Restaurants / Openings

Finn Hall Pumps Up Its Restaurant Choices, Expands Its Hours With Comfort Food Push — Maui Bowls, Fried Chicken & Cranky Carrots Are Arriving

Attempting to Create a More Complete, Vibrant Downtown Food Hall

BY // 08.25.22
photography Julie Soefer

The powers that be at Finn Hall — the 20,000 square-foot food hall in downtown Houston, situated on the ground level of the Jones on Main building (712 Main) — are welcoming a host of new restaurant and drink offerings to the indoor/outdoor art-deco space. Starting this month through the early fall, you can expect four new food and drink establishments to join the food hall.

And beginning in September, new extended hours of operation will go into effect to accommodate those grabbing an early breakfast or ending their day with dinner and a cocktail. (There is a full-service bar in the middle of all the action at Finn Hall.)

The new restaurants?

Maui Bento Box, Cranky Carrot Juice Co., Pecking Order, and Craft Burger will join five other independently operated dining options at Finn Hall, including Papalo Taqueria, Yong, Pizza Zquare, Greenway Coffee and Swallow’s Nest. Finn Hall also offers a variety of seating options, including the bar, semi-private booths, a full-service communal seating area and a recently expanded outdoor patio.

“Finn Hall is the ultimate food lovers destination offering a unique selection of diverse cuisines including Mexican, Korean and Italian, among others,” Miranda Cartwright, general manager of property operations at Midway, says in a statement. “We are thrilled to welcome these one-of-a-kind culinary concepts that will enhance the flavors of Finn Hall’s dining experience.”

In the end, it is also about the new food for a food hall that is trying to find its way in the Houston food scene.

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Henry Hamor and Sanae Belallam want to take your tastebuds to the islands of Hawaii at the new Maui Bento Box. The first-to-market restaurant is reimagining the lunch box by creating a bento box meal filled with some of the traditional foods of Maui and beyond. The Maui Bento Box menu includes dishes like Hawaiian beef teriyaki ($15) with braised cabbage, rice and pickled vegetables. Then there’s the Chicken Loco Moco ($15) made with a ground chicken patty seasoned with Hawaiian spices and Loco Moco sauce with a side of macaroni salad, a fried egg and stir-fried vegetables all tucked into one well-balanced box.

Maui Bento Box has opened and its current hours runs Mondays to Fridays from 11 am to 3 pm.

A Variety of Maui Bento Box dishes in Finn Hall; Photo Courtesy of Julie Soefer Photography (Photo by Julie Soefer)
A variety of Maui Bento Box dishes in Finn Hall. (Photo by Julie Soefer)

Francesca Costa and Fredy Escobar will open their Cranky Carrot Juice Company (love the name) in September. The aim is to bring a dose of healthful drinks into the mix like cold-pressed juices, smoothies, nut milks and cold-brew lattes. Founded in May 2020 in a shared commercial kitchen space, this marks Cranky Carrot’s very first bricks-and-mortar locale. As it takes up residence at Finn Hall look for Cranky Carrot to expand its repertoire into creating smoothies, toasts and bowls too.

Islena Bowl at Cranky Carrot Juice Co. in Finn Hall (Photo by Julie Soefer)
The Cranky Carrot is moving into Finn Hall, creating fruit and vegetable packed bowls. (Photo by Julie Soefer)

Meanwhile, Chef Shannen Tune has a couple of new restaurants he’s been tweaking this summer. The first, which recently made its return to Finn Hall, is Craft Burger. Focusing on gourmet burgers, sandwiches and loaded fries, all the meats are locally sourced and include all-natural Angus beef. Not to mention, the cheese and anything else Tune can procure close to home.

Tune’s signature burgers include his decadent Truffle Butter Juicy Lucy Burger topped with smoked gouda, white cheddar cheese curds, truffle butter and mayo ($17.75) and the Morning After Burger ($14) with brown sugar and chili rubbed bacon and a sunny side up egg, which was featured on the Food Network. Craft Burger will be open Mondays through Fridays from 11 am to 8 pm.

Speaking of the popular cable network, Tune is no stranger to its airways. While a contestant on the Food Network’s competition show Chopped, Tune created a fried poussin dish and won the competition, taking home bragging rights and inspiration for a brand-new chicken restaurant. Dubbed Pecking Order (what a great name, too) the chicken, chicken and more chicken joint will throw open its doors in October at Finn Hall.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken at Pecking Order in Finn Hall (Photo by Julie Soefer)
In October you can order up Buttermilk Fried Chicken at Pecking Order, a new chicken focused spot at Finn. Hall. (Photo by Julie Soefer)

Expect a variety of chicken dishes, sandwiches and salads. The buttermilk fried chicken sandwich should be a big seller. Naturally, it was featured on the Food Network. That — along with hot Nashville chicken, rotisserie chicken and grilled jerk chicken to name but a few — will grace the menu of Tune’s new chicken mecca. Pecking Order’s hours of operation will be Mondays through Fridays from 11 am to 8 pm.

Starting in September, Finn Hall will be launching new extended hours of operation and will be open Mondays through Fridays from 7:30 am to 9 pm and Saturdays from 8 am to 9 pm For each restaurant’s new hours of operation and more info, go here.

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