I received confirmation late last night that Barcelona Wine Bar & Restaurant will open in the recently closed Zaya Restaurant in Inman Park. Barcelona Wine Bar & Restaurant is based in Connecticut, with six locations across the state. Atlanta will be the restaurant groups first expansion outside of their home state, and the opening is planned in about 6 to 8 months. I had called the restaurant group a "chain," but Barcelona co-founder Andy Pforzheimer corrected me, saying "each of our restaurants has a completely different look, different menus, different music, a different crowd completely." I'm hopeful this uniqueness, a non "cookie-cutter" approach, will appeal to the intown crowd.
I'm told that the wine bar of Barcelona is quite nice, but that the Spanish tapas are really what sets the place apart. A Barcelona representative told me that they looked at The Grape space next door but were beaten out by its current tenant. While little else is known locally about the concept at this time, executives of the chain have spent time in Atlanta's dining scene and had been looking for an Atlanta location for some time. Scott Lawton, Barcelona's Director of Operations, graduated UGA and the Art Institute, spent time at Chops, the Atlanta Fish Market and McKendrick's Steakhouse. Adam Halberg, Barcelona's Executive Chef, also graduated the Art Institute and spent time at La Grotta Ristorante Italiano. Expect more on this story in the coming weeks and months, as it's likely work will begin shortly. ToNeTo Atlanta
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