Midtown Miracle: Zombie Food Halls Reanimated with Fresh Lease!

Midtown Miracle: Zombie Food Halls Reanimated with Fresh Lease!

There’s new life creeping into Midtown’s once-zombified food halls as New York restaurant legend Stephen Hanson and international hospitality operator Alex Gaudelet step in to breathe fresh culinary vitality. These two food industry titans are on a mission to revamp and re-launch five major Midtown halls that had fallen prey to the financial devastation of the pandemic.

Hanson and Gaudelet, under their newly formed HF Food Halls banner, recently secured a lease for Vanderbilt Hall, a sprawling 11,000 square-foot venue located at RXR Realty’s 230 Park Ave. Their sights are also set on culinary conquests at Feil Organization’s 570 Lexington Ave. with ongoing negotiations for the troubled food halls at 787 Seventh Ave., One Irving at Union Square, and Urban Hawker at 135 W. 55th St.

Breaking away from the conventional food hall model, HF is taking the reins directly on most food stands, leveraging Hanson’s expertise as the mastermind behind the former B.R. Guest eatery empire. The strategic shift involves reducing underperforming vendors, branding new culinary ventures like ICC and Bash Burger, and driving a remarkable 60% surge in business at Vanderbilt Hall.

The visionary duo’s commitment to quality shines through their meticulous approach. Hanson’s emphasis on fresh, made-to-order delicacies at ICC and the success story of Brett’s Deli, pulling in $6,000 to $8,000 daily, underscore their dedication to excellence.

With a nod to customer favorites like Pita Yeero, Hanson and Gaudelet are balancing tradition and innovation. As they usher in their distinctive brands and upscale offerings, they aim to elevate the Midtown dining experience to new heights.

Their revival couldn’t come at a more critical juncture for New York City’s food hall scene, which has witnessed closures and diminishing foot traffic. Despite challenges like inconsistent dishes and lengthy wait times plaguing the industry, Hanson and Gaudelet’s arrival heralds a promising shift towards a reinvigorated and refined dining landscape.

The transformation of the once-ailing halls signals a bright new chapter in Midtown’s culinary narrative, with HF Food Halls injecting vitality and innovation into the heart of the city’s gastronomic scene. As these gastronomic pioneers embark on their flavorful journey, tantalizing taste buds and revitalizing iconic spaces, the future of Midtown’s dining landscape appears brighter than ever before.


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