Cameron Mitchell Restaurants announces food hall concept

Suzanne Goldsmith
An artist rendering of the proposed Budd Dairy Food Hall.

If having to choose between burgers and acai bowls is just too difficult for your family or friend group, help is on the way. While the North Market has long been a destination for groups with diverse dining desires, at least two new iterations of the food hall trend—many vendors under one roof with communal seating options—are slated to open in Columbus this year.

Cameron Mitchell Restaurants today invited vendors to apply for openings in the planned Budd Dairy Food Hall, to be located in a former milk bottling plant on North Fourth Street in Italian Village. “We’re wide open to concepts,” says Steve Weis, CMR’s vice president of development. “We’re excited to see who turns up.”

The food hall, says Weis, conveniently positioned across the street from Seventh Son Brewing in a fast-developing neighborhood, includes 11,000 square feet of dining and kitchen space for 8 to 10 vendors, and will incorporate a bar and performance space as well. It’s a concept that has been growing fast in other cities such as Denver, Chicago, Los Angeles and Atlanta.

CMR founder Cameron Mitchell sees the food hall as a way to grow the local restaurant market by incubating newcomers. “Central Ohio embraced me as a young restaurant entrepreneur and gave incredible support to the growth of our company and our associates,” he said in a prepared release. “The food hall will position other new restaurateurs to realize a similar opportunity, which allows me to pay the generosity of this community forward to a new generation of entrepreneurs.”

Even if you discount the North Market, however (and you shouldn’t) Budd Dairy may not be the first food hall to open in Columbus. Corso Ventures last summer announced its own Short North Food Hall at 1112 North High St., just up the block from Standard Hall. Corso’s Food Hall is to have four vendors on one level. A rooftop patio is still pending approval. Corso president Reed Woogerd said that diners will be able to use a mobile app to order from different vendors without leaving their tables.

The Short North Food Hall will open for business before the end of March, according to Woogerd; Budd Dairy Food Hall aims to start serving guests in late 2018.