Pullman's One Eleven Food Hall To Turn out to be Lexington Betty Smokehouse As BBQ Spot …

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PULLMAN — Lexington Betty Smokehouse is taking up One Eleven Food Hall in Pullman.

The change advantages the barbecue restaurant — which proprietor and head chef Dominique Leach had wished to broaden — and the meals corridor, which noticed its two different occupants depart throughout the pandemic. The counter-service meals corridor, 756 E. 111th St., is within the means of being reworked right into a full-sized restaurant for Lexington Betty’s.

Leach stated she wanted a bigger house so the restaurant’s employees might give extra consideration to catering, which has been “the backbone of the company, especially through the pandemic.”

Leach stated her enterprise, which she runs with the assistance of her spouse, Tanisha, has stayed afloat throughout the pandemic by catering for hospitals and internet hosting occasions and meals drives to remind folks they’re nonetheless round.

The meals corridor was initially conceived as an incubation house for Black restauranteurs to have a spot to broaden.

But the meals corridor’s two different occupants left about six months in the past. The nonprofit Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives, which runs the meals corridor, reached out to Leach at that time to see if she wished to completely take over the house, President David Doig stated.

“Our first commitment is to the [businesses] that have been there because we’ve already worked with them; we’ve invested in them,” Doig stated. “So, the first step was to really think about: Is one of our existing businesses wanting to expand? … It just so happened that Dominique was in that position, and so it made sense for us to work with her on this expansion.”

Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives supplied Leach a $35,000 grant for the restaurant renovation, she stated. With an extra $15,000 of her personal, she was in a position to herald a design staff to reimagine the spot.

Credit: Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives/Calibrate
David Doig, president of Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives, the developer of the One Eleven Food Hall, and Dominique Leach, chef and proprietor of Lexington Betty Smokehouse.

Doig stated One Eleven Food Hall was a studying expertise, one which the nonprofit’s leaders will take with them in future tasks.

“I think [One Eleven Food Hall] was certainly a really strong concept, but also retail is changing now,” Doig stated. “We’ve had to adapt … with the pandemic.”

Leach is renovating the house in Pullman so it will likely be better-suited for sit-down eating and plans to rent extra employees.

Pullman is a perfect neighborhood for Lexington Betty’s, Leach stated. She hopes extra folks head to the restaurant as COVID-19 instances lower.

“I ultimately want to be relatable to the community because the food hall has seen a lot of change in the last two years,” Leach stated. “I just want to come in and make a stamp on the community and the revitalization in the area, be a part of the history of Pullman, a very rich history there.”

Leach can also be getting extra nationwide consideration. She was a contestant on the Food Network present “Chopped” in 2021, and shall be a choose on the Food Network Canada present “Fire Masters” beginning April 17. She thinks this shall be good publicity for the expanded restaurant as soon as it opens.

“My followers, particularly, have seen the evolution of the company and the evolution of chef Dominique,” Leach stated. “These things excite the community, when they can see the evolution of a business and evolution of an entrepreneur, and I foresee a lot of support coming from that.”

Leach is planning a grand reopening and ribbon chopping April 30. She needs to carry Easter and Mother’s Day brunches and desires to associate with whiskey corporations for tasting occasions, she stated. There may also be viewing events for Leach’s present as soon as the restaurant is open. 

“The community’s never seen anything like this,” Leach stated. “The concept is being well-thought-out. We’re putting a lot of love and care and time into this. We’re bringing something special to the neighborhood, and we’re happy to be a part of the revitalization here. We plan on being here and enhancing the area for years to come.”

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