Two things will catch your eye as you approach Puck Food Hall: First, the sleek silver fork shot like an arrow above the door, and as you look even higher, the century-old bar-relief image of the medieval fairy Puck in his impish glory. This mix of old and new is a preview of what’s inside, as the former grocery at 409 South Main welcomes you to explore 10 forward-thinking dining concepts in one historic space.
Tiffany Iriana Hofscher initially came to 409 South Main with City Block Salumeria when South Main Market launched in 2017 and she saw the opportunities in this diverse dining concept. She is now a partner in Inconceivable, Inc., the group that manages operations for the newly invigorated Puck Food Hall.
“We saw an opportunity because Memphis has nothing else of the kind,” says Tiffany. “There’s no other place where you can bring a group of people and experience really high quality, locally sourced, different cuisines all in one space.”
The 10 food and beverage stalls inside Puck Food Hall are all independently owned and represent a range of tastes as individual as Memphians themselves. If the options seem overwhelming, just take the advice of Lindsey Chaisson, Chef de Cuisine for City Block, Venga and DoughJo Pizza.
“I tell people to just come in and look around, check out all the menus,” says Lindsey. “Sometimes people will be like, ‘I’m so sorry, I’m going over there today,’ and I tell them great, enjoy it, come back and try something else next time.”
Although the space is designed to welcome a changing cast of vendors, here’s what currently awaits you at Puck Food Hall:
- Bar 409 — hand-crafted cocktails and local pours
- City Block Salumeria — preparer and purveyor of specialty meats
- Dee’lightful Bliss Bakery — freshly baked desserts and smoothies
- DoughJo — hand-tossed pizza whole or by the slice
- Dr. Bean’s Coffee Roasters — craft coffee and tea emporium
- Pasta di Strada — hand-made pastas served bar-style with your choices
- radical. — fresh salads sourced from local farms
- Sweet Magnolia Gelato Company — Southern-inspired gelato and sorbet
- Venga — Mexican street food with a seasonal focus
- Wok’n in Memphis — Chinese food reinterpreted with regional flavors
So how does it work? Once you decide what sounds good for the day, just order and pay at that vendor’s counter. There’s a shared drink cooler as well; you can grab a beverage and pay with your meal. And don’t be afraid to mix and match – a locally sourced salad from radical. goes perfectly with freshly made spaghetti from Pasta di Strada or a slice from DoughJo.
You’ll get called when your food is ready, and then you can enjoy any of the ample seating throughout the building, including a lounge area on the mezzanine overlooking the second floor as well as front and side patios. There’s even a pop-up library stocked by the Cossitt Branch of Memphis Public Libraries if you’d like to grab a book or play a board game while you kick back. It’s greatly appreciated if you bus your table and return any reusable items after your meal. If you need any help at all, just look for someone in an apron and they’ll be happy to assist. Want even more? Most of the vendors are set up to provide catering as well.
The collaborative spirit among the chefs, owners, and managers is an important part of the concept and leads to even more options for customers — like an unforgettable ice cream sandwich combining Sweet Magnolia gelato and Dee’lightful Bliss Bakery cookies, or Wok’n In Memphis tomato toast topped with City Block n’duja. It also gives these entrepreneurs a deeper well of professional knowledge.
“It’s exposed me to trying new things, not being afraid to do different things,” says Dee’lightful Bliss owner Da’Livya Gordon. “It most definitely helps, and the experience is one I’m glad I was able to have.”
As a 275 Food Project-certified facility featuring ingredients sourced within 275 miles along with a focus on representing women- and minority-owned enterprises, Puck Food Hall is distinctive in its ability to impact the Memphis dining community at multiple levels. Tiffany’s team also helps guide the owners by connecting them with resources to grow the business side of their kitchens.
“Our goal is to give them a place to figure out all the different things that they need to know to go on to the next step,” she says. “Our hope is that they outgrow the food hall, that they move on ready to do a brick and mortar or whatever is next for them and their business.”
The vendors are also eager to see how Puck Food Hall finds its place among the latest wave of development on South Main, which will soon include two new hotels, the offices of FedEx Logistics, and a new Wiseacre taproom. For Tiffany, it’s been a useful lesson about being in the right place at the right time … even if it’s the second time around.
“It’s been really great to see how Memphis has embraced this place so far. The overwhelming response that we’ve gotten from people has been, ‘I’m so glad that this has finally really taken off.’ What’s been really exciting is that people come in and they’re genuinely thrilled to see this doing so well.”
Puck Food Hall is located at 409 So. Main St., Memphis, TN 38103. Learn more at puckfoodhall.com.
Read more about our favorite local restaurants in Memphis! Click HERE!