Having opened Lakeview Bistro last year in Alpharetta, and Venice Pizza in an adjacent space earlier this year, Jerusalem-born Mediterranean food vet Omar Nasser will open Harvest Bistro in the shuttered Au Bon Pain at 30 Allen Plaza in downtown Atlanta. (pictured at right) Lakeview Bistro offers breakfast lunch and dinner with a mix of traditional dishes such as chicken pressed pita, reubens and Mediterranean dishes such as gyros and falafels. Scheduled to open early-to-mid November, the offerings will be similar to that of Lakeview Bistro but Harvest will offer more traditional American items such as Philly cheesesteaks and burgers. Additionally, I'm told the restaurant will have an in- house market of some sort. Seemingly having a knack for re-concepting shuttered space, Nasser located Lakeview Bistro in a former Caribou Coffee in Alpharetta.
With luck his combination of American favorites and Mediterranean dishes will be well liked by the white collar workers in the area. Though no one spoke officially when they closed, Au Bon Pain may have closed more so because of financial issues by the franchisee than from poor sales. (From a reader submitted photo you can see their equipment and fixtures brought to the curb as though they were evicted) Panchero's Mexican Grill opened across the street in the lobby level of Twelve Centennial but closed less than a year later. Additionally, FAB appears to have gotten a spike in interest not because the food is that great but because it was a scene of a now notorious wig incident from season 2 of "The Real Housewives of Atlanta". Mellow Mushroom, which opened a large location at the corner of Spring St. and Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd has experienced trouble in attracting guests after the steady lunchtime hours. Insulated slightly by their willingness to deliver as few as 1 sandwich, Jimmy Johns seems to be faring OK in a space adjacent to the vacant Panchero's.It will definitely be interesting to see how this new concept fares in the big city, I'll be sure to check out their falafel if nothing else as a good falafel downtown is hard to come by. ToNeTo Atlanta