If you take a peek into the Fork Forty Hall, you’ll see a few new faces adding to the array of restaurants that have made the lobby their home.
Three new restaurants are making their debut Forty Hall Fork, bringing another range of diverse foods to the room’s selections, including Puerto Rican cuisine, Syrian cuisine, and burgers.
“So I wasn’t expecting as much turnover as there has been, but no one has had those expectations in the past 18 months,” said Charles Weathers, owner of Fork Forty Hall. “It’s a shame to have so many changes at once, because consistency is the cornerstone of restaurant success, but these new places work well together, complement each other, and you can choose to be adventurous or not.”
The three restaurants, Rex Prehistoric Patties, Syrian Kitchen and Mr. Coqui have opened or will open before the end of the month.
Rex, as its staff popularly call it, opened on November 5, occupying the former King’s Kitchen space. The new burger joint is owned by ‘Burgy’ Bubrge, who also owns the adjacent The Best Goose bar, while Parker Black manages the cooking and cooking operations. The menu is themed – you guessed it – dinosaurs, and each meal comes with a tiny plastic dinosaur figure.
“Our first day, we were overwhelmed,” Bubrge said. “We had a 1.2 hour wait time because so many people came for us. We’ve been lucky and everyone has had positive reviews so it’s been good so far.
The Syrian kitchen, which takes center stage where AristaCrab Seafood was previously located, opened on November 12. Owner Mariam “Hanaa” Aryan has started selling pastries at the Saturday market. With the success she achieved, she wanted to expand into hot dishes.
When she heard about the Fork Forty Hall opening for food businesses, she jumped at the chance to settle down.
The fare includes Mediterranean classics like hummus platters, dishes with shawarma, falafel, and stuffed grape leaves, all with Syria-specific touches.
“I just hope everyone can try my food and like it,” Aryan said.
The last occupant of the booth will be Mr. Coqui, the name derived from the name of several small species of frogs native to Puerto Rico, is a Puerto Rican restaurant run by chef Timothy Roth. Roth, who worked in many kitchens in Salem, decided he wanted to pursue his passion to carry on and share his family’s traditions.
Roth was originally trying to continue his business from a food truck, but faced many challenges getting permits, the right equipment, and getting around other issues that the pandemic has spurred on.
“Fork Forty was my destination before I even knew it,” Roth said. “I thought it would be very difficult to get in there, and then (the vacant position) appeared at the perfect time, so I’m super happy with it.”
Roth is planning a smooth opening on November 24, but the details are yet to be cemented.
Uncle Troy’s barbecue continues
The Puerto Rican restaurant will be located between Syrian cuisine and Rex, replacing Uncle Troy’s barbecue. After a year on the site, “Uncle” Troy Campbell said he had a great time at Fork Forty Hall, but that he “would lean more on the hospitality side of things” in the future. The last day Uncle Troy’s BBQ will serve food at Fork Forty Hall is November 19.
“We’re heading into events, cooking classes, and even product release before and during the summer,” Campbell said. “We’ll still be barbecuing, so things like wine and barbecuing, but I want to travel and be more of a free spirit.”
Campbell will continue to barbecue and told those who might miss their barbecue not to despair, “I’ll meet you at your favorite spot.” ”
Despite his departure, he is happy to see the Fork Forty Hall full of new people and business.
“Diversity has always been important here and these are all different types of food – this is something we need more, honestly,” said Campbell.
The three new restaurants join Slick Licks, Chubby Bao House, La Lucciola Pizzeria and The Best Goose bar at Fork Forty Hall. For more details on the room, you can follow them on Facebook.
Find the other restaurants here:
Room opening hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.