Various roving vendors — including an Italian food truck and vegan catering company — are going brick-and-mortar for the first time this weekend, offering their distinctive products at Brookland’s new Tastemakers food hall.
Captain Cookie founders Kirk and Juliann Francis leased the 8,000-square-foot dining hub, retail space, and communal kitchen (2800 10th Street NE) last spring. Their mobile bakery was the first vendor to debut there in December. A cocktail bar called Benjamin’s on Franklin, a nod to the founding father and Tastemakers’ placement near Franklin Street, followed in late February.
Six others will join the dining hall on Saturday, April 21, filling up the spaces allotted to dedicated vendors. Each participant, running on a six-month lease, functions much like a mini restaurant. Petworth’s Taqueria del Barrio and growing brand Bullfrog Bagels are two tenants with established brick-and-mortar operations elsewhere. The rest are setting up shop for the first time. Newcomers include catering companies Pianta by DC Vegan and DC Steakholders, Italian food truck Ball or Nothing, and pop-up java brand Alchemist Coffee.
“They have access to shared kitchen spaces and don’t have the burden of a full-scale buildout with compliance to code. We’ve taken care of that for them,” co-founder Juliann Francis tells Eater.
Operating hours for Tastemakers remain in the works. But Francis says its coffee and bagel operations are projected to open early, and many vendors are expected to serve until 10 p.m. The bar hopes to roll out later hours, until around 1 a.m. on weekends, starting next month.
Local chefs also have access to the shared commercial and demonstration kitchens in the back. Francis says she’s looking for more food-centric startups to become members.
“There’s room for mom-and-pop people starting out, who are working 40 hours a week and needing somewhere to go on off hours,” says Francis.
Tastemakers’ founders spent $1.2 million into the conversion of the former mayonnaise factory. Their energy-saving buildout is projected to prevent the lifetime emissions of more than 600 metric tons of carbon (the equivalent of taking 173 cars of the road for one year), the DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU) tells Eater. The next step is tacking on a solar piece; that permitting process is already under way.
“We have a huge roof,” says Francis.
Status: A grand opening is scheduled 10 a.m. on April 21 at 10 a.m. 2800 10th Street NE; website.