A two-level food hall packed with Vietnamese dishes is expected to open in Rosslyn in late November, adding to a growing Arlington food scene with vendors slinging build-your-own pho bowls and bubble tea.
The 5,000-square-foot complex at the corner of 19th and N. Moore Streets comes from Happy Endings Hospitality, the Northern Virginia group behind Chasin’ Tails in Falls Church and Lei’d Hawaiian Poke in Tysons Corner. Dubbed Happy Endings Eatery, the kiosk-based setup includes touch screens on which customers will tap customized orders.
On the first floor, a Teas’n You stall will sell bubble tea. A new stall called the Xin — pronounced “sin,” Vietnamese for “please” — will serve Vietnamese coffees that can be doctored up with flavors of sweetened condensed milk.
Upstairs, a vendor called Roll Play will focus on banh mi, vermicelli bowls, and rice paper rolls. Platters for banh mi op la will give customers the chance to build their own breakfast sandwiches. An adjoining stall, dubbed Pho Play, will offer build-your-own pho bowls and Vietnamese noodle soups like “Mom’s BBH” — a spin on Bún bò Huế.
The original design called for a “cyberpunk” theme, but that plan took a turn when the owners realized they needed to step up their vision to stand out.
“Realizing that there are six food halls with plans to open in 2020, we wanted to distinguish ourselves. We went overboard (and way over-budget) on the interior design and storytelling of HEE,” co-owner Tuyet Nhi Le tells Eater via email.
This summer, Austin-based company Oz Rey announced plans to construct a competing food hall on North Moore Street. And Social Restaurant Group and Catalyst Venture Group will open another in the neighborhood, dubbed Common Ground, with 10 vendors and a bar. The Arlington corridor got its first food hall this year with the opening of Ballston Quarter.
Nhi Le tells Eater that the company has spent seven years developing its food hall. The revised design will play with a balance of light and dark.
“The Yin and Yang is a symbol of balancing your pure side with your dark side,” Nhi Le says.
Nhi Le says the upstairs is all about “enlightenment.” There will be a “meditation-themed” eating area, local artwork, lots of plants, and a gratitude wall where guests can jot thank you notes.
Rosslyn just got another dining option over the weekend with the arrival of Italian darling Sfoglina’s latest area outpost.