New restaurant opens in city’s first and only South Side food hall
The Pullman community will celebrate the grand opening of the Lexington Betty Smokehouse on Saturday, February 1, at 11 a.m. at the One Eleven Food Hall in the 111th Street Gateway Retail Center at 756 East 111th Street. The food hall, the city’s first on the Far South Side, will host a barbecue to welcome the new restaurant to the historic community.
Lexington Betty Smokehouse joins two other restaurants, Laine’s Bake Shop and Majani Soulful Vegan Cuisine, that have been serving the Pullman community at the food hall since Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives (CNI) opened the 3,500 square foot space in May of 2019. It will be chef and owner Dominque Leach’s second Lexington Betty Smokehouse. Until the grand opening, the restaurant’s smoked meats and soul food sides were only available at its Oak Park location (6954 West North Avenue) and through its catering service.
“The Lexington Betty Smokehouse menu brings a diverse menu that s the other restaurants in the food hall,” said Ciere Boatright, CNI, Vice President, Real Estate and Inclusion. “These businesses will continue to make One Eleven Food Hall a unique place where people can come in, choose from a wide variety of different food options and decide to socialize or take it to go.”
Lexington Betty Smokehouse offers everything from beef brisket sandwiches to a wide variety of full-course barbecue meals to filling comfort foods, including homemade baked beans and macaroni and cheese, in a casual restaurant setting. “I look forward to serving the community and contributing to Pullman’s amazing renewal, especially with more than 300,000 people expected to visit the National Monument site each year,” said Dominque Leach. “The One Eleven Food Hall gives us a great opportunity to test new offerings and build our brand.”
In addition to the One Eleven Food Hall and Lexington Betty Smokehouse, several new developments during the past year are helping make Pullman one of the fastest growing employment areas in all of Chicago. These include the new Gotham Greens 100,000 square foot greenhouse, which created 60 new jobs when it opened last November. The new facility is its second in Pullman and raises its annual local production to 11 million tons of lettuce. Next door is the largest speculative building in the region, developed by CNI and Ryan Companies. When completed in early 2020, the 400,000 square foot structure will house scores of new jobs. And the new Blue Cross Blue Shield of IL wellness center which also opened in the 111th Street Gateway Retail Center is providing healthcare services for the community.
James Gray, a Pullman resident and proprietor of Calibrate Coaching, a hospitality consulting firm that teamed with CNI to help bring Lexington Betty Smokehouse to the One Eleven Food Hall, said, “All the development and investment in Pullman has made it very exciting to be living and working here. I am amazed by the influx of visitors to the Food Hall, not just from the community but from across the Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana areas.”