We’ve heard reports about stalls opening at the new food hall off Barranca, so we conducted our own reconnaissance over lunch last week. Before you make lunch or dinner plans, read over our guide for some useful intel; you’ll be glad you did.
10. Until July 20, Mess Hall Market is in “soft opening” mode. If you want to experience nearly all the eateries fully operational, then wait until mid-July. The official grand opening will have giveaways and family-friendly activities. In addition, 10 percent of all sales on July 20 will go towards Orange County Rescue Mission. We happened to run into Bodie Rasmussen during our visit. His reliable Lost Bean and shiny new Little Greek concepts were up and running.
9. As of this writing, Big Parm and Slapfish were not open yet. Chef Andrew Gruel is currently traveling and opening up new Slapfish locations around the country (world?). However, his trusted team will more than likely pull both brands together in a timely fashion.
8. Operating hours for all other existing eateries (including the bar) at Mess Hall Market are set for lunchtime– approximately 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Do check their respective Instagram accounts for current information.
7. Don’t bother parking in the structure, if you can avoid it. There’s a lovely lot directly outside the food hall’s main entrance with plenty of spots.
6. Speaking of plenty, their restrooms are next door and spacious! Bonus points for pretty mirrors in the ladies room.
5. Wondering about seating? Don’t you worry. Mess Hall has got lots and lots of it. We were impressed with the amount of outdoor seating.
4. Some restaurants are serving limited menus until grand opening. For example, Little Greek was missing their soft serve dessert. Chef Danny Godinez and his Fonda Moderna brand listed their entire menu, but only served a fraction of the items the day we visited.
3. Who is the final tenant that’ll be featured? Fowl Play, a fried chicken concept from the team that brought you Portside Fish and Ground House Burger at TRADE Irvine. We hear they’re also bringing the heat! Since they were the last to sign on, we can’t say for certain that they will be ready for grand opening. Their storefront was still covered up last week. Per Co-owner/Chef Fernando Valladares, “…we will also have grilled chicken options for salads. And soon after opening, we will have some breakfast options, taking our play on eggs. A very simple, straightforward concept.”
2. Where to enter: Do NOT enter via Armstrong, as it’s still closed. Flight Way (aka Ashton) is the best intersection to enter. However, Airship Avenue is a turnoff shortly before Flight, off Barranca. This is assuming you are driving from the direction of The District/Tustin Ranch. If you do enter off Airship, make a left and drive around the perimeter of the parking structure. You’ll see Mess Hall come up on your left.
And lastly, here is a link to our original coverage of all the tenants. Read up, and see you next month.
Mess Hall Market is located at 1705 Flight Way; www.messhalltustin.com
A contributing writer for OC Weekly, Anne Marie freelances for multiple online and print publications, and guest judges for culinary competitions. A Bay Area transplant, she graduated with a degree in Hospitality Management from Cal Poly Pomona. Find her on Instagram as brekkiefan.