Babygold Barbecue and Zeitlin’s Delicatessen Debut Inside The Old Post Office

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There’s change afoot at From Here On, the food hall inside the historic Old Post Office, as two local vendors join the mix in Downtown Chicago: Zeitlin’s Delicatessen, formerly a virtual deli and pop-up regular featuring bagels and other Jewish-y treats, and Babygold Barbecue, a smoked meat operation based out of venerable live music venue FitzGerald’s in suburban Berwyn.

Babygold, founded in 2021 under the direction of decorated chef John Manion (El Che), opened on Monday, February 12 inside the food hall at 433 W. Van Buren Street, notifying fans just days earlier in an Instagram post. Manion, who just opened Brasero, is no longer involved in Babygold, but fans can still count on staples like juicy brisket, pulled pork, and turkey hot links alongside new submissions designed to lure a lunchtime crowd seeking a satisfying meal that won’t induce meat sweats or result in a very sleepy afternoon.

The team highlighted these fresh additions on social media, writing, “Come check out our new lunch-focused menu with an emphasis on lean proteins, good veggies ‘n salads, and an all-new BBQ BOWL format.”

Zeitlin’s, which entered the food hall fray in December 2023, has all the makings of a pandemic-era success story. Founder Sam Zeitlin and his brother Hal have nurtured the fledgling business from its origins as a virtual deli and farmers market stand into a permanent stall featuring their popular bagels (available unadulterated or as breakfast sandwiches), challah French toast sticks, bagel dogs with beef sausages from Romanian Kosher Sausage Co., black-and-white cookies, and much more. The team has tweaked the lineup with the aforementioned lunch crowd in mind with lunch boxes like the Reuben Box, which includes a vegetarian oyster mushroom Reuben (pastrami spice blend, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, rye bread), a latke, a brown butter chocolate chip cookie, and a beverage. The deli also operates in Pilsen, sharing a space with Rubi’s Tacos, 1316 W. 18th Street, as part of the DishRoulette Kitchen operation.

From Here On, which opened in June 2022 following a $800 million renovation on its 1930s-era building, is a relative newcomer to Chicago’s food hall scene but its owners at 16” on Center (The Salt Shed, Thalia Hall) have plenty of experience in the arena — they’re also behind Revival Food Hall, which ushered in a food hall renaissance in the city when it opened in 2016. Revival demonstrated the enormous potential of a restaurant hub that’s convenient for tourists and office workers in the Loop, and other food halls followed suit by planting their flags Downtown.

Customers line up at stalls inside From Here On food hall.
From Here On opened in 2022.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

The pandemic and resulting exodus of office workers, however, hit these halls especially hard and were the source of much concern over the future of the hospitality genre. New York-based food hall chain Urbanspace, which previously operated two halls in Downtown Chicago, sold its Washington Street location (called Urbanspace Washington) in 2023 to another Big Apple operator, Local Culture Management. It’s now called Washington Hall. Meanwhile, Time Out Market in Fulton Market has imported out-of-town vendors to fill its Chicago venue, with restaurants dropping out for a variety of reasons, including escalating rents.

Zeitlin’s Delicatessen, 433 W. Van Buren Street inside From Here On food hall, Open 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Babygold Barbecue, 433 W. Van Buren Street inside From Here On food hall, Open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday.

Urbanspace Washington

15 W Washington St, Chicago, IL 60602

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