Houston’s diverse restaurant scene has, in recent years, given way to the rise of the food hall. Houston’s food halls range in size and scope, and downtown has proven especially popular for the curated spaces, where Bravery Hall, Post Market, Underground Hall, Finn Hall, and Understudy all call home. Last fall, Lyric Hall became the latest food hall added to this list when it opened in October.
Lyric Market comes from Hospitality HQ, which also operates food halls in Brooklyn, Chicago, and New Orleans. Hospitality HQ is helmed by chef, TV personality, and cookbook author, Akhtar Nawab, and his halls are known for offering a wide variety of chef-driven concepts.
“Our number one goal is to provide support for best-in-class restauranteurs and truly invest in the surrounding community,” Nawab said in a statement at the time of the opening. “We are looking forward to becoming a part of the culturally diverse tapestry that is Houston.”
Lyric Hall occupies 14,000 square feet on the ground floor of Lyric Tower, and its indoor space is joined by a 7,500 square foot deck. The space launched with nine restaurant vendors: some unique concepts, while others have locations at other food halls around the country.
The roster includes Cafe Juju, which serves vegan food and cold-pressed juices; and Bad Chx, which serves Nashville-style hot chicken tenders and sandwiches, fried chicken burritos, and flaming-hot mozzarella sticks. Other concepts include Mexology from chef Ivy Stark, which serves modern Mexican cuisine and has two other locations in Brooklyn; and Press Waffle Co., which peddles Belgian waffles both at Lyric Market and their locations in other markets including Dallas and Oklahoma City,
Lyric Hall is also home to Mission Burger, a simple operation with a tight focus on smash burgers, hot dogs, and fries; Kati Roll Wala, which serves Indian wraps and bowls topped with proteins, vegetables, and basmati rice; and 1929 Po-boy Kitchen, which is all about po’boys and other Cajun specialties like gumbo and red beans and rice. Mama’s Texas Smokehouse serves barbecue, and the Horu Sushi in Lyric Hall is chef Chin “Steve” Liang’s fourth outpost, following other locations in Nashville, Plano, Tex., and Riverdale, Md.
Lyric Market is anchored by the Rhapsody Bar, which plays into the venue’s music theme and serves beers, wines, and cocktails under sections like Modern Music and the Orchestra. The menu includes classic and original cocktails, as well as drinks created to pair with specific vendors, like the sake and yuzu cocktail tied to Horu Sushi, and a bourbon, lime and ginger cocktail pegged to Mission Burger.
Guests can order from their preferred spot and then convene at tables located throughout the space. In addition to on-site dining, Lyric Market allows online orders for pickup and delivery, with the latter funneled to third-party delivery services. The hall also hosts regular events, including happy hours, live music and trivia nights.