Ponce City Market Monday announced Nani’s Piri Piri Chicken from Chef Meherwan Irani and JJ’s Flower Shop’s new space opened November 29 as part of the property’s Central Food Hall expansion.
Plus, VIETVANA, a Vietnamese restaurant offering phở and more, will open December 2021, and Umbrella Bar, a food kiosk inspired by Korean night markets from Poke Burri’s Co-founder Seven Chan, and Spicewalla, the first-ever brick and mortar location for Meherwan’s acclaimed spice brand, will open in 2022. The spice shop will offer spices, cookbooks, collaborative pantry goods, and more, and is now popping up in The Courtyard before the storefront opens.
The restaurants and shops are located on the first floor of the Central Food Hall, with entrances across from The Roof’s Ticket Booth in The Courtyard and through the existing Central Food Hall, by Collier Candy Co. and El Super Pan.
The aesthetic mirrors the design of the main Central Food Hall with polished concrete floors, red accents, and elements honoring the character of the existing historic building, including exposed brick walls and open ceilings. In total, the new wing adds over 5,000 square feet of space to the Central Food Hall and houses restaurants and retail shops, plus communal seating throughout.
Here are more details on each individual business:
- Nani’s Piri Piri Chicken – From the Chai Pani Restaurant Group, Nani’s Piri Piri Chicken joins sister restaurant Botiwalla at Ponce City Market. Nani’s was imagined when the pandemic began and chef/co-founder Meherwan Irani saw a need for comforting, take-home friendly food like never before. The menu, and in turn the restaurant title, is inspired by his daughter’s maternal grandmother, often referred to in Indian culture as “nani.” Serving American cuisine and specializing in all-natural rotisserie chickens rubbed with house spice blend Piri Piri from Spicewalla, the restaurant strives to make familiar food both extraordinary and convenient. Guests can expect to find an assortment of sides like savory corn pudding, charred and chilled green beans, and confit potato salad at the counter-service restaurant, plus cult-followed sandwiches like the Chicken Salad Melt and Nani’s Chicken Burger that come with Piri Piri house chips. The Nani’s flagship opened in Asheville’s historic Grove Arcade in November 2020.
- JJ’s Flower Shop – Owned by Founder and Florist Sarah Donjuan, JJ’s Flower Shop began in 2018 as a mobile flower business from a 1968 Volkswagen Bus. In 2019, JJ’s opened its first brick-and-mortar location inside Ponce City Market’s Central Food Hall. The shop offers thoughtfully designed seasonal and year-round floral arrangements and fully customizable bouquets for every budget. JJ’s larger space in the expanded region of the market allows for a broader assortment of florals and greenery in addition to more room for hosting its popular floral arranging workshops each month.
- VIETVANA Pho Noodle House – Currently serving Avondale Estates and Midtown Atlanta with two locations, VIETVANA Phở Noodle House, also known as VIETVANA, is a Vietnamese restaurant that specializes in authentic phở made with the freshest ingredients. Owned by husband-and-wife team Dinh Tran and Khanh Dang, VIETVANA’s rice noodles are made fresh in-house daily. Bubble teas and Vietnamese staples like phở, crispy egg rolls, spring rolls, wings and more will round out the menu at Ponce City Market. VIETVANA’s recipes are created by Tran and his mother, Tina Nguyen, who often is found in the restaurants’ kitchens.
- Spicewalla – Also from the Chai Pani family, comes the first-ever retail space for nationally acclaimed (and Oprah-approved) spice company Spicewalla. James Beard–nominated chef Meherwan Irani founded Spicewalla in 2017 after opening his Chai Pani and Botiwalla restaurants in Asheville, North Carolina and Atlanta — two of the South’s most essential culinary cities — and changing the perception of Indian food in America. The home kitchen is his next frontier. With Spicewalla, Meherwan and his culinary team are on a quest to help consumers harness the power of fresh and high-quality spices to become better cooks. Spicewalla offers chefs and home cooks 250+ spices and exclusive blends that are roasted, ground and packed by hand in Asheville. While Spicewalla’s storefront at Ponce City Market is being built, the spice company’s pop-up kiosk in The Courtyard now offers shoppers spices, cookbook bundles, collaborative pantry goods, merchandise and spice tools.
- Umbrella Bar – From Poke Burri’s Co-founder Seven Chan, Umbrella Bar will serve traditional Korean night market foods with a twist. Guests will be able to enjoy the likes of kimbob, bibimbap, meats on sticks, friend Korean corn dogs and more alongside Korean beers, soju and creative plays on Korean cocktails, like Melona (a South Korean ice pop) slushies. Umbrella Bar will feature two counters with seating and will be connected by an alleyway with colorful umbrellas suspended from the ceiling.