain Sweetgreen is slated to open its first Georgia location in Ponce City Market this year.

A representative for Ponce City Market did not immediately respond to a request for more information.

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