Carla Hall isn’t done with Brooklyn, yet. The celebrity chef is working on a new project in the Columbia Street Waterfront District space where her fried chicken restaurant once lived — but it won’t be a restaurant.
Hall’s business partner Jerry Levin says that the new venture will be entirely different from Carla Hall’s Southern Kitchen, which closed last August after a tumultuous year that included a fire. When it shuttered, the co-host of talk show The Chew kept the lease because “she really likes the neighborhood and likes that space,” Levin says. “She hasn’t given up on it.”
The space, located at 115 Columbia St. at Kane Street and right across from Pok Pok, is still under construction for a planned opening of the new project by the end of the summer. Hall is not yet ready to disclose details for the venture, says Levin, only saying that it won’t be serving food to the public.
The team wouldn’t say why they’re not turning the space back into a restaurant right now, but Carla Hall’s Southern Kitchen had a bumpy ride. The counter-service fried chicken restaurant in a tiny space opened in June 2016, serving Nashville-style hot chicken plates and decorated with pieces of the Nashville-native’s history. An electrical fire happened shortly after it opened, forcing a temporary closure, and then when it reopened, issues like a departure in the general manager caused problems, too.
It was the first restaurant for Hall, who became known nationally for her role on The Chew and as a contestant on Top Chef. Though TV chefs tend to open big brick-and-mortar outposts in splashy locations like Times Square, Hall’s restaurant space is in a fairly residential area at the edge of a Brooklyn neighborhood.
Locals are already seeing Hall around the neighborhood working on the project in her old space. The chef recently also ended her tenure on The Chew, which ABC canceled after seven seasons on air, and will be publishing her third cookbook Carla Hall’s Soul Food: Everyday and Celebration in October.
Stay tuned for more.