Rendering of Marble City Market, Regas Square, Knoxville, February 2021
The initial set of restaurants set to open this August in the Marble City Market Food Hall at Regas Square have been announced by HHQ, the management group handling the project. Focused on offering a range quality of cuisines, “from Southern and Korean, to Italian and classic American,” there are readily recognized Knoxville culinary figures mixed in with a few new names.
The lineup is listed below with a combination of information provided by the press release and interviews I conducted with some of the vendors involved.
Fantail Fish and Frites:
This latest project by high-profile downtown chef Matt Gallaher (Emilia’s, Knox Mason) was described as
Inspired by the English ‘Chippy’ and Belgian Bistro Favorite ‘Moules Frites’, Fantail Fish and Frites will offer Chef Matt Gallaher’s take on these European classics. The ultra-crispy batter Chef Gallaher developed for his Italian restaurant, Emilia, inspired Andrew Bui from Tasting Table.com to note it’s ‘as shatteringly crisp at the end of a two-hour dinner as it was when the basket first hit our table’. Hand cut and twice cooked ‘frites’ will be offered alongside Battered Haddock and Jumbo Shrimp in addition to Large Bowls of Steamed Prince Edward Island Mussels. The versatile batter will also be showcased in seasonal offerings such as Fish Tacos, Calamari and the Italian ‘Fritto Misto’.
David Rudder is also part owner.
Paysan Sandwich Shop:
Everyone who loves good bread in Knoxville knows Blake Sallie’s Paysan Bakery. This looks to be a natural extension of his work with great bread.
He sent me the following via email:
I was drawn to what the Marble City Market is doing because I’ve always enjoyed going to to good food halls in other cities and was really excited to hear that Knoxville would be getting one. We got to one in Brooklyn shortly before COVID started and there was all these great, different kinds of food and great atmosphere, and I remember thinking that would be a great next step for Paysan.
At the Marble City Market we will be offering thoughtful sandwiches and side items with a focus on high quality ingredients and of course anchored by our fresh handmade bread. Paysan Bread and Bagels will continue its operation as we have, making fresh sourdough bagels and breakfast sandwiches and will make all of the fresh bread for our new location at Marble City Market. We are excited to have a new offering that will cater more to lunch and dinner at the food hall while also continuing to do what we do at our original location.
From the press release:
Paysan Sandwich Shop is an expansion of Blake Sallie’s bakery, Paysan Bread and Bagels. His Bagel Sandwiches are popular earlier in the day so Paysan Sandwich Shop will rely heavily on Blake’s Freshly Baked Hoagie Rolls to offer more lunch and dinner friendly options. The rotating menu will feature Po Boys, Meatball Subs, Rubens, Cubans and some unconventional, but delicious, flavor
Matt Gallaher and David Rudder are also owners in this venture.
Penne for your Thoughts:
An outgrowth of the food truck of the same name, which has been a local favorite for several years, owners Geoff Bernstein and Samantha Wallenstein bring their fun Italian to the next logical step.
From the press release:
Penne For Your Thoughts is an Italian-American fusion concept offering cuisine composed of scratch made ingredients and sauces in a fun family environment. Focused on fast friendly service with top quality fares by putting a fun new spin on traditional Italian and American dishes.
Chef Rick Simek, originally from Maryville, has made his career between east Tennessee and Florida. He offers his latest concept here. From the press release:
Chef crafted Cheesesteak and Po Boys. Using the finest and freshest available ingredients. Using our creativity and passion, we will deliver a culinary experience with every bite. Principals:
He is joined in the venture by co-owner Donnie Rudder.
Offered by brother/sister team Josh Coates and Vic Scott, this concept was featured here last month. Read their wonderful story to understand more fully where they are coming from with their new restaurant. From the press release:
Seoul Brothers serves Korean fusion food; think dishes that you already know and love with a Korean flavor spin! Our menu features delicious dishes like Seoul Pops (cheesy chorizo kimchi fried rice arancini’s) and our OG Korean Fried Chicken Sandwich and Wings. We present the Korean flavors of our childhood here in East Tennessee through familiar food that is approachable and unique.
Operated by husband and wife team Paul and Ashley Moody, you may know the owners from their local food truck. Paul is from Knoxville and attended UT, while Ashley moved here from South Carolina as a child. The two wanted to try their concept and first took to the road in February 2019. Paul said, “A food truck is a great way to do a proof of concept.”
He had spent a year-and-a-half in Hawaii and wanted to bring some of those flavors into his cuisine. He said they will use local meats from Simpson’s and that each burger will have only the meat from one cow, which is an emphasis for Simpson’s. They will also use no peanut oil and are sensitive to gluten issues and are working on a vegan burger they hope to introduce soon.
He said they had several concepts under consideration and this opportunity looked to be a perfect fit and a logical next step. The management team, he said, has been wonderful to work with. For now, the food truck will be on hold while they get the new location up and running.
From the press release:
Smash Knoxville is a chef-driven Smash Burger concept created by owners Paul and Ashley Moody. Using locally farmed Tennessee beef, Smash Knoxville is serving handcrafted classic and specialty smash burgers as well as buttermilk brined fried chicken sandwiches and house cut fries.
THE CORNERS PIZZA
This will be the second location of The Corners pizza, with the original located in Tampa, Florida. I spoke to chef and owner Noel Cruz, who is originally from Chicago, but serves up Detroit-style pizza. He attended the Culinary Institute of America and spent 20 years in the New York food scene. He said he worked everywhere from three star restaurants to a dive bar on the lower east side.
He moved to Tampa, where he has family, and has opened several different concept restaurants in that area. The first location of The Corners Pizza opened at the end of 2018. He said he’s always looking for new markets and he has experience with the food hall concept. The first location is in a food hall of sorts, with each restaurant working out of re-purposed shipping containers.
He knew one of the management team from his time in Florida and they reached out to him. “I’m excited to contribute to the market and to the industry.” In coming months, he expects to expand his menu to include his own version of wings.
From the press release:
A Detroit style pizza. Cheesy, crispy edged square pies topped with love on a pillow soft chewy crust.
Topgolf Swing Suite
The Topgolf Swing Suite will feature two simulator bays and a variety of virtual games- including signature Topgolf target games, Zombie Dodgeball, Hockey, Baseball, Football, Carnival games and more – paired with comfortable lounging seating, HDTV’s, and food & beverage service.
Frank and George’s Bar
The beverage program at Frank & George will feature a fresh approach to bespoke spirits with cocktails on draught, bottled cocktails, punch bowls and seasonal drinks! Frank & George will offer guests access to their Cocktail Cabinet Program, a monthly program that provides a unique and delicious bottled craft cocktail marked with their name and the history of the concocted
Marble City Market offers spacious indoor seating areas and a 3400 sq. ft. outdoor dining space, along with a designated takeout/pickup area, integrated online ordering technology, and contactless payment systems.