By Rena Malai
Today, going out to eat is so commonplace that it’s often seen as a necessity rather than a treat. But that doesn’t mean it’s always an easy task. There are food decisions to make, picky eaters to placate and sometimes large numbers of people to accommodate. Finding one restaurant or even one type of food to please everyone can sometimes feel impossible.
Enter the Food Hall Concept
These are a few reasons why the concept of food halls has become a growing phenomenon across the country, according to Michael Kim, developer of EpiQ Food Hall in Woodbridge. A brand-new concept to Prince William, EpiQ is a neighborhood spot to gather together and partake in all kinds of cuisines from
local establishments, says Kim.
“EpiQ is a place right in the community offering a chef driven collection of individual culinary partners in a setting that is very expansive, comfortable and roomy so you can enjoy your food and not feel like you’re crowded in,” he says.
At EpiQ, diners can take in everything from noodle bowls to southern comfort food and even soft serve ice cream. There really is something for everyone, says Kim, pointing out that one of the major driving forces behind EpiQ is community.
Gathering the Community Together
It’s not only a place to eat, but a space for conducting meetings and events. Given the variety of options and space to spread, gathering groups together over meals becomes easier. Nonprofits and organizations dedicated to community outreach can enjoy free meeting space at EpiQ while having easy access to food and drink, he says.
“We want to be a part of the community and there are so many great causes right in Prince William,” Kim says. “We’re excited to be a go-to space, and our belief is if we help to foster growth in the community, wonderful things can happen.”
Anyone can book an event at EpiQ Food Hall in one of their private rooms — the Mezzanine, which seats up to 80 guests or the Q Room, accommodating up to 40 people. Private rooms are great locations for birthday parties, receptions, meetings and fundraisers. For those interested in hosting an event at EpiQ, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or book online at epiqfoodhall.com/events.
Before EpiQ came to the area, Prince William residents would have needed to travel to Washington, D.C. to have a food hall experience. But Kim says Woodbridge was his first choice to open an EpiQ branch, as it’s an area that’s seen tremendous growth and boasts a dense and diverse population.
“I didn’t think of anywhere else, but Woodbridge!” Kim says.
“As a developer I have been associated with the area for many years. I kept thinking why there isn’t something like EpiQ in the area. We wanted to be right in the middle of the community, right in its backyard, so everyone can have easy access to great food.”
The EpiQ Food Hall Experience
So, how does it work? Food halls are not really the same as food courts, because there aren’t the usual franchise fast food spots and huge mall crowds. Rather, the food hall is dedicated to kiosks individually owned by area chefs and eateries.
At EpiQ, their two-story space provides diners a wide variety of choices including Bonfire Chicken, Jammin’ Island BBQ, Kiki’s Gourmet Soft Serve & Taiyaki, Fish & Chips, Mr. Big’s Seafood, Nu Vegan Café, Oki Bowl, Pho Harmony & Grill, Southern Flare Soul Food, Stacks Signature Sandwiches and Teddy’s Tacos.
In addition, diners will find live music on Saturdays, bingo on Mondays, trivia on Tuesdays and karaoke on Wednesdays. A scroll through their event calendar reveals DJ nights and movie showings, as well. And of course, all COVID-19 precautions are recognized and practiced throughout.
Kim also says EpiQ will grow in the near future to include an event center, additional bars and cuisines, more entertainment, and even the wildly popular axe throwing. “We are drawing up plans to expand and acquire 20,000 more feet of space,” Kim says. “Stay tuned!”
EpiQ Food Hall is located at 14607 Noblewood Plaza in Woodbridge. Visit epiqfoodhall.com to view full menus, their event calendar, catering information and their photo gallery.
Rena Malai is a contributing writer for Prince William Living. She can be reached at email@example.com.