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Inside Chapel Hill's first food hall

Explore global cuisine, satisfy your sweet tooth and check out local craft beer - all under one roof in Chapel Hill.

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By
Kathy Hanrahan, Out
and
About Editor
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Explore global cuisine, satisfy your sweet tooth and check out local craft beer - all under one roof in Chapel Hill. The Blue Dogwood Public Market, located at 306 W. Franklin St., is the first food hall to open in the Triangle.

The idea for the market started with chef Kelly Taylor, who was looking for a space for her business Pizzelle Bakery.

"I came looking for a space for my bakery and when I came in I met Jeff (Boak) who owns this building," Taylor said. "The space was way too big for me, for what I was looking for."

Pizzell Bakery is a local business at the Blue Dogwood Public Market in Chapel Hill.

After talking, the two determined that the location was perfect for a public market or food hall. Three years later, Taylor and Boak are partners, and Pizzelle Bakery is among 12 permanent vendors operating in the space. Many of the space's tenants are regular merchants at local farmers' markets, but some have other locations like Vegan Flava Cafe.

Vegan Flava Cafe, which has a stall opposite Left Bank Butchery of Saxapahaw, began as a mobile catering business in 2011. They opened a brick-and-mortar location at 1720 Guess Road in Durham in 2015. Owners say the selection at Blue Dogwood will be smaller than the cafe, but visitors can expect favorites like the curry lentils, fish cakes and barbecued jackfruit to be on the menu.

Other vendors:

  • Chocolatay Confections - A family-owned candy company offering handmade chocolates and confections with all-natural ingredients
  • Left Bank Butchery - This Saxapahaw-based butchery specializes in whole animal butchery. Look for locally sourced sustainably-raised pastured fresh beef and pork, house-made sausage, bacon and more charcuterie.
  • Rumi Persian Cafe - Look for classic Persian dishes like lamb shank, koresh-e bamieh (okra and tomato stew) and addas polow (basmati rice with lentils, raisins and cinnamon).
  • Soul Cocina - With inspiration from the chef's Latin American roots, this business serves up scratch-made food with an emphasis on gluten-free ingredients.
  • The Bar at Blue Dogwood - Enjoy local craft beer, wine and cider at this bar located inside Blue Dogwood.

In addition to permanent vendors, Blue Dogwood also has a small-batch demo kitchen available for rental. And an outdoor beer garden is in the works.

Blue Dogwood will be holding its grand opening this weekend from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.

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