Slated to open this August within the historic Cook County Hospital, Dr. Murphy’s Food Hall, 1811 W. Harrison St., operated by Hospitality HQ (HHQ), the bespoke culinary consulting and management group helmed by award-winning chef Akhtar Nawab, announced their diverse and exciting lineup of inaugural restaurant vendors. Named in recognition of Dr. John B. Murphy – one of America’s preeminent pioneering surgeons through the turn of the last century who studied, interned and taught at Cook County Hospital – the 10,000 sq. ft. destination includes an outdoor patio, a vibrant bar and lounge, as well as a range of chef-driven vendors. Nine of the founding restaurant vendors are minority and women-owned businesses (MWBE).
“Our team has worked hard to put together an amazing lineup of distinctive culinary concepts, from Southern and Indian, to BBQ and desserts,” says Chef Nawab. “We are proud to be home to a number of local vendors launching their first brick and mortar locations or taking the chance and expanding their business with us during these times. We look forward to going on this journey with them together as a team and establishing ourselves as a part of the community.”
The inaugural vendor lineup for Dr. Murphy’s Food Hall includes:
Brekkie & Bake Shop
Introducing her new and first restaurant concept, Chef/Owner Taylor Bischof will bring Brekkie & Bake Shop to Dr. Murphy’s Food Hall. Serving high quality breakfast items made from fresh ingredients, Brekkie & Bake Shop will offer a variety of breakfast sandwiches, bowls, overnight oats, and baked goods.
Crockett Cookies (MWBE)
Inspired by a nostalgic love of the iconic peanut butter cookies served in Chicago’s public schools, Owner and CEO Cheryl Crockett started Crockett Cookies by making lunchroom style butter cookies for family and friends. Fast forward to today and her company bakes over 5,000 of her famous cookies daily for local and nationwide orders. Dr. Murphy’s Food Hall will be home to the first Crockett Cookies storefront.
Classic Cobbler (MWBE)
Owned by Bran’Arla Johnson, Classic Cobbler is a family owned business specializing in home-made fruit cobblers and pies. The desserts are made with the finest quality ingredients and no preservatives, having been perfected across generations, beginning in the South before migrating to the Midwest. Guests of Classic Cobbler’s first brick-and-mortar location within the food hall will enjoy the cobblers’ and pies’ flaky, buttery crusts and just-right mix of fruits and spices.
Doc’s Bar (MBE)
At the heart of Dr. Murphy’s Food Hall sits Doc’s Bar, the best place to wind down in Cook County. Fun and laid-back with an elevated approach to hospitality, Doc’s offers ample seating at the bar as well as dedicated drink service throughout the food hall. The menu at Doc’s Bar features a selection of great local craft beers and wine by the glass or bottle, plus a range of updated twists on classic cocktails with nods to Chicagoland and beyond.
Brothers Teddy and Alexis Vejar opened Jarabe in 2015 inside a small storefront in the Medical District as an off-shoot of La Adelita, one of Chicago’s original food trucks. Dr. Murphy’s Food Hall marks the second location of their popular taqueria, where the duo will continue in their ever-evolving expression of love for the regional food cultures of their native Mexico and the Mexican Diaspora. From tacos to burritos, everything at Jarabe is made from scratch and cooked to order using only the finest ingredients.
Kathmandu Momo Station (MBE)
Co-owners Rocky Shrestha and Sagar Gurung are bringing authentic Nepalese street cuisine to Dr. Murphy’s Food Hall with the third location of their celebrated restaurant. Kathmandu Momo Station will serve their award-winning dumplings, called momo, and expand upon their focused menu with additional ethnic and authentic Nepalese and Burmese flavors that will only be offered at the Chicago location.
Lexington Betty (MWBE)
Originally starting out as a food truck, Lexington Betty Smoke House has served authentic barbecue throughout the Chicagoland area for many years. Chef/Owner Dominique Leach brings extensive knowledge and experience of the craft of BBQ to the new location which will serve Lexington Betty’s famous beef brisket, rib tips, BBQ chicken and more.
Lil’ Delta (MBE)
An ode to the food, beverage, and culture of the Mississippi Delta region from co-owners Eldridge Williams and Robert Johnson, Lil’ Delta is the first spin-off of celebrated sister restaurant, The Delta, in Wicker Park. Lil’ Delta will feature fan favorites from the original location, including their signature Mississippi Red Hot tamales and hush puppies, along with new and exciting fare.
Maharani Indian Cuisine (MBE)
Maharani Indian Cuisine is the second location of Chef/Owner Amit Singh’s modern Indian concept, following his first opening within Inner Rail Food Hall in Omaha, NE in October 2019. Paying homage to Amit’s heritage, Maharani Indian Cuisine will serve a variety of modern Indian dishes including kebabs, biryani, curry plates, naan, and the signature thali, a bountiful plate inspired by traditional Indian buffets. Vegetarian, vegan, and allergy-free items are also available upon request.
A community and value-driven, no fuss, New York via Staten Island-style pizzeria, Ottobagatto’s first brick-and-mortar location in Dr. Murphy’s Food Hall will serve small pies, bright salads and Italian wrap sandwiches, called piadini, using thoughtfully sourced produce. Brought to Dr. Murphy’s Food Hall by Chef/Owner Ed Carew, Ottobagatto’s signature pizza dough is carefully made using a long fermentation technique, making their pizzas extra delicious and more nutritious than typical processed doughs.
Passion House Coffee
A small-batch specialty roaster founded by lifelong coffee professional Joshua Millman in Chicago in 2011, Passion House Coffee meticulously sources freshly harvested beans from farms around the globe, hand-roasting them to achieve balanced, complex, and beautiful flavors. Marking the third location of the beloved roaster, the Dr. Murphy’s Food Hall location will serve lattes, seasonal coffee, freshly roasted bags of coffee, and rotating pastries.
Viet Nom Nom (MBE)
Owned by Alan Moy, Viet Nom Nom is a Vietnamese-inspired quick service restaurant serving its own modern, healthful take on traditional classics like banh mis, summer rolls, and pho. The restaurant’s affordable and customizable menu features all housemade and from-scratch recipes, highlighting local ingredients, purveyors and community partners wherever possible. Viet Nom Nom packs flavor into every fresh, nutritious dish, seamlessly catering to the growing dietary needs of today’s modern diners with plenty of vegan, gluten- and dairy-free options.
To provide all with the utmost confidence in public dining after COVID-19, Dr. Murphy’s Food Hall will offer spacious seating areas, modular tables, an 800 sq. ft. outdoor dining space, a designated takeout/pickup area, integrated online ordering technology, and contactless payment systems.
Situated on Chicago’s Near West Side, Dr. Murphy’s Food Hall will be the only destination of its kind in the area, providing unique and delicious dining opportunities and accessible options to those visiting and working in the largest urban concentration of healthcare institutions, biotechnology hubs and technology-based incubators in the country. Dr. Murphy’s Food Hall is part of the Cook County Hospital’s transformative $150 million renovation, which will also include fully leased medical office space, a daycare center, and a 210-room Hyatt Place and Hyatt House Chicago Medical/University District hotel, the first combined Hyatt Place and Hyatt House hotels located in Chicago. The project is led by Murphy Real Estate Services and its design and operating partners, including Hospitality HQ, Walsh Investors, MB Real Estate, Eimer Design, and Colicchio Consulting.