Politan Row is all about the spreads.
The former Politan Row food hall building at 245 Times Boulevard is now in the hands of chef Aaron Bludorn, and his team.
St. Roch Market in New Orleans.
Houston isn’t hurting for food halls. The foodie craze has really caught on in the Bayou City, with these carefully curated cafeteria-style spots popping up all over creation. Now, there’s another on the horizon — but it’s not like the ones you’ve seen before.
Think exclusively entrepreneurial vendors, launching their very own restaurants for the first time, appetizers served up on fine china and Indonesian Ovaltine soft-serve.
Politan Row is set to open in Rice Village this November, giving you plenty to be thankful for. Owned by the food hall aficionados behind the pioneering St. Roch Market in New Orleans and five other food halls, Politan Row has trickled out the deets on its 12 vendors — and we’re ready to break down the options.
There’s everything from Thai to tacos, bao to Egyptian eats.
As with every one of Politan Group’s chef-driven food halls, there will be a coffee shop and a bar. The twists this time? The coffee shop, Susu Kopi and Boba, is Indonesian, and Bar Politan’s beverage program is fueled by agave.
“You can expect a totally bitchin’ margarita,” Politan Group’s CEO and founder Will Donaldson laughs.
He takes pride in working with first-time entrepreneurs. “It’s a great chef lineup. Many of them have worked in restaurants for many, many years but who are hanging their own shingle and doing their own thing for the first time,” Donaldson tells PaperCity. The savvy chefs are industry veterans, and now it’s truly their time to shine.
Donaldson doesn’t decide on types of cuisine and then match up with aspiring chefs. Instead, he chooses chefs whose ideas and work speak for themselves.
“We talk to people about their passion in the food world and we get one vendor, then kind of start to build around that for a portfolio of things that balance each other,” Donaldson says.
So far, the revealed restaurants include duo Nicken and Ecky Prabanto with Susu Kopi and Boba, the Indonesian-inflected coffee shop.
Thai spot Kin is driven by chef Evelyn Garcia, known for her stint on Chopped and time as resident chef at Decatur Bar & Pop-Up Factory. Curries and rice bowls will definitely be on tap.
Rafik Abohattab is bringing Torshi, an Egyptian eatery. This may be his first Houston restaurant, but not his first rodeo. He debuted his food at the original St. Roch Market. Gyros, labneh and beef kofta will abound.
Meanwhile, Nais Sanchez and Amanda Altman are bringing the ultra-healthy, veggie-centric comfort-food spot Nice Sprout.
Phillip Kim’s going brick-and-mortar with his food truck Breaking Bao. Victoria Elizondo will introduce a taco spot dubbed Cochinita & Co.
Politan Row Deets
The ordering and delivery system is a bit of a hybrid. Diners go up to the counters to order and the food is often brought directly to their table.
“It gives them the opportunity to meet the chef or team directly. And it encourages more spread-style dining from multiple vendors,” Donaldson says.
“A good food hall is an exercise in exploration. It’s kind of exciting.”
To make things even more convenient, diners can order from their phones when they’ve finished round one of their shareables and can’t wait for more.
Politan Row’s spreading the love with its Instagram-worthy spreads.
Who says one food hall is like another? Politan Row is definitely breaking from the pack.