As food halls emerge as the next big player in downtown's dining scene, securing the proper mix of tenants will be a key factor in drawing diners' interest. Familiar concepts will help lure patrons.
Understory, the food hall coming to the basement of the upcoming Capitol Tower in 2019, has gotten off to a good start by securing East Hampton Sandwich Co and Mama Ninfa’s Tacos y Tortas, a new fast casual concept from Original Ninfa's owner Legacy Restaurants. Skanska, the real estate development and construction firm behind the project, announced that it has added Boomtown Coffee to the mix. It will be Boomtown's second downtown outpost, joining the Main Street location that replaced the Honeymoon Cafe in March. The cafe also has its original location on 19th Street in the Heights.
“Boomtown is excited to be the first purveyor to bring true craft coffee into the heart of the Houston tunnels and provide the ever-moving downtown crowd better motivation to take a break from their days to enjoy a cup of coffee,” said Boomtown CEO Andrew Loreman in a statement.
Patrons can expect to find all of Boomtown's signature drinks like the milk and honey latte and the Mayan mocha as well as brewed coffees made with the locally-roasted beans the company sources from Ethiopia, Kenya, Guatamala, and other points around the globe. Pastries and baked goods will be available for those seeking a snack with their beverage.
When it opens next year, Understory will be home to seven food stands, a full service restaurant, and a bar. With five points of tunnel access and direct access to the street, its owners anticipate it will be both a lunch spot as well as an evening destination for Theater District patrons and downtown's growing residential community. Amenities like high-speed wifi, charging stations, and games are designed to make it appealing at all hours of the day. Understory will be the only concept in the tunnels that's open on weekends.
“Boomtown Coffee’s local roots and commitment to sourcing only the finest ingredients make them an ideal addition to Understory’s eclectic mix of food and beverage offerings,” added Matt Damborsky, executive vice president for Skanska USA Commercial Development in Houston. “We believe their fresh, specialty beverages and baked goods will have wide appeal for all who frequent downtown Houston, whether for business or leisure, and look forward to the opening of their newest café in 2019.”