Dreaming of a side of jollof rice or Chinese barbecue with your trip to Saks Fifth Avenue? It’s coming sooner than you think.
The pandemic meant uncertainty for Urbanspace, the food hall inside Tysons Galleria, says Urbanspace marketing director Maija Talikka. “Historically, we have been a gathering place to introduce customers to local small businesses,” she told us in a phone interview. “When that gathering place and our ability to do that was shut down, it really made us look at what we can do to expand our model and bring us more into the digital age.” Soon, diners will be able to order food from all of Urbanspace’s vendors in one digital place.
But before that, Urbanspace had to fill back up. Andy’s Pizza and Japanese vendor Donburi reopened as soon as they could, but another existing business, Cantonese roasted meat purveyor Hei Hei Tiger, which soft-opened mere weeks before COVID shuttered it, will return by the end of March. It will join a handful of new businesses.
Former Urbanspace Tysons assistant general manager and events director Victoria Smith is behind Twelve Twenty Coffee, which has already gained fans for its maple lattes and chicken salad sandwiches. Empanadas de Mendoza, run by Argentina native Gabriela Steelman and husband Tyler, serves flavors including spicy beef, honey barbecue pork, pineapple chicken, and spinach-ricotta. Last month, London Chippy, a chip shop run by British-born Anthony Robinson, relocated to Tysons from Epiq Food Hall in Woodbridge. Another upcoming food hall transplant is Makaw Bowl, formerly a tenant at Leesburg’s Chefscape.
Talikka says that part of her team’s post-pandemic thinking outside the box includes introducing pop-up vendors. Hedzole, a beloved West African farmers’ market vendor run by Ghanaian-American founder Candice Mensah, will serve every weekend through June. Talikka’s hope is that Hedzole will be successful enough to merit a permanent space inside Urbanspace.
There is currently one vacant spot left in the food hall. “We have a few folks with a strong interest that we’re talking to,” Talikka says. But for food businesses seeking a home, there is more good news: Urbanspace will add three more booths this summer, likely in June. For updates, including special deals that will be offered the week of March 21, follow Urbanspace on social media.
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