H-E-B is betting that the pandemic consumer will come roaring back to the food hall concept.
The Lone Star State grocery chain opened its first food hall, a concept called Main Streat, inside the H-E-B store at 1801 E 51st St. in Austin, Texas, last week. The food hall features six restaurants: Roots Chicken Shak by Chef Tiffany Derry, True Texas BBQ, Calle Taqueria, Yumai Japanese Grill, The Meltery, and Bar at Mueller.
The offerings are available for takeout, limited capacity dining on the outdoor patio and inside, and free delivery from H-E-B's delivery service Favor. The Bar at Mueller will also offer beer, wine and cocktails for in-person to-go orders.
“At H-E-B, feeding Texans and their families is at the heart of what we do. We worked hard to create this space and develop tasty menu items, and we’re thrilled to open Main Streat to the entire Austin community,” said Kristin Irvin, director of Made to Order Restaurants at H-E-B. “We’re even more excited to partner with Chef Tiffany Derry. Not only is her food amazing and full of flavor, but her passion for feeding and caring for the community, increasing food education and access, and addressing racial inequity is inspiring and mirrors our beliefs. We’re honored to work with and learn from her.”
H-E-B is betting that food halls may be better positioned to weather the coronavirus crisis than stand-alone restaurants, due to food halls' more recession-friendly prices and social- distancing-friendly larger spaces.
The grocer celebrated the grand opening of Main Streat with donations to Urban Roots and The William B. Travis Institute of Hospitality and Culinary Arts at Travis High School, both organizations that empower youths to learn new skills in the culinary and farming spaces. H-E-B has also made a $10,000 donation to Thinkery, an organization in the Mueller neighborhood, to support online programming and provide free family memberships for essential workers.
H-E-B’s sanitation and social distancing procedures will be in place throughout the Main Streat food hall and bar, and in accordance with the state and city guidelines, masks or facial coverings must be worn when inside the store.
Restaurant details include:
- True Texas BBQ, serving brisket, ribs, turkey, sausage, barbecue sandwiches, and sides like mac and cheese and Potato Salad;
- Calle Taqueria, a street taco-inspired restaurant offering tacos with handmade flour or corn tortillas, tortas, quesadillas, and bowls with the option of trompo al pastor, pork carnitas, adobo smoked brisket, or plant-based Impossible picadillo, alongside Mexican street corn, roasted beets and pepitas, and house escabeche;
- Yumai Japanese Grill, with rice and noodle Bowls and Japanese-style vegetable, chicken, beef and shrimp Skewers;
- The Meltery, a gourmet grilled-cheese shop with a variety of sandwiches served on sourdough, Seedelicious, keto – made in-house daily – or Texas toast, all pressed in garlic butter;
- Bar at Mueller, serving snacks and shared plates like Texas tater tots and a meat and cheese tray, as well as a full menu of draft beers, wines and cocktails, featuring Texas breweries, wineries and distilleries.
With 400 stores in Texas and Mexico, San Antonio-based H-E-B is No. 17 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer's list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.