While this blog has been reporting a lot of sad news, closings and such, there are some exciting openings and expansions planned for Atlanta's restaurants, retail and hotels in the coming months. The following are a few of the notable developments currently on the books or with intense speculation. And hey, maybe I missed something, maybe you're opening something, either way, leave me a comment and give me your thoughts.
Empire State South (Midtown) Scheduled to open in late April, Empire State South from acclaimed chef Hugh Acheson bringing southern flair to midtown Atlanta. Already with two established and popular restaurants in Athens, Five and Ten and The National, Empire State South will focus on "the food of the south". Located at 999 Peachtree, it will benefit from the opening of the Loews Hotel (see below) and the expanding Midtown Mile.
Sugar Shack (Brookhaven) Located in Brookhaven Station at 4046 Peachtree Road, Sugar Shack will join Hudson Grille, another Metrotainent concept, when it opens in late February. Unlike many of Metrotainment's other concepts, the Sugar Shack is a more casual setting, said to include coffee, sandwiches and desserts. From what I've heard and read, the Sugar Shack was planned before the recently opened Bakeshop by Concentrics in midtown, but its opening has been delayed multiple times.
Cakes & Ale (Decatur) A source of mine in Decatur reports that the owners of Cakes & Ale had sought to expand their successful Decatur eatery and the unfortunate closure of Camille Wright's Kaleidscope Boutique may facilitate that happening. Located next door to Cakes & Ale on West Ponce, Kalediescope's space could provide the restaurant additional dining space and permit them to stay put rather than relocate.
Meehan's Public House (Downtown) Scheduled to open in November it has been pushed to late February / early March. With locations already in Vinings and
Sandy Springs, this will mark 101 Concepts first eatery of any kind in the downtown area. With any luck, 2010 will turn out better for convention business and Meehan's will be just the right place to quench the thirst of many a conventioneer.
Baja Fresh Mexican Grill (Luckie Marietta District / Downtown) Opening next week in what was once a Starbucks, this is to be the chain's first of many as they re-enter the Atlanta market. Baja Fresh had locations in Atlanta in the mid 2000's but they closed. Since that time, the chain was sold by Wendy's to a private investment group. The downtown location will be a new concept store called "Guest Choice Store" where the menu is laid out so that a patron orders a protein, then a complement and a side. Most amazing to me, is that this location will have an upstairs private dining room complete with plasma TVs and WiFi. This location will also offer a selection of beer and delivery! All in all, it looks as though the proper changes have been made to make this chain a success this time around. Located at the corner of Park Avenue West and Luckie behind the Embassy Suites.
Highland Bakery (Midtown) A favorite amongst
residents will grow to include a second location later this spring. Still in town, this new location will be located in 1180 Peachtree. Highland Bakery will have about 900 s/f on the Inman Park 14th Street side, just below H. Stockton in a space that has never had a tenant. The new location will serve a scaled down version of its popular menu including breakfast sandwiches, soups, salads and sandwich lunch options, as well as their fresh baked breads and pastries. The new location will also serve an assortment of signature gourmet coffee drinks as well as catering options.
Shaun Doty's Burger concept (West Midtown) Officially announced to be opening but with an as yet unknown name. Set to be located in the former West Egg at White Provisions, the restaurant joins a growing number of exciting eateries in West Midtown such as Miller Union, Urban Pl8 and Bacchanalia. It's expected that one way or another the restaurant will be open by year end.
Flip Burger Boutique (Buckhead) Not officially on the books, chef Richard Blais and his business partner Barry Mills have made clear they want a location in Buckhead, just a little less clear on when and where it will happen. Bueller?... Bueller?... Bueller?...
Pano's (Buckhead) Delayed a number of times already, there was talk it was never going to open, that is simply not the case according to Buckhead Life reps. Though as with many in the restaurant industry, business was tough for Buckhead Life and projects were slowed, Pano's will open at the St. Regis hotel by year end. With Bistro Niko, their French concept, now open at 3344 Peachtree, Buckhead Life can once again dedicate themselves to the beloved Pano's (previously known as Pano's and Paul's).
CB2 (Midtown) Scheduled to open late this Summer, this will mark the first location in Georgia and eighth in the chain for this growing concept by Crate & Barrel. The concept targets urban locations such as New York and San Francisco and says it is "affordable modern for apartment, loft, home." It's Atlanta location will be apart of the street level retail of 1010 Midtown and is directly across the street from the soon to open Loews Atlanta Hotel (see story below)
Nordstrom Rack (Buckhead) Scheduled to open April 22, this will be Nordstrom's second "Rack" outlet store in Georgia, the other being in Buford near the Mall of Georgia. It is opening at a time when consumers are trading down and less willing to pay retail price. The "Rack" is slated to take 38,000 s/f on the second level of the Buckhead Loop shopping center including space formerly occupied by Paper Parlour and Golfsmith. Its neighbors on the upper level of the shopping center include T.J. Maxx and DSW, so you know this will be a bargain lovers paradise.
Vince (Phipps Plaza / Buckhead) Scheduled to open this April, Vince will occupy 1,700 s.f. of space in the former Niketown on the main level. The Phipps Location will be the brands 13th location nationwide and is one of many the retailer hopes to open in the next 12-18 months. Based in
, Vince was launched by Rea Laccone and Christopher LaPolice whom had worked together at Laundry in the 90's started Vince "to be the antithesis of a big fashion business." The brand’s current offerings have grown to include leatherwear, trousers, detailed tops and outerwear with plans in the coming year for swimwear, handbags, loungewear and shoes. Los Angeles
Urban Outfitters ( Perimeter Mall / Dunwoody) Though I basically already knew it was a done deal, it became official this week as did the announcement that they plan to open in May.
Hotel Indigo (Downtown) Scheduled to open May 1st within the historic Carnegie Building, this will be IHG's second Hotel Indigo in metro Atlanta. The other, and first ever in the chain, is located in another historic building, the Carlton, in midtown on Peachtree. A LEED certified location opened in Athens last year. (Indigo College Park?) The downtown location has been under construction for over a year and is yet another fine example of hoteliers taking advantage of existing buildings rather than starting from scratch. The use of pre-existing construction not only cuts costs but benefits the environment as well. The Indigo being a boutique brand, its location is a bit odd to me given the fact that its building is basically on top of the Winecoff, another historic building, now in operation as the Ellis, an independent boutique hotel. Hotel Indigo downtown will features 155 guest rooms, 14 of which are suites.
Loews Atlanta Hotel (Midtown) Announced to open April 1st, its Atlanta location will be the 19th for the chain and first in Georgia. Located at 11th and Peachtree in the heart of Midtown Atlanta, it's a signature piece of the "Midtown Mile" and will hopefully spur additional development in the area. Its on-site restaurant is said to be called
Jasmin's, now Eleven. The hotel features 414 guest rooms, 44 of which are suites.
Recenty 'Watched by ToNeTo Atlanta
Grindhouse (Decatur / Emory?)
One Cafe Blanc and Yoeshi (Downtown)
The Dump (Buckhead)
Rockport (Lenox Square / Buckhead)