With less than a week to go before HoH Food Hall officially opens, we spoke to the man entrusted with the mighty task of making it a genuine foodie destination.
As HoH Food Hall prepares for its official opening weekend from Friday 3 to Sunday 5 December, we asked their highly experienced Food and Beverage Head Operator, Giuseppe (Peppe) Pantalone, what you can expect when visiting the historic and comprehensively refurbished building.
“I’m so excited,” said Peppe as soon as we began the interview. “We’re getting closer day by day and our team is ready to welcome everyone to a very special dining and retail experience.”
Peppe joined HoH Food Hall back in April following fifteen years in London. Whilst in the capital, he had numerous roles as bar manager, wine buyer and general manager in a variety of restaurants. This included the prestigious Franco’s on Jermyn Street, which is believed to be one of the very first Italian restaurants in London.
Peppe then studied to become a qualified Food and Beverage Manager and later began to specialise in grand openings for exciting new eateries. When offered the opportunity to become a core part of the team at HoH Food Hall, he decided it was a fantastic challenge that he simply couldn’t refuse.
“HoH Food Hall has something for everyone,” says Peppe. “From grilled meat and vegetables, to curries, tofu, vegan cuisine, big pan dishes and an ever-evolving menu, there’s so much to enjoy.”
Being Italian, we also trust Peppe’s judgement when he tells us that HoH Food Hall has an amazing oven where “proper pizzas” are prepared. Add to this a wide range of charcuterie delights, such as fine cheeses and cold cut meats from Italy, and it becomes clear that the artisanal food hall is all set to be a genuine foodie destination for local people and tourists alike.
“We’re going to keep updating our menu step by step,” says Peppe. “Our food experts will assess customer interest, gather feedback and ask for suggestions, as HoH Food Hall is very much about what people want and giving them the very best available.”
As a specialist Food and Beverage Manager, Peppe has also made sure to thoroughly cover the liquid offering at HoH Food Hall:
“The wine rack presents 300 different labels from around the world. I’ve chosen them personally, as this way I’m confident that they’re of the highest quality and know that our customers will love the impressive selection.”
When you purchase a bottle of wine to perfectly suit your palate, you can then either take it home or pay a small corkage fee and enjoy it in the fabulous surroundings that have been created within the original Hammonds building. Alternatively, you can visit one of its bars and choose from their extensive food and drink menus.
“The Vinyl Lounge is located next to Bug Vinyl Records, so you can expect the latest music, DJ sets and live acts on a regular basis,” explains Peppe. “This chilled hangout spot has taken inspiration from the 1970s to 1990s, with local beers and plenty of colourful cocktail classics such as Sex on the Beach, Long Island Iced Tea and Cosmopolitans. Meanwhile, the Tin Man Bar is great for relaxing over a glass of wine, high-quality spirits, soft drinks and much more.”
Located directly opposite the bustling Paragon Interchange, HoH Food Hall is also ideal for people visiting our city. Whilst you can easily spend an entire day inside this dazzling hub of community and creativity, the team has also catered for people who are in a hurry by including a fast service bar. Here you can grab all kinds of delicious snacks and pick-me-ups, from sausage rolls, pork pies and pastries, to brownies, cake, shortbread, and of course exceptional coffee prepared by talented baristas.
“Together we’ve created a vibrant street food atmosphere through exposed concrete, stylish wood and interesting lighting, complemented by a very warm welcome,” says Peppe. “HoH Food Hall brings everything under one roof, so you can have drinks with friends, treat the family to a meal, or simply unwind with a pint and listen to some tunes. There are also many surprises planned for the future, so make sure to pop in and see what HoH Food Hall is all about.”