Ballston Common Mall is planning a large-scale overhaul that will feature a 25,000-square-foot food hall with 18 vendors. With updated retail and residential units, the mixed-use Ballston Quarter project — led by Forest City Realty Trust and set to debut September 2018 — will include stalls from D.C. restaurants, farmers market stands and food trucks.
The first wave of openings will include nine restaurants: Petworth darling Timber Pizza Co.; farmers market favorite Pinch Dumplings; a location of sushi burrito shop Buredo; the first Virginia location of Ice Cream Jubilee; the first bricks and mortar locale of the Swizzler hot-dog truck; a third Cucina al Volo which offers handmade pastas; ramen and steamed buns from Baltimore-based Mi & Yu Noodle Bar; Korean rice bowls by Rice Crook from the Bun’d Up team; and Bartaco, a Mexican restaurant from the same folks behind Barcelona Wine Bar. The remaining concepts will be announced in the future.
Dubbed Quarter Market, the hall will be anchored by a 5,000-square-foot indoor-outdoor plaza with communal seating. It will be accessible via an entrance off Wilson Boulevard, meaning diners won’t have to walk through the mall to grab a bite.
Quarter Market joins a growing list of large-scale food halls around D.C., including Union Market, the Block, and Mike Isabella’s just-opened eatery in Tysons Galleria. More are in the works, including an Italian food emporium from Nick Stefanelli, a Latin American-themed spot from Jose Garces, an Asian food hall in Rockville called the Spot and a multi unit dining concept in Southeast from Neighborhood Restaurant Group.
These modern food courts are lauded for catering to a wide range of diners. Inspired by the success of Mario Batali’s Eataly, Los Angeles's Grand Central Market and the Ferry Building Marketplace in San Francisco, shopping centers are betting big that food halls will give shoppers a reason to visit the mall, despite the lure of online shopping.