In some ways, you can think of Legacy Hall, the three-story food hall opening this month in Plano’s Legacy West development, as the United Nations on a plate.
European in theme, the 55,000-square-foot dining hall and live event venue will offer up flavors from Asia to the Middle East as well as familiar foods from the U.S. South.
So if you can’t travel like a jet-setter, you still can eat like one.
“Texans love burgers, tacos, pizza and barbecue,” said Pat Garza, vice president of Legacy Hall and its head of operations. “We know that. Being an internationally inspired food hall, we wanted to introduce international flavors as well and let folks know in North Texas that there are some great [food options], and if they haven’t been exposed to them, they can certainly get that exposure here in our food hall.”
The heart of the hall contains most of the venue’s 22 food stalls.
It features some familiar names like chef Tiffany Derry, who will serve up fried chicken wings at her Roots Chicken Shak. And carnivore-pleasing John Tesar, who will open Knife Burger, an offshoot of his popular Knife steak restaurant in Dallas.
There’s also banh mi (think Vietnamese po boy) and yakitori (grilled meat on a skewer). Enter the Bao serves up bao — soft puffy steamed buns that can be filled with anything from pork belly to braised kalbi beef.
Garza calls bao “the next taco, because it’s a wonderful vessel to have really any kind of flavors in there that a chef can come up with.”
Longtime restaurateur Mark Brezinski is partnering with chef Gilbert Garza and Pardeep Sharma, owner of India Palace and Roti Grill, to open Blist’r Naan Wraps, which will serve Indian-style wraps.
“Asian as a collective cuisine is regularly the No. 1 preferred ethnic cuisine of younger generations,” Brezinski said. “The broadness of the variety that’s going to be offered [at the food hall] only enhances the appeal if you ask me, and in a more sophisticated market like Plano, I think that’s a plus.
“Having said that, the four ‘anchor’ interior corners [in the food hall] will have artisan sausages, burgers, tacos and pizza. Pretty mainstream. All in all, I think the mix is pretty strong and a positive.”
While the food hall structure was built from the ground up, the exterior, live-event portion will make use of some pre-formed spaces.
The Box Garden, which will include a few food and drink stalls and a stage for music and other events, is so named because of its adaptive use of boxy shipping containers.
That part of the project is set to open in the spring.
Plans for that ground-level area include Hawaiian shaved ice, a tiki bar, a Mexican beer and margarita bar and a barbecue joint courtesy of Chili’s founder Larry Lavine and his partner Jordan Swim.
There will be a 30-by-22-foot stage with a green room, and Garza expects the venue to host national touring acts along with yoga classes and Plano school bands.
There will be at least five areas, indoors and out, serving spirits, in addition to an onsite brewery called Unlawful Assembly Brewing Co.
Because all of the stalls that serve alcohol will be under one liquor license, consumers will be able to stroll from spot to spot with drink in hand.
Sunday through Wednesday, Legacy Hall will be open from 7 a.m. to midnight. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the party wraps up at 2 a.m.
Garza allows that North Texas has been slow to catch on to the food hall craze, which has been all the rage on the coasts and in central cities like Chicago for years.
He sees the timing as being right now for North Texas and estimates that Legacy Hall will draw 1.5 million visitors a year.
“Texas has gone through a dramatic change over the last 10 years,” said Garza, rattling off a list of marquee names that have established major operations in North Texas, including neighbors Toyota and Liberty Mutual.
“We’re going to be able to attract those [workers],” he said. “You take that, and the density of the [residential] rooftops and the overall excitement about Legacy Hall, and it gives us the confidence that this is something that will be well-embraced.”