Hospitality HQ (HHQ), the bespoke culinary consulting and management group helmed by award-winning chef Akhtar Nawab, announced today that they will open Dr. Murphy’s Food Hall within the historic Cook County Hospital, 1835 W. Harrison St., in the summer of 2020. Situated on Chicago’s Near West Side, Dr. Murphy’s Food Hall will be the only destination of its kind in the area, providing unique and delicious dining opportunities and accessible options to those visiting and working in the largest urban concentration of healthcare institutions, biotechnology hubs and technology-based incubators in the country. Named in recognition of Dr. John B. Murphy – one of America’s preeminent pioneering surgeons through the turn of the last century who studied, interned and taught at Cook County Hospital – the 10,000 sq. ft. Dr. Murphy’s Food Hall space will include ten distinctive chef-driven vendors, outdoor dining space, a vibrant bar and a lounge.
“This project has a special place in my heart because my father completed his residency at the Old Cook County Hospital,” says Chef Nawab. “I feel passionately about bringing quality, nourishing food to underserved neighborhoods, and there is definitely a dearth of options within the Illinois Medical District area. We look forward to serving the thousands of medical professionals, students and educators who spend most of their waking hours here, as well as creating an inviting dining experience for new residents, guests, and visitors of Cook County.”
Hospitality HQ is veteran operator of renowned food halls and independent restaurants, including Inner Rail Food Hall in Omaha, Nebraska and innovative Mexican concepts Alta Calidad in Brooklyn and Otra Vez in New Orleans. As their name implies, HHQ is dedicated to providing high quality hospitality at all levels, prioritizing the comfort, security and wellbeing of their guests as well as their vendors and staff. To provide all with the utmost confidence in public dining after COVID-19, Dr. Murphy’s Food Hall will offer spacious seating areas, modular tables, an 800 sq. ft. outdoor dining space, integrated online ordering technology, and a partnership with ApplePay. Through this special collaboration, Dr. Murphy’s Food Hall will offer incentives to both vendors and guests to promote contactless pay for purchases made throughout the food hall.
HHQ is currently seeking artisanal concepts from passionate chefs to join Dr. Murphy’s Food Hall. Interested vendors may apply through the online form on the food hall’s website, and must include details about their restaurant concept, professional background, and other important details for review. Special consideration will be given to women and minority-owned business candidates. Vendors will benefit from financial/promotional incentives and operational support built into the food hall, including lower startup costs, a shared economy model, crisis support, heightened visibility and marketing, and more.
Dr. Murphy’s Food Hall is part of the Cook County Hospital’s transformative $150 million renovation, which will also include fully leased medical office space, a daycare center, and a 210-room Hyatt Place and Hyatt House Chicago Medical/University District hotel, the first combined Hyatt Place and Hyatt House hotels located in Chicago. Also set to open this summer, the hotels, which occupy the Beaux-Arts classical-style building, will create an experience that enables guests to enjoy the benefits of both brands in one location. The project is led by Murphy Real Estate Services and its design and operating partners, including Hospitality HQ, Walsh Investors, MB Real Estate, Eimer Design, and Colicchio Consulting.