Monday, May 10, 2010

Slack's Hoagie Shack Opening At Town Brookhaven, Anyone Else?

Cinnaminson, New Jersey based Slack's Hoagie Shack will open its first Atlanta area location in the coming weeks at Sembler's TOWN Brookhaven. One of the first eateries to actually move forward at Sembler's long delayed development, they are located on a rear corner space on the street level of the Alexan apartments. When I stopped by last week, the nearby Porta-Potty and dumpster made the entire area reek of waste and I couldn't help but think what a terrible location they had. While there are empty storefronts all over TOWN Brookhaven, as well as all over the Atlanta, Slack's location is at the rear of an apartment complete that is less than 40% leased, in a center where nothing else is open. As this is their first location in Atlanta, and they have zero brand recognition in the area, a location with more visibility would have been a wiser choice. Their newness to the market and their location reminds me of Larry's Giant Subs in Sember's Prado development in Sandy Springs. They too were relatively new to the market and were one of the first to open in the development, they closed " for a remodel", shortly thereafter, never to reopen.

For what its worth, Sember does have a number of new tenants on the way, so they say. Among the more noteworthy scheduled openings are Costco Wholesale, Publix Super Market, LA Fitness and Cobb Theatres "CineBistro". The LA Fitness would replace the current location at Peachtree and Piedmont in Buckhead Place, but the Publix would be in addition to the location at Lenox Marketplace across from Phipps Plaza. Jeff Fuqua, president of the Sembler Company, previously announced that there would be a large number of local eateries and retailers in what he then called Virginia-Highland "North," most of which are missing from the current roster. Ray's on the River, Nuevo Laredo Cantina, Atkins Park Tavern, Rolling Bones Premium Pit BBQ, San Francisco Coffee Roasting Co., The Real Chow Baby: New American Stir Fry, Genki Noodles and Sushi, Sogno Gelato, and Mirko Pasta, from a co-owner of the Figo pasta chain were all announced to have signed on for the project but all are absent from current announcements. As far as local concepts go, Moe's Southwest Grill, Cafe Pharr, The Flying Biscuit Cafe, Yoreka, Tin Drum Asia Cafe, Boogaloo's Boutique, Collage Boutique and Kai Med Spa, are all said to be opening, though no visible work has been done. ToNeTo Atlanta


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17 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree- it's tough to open a new concept in a new development. A buddy of mine opened Zero's Subs in the Lindbergh Station development when it first opened. Zero's is popular in Canada but this was the first one here. His store bombed and was shut down within 6 months.

Also- interesting that LA Fitness will be closing down their Buckhead location when this one opens. Granted, that Buckhead one is old and junky. But it's not exactly right down the road- probably a 10-15 min drive in traffic.

Anonymous said...

I live in Brookhaven and have been following this development for the last two years. This place is dead in the water and Slack's could not have chosen a worse spot. I went through the complex last week looking for the Slack's spot. If I had not driven around the back of that one particular building, I never would have seen it. I hope they make it because I hate to see good money thrown away, but I sincerely doubt it.

Anonymous said...

met these folks last week- retirees wanting something to do with their time- they were nonplussed that the where in a veritable wasteland- with a name that means nothing in Georgia- the concept according to bill is Slacks from Philly- and "in philly i watched them sling out 600 cheesteaks a day" -- unfortunately in this location, in Atlanta, in this market- he's going to be lucky to do 6 a day- - maybe if they add naked people and free beer? they could get to 25

Anonymous said...

I will seek it out to try as I am from Philly but I agree, that location is awful and they will not survive. I would say that Roy's in Smyrna, while out of the way, is still a much better location than this.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

retirees wanting something to do with their time- they were nonplussed that the where in a veritable wasteland- with a name that means nothing in Georgia-

Ouch.

Does anybody know how those glass/steel monstrosities appropriately located near the Federal Reserve are doing?

Anonymous said...

I have high hopes for the Town Brookhaven project (especially since I just moved into The Goodwynn apartments in the area).

They are doing work daily on the Costco area (which should go up quick, it's a warehouse), and while it hasn't been announced, there is also a Marshalls listed on their new site plan they put online (on the Sembler website). A number of the retail locations on the site plan also have names of the businesses moving in, although there hasn't been any work done for any of them other than Slacks.

I hope Slacks does well, but I am also concerned about the location. I have to assume the rent back there was one of the cheapest, but the only people who will see it will be the people who live in the development (until the Costco/movie theater/etc open). I fully plan on supporting the business, we'll just have to see if it can last long enough for the Costco and others to open and bring in more people...

Atlantan99 said...

Most recent Anon,

Yes, there does appear to be a Marshall's planned for the project. With there being a few miles noth in Plaza Fiesta and two in Buckhead, it almost seems like overkill. The Moe's makes sense as it closed in the former Burger King hat was leveled as part of the construction. The LA Fitness too is a replacement rather than addition (so I'm told) I don't even have to say how much sense the Costco makes. Publix will do ok but the Kroger is large and not far and there is a Publix across from Phipps.

Thanks for the comment and for reading

Anonymous said...

Some other questions about Slack's, they were placing ads on Craigslist for employees and were specifying the need for 'high end' employees and to come to the interview dressed to impress. For a hogie shop? It also appears that they are going to have a full bar as they were also looking for experienced bartenders. When you look at their corporate web site, there is no mention of a bar concept. ????

Atlantan99 said...

Anon,

Yes, I'd have to agree there are some inconsistencies on the Atlanta location and the corporate website. Perhaps they have selected this wonderful location as a test site for a new concept? Hardly the best market to test something but who knows. I think doing a full bar with their food price point will be tough. F2o does OK with it but their average check is substantially higher. Guess we'll see in a few weeks when they open...

Thanks for reading

Anonymous said...

I spoke to the Bill the owner and he is going for a Sports Bar concept and lounge along with the Hoagies. There will be flat screen tv's all over the place and it will be open until 2am on weekends. The menu does not make much sense for a high end sports bar as there are no entrees, just sandwiches. The bar is pretty long (maybe about 25 seats) and he kind of hinted that he wanted to be more of a lounge after 10pm. The location at the back of the building does not make much sense. I wish him the best and hope it works but it will be an uphill climb

Annoyed said...

A LOUNGE? REALLY? At a Hoagie place? I've had about enough of these "business owners" in Atlanta thinking they have brilliant ideas. As if the location doesn't already make it a disaster, it's going to be a lounge as well? Just because you have the capital and financial backing to open up a restaurant, that doesn't mean you have good ideas. I don't want to see anybody fail, but for God's sake..what is the owner thinking? Sorry, but the idea of a high end Hoagie place is an oxymoron. Lenox Square Grill, for example, tried integrating the lounge concept in their restaurant and it failed miserably. Granted, they are more "high end" than what Slacks will be, but even at Lenox it didn't work. At best, Slack's will end up attracting the 30k milli college crowd. They'll be wearing popped collars on their Polos and attempting to pick up women. That doesn't scream sexy lounge to me.

Atlantan99 said...

This has got to be the epitome of a half-baked concept. To add a lounge to a hoagie shack is basically like extending Subway's hours and adding the word "club" to Subway. The above commenter mentioned the problems Lenox Square Grill experienced in adding their late night "Ultra Lounge", even at a higher price point and in freakin Lenox Square, this did not work. It has already been done away with. Thankfully, new management has been brought in and the operation seems to be running a lot better in recent weeks. In the case of Slack's, I don't see the point in adding cost and confusion to a new brand in a horrible location. My advice, drop this lounge idea NOW! As it's already far along in the build-out, go ahead and open but keep it simple and hit the streets with marketing materials. It will take a miracle for this place to survive back there under current conditions and with no neighboring businesses.

Anonymous said...

I think this concept rocks. Everyone one wants a philly cheesesteak in a high end lounge concept. to think that one can watch sports in a lounge atmosphere while enjoying a delicious hoagie is something that atlanta sorely needs.
I think that the emphasis on the failure of the sembler project is misplaced as this will undoubtedly be a destination restaurant that people will seek out.
I also believe that not wasting money on advertising and instead relying on word of mouth speaks volumes to the credibility of this concept.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't matter where the location is, in this day anybody would have a hard time surviving. I work in the building in front and there are many folks here also there are two schools Brown Mackie and Oglethorpe University. So don't count them out yet!

Anonymous said...

So much for the July opening!

Anonymous said...

Guess what? They're open! Drove by
Saturday night, cars out front, clients inside. Anybody go?

Anonymous said...

Just had lunch there. Not bad, prices are in the $7 - $9 range and the food was great. Best part is that it is a smaller place than Hudson's and open to 2:00 am except Sunday. This part of town has been hurting for a place that was casual and open late with good food. www.slacksatlanta.com