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Appreciative Diners Are Piling Into Brookland’s New Food Hall

Hospitality hub Tastemakers is off to a strong start

Customers visiting the food stands at Tastemakers.
Nhi. H./Yelp

Various roving vendors — including an Italian food truck, coffee brewer, and vegan catering company — started offering their distinctive products at Brookland’s new Tastemakers food hall last month.

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 to debut there in December, and a cocktail bar called Benjamin’s on Franklin, a nod to the founding father and Tastemakers’ placement near Franklin Street, followed earlier this year.

Six others joined the action in April, running on six-month leases and functioning 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, while the others 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.

Read on to hear what the public are saying, a few weeks in:

The Local Vegans Are Suddenly Very Happy News: Instagram user @travelswhilevegan tried vegan restaurant Pianta and “really liked how the sandwiches aren’t disproportionately bread-heavy, so you don’t feel too weighed down after eating. I will def be back to taste-test every single #sandwich!” Instagram user @heytimguesswhat notes it’s a “tiny food hall, but with an amazing all #vegan sandwich shop ... A+.” Facebook user Miyun Park writes that she “thoroughly enjoyed the Chesapeake and Beet Burger from Pianta. I’m thrilled there’s a new vegan joint with such delicious food!” [Instagram, Facebook]

The Endless Options News: Instagram user @svilov says, “This place was hopping. Lots of food options. Can’t wait to try #bullfrogbagels.” Facebook user Josh Feldman went during opening weekend and reports on the “amazing selection and vibes and exactly what the area needs in terms of food options! VEGAN, COFFEE, Bagels, TACOS and more! Only downside I found was a lack of seating.” Meanwhile, Facebook user Basil Evans was delighted by the “awesome cookies, awesome staff. Great experience.” [Instagram, Facebook]

The Friendly Competition News: Washingtonian writes that “unlike other DC food incubators, like Union Kitchen and Mess Hall (Captain Cookie was never a member of either), Tastemakers will also have a food hall open to the public.” Yelper Kimberly P. decides she likes the scene. “It’s more community and much much smaller than Union Market.” [Washingtonian, Yelp]

The Supporting the Home Team News: Instagrammer @gooodfoodgooodmood loves the nitro-cold brew she got from @alchemistcoffeedc. “Added some liquid cinnamon and a drop of liquid stevia so delicious & I love the idea of supporting the local businesses,” she writes. And Instagrammer @john_egizi_mkt called his Mexican bowl from @taqueriadelbarrio “delicious” and “the neighborhood vibe over there is awesome! Check it out!” [Instagram]

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