Local restaurateur Mike Blum, founder of The Real Chow Baby on Howell Mill, is getting back to the basics and re-branding his restaurant. Quick history being this... he opened The Real Chow Baby on Howell Mill Road in West Midtown in April 2005 with 3500 square feet. Seeing the huge demand for his concept and the distance customers were traveling to dine with him, he thought bigger, and took over what had been a Ruby Tuesday restaurant at the Galleria in Cobb county. With close to 10,000 square feet, two stir fry lines and private dining, Chow Baby at the Galleria opened in August 2008. In August 2009, Blum and his partners in Red Restaurant Ventures sold their interest in the Howell Mill location to Sam Joyner.
Now, wanting again to have his own brand to market and grow, Blum has rebranded and renamed the concept he started and plans to grow the Big Chow Grill, concentrating on locally sourced ingredients and a wider variety of high quality meats. I spoke to Blum this week, and while he says there is no ill will between he and Mr. Joyner, he could not continue working on a brand he no longer controlled. You see, when he sold Howell Mill, the original 'baby" if you will, he was then licensing the name from Mr. Joyner to operate at the Galleria. Blum noted that he and his team have high hopes for their new concept and plan to target college markets first for regional expansion. Most likely to be a first? Athens, GA.
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