Friday, April 1, 2011

Baba Louz a Bust on Broad Street

Baba Louz Cafe at 66 Broad Street in downtown Atlanta has closed. Running an errand in the area, I noticed a "For Lease" sign in the window and the place was pretty cleared out, making it seem like they have been gone for at least a couple of weeks. The restaurant opened in the spring of 2010, and early on seemed to struggle for customers. Nearly every day, like clockwork, an employee would be on the street (outside the restaurant) offering coupons and samples. Broad Street is frequented by nearby Georgia State University students and the restaurant, like many in the area, offered a student discount.

Having given the place a try, I'd be lying if I said the food was good. It was as if the owner wanted to be another Michael's Deli (located next door) and offer a wide variety of foods one might not normally see under one roof. Falafel sandwiches , bourbon chicken and cornbread were among the offerings at the restaurant. Unlike Michael's, which serves gyros to subs to chicken biscuits, all decent in price, quality and taste, Baba Louz seemed more like an Asian mall eatery in terms of quality, price and taste.

Nearby Ali Baba Mediterranean has quite possibly the best falafel sandwich downtown, but not as good as the no longer secret Best Bread Baking Co. in Chamblee.

I added Baba Louz to the DeathWatch this past January and said I would be surprised to see them last into the fall, most likely closing before the end of the spring semester (May.) For the fifth time since January, my prediction was accurate.

As one door closes, another opens as not far away. In the vacant Bruster's Ice Cream, Jimmy Johns will open in the coming months. No word yet on what may take the Baba Louz space but hopefully it won't be burgers or fro-yo!

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Anonymous said...

There was a pretty good mix of restaurants on Broad Street. What do you think the area is missing that would be successful?

A pub would be great, especially with the college right there.

Anonymous said...

Why not burgers? There aren't a ton of burger options downtown...with the exception of Googie Burger 9and Wendys/Checkers/etc....yuck). Grindhouse is too far to walk for most based on the other side of Farlie Poplar from GSU. I'd kill for a good burger shop on Broad...even a 5 guys.

I'd also like to see some places try to open for dinner...someone has to try, right? Something like a DePalmas in Athens...a lunch/dinner spot that might start moving the area forward as far as a day and night location.

Anonymous said...

With meehans, juke joint, and cafe intermezzo coming down peachtree area, dinner options are inching closer to Farlie Poplar & GSU.

Anonymous said...

Pub's already there in the form of Sidebar. Plus there's not much area for a full service sitdown eatery on the block. Jimmy Johns is interesting figuring the block already has Quiznos, Subway, and Michael's. JJ's is the best of the 3 IMO, but that's a lot of competition for the block.