A Food Hall Centered Around Asian Restaurants is Coming to Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh restaurateurs Mike Chen and Alex Tang will curate a seven-stall, locally owned food hall in The Terminal Building in the Strip District.
McCaffery Pittsburgh has reached a lease agreement with Mike Chen, co-owner of Everyday Noodles in Squirrel Hill, and Alex Tang, co-owner of Mola in East Liberty, to curate and oversee the development of a food hall centered around Asian restaurants.
“Our focus is to offer real representations of what you would find in Asia right now,” says Tang.
The food hall, which doesn’t yet have a name, will feature seven stalls surrounding a large bar in The Terminal Building in the Strip District. As of now, Tang plans to operate an offshoot of Mola and Chen, a version of Everyday Noodles.
Established Pittsburgh businesses will run the remaining five stalls: Korean Garden, Sumi Bakery, Silk Elephant and Golden Palace (serving sui mei; Cantonese roasted meat). A boba tea stand run by the owners of Many More Asian Market will round out the food hall.
“It’s a good selection of various aspects of Asian cuisine,” says Chen, adding that all the restaurant owners will be shareholders in the concept.
The bar program will have a focus on sake, Asian whiskey and beer. Tang adds that there is a plan for a small retail market as well as, perhaps, a space for artists, but those areas are still in development.
“My vision is to create a place for social gatherings. It’s a place to eat but also a place for you to spend time with your friends and family, too,” Tang says.
Dean Welch, McCaffery Pittsburgh vice president, says he had initially approached Chen and Tang about operating full-scale versions of their restaurants in The Terminal, but “they had the idea to do something a little different. They said, ‘Let’s do something that will bring many different restaurants throughout the city together.’”
The duo drew on their vast collective experience in the restaurant industry to build their vision for the concept. Chen, a native of Taipei and four-time president of the Pittsburgh Chinese Restaurant Association, has operated restaurants in Pittsburgh since opening China Palace in 1988. Tang began his career in New York City and worked as a chef prior to moving to Pittsburgh in 2009 to help his uncle, Jimmy Wan, open his eponymous restaurants. He opened Mola with his wife, Mimi Lee, in 2018.
Tang and Chen are working with Strip District-based architectural firm AE7 on the concept’s design. The aim is to have the food hall up and running by the end of the year (but, as we know, these dates are always fluid).
“I think it’s going to grab people’s attention. They’re going to be able to taste a lot of different flavors of food,” Chen says.