Food hall offers fresh concept

Made-over space serves all ages; combines varied cuisine shops, bars, patio



The newly-opened Lumberyard Food Hall lights up its outside patio Sunday evening.

MAGGIE QUINLAN, Evergreen reporter

Lumberyard Food Hall officially opened this past Thursday in Pullman, but hosted a sneak peek on Thanksgiving Day and two days after.

Lumberyard’s website describes it as a multi-cuisine food hall offering “unique, yet complimentary food and beverage establishments.”

“It’s rare when you go with a big group of people [and] all agree on one item,” Lumberyard Host Leroy Portillo said. “It’s a really great hangout spot and I bring my friends here.”

The food hall currently offers Puerto Rican food from La Isla Cuisine, sandwiches from Grand Ave. Gourmet Burgers and trendy health food from The Whole Yard Salad & Grain Bowls.

“I think it’s great that there’s so many small businesses in one space,” said Ashlee Christman, owner of Sweet Dough Cookie Co., on her first time coming in.

The food hall also features a main bar as well as a loft bar above the main dining area called the Top Shelf, which sells higher-end drinks. While the bars are 21 and over, I was excited to see a space where minors and those 21-plus could come together in a pub-like atmosphere.

Though I felt like there was enough to choose from already, more establishments are set to open soon.

“It’s like a learning curve,” Portillo said, “showing the public how we operate, adding final touches and working out the kinks.”

Jenny’s Chicken Shack, Scoops Ice Cream, (509) Coffee and Dough Rae Me Dessert Spot will open up in weeks to come.

Owners transformed this space from the former Pullman Building Supply facility and lumberyard I remember. Now, there’s an industrial-chic atmosphere, stark against the primary- and pastel-painted restaurants.

The ultra-high ceilings lined with strings of Edison bulb lights put me in a great mood, and a windowed garage door looked out on a patio adorned with fairy lights.

Jordyn Yowell, a WSU student majoring in interior design, said she liked the space.

“I think it’s very innovative,” Yowell said. “And I feel like it’s catering to the millennial generation, like it’s high-tech.”

Instead of ordering at the individual counters of different shops, a group will all order together at the kiosks set up around the dining area. From there, you select a group number and bring it to the long communal tables, where servers bring your order.

The area does feel like a free space. Although it’s organized like a cafeteria space in a mall, it feels more like a festival lined with food trucks.

“Basically, this entire area is your guys’ playground,” Portillo said to diners as they came in.

In fact, there’s a children’s corner set up with a mini play structure. When I came in, the place was packed with diners of all ages. It was great to watch little kiddos on the slide in the children’s corner.

The packed food hall felt different at 1:30 p.m. on a Sunday, full of families with kids, than it did at 11 p.m. last Thursday. For lunch Sunday, I got a sandwich from the Puerto Rican spot. It took a bit longer to come out than I expected since I anticipated food truck speed. But service wasn’t slow by sit-down restaurant standards and I thoroughly enjoyed my meal.

Yowell, eating at the food hall for the first time, tried a gourmet burger. She rated it eight out of 10.

The space is new and unlike anything in the area. If you decide to come in this week, Portillo suggests the chimichurri steak from Grand Avenue Gourmet Burgers.

When you walk in, prepare to be shocked. As one skater boy said when he passed me on his way in, “Whoa, this is dope.”