Understory arrives

Downtown's newest food hall dishes out highly anticipated grand opening date

Downtown's newest food hall dishes out highly anticipated opening date

Understory Milam Art Wall
The "Milam Art Wall" provides a backdrop for Silver Lining.  Courtesy of Understory

The slow rollout of downtown's newest food hall is also complete. Understory at Bank of America Tower (formerly Capitol Tower) will hold its grand opening August 12, real estate developer Skanska announced.

Before then, two additional establishments will open in the Michael Hsu-designed space. The first is Mama Ninfa's Tacos y Tortas, a new fast-casual concept from the owners of The Original Ninfa's on Navigation; it's expected to open sometime next week.

The second is Silver Lining, a cocktail bar from Lincoln Bar owners Roveen “Ro” Abante and Florenico “Diko” Jopio III. It is the first standalone bar in the downtown tunnel network, according to Skanska.

"We are delighted to work with Skanska to bring this vibrant new bar concept to Understory," Abante said in a statement. "Our vision for this bar experience aligned well with Skanska’s, and we shared a deep passion and energy for this project. To be the only standalone bar in the entire tunnel network is really exciting."

Abante and Jopio recruited local bartenders Robby Cook (Barringer Bar) and Omar Villavivencio (Lincoln Bar) to create the bar's cocktail menu, which will feature both house originals as well as classics like the Old Fashioned and the Paloma. In addition to spirits and cocktails, Silver Lining will feature a selection of craft beer and wine.

Given Understory's location in the heart of the central business district and its relative proximity to downtown's performing arts venues, Skanska hopes the venue will become both a happy hour destination and an option for food and drinks for people attending performances. Silver Lining will also provide bar service for private events that take place at Understory.

The opening of Silver Lining means six of Understory's vendors are now open. They are Mona Fresh Italian Food, SeaSide Poke, Boomtown Coffee, Flip 'N Patties, and East Hampton Sandwich Co., the Dallas-based restaurant that relocated from Montrose. Understory still has room for one additional restaurant that has yet to be announced.

The grand opening week will feature "programming and specials," according to a representative. In addition, Understory's vendor will expand their hours to include both lunch and dinner. With Wi-Fi, charging stations, games, and more, the developer anticipates Understory will become a popular destination for food and recreation with downtown office workers, visitors, and residents.