Thursday, May 6, 2010

BirthWatch 2010 Progess Report Q2

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. In February, I provided a list of projects at various stages of development, here's where we / they are now...


Baroni (SoBu) The latest from the owners of Publik and Baraonda, Baroni is scheduled to open by the end of the month. Taking the space that previously housed Wolfgang Puck Express in Brookwood Place at 1745 Peachtree Street, the new eatery will feature pizzas and pastas and assorted other Italian dishes. Billed as a neighborhood trattoria, Baroni may turn out being the Osteria 832 of SoBu.

Buckhead Bottle Bar (Buckhead) The first of a growing trend, I'm placing Buckhead Bottle Bar simultaneously as a member of both the DeathWatch and the BirthWatch. I might as well call this place "premature." Their website still flashes "Coming April 2010" but in my frequent trips to Cafe Agora next door, I can see that they are far from opening. With A.D. Allushi at the helm, this place has the potential to be a hotspot for 10 minutes, before everyone realizes there are better places to go.

Boardwalk Fresh Burgers & Fries (West Midtown) After opening their first location in Sandy Springs this past March, the Maryland based burger joint will open at Selig Enterprises "The District at Howell Mill." Taking space that originally housed the ill-fated Artuzzi's, the new Boardwalk is said to open by late August.

Cakes & Ale (Decatur) Originally I had been told they were going to expand in their current space on West Ponce; instead they will move to Church Street just outside of the Decatur MARTA station. While I personally would have stayed put and expanded, apparently they think that they can increase revenue enough to warrant the relocation and extensive build out. As construction has yet to begin, an opening date is not yet on the horizon.

Davio's Italian Steakhouse (Phipps Plaza - Buckhead) Davio's Northern Italian Steakhouse will open later this fall in most of the shuttered Niketown space on the lobby level of Phipps Plaza. Currently the chain has locations in Boston, Foxborough, MA, and Philadelphia. While I am not a fan of more high end steakhouses in the area, Davio's is different than most, with its Italian take, a variety of gluten-free lunch and dinner options, and a kids' menu. The smartest idea? I have heard that the restaurant will have access from the exterior of the mall. Perhaps there'll be outdoor dining as well?

Egg Harbor Cafe (Buckhead) Lincolnshire, IL based Egg Harbor Cafe plans to open in Buckhead later this year. Slated to occupy 3900 s/f in the former Sears automotive building at 102 West Paces Ferry Rd., significant work has yet to begin so the "fall opening" is optimistic.

Empire State South (Midtown) Originally scheduled to open in late April, then June, Empire State South from acclaimed chef Hugh Acheson is far from on track. New estimates peg opening at late August. 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 new Loews Atlanta Hotel and the expanding Midtown Mile.

Former FountainSide Cafe (Centennial Olympic Park - Downtown) Yet to be named, the former FountainSide Cafe at Centennial Olympic Park is being redesigned and enlarged. It will feature similar fare to that of the Shake Shack in Madison Square Park in NYC. Serving fresh made burgers, shakes and fries among other items, the new eatery will accommodate 175 to 200 patrons in an outdoor seating area. With work already underway, the targeted July opening seems like an easy goal to meet.

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. Months back, there was word they wanted to get their hands on the Blockbuster Video space at Piedmont and Roswell. That store is set to close permanently May 15th, but as of today, no lease for Flip has been signed.

Fritti (Buckhead) Riccardo Ullio, owner of U Restaurants, is bringing the battle for the best pizza to Buckhead. The new Buckhead location will open as part of the redevelopment of the former Sears Automotive building at 102 West Paces Ferry, next to the St. Regis Hotel.

Goin Coastal (VaHi) With one location open in Canton, this "sustainable seafood joint" will open a second location by early June. Located in what was a FIGO Pasta at 1021 Virginia Avenue, Goin Coastal should be a welcome addition to the neighborhood.

Goldberg's Bagel Company & Deli (Toco Hills) Goldberg's Bagel Company & Deli is planning to open their sixth location, in Toco Hills shopping center. They will open in the former movie theater on the Publix Supermarket "wing." Goldberg's will join Bagel Palace & Deli and Einstein's Bagels in the immediate area offering similar fare. The most direct competition is clearly Bagel Palace, as they cater to the heavily Jewish (& Emory) clientele and offer essentially the same menu as Goldberg's.

Highland Bakery (Midtown) "A favorite amongst Inman Park residents will grow to include a second location later this spring." I spoke those words in February after being told it was a done deal and well on its way to fruition, now months later, no progress is visible and a spring opening seems far from reality. If /when it opens in 1180 Peachtree, Highland Bakery will have about 900 s/f on the 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. Highland Bakery midtown will also serve an assortment of signature gourmet coffee drinks as well as catering options. In the meantime, a satellite location has sprouted in the lobby of the 999 Peachtree building.

IHOP (Midtown) IHOP is making a second go of it in Midtown with the opening of a new location at 428 Ponce de Leon Avenue. I say second, as less than a half mile away at 129 North Avenue, there was once an IHOP but it closed years ago and is currently Mandarin Palace II. With construction under way, an IHOP franchise representative informed me the building should be done by early June and they plan on opening June 21st.

Jack's Sandwich Shop - (Downtown / Peachtree Center) Jack's Sandwich Shop, a mainstay in downtown Atlanta for many years, is returning after years of absence. Jack's originally opened in the bottom of the Carnegie Building ( Hotel Indigo soon) back in 1973, and later relocated to 230 Peachtree, near Durango Steak House in 1977, before being sold off in 1991 and closed permanently in 1996. Now, Robert Pasmanick, the owner's son and operator of Jacks in the move from the Carnegie is bringing back what many called "the best cheese grits" in the city. Opening in a portion of the old Atlanta Bread Company space in the Mall at Peachtree Center, Jack's will offer traditional deli offerings such as pastrami and corned beef along with his famous cheese grits and a variety of salads. Currently, Pasmanick hopes to be open by late June and keep hours of 7AM -3PM weekdays unless a special event or convention warrants extended hours.

Menchie's (Toco Hills) Encino, California based Menchie's will open its third Atlanta area location this summer at Toco Hills Promenade. Menchie's will open between Maddio's Pizza Joint and Top Spice.

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).

Pinkberry (Cobb Pkwy) The brand that many say was the domestic originator of the now wildly popular "FroYo" craze, Pinkberry, will open its first Atlanta area location in Cobb county this June. At 2937 Cobb Parkway SE, the new Pinkberry is located in the same shopping center as LA Fitness , Toys "R" Us and Hooters and will be the first of many planned for the Atlanta market. Previously there was word Pinkberry would first open in Buckhead, but the Cobb Parkway site will instead be their first location.

STK / stk out (Midtown) New York-based "The One Group" will open two concepts at 1075 Peachtree late this fall. STK, its signature upscale steakhouse on the Peachtree Street side, and "STK OUT," a new more casual concept on the corner of 12th and Peachtree. The two concepts will be in single subdivided space, encompassing a total of 12,000 s/f on two levels.

Smashburger (Metro Atlanta) As far as I know, leases have yet to be signed though locations have been discussed from Alpharetta to Buckhead and everywhere in between. There is certainly plenty of available real estate, just a matter of the right mix. Have any idea where one may be opening? Leave me a comment or drop me a note and I'll investigate.

Sugar Shack (Brookhaven) Delayed too many times to count, the Sugar Shack is turning into Streets of Buckhead, started, talked about but not finished. According to their Twitter account, they were "opening soon" on August 18th 2009. On September 22nd, they were "Looking at a late October opening!" November 23rd "Opening Soon." With over 1,000 followers on Twitter, one would think they'd be more careful in their announcements. Now, with nothing having been tweeted since December 4th, what are we to think? Located in Brookhaven Station at 4046 Peachtree Road, Sugar Shack would join Hudson Grille, another Metrotainent concept if / when it it opens. Unlike many of Metrotainment's other concepts, the Sugar Shack is a more casual setting, said to include coffee, sandwiches and desserts. On April 7th, I was informed by a Metrotainment executive that they will be open "within 60 days." Shall I hold my breath? I think not. This concept is the second to be named to both the "BirthWatch" and "DeathWatch" simultaneously.

The Big Ketch (Buckhead) The group behind Tin Lizzy's took over over the former Taco Stand in Buckhead and is launching this new concept. Originally set for a mid-late May opening, it has been pushed to late July. The full name of the casual seafood restaurant will be "The Big Ketch - Oyster Bar and Seafood Grill" paying homage to a favorite now-closed seafood restaurant in St. Petersburg, Florida. With offerings such as fresh grouper, you peel shrimp, crab legs and fresh oysters at prices in the low teens to low $20s, they should compete nicely with the recently opened Coast Seafood & Raw Bar.

The Daiquiri Factory (Midtown) Opening at 889 West Peachtree Street, the restaurant's owner recently received her liquor license and should be open by early June at the latest. The building once housed Acapulco Bar & Grill but has been empty for over a year so its great to see something moving in. With Hotel Palolar across the street, there is hope they will do well.

The Flying Biscuit Cafe (Alpharetta) Barbara Juhan, owner of the Flying Biscuit Sandy Springs, is opening a second location, this time in Roswell / Alpharetta. H As with Juhan's Sandy Springs location, her new location will be modeled after the original Flying Biscuit in Candler Park and founder Delia Champion will oversee the decor. Juhan's new location should not be completely new to readers of this site, as it was the former home of Artuzzi's Italian Kitchen. Located at 10779 Alpharetta Highway, Suite 220, the GM tells me they will be open by the first week in June.

The Kind Pie (Buckhead) Currently located in a cubbyhole of space on E. Paces Ferry next to Park Bench and Cafe Agora, its likely to outgrow the space sooner rather than later. The owner is actively looking for a larger space in close proximity to his current spot.

YEAH! BURGER (West Midtown) + (VaHi) Set to be located in the former West Egg at White Provisions, the restaurant joins a growing number of new eateries in West Midtown such as Miller Union, Bocado and Abbatoir. Though the West Midtown location was originally set for an early May opening, work on the space has not gone as briskly as originally planned and thus the opening is not likely until late May or early June. Its anticipated that once the West Midtown location is up and running, the official announcement of their VaHi will come as will the expected opening.

Yoforia (Brookhaven) + (Athens) Yoforia how been on a growth spurt of late adding locations in Vinings and 1 open with more on the way in Charolotte. According to a Yoforia representative, Brookhaven's location at Village Place on Dresden Drive should be open May 10th and one in Athens on Milledge Avenue will open this Fall.

Yogli Mogli (Alpharetta) + (Emory Village) + (Suwanee) Yogli Mogli, a local purveyor of the ever popular Fro-Yo will be opening three additional locations in Georgia, this summer. Yogli Mogli opened its first location at 6595 Roswell Road near the intersection of Abernathy and Roswell Roads in Abernathy Square in 2008 and added a second this past March on Johnson Ferry in East Cobb. Similar to the Yogurt Tap in Decatur and the upcoming Menchie’s in Toco Hills, Yogli Mogli offers a variety of nutritional yogurt flavors in a self serve environment and an array of toppings from fruits and nuts to cereals and candy. According to a company spokesperson the Alpharetta and Emory locations will open in July and the Suwanee location will follow.


CB2 (Midtown) Scheduled to open this August, 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 new Loews Atlanta Hotel.

Urban Outfitters ( Perimeter Mall / Dunwoody) I first reported Urban Outfitters would open in the shuttered Z Gallerie space on the Ashford-Dunwoody Road, then it became official when the mall announced it in February. Accoring to an Urban Outfitters representative, the store will be partially bi-level, similar to locations in NYC and is scheduled to open June 2.


Hotel Indigo (Downtown) Originally scheduled to open May 1st, then pushed to June and July, is now reported to be opening August 15 within the historic Carnegie Building. This will be IHG's second Hotel Indigo in metro Atlanta, third in Georgia. Hotel Indigo downtown will features 155 guest rooms, 14 of which are suites. (Pictured)

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As always, I'm human and perhaps I missed something, maybe you're opening something, either way, leave me a comment and give me your thoughts.


Atlantan99 said...

Though they hoped to open in time for Cinco de Mayo, Tin Lizzy's midtown opening has been pushed to next Friday, the 14th. They will have a Grand Opening party starting at 5PM and going til 2:30AM!

Anonymous said...

Awesome list, thanks!

debalew said...

Regarding Davios, my office overlooks the former Niketown and I spend more time in that mall at lunch than any other. While I can see how they would be able to have access from outside the mall, outdoor dining would be a bit of a stretch due to the way the theatre is built, i.e., the emergency exit doors are lined up along the bottom of the entire space that makes up the "basement" of the theatre, to the left and right of the mall entrance. There is not much sidewalk space, and certainly Simon wouldn't give up the valet parking on this side of the mall. Also, there is existing restaurant space (a former Asian restaurant; can't even remember what it was called now) on the second floor next to American Cafe with outdoor dining space already available. If Simon was smart, they would negotiate that space with Davios. If they really wanted to do tenants around here a favor, they'd offer up American Cafe. LOL! That place is not generating any dinero these days. In any event, despite the fact that Davios would be competing with Dantannas, Prime and NY Prime steakhouses, it would be a welcome addition to the lunch market 'round here.


Anonymous said...

Great blog, thanks for the info!

Any news on the Ga Tech Waffle House on 5th street Centergy plaza?


Atlantan99 said...

Hello Anon,

According to my contact at Waffle House corporate, the new Tech location is scheduled to open June 9th. This is the scheduled date but is may be closer to mid June. The location near GSU is a little more a question as their opening is very much up in the air.

Thanks for reading and for the question.

MartinM said...

Drove padt YEAH Burger the other other day and it is looking great in West Midtown- the exterior looks to be about done... retro painting on the walls (similar to their website design) with an outdoor patio. can't wait to go! Also- does anybody have any idea what that sculpture-looking thing out from of White Provisions is? it's very visually interesting...

Atlantan99 said...

Hmmm Martin, Are you referring to the Black Cow outside Abattoir? I'm not sure that would qualify as a sculpture but other than that I'm not sure what else may be there...