As the food hall phenomenon continues to sweep the nation, with more than 100 of the markets scattered across the country and perhaps double that number by 2019, Bellevue is doing its part to sustain the trend: Lincoln South Food Hall opens fully in mid-December at 500 Bellevue Way NE, part of the massive Lincoln Square Expansion (which includes new restaurants like Jason Wilson’s Lakehouse), across the street from Bellevue Square and next to Lincoln Square North.
The project showcases seven fast-casual vendors under one roof, including one that already opened over the summer: Sarah Doud’s Dote Coffee Bar, a Redmond-based roaster that blends coffee with chocolate, handmade ice cream, and alcohol. The other six coming soon are Barrio Luchador, focusing on street tacos; Crosta e Vino, a Neapolitan-style pizzeria and wine bar; Avo-Poké, another home for the endlessly popular marinated-fish bowl from Hawai’i; Baguette Epicerie, featuring soups and baguette sandwiches; Burger Brawler, selling burgers, smoked hot dogs, gravy fries, and milk shakes; and Fat and Feathers, serving Chinese-inspired bao sandwiches and Japanese-style ramen.
It’s all under the direction of Bellevue-based Ascend Hospitality Group, owned by Paul and Elaina Herber, in partnership with Jeffrey Frederick (Elite Brand Hospitality Group), who’s helped create dozens of elite Las Vegas restaurants — including Nobu and Mr Chow at Caesars Palace — led businesses for Michelin-starred chefs Jean-Louie Palladin and Guy Savoy, and developed restaurants for celebrity chefs like Giada de Laurentiis (Giada at the Cromwell Boutique hotel).
Kevin Hee, who got his start in the business working for the Godfather of Poke, Sam Choy, and has worked at a number of RN74 owner Michael Mina’s properties, is Frederick’s director of culinary development. Daniel Laferriere, who’s worked with the likes of Wolfgang Puck, Guy Savoy, and Daniel Boulud in Vegas, is the executive chef in charge of the various vendors’ kitchens. In a release, he said he’s planning to take the principles of fine dining and translate them to a food hall, utilizing high-quality local ingredients and solid technique but for approachable food.
Without a boost from a satellite location of a famous purveyor, but with some major talent from Sin City, will Bellevue buy it?
Correction, 11/13/17: Ascend Hospitality Group is not just run by but owned by Paul and Elaina Herber.