four for finn
Downtown food hall heats up with bento boxes, crafty burgers, and cranky carrots
Downtown dining destination Finn Hall has switched things up again. The food hall has welcomed the return of one of its original tenants and made space for three new concepts that replace some that quietly shuttered earlier this year.
First, chef Shannen Tune has brought Craft Burger back to Finn Hall. One of the food hall's original tenants when it opened in 2018, Craft Burger's new location joins its brick and mortar outpost in Katy. The restaurant is known for its decadent creations like the Truffle Butter Juicy Lucy and rich milkshakes. In October, the Chopped champion will open Pecking Order, a new chicken concept serving fried chicken, chicken sandwiches, rotisserie chicken, grilled jerk chicken, and more.
Joining them is Maui Bento Box, a Hawaiian-inspired concept that serves combination meals built around proteins such as ahi poke, loco moco, spicy bbq pork, and others. Its lead by chef Henry Hamor, who previously worked at downtown Le Meridien hotel.
“[Hamor] was ready to revive his Hawaiian concept that he had pre-COVID,” Miranda Cartwright, an executive for Finn Hall manager Midway said in response to CultureMap’s request for comment. “We knew that he had amazing culinary acumen, and it was a great fit to round out the diverse concepts that we like to have in the hall.”
In addition to Maui Bento Box, farmers market favorite Cranky Carrot Juice Co. will open its first permanent location at the food hall. Known for its cold-pressed and nut-milk lattes, Cranky Carrot will add açaí bowls, smoothies, and toasts to its menu when it opens in October.
“Cranky Carrot gave us the opportunity to bring in healthy options, which had been feedback we received from our tenants in the building,” Cartwright added. “More importantly it gave us the opportunity to support an up-and-coming local business.”
The four new tenants join Finn Hall’s existing operators: modern Mexican restaurant Papalo Taqueria, Korean concept Yong, cocktail bar Swallow’s Nest, Pizza Zquare, and Greenway Coffee. Earlier this year, the food hall bid farewell to Lit Chicken and Vietnamese restaurant Pho Binh. They’re the latest changes for a food hall that opened in December 2018 and retooled its structure and tenant mix in March 2020, just before the pandemic emptied out downtown office buildings and temporarily closed the facility.
Currently, downtown has three other food halls: Underground Hall, Bravery Chef Hall, and Post Market at Post HTX, which has been earning raves for restaurants such as West African concept ChòpnBlọk, upscale seafood concept Golfstrommen, and dessert shop Lucy Pearl’s. The new additions keep Finn Hall in the mix for diners’ dollars.
“I can't speak for the successes or failures of other food hall concepts in Houston, but I can say how excited I have been to contribute to the culinary culture at Finn Hall,” Finn Hall culinary director David Buehrer said. “Our vendors represent Houston as a whole, and with our new additions we are accommodating diners of all age demographics and income brackets, something I think is particularly exciting for more people.”