Thursday, March 3, 2011

Saskatoon Suffers Slow Death In Buckhead

Having opened February 2010, Saskatoon restaurant in Buckhead closed for good sometime last month. I say "sometime" as, similar to Larisa Glazirani's closure at the Realm building last month, the business was far from popular and operated under limited business hours, so it's hard to determine an exact closure date.

I broke news of their opening in Buckhead in the fall of 2009, and immediately called them out for not having done their research on the area. The restaurant was placed on DeathWatch after opening, and I stated on this past edition that they would not last past the end of February, and it seems I was correct. Serving meats like elk and venison was not gonna fly in Buckhead, and clearly they didn't. The restaurant was a franchise of the original location in Greenville, South Carolina, was never busy and was panned by local food critics.

The space at 360 Pharr Road in the street level retail space of the Alexan apartments was originally built to be "Tib's Grill," a concept by Atlanta-based AFC Enterprises, that was scrapped prior to opening. The space later became the Buckhead location of Spondivit's, an institution on the Southside for years. A rumored e. Coli breakout led to their closure in Buckhead, and the restaurant remained closed for years. In October 2008, a franchised location of Athens-based Harry Bissett's opened, but closed in April of the following year.

So, having started with a concept that was killed off before opening, to now a restaurant that was open for nearly a year, one might call this progress. While I live near Emory myself, I work in Buckhead and have many friends who live in and around the Alexan property. The number one request from them, and for that matter, the concept mentioned on repeated blog posts, is a casual sports bar of some sort. The consensus seems to be that people much prefer casual to white tablecloth.

While nothing is set in stone, I'm told there are two possible concepts in talks to open in the space. One, a sports bar, and the other, a casual seafood concept. Both restaurant groups are said to be established operators, something the previous two groups lacked. Whoever ends up opening, hopefully they can once and for all find success in this challenging restaurant space.

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2 comments:

BatGirl said...

I am among those who you mention have requested/suggested that a sports bar would be ideal for that location. Can someone please finally see what's obvious and go with it? Merely a stone's throw from Buckhead Bottle Bar in one direction and Elbow Room in the other, I wouldn't mind being a Buckhead-pedestrian in this situation. :)

Bill O' Really said...

Is this post about Saskatoon, or you? Because really, nobody cares.