It's only June, and we have already witnessed dozens of restaurant, retail and hotel openings and closings in the Atlanta area, and not all of it has been good. There has been some promising news and the list that follows is my now quarterly segment on ToNeTo Atlanta: BirthWatch, meant to catch you up on the progress of new developments...
5 Napkin Burger (Midtown) Currently a 4 unit chain out of New York, 5 Napkin Burger has plans to add locations in Atlanta and Miami. The Atlanta location will be where Nickiemoto's recently closed at the corner of Piedmont Avenue and 10th Street. Earlier this year, a restaurant representative reached for comment in New York stated that they planned to open by mid-to-late June. As of last week, the current hope is that they will open towards late July / early August.
Another Broken Egg Cafe (Peachtree Battle) Destin, Florida-based Another Broken Egg Cafe will enter the Atlanta market with a location in Peachtree Battle Shopping Center. Opening in the former Savor Specialty Foods, the space will go through an extensive renovation. Latest word from the powers that be is that the restaurant is aiming for a mid June opening.
Baci Restaurant & Bar by Cafe at Pharr (TOWN Brookhaven) Originally set to be a Cafe at Pharr, ownership has opted to go higher end with a new concept. According to a restaurant representative, Baci will be open for both lunch and dinner and feature a larger menu and be more family friendly. The tentative opening is "late summer."
Barcelona Wine Bar & Restaurant (Inman Park)-Taking the space of Zaya Mediterranean Restaurant on N. Highland Avenue, Connecticut-based Barcelona Restaurant & Wine Bar planned to open by the end of 2010, but decided that the existing build-out did not fit their needs. With plans to revamp the entire space, work has only recently begun. Currently the ownership group hopes to open by early/mid August.
Bell Street Burritos (Intown) Having opened their original location in the Sweet Auburn Curb Market last year, a second location will be added later this year i
n EAV. This "bricks & mortar" location is to occupy an old Wachovia bank and be aimed at families in the area. A company representative reached for comment on the location and opening acted like I was asking for his Social Security number and his first-born, along with the KFC and Coca-Cola secret recipes. He was of little help. Given all that has to be done, it's likely you won't see them open much before early August. Bell Street Burritos owner Matt Hinton contacted me to inform me that Bell Street Burritos will NOT open in the old Wachovia bank in EAV. He hopes to have a new location open in the coming months but a site has not been finalized.
Boardwalk Fresh Burgers & Fries (Ansley Mall) With zero work having been done on the space thus far (aside from a nylon sign in the window), a restaurant representative claims they will magically be open by the end of June / mid July.
Cacao Atlanta Chocolate Co. (Virginia-Highland) Already with locations in Inman Park and Buckhead, Cacao's owner Kristen Hard will open her third location at the end of July. Taking over the space previously occupied by Juicy Green, Cacao VaHi is well located in one of Atlanta's most popular intown neighborhoods.
Cakes & Ale (Decatur) -Originally I had been told that they were going to expand in their current space on West Ponce; instead they will move to Church Street just outside of the Decatur MARTA station. While I personally would have stayed put and expanded, apparently they think that they can increase revenue enough to warrant the relocation and extensive build-out. In February they planned to open sometime in May, but have since said they hope to open in mid July.
Chicken and The Egg (Marietta) Marc Taft, formerly of Pacci Ristorante at the Palomar Hhotel will soon open Chicken and The Egg. He describes it as "approachable modern farmstead fare." The restaurant is currently slated for an August 1st opening.
Cibo E Beve (Sandy Springs) The group behind 101 Concepts will open Cibo E Beve (Food and Drink in Italian) in the shuttered Crown & Anchor bar on Roswell Road. Crown & Anchor was a few doors down from the groups original Food 101 restaurant and across the street from the Kroger-anchored Fountain Oaks Shopping Center. The restaurant will feature Italian cuisine and local design firm A13 will assist in the design of the restaurant. A restaurant representative claims the restaurant should be open by early August.
Cowlicks yogurt+floats (Dunwoody) The clown posse over at Big Game Brands is attempting to capitalize on the yogurt craze, a little late. Having opened their first Cowlicks location a few weeks ago in a shuttered Planet Smoothie, they will do the same in Dunwoody. "Battling the city of Sandy Springs," an employee at their Vinings location indicated they hope to open by late July. Sadly, like many yogurt shops in town, their product is sourced from Portland-based YoCream, now a wholly owned subsidiary of Dannon. Given their fairly high price per ounce of .45, generic product and late arrival, I don't expect this chain to last long. Props, however, for creating some bogus, juvenile story about Bella the cow and the creation of Cowlicks. NOT.
Del Taco (Snellville/Scenic Highway) Del Taco, a chain gone from Atlanta for years, will soon re-emerge in the Atlanta area with their opening in Snellville. Once paired with Mrs. Winner's Chicken, the new locations will be single concept and appear to be reminiscent of new style El Pollo Loco restaurants in Atlanta. A corporate representative indicates that the Snellville location will hopefully be open by September 1st. While the Snellville location will be corporately owned and operated, franchised locations in Oakwood near Lake Lanier and in Douglasville near Arbor Place Mall are planned to open early next year.
Farm Burger (Buckhead-Tower Place) While I originally reported this location on this site in February, only recently have other media picked up on the project. (Guess the building permit and fencing around the space for weeks was a good clue.) As of now, owner George Frangos hopes to be open by Labor Day, but judging from the space, that may be overly optimistic.
Frank Ski's (South Buckhead/Bennett Street) V-103 morning show co-host Frank Ski will open his namesake restaurant later this fall in South Buckhead. Most recently the space was Thirsty Dog Tavern, and has been many other concepts over the years. My money's on the food being nothing special but Ski still managing to make a successful entry into the restaurant business.
Genghis Grill (Camp Creek/ Alpharetta) -Dallas, Texas based Genghis Grill, "The Mongolian Stir Fry," is starting to heat up the Atlanta market. Genghis Grill has plans to open a total of 10 locations in Atlanta over the next 18 months. Currently the chain has locations in Buford at the Mall of Georgia, in Dunwoody near Perimeter Mall and in South Buckhead near Piedmont Hospital. The chain is preparing to open in Alpharetta and Camp Creek in the coming months and is scouting additional sites in Athens, Marietta and Kennesaw, among others. In Alpharetta, Genghis Grill will open on Windward Parkway, near the recently opened Which Wich and across the street from Costco Wholesale.
Harbour Bar (Decatur) The folks behind Napoleon's Grill in Oak Grove will now open in actual Decatur (h/t to Carl.) The new restaurant should be open by early fall.
HD (Poncey-Highlands) New overpriced hot dog joint coming soon to former San Francisco Coffee space on Highland Avenue. Sadly still scheduled to open in the coming months.
Jack's New Yorker Deli ( Buckhead / Terminus 200) With locations already open in Smyrna, Marietta and John's Creek, Jack's will now open ITP in the heart of Buckhead. The restaurant will supposedly open in July but I'm not holding my breath. (For many, this now chain concept is a far cry from replacing neighborhood favorite "New Yorker Marketplace & Deli" on Pharr Road that mysteriously closed a few weeks ago.)
Kitsch'n 155 (Decatur/Emory) Originally scheduled to open by Memorial Day, they are currently targeting a June 8th opening.
La Parrilla (Toco Hills) La Parrilla will open their 15th Atlanta area location later this spring in Toco Hills. Taking a portion of the former Edo restaurant, renovations are underway and I was told back in February they would be open in May. With an opening clearly not imminent, I'm now told they hope to be open in August.
LeRoy's Fried Chicken (West Midtown) Originally said to become a Westside outpost of Three on The Tree, LeRoy's will open instead and be a carry-out only chicken joint. Serving up a variety of other southern favorites as well, I'm told you can expect to see them open by the end of the month.
Lure (Midtown) Fifth Group will open Lure, a seafood concept in the former Vickery's space. Having started their first restaurant, South City Kitchen, a few blocks away on Crescent Avenue 18 years ago, and with Ecco not far away, midtown is an area in which Fifth Group has thrived. Currently scheduled to open in early 2012, it would seem work would pick up on Lure once Fifth Group's as yet unnamed Mexican eatery at 191 opens later this fall.
Maki Fresh (Peachtree Battle) John Cassimus, founder of Zoës Kitchen, will open the second location of his new Asian concept, Maki Fresh in the former Bonehead's Grilled Fish & Piri Piri Chicken in Peachtree Battle Shopping Center. This location will join an existing Zoës in the shopping center and the original Maki Fresh in Birmingham. Management was uninformative as to an opening timetable. Best I can tell, expect it open by year end. According to their Facebook page "Use the self-serve Sushi Kiosk to be in and out in 1 minute or less," I am already skeptical this will work well.
Mirko Pasta (North Buckhead) Mirko Pasta will take over the shuttered Ribs Etc. at 4233 Roswell Road in North Buckhead, a rather large structure just north of Piedmont Road adjacent to Chastain Square shopping center. In addition to the Buckhead Mirko, another location is planned for Merchant's Walk and another in Toco Hills. All three locations were said to be opening early spring but now seem more on track for late fall.
Morelli's Gourmet Ice Cream and Desserts (Edgewood Retail District) Originally scheduled to open June 4th, the opening was pushed yesterday to a new, as yet unannounced date. The new 1,500-square foot store, formerly a Cold Stone Creamery, also contains a milkshake bar and a sundae bar with rotating selections created by Woodfire Grill’s Kevin Gillespie, who is also a partner in this new Morelli’s location.
Ocean Prime (Buckhead) Columbus Ohio-based Cameron Mitchell plans to open the ninth Ocean Prime restaurant in Buckhead late this fall. With little visible work having been done, I guess I'll stick with "fall" as it's hard to guesstimate given the lack of progress.
Olive Bistro (TOWN Brookhaven) TOWN Brookhaven will be the third location for locally owned Olive Bistro. Currently the Mediterranean eatery has locations in Midtown and Vinings. I'm told they hope to have the new location open by late June.
Panera Bread (Ansley Mall) Panera Bread will open this upcoming Tuesday, June 7th in Ansley Mall.
Red Mango (Howell Mill)-The third area location for this import FroYo, they reported they'd open before May. With no work done, I'd give em till at least late June.
Seed Kitchen & Bar (East Cobb-Merchant's Walk) - In January Doug Turbush left Buckhead Life's Bluepointe restaurant where he was Executive Chef and will soon open a new Farm-to-Table restaurant at Merchants Walk in East Cobb. Originally to be called Heirloom Kitchen & Bar, Turbush opted for a name change to avoid confusion with Heirloom Market BBQ, a new restaurant not far from Cumberland Mall. Now called Seed Kitchen & Bar, the restaurant will open adjacent to the coming Whole Foods, with both expected to open in late July.
Smashburger (Lindbergh) While original word of Smashburger's intentions for Atlanta came nearly two years ago, their first location will open the first week in July in the former Fatburger in the Buckhead Crossing Shopping Center. It will be followed by locations in Alpharetta and Johns Creek.
Stir Crazy (TOWN Brookhaven) With their space not even built yet, it will be some time before they actually open. My best guess at this point is that they will open late summer or early fall.
STK / STK OUT (Midtown) -New York-based "The One Group" is slated to open two concepts at 1075 Peachtree late this fall. STK, its signature upscale steakhouse on the Peachtree Street side, and "STK OUT," a new, more casual concept on the corner of 12th and Peachtree. The two concepts will be in a single subdivided space, encompassing a total of 12,000 s/f on two levels. While both were to open by December of last year, work only recently began. Disputes about over-budget costs led T.O.G., the developers Daniel Corp and Selig to delay work. Scott Selig told me last week at ICSC that both restaurants will open late this fall.
Swirll (North Buckhead) Houston, Texas-based Swirll will open their first Atlanta area location in the coming months. Located within the Roswell-Wieuca Shopping Center, Swirll joins a number of existing yogurt shops in the immediate area. Just north of Piedmont Road in Tuxedo Festival, LA-based Menchie's opened last year, north on Roswell, Jujubees is located in Chastain Square Shopping Center and adjacent to the upcoming Swirll, my personal favorite, Three on the Tree, has been open since last summer. My research indicates Swirll charges .43 per ounce, whereas Three on the Tree charges only .39. Menchie's charges .44 and last I checked, Jujubees was not self serve. While building permits have been filed, no visible work has been done.
The Barrelhouse (Midtown-Technology Square) Being opened by James Brooks of EAV's Graveyard Tavern, the Barrelhouse is taking space vacated by St. Charles Deli. (St. Charles Deli downsized and moved closer to Waffle House.) With renovations underway, I was told in January they hoped to be open by late April. I was more recently told they will open "sometime in June."
The Flying Biscuit Cafe (TOWN Brookhaven and Peachtree City) Watered down and cookie cutter version of old favorite opening soon in a strip mall near you. Next...?
Tsunami Taqueria (South Buckhead) This poorly named taqueria will soon open in the former Toulouse restaurant space along Peachtree, just south of Peachtree Battle. I award this restaurant, "Most Likely to Fail."
Twisted Taco (Johns Creek) I was told in January they hoped to be open by the end of March or early April.
On May 12th, the following statement was left by a Twisted Taco rep on their Facebook page in response to a would be patron, angry over the delayed opening: "Opening a restaurant involves building contracts, passing government inspections, and obtaining licenses. These stipulations are outside of the control of the Franchise and dictated by your local government and authorities. When these hurdles are crossed I can give you a better answer to your question."
Urban Flats (Lindbergh City Center) With little interior work to be done as its just another owner re-opening the same concept, this place should open within a month or so.
Verde Taqueria (South Buckhead) - Having one location under their belt in Brookhaven, the owner of Verde pounced on the opportunity to open in the old Fox and Hounds on Collier Road. While Verde was quick to snap up the Collier location, work on it has progressed a little slower. I'm now told they hope to open in early July.
Which Wich (TOWN Brookhaven) With construction still underway on the actual building in which Which Wich will be located, I'm told the restaurant plans to be open by mid/late August.
Wrecking Bar Brewpub (Inman Park) This new bar and restaurant will open June 19 in the former basement of the historic Victor H. Kriegshaber House located at the cusp of Atlanta’s Little Five Points and Inman Park. The menu will feature plenty of craft beers as well as beer infused foods such as Beer & Cheese Soup with smoked Gouda and house-brewed beer, Braised Beef Short Ribs in stout with stone-ground green chili grits.
Yoforia (Multiple locations in GA, NC and SC) -With a growing number of FroYo joints in town, local joint Yoforia is keeping pace, having recently added locations in Sandy Springs and Dunwoody. In the coming months, they plan to open locations in a number of areas around Atlanta including Buckhead, Midtown and Kennesaw, among others. Additionally, the chain will continue its expansion into North and South Carolina, adding locations Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Greensboro and Charleston, among others. Oddly, most of the locations listed as "coming soon" without any actual addresses provided. The one exception is the midtown location. This week I learned it will open at 985 Monroe Drive, near Grady High school in the shopping center with Arden's Garden and Mediterranean Grill. With a lease just recently signed, look for Yoforia midtown to open in a few months.
Yogurtland (Forum Norcross) With their first location in Paces Ferry Plaza Shopping Center now open, Yogurtland's local franchisee Rick Evans will soon begin work on his second location. Located within the Forum in Norcross, this will be Evan's 2nd of six planned locations in the metro area. With a proprietary product and a .33 per ounce price point, Yogurtland seems well positioned for growth and success against area competitors. The plan is to have the Forum location open with 90 days.
Yogli Mogli (Multiple locations) -Yogli Mogli, a local purveyor of the ever popular Fro-Yo, will be opening multiple additional locations in Georgia in the coming months. Yogli Mogli opened its first location at
6595 Roswell Road in Abernathy Square near the intersection of Abernathy and Roswell Roads in 2008. Soon they will add locations in Buckhead, Kennesaw, Woodstock and Snellville.
Your Pie (Multiple locations) -Athens-based Your Pie will add a number of new locations, among them Marietta and Alpharetta. The chain is also entering Florida with locations in Tampa, and South Carolina with a location in Greenville. Thus far, no ITP locations have been announced, but I consider it likely, based on the results in Marietta and Alpharetta.
Yum Bunz (Metro Atlanta) Mike Blum, founder of the original, The Real Chow Baby left the baby and the bowls behind to launch this new concept. Similar to Lettuce Entertain You's "WOW BAO" from Chicago, Yum Bunz will feature "Bao", a favorite food in Asia. The "Bao" are puffed bread filled with vegetables, meats and in some cases sweets. Blum has no location(s) finalized but hopes to have at least one intown store open by late fall.
Zaxby's (Buckhead and Chamblee)-I broke news that Zaxby's would open both of these locations by year end (2010) . While the outparcel site on Peachtree (Industrial) Blvd. has seen no work, the site on Roswell is finally under construction and should open by the end of the month.
No. 246 (Decatur) -Chef Ford Fry of JCT Kitchen on the Westside will open his casual Italian eatery in the old Eurasia Bistro on Ponce de Leon in Decatur. Drew Belline, longtime chef at Floataway Cafe, left his post to be Executive Chef at the new eatery. Sources tell me the restaurant will open in mid June.
Unnamed Fifth Group Tex-Mex and "Mexican inspired" concept in former Il Mulino (Downtown - 191 Building) Fifth Group may be looking to resurrect its Sala concept from VaHi with this new concept. Sala was located where The Original El Taco is now, and offered food similar to what is being described for the new space. Ai3 is assisting in design and the group is targeting a fall opening.
Unnamed Art Smith eatery within the InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta (Buckhead) In April I broke news that Au Pied de Cochon at the InterContinental would make way for an as yet unnamed eatery to be helmed by Art Smith. There is still no name but I'm told work should begin next month and that the new restaurant will open in September.
Adidas (Buckhead-Lenox Square) Adidas will open its second location in Lenox Square in the coming months. Already with an "Originals" location on the lower level near Urban Outfitters, the brand will add a second store on the upper level where Puma recently closed. This new location is scheduled to open in late July and will be a new concept store. It will feature the brand's performance apparel and assorted other items.
Arhaus (Buckhead - Phipps Plaza) -Arhaus Furniture, a Ohio based environmentally conscious company, will open their 15th location and first in Georgia at Phipps Plaza later this fall. Arhaus will be 17,000 s/f and be located on the Lenox Road side, near the new Davio's. The store will be two levels with its own elevator. The store will occupy a number of spaces including Bijou, Atlanta Dental Spa, Monarch Watches & Estate Jewelry, and the shuttered American Cafe space on the upper level.
Bottega Veneta (Buckhead - Phipps Plaza) Phipps Plaza was less than helpful in offering details as to their opening. With work on the space moving especially slowly, my best guess is to not guess. Opening timetable remains a mystery.
Free People ( Buckhead /Lenox Square) Free People will finally open one of their own boutiques in Atlanta. Taking over the short lived PH8 space at Lenox Square, I'm told the store will be open in early fall.
Henri Bendel (Buckhead / Lenox Square) Limited Brands has opted to replace a portion of what was their largest Victoria's Secret in the region with Atlanta's first Henri Bendel. A sales representative at the store claims the store will be open in late July.
Madewell (Dunwoody-Perimeter Mall) It's listed as "coming soon" on the Perimeter Mall site but no one seems to know anything. The store opening remains a rumor in some circles despite it being on the Perimeter Mall site. I'd guess they open around September.
Prada (Buckhead-Lenox Square) -The new Prada store was once rumored to be opening as part of the Midtown Mile, but it seems they came to their senses and opted for Lenox Square instead. The new boutique will open where Godiva Chocolatier recently relocated from: the cusp of the Luxury Wing. Work began in earnest a few weeks ago and with the neighboring Microsoft Store now open, I'd hope to see Prada open by mid/late July.
ROAD RUNNER Sports (North Buckhead/Chastain Park) San Diego-based ROAD RUNNER Sports will open their first Atlanta area location late this summer on Roswell Road near Chastain Park.
Von Maur (Alpharetta-North Point Mall) Recently work began on the exterior of the building, leading me to believe they are serious. Could a fall opening still be in the cards?
Whole Foods ( East Cobb/Merchant's Walk) Whole Foods will open their 6th namesake market at Merchant's Walk at the end of July.
XXI (Buckhead-Lenox Square)-The flagship store from cheap chic retailer Forever 21, XXI will be a mammoth store at Lenox Square. A significant portion of what will be their space is currently public area, although they will also occupy the current Restoration Hardware, Steve Madden, and DASS Salon spaces along with the former Ann Taylor space and two smaller spaces. According to Lenox Square representatives, the store will open late this fall.
Z Gallerie (Dunwoody/Perimeter Mall) I already covered the strange opening and closings of this chain in an earlier post. Scheduled to (re) open at Perimeter Mall in a different location late this summer.
Holiday Inn Express (Downtown) The abandoned Centennial Inn on Cone Street is being renovated and remodeled and will open late this fall as a Holiday Inn Express. Currently the hotel's reservation system is accepting reservations for arrivals after October 20th.
Buckhead Pizza Co. (Cobb Galleria)
Cafe at Pharr (Westside)
Chick Fil A (Northlake Festival)
Double Zero Napoletana ( Sandy Springs)
El Escorpión (Midtown)
Grindhouse Killer Burger (Midtown)
Mad Dog Taqueria (Emory Village)
One Eared Stag (Inman Park)
Pig - N- Chick (Emory / Sage Hill)
The Big Tex Cantina (Decatur)
The Varsity (Dawsonville)
Three Dollar Cafe (Embry Village)
L.K. Bennett (Buckhead / Phipps Plaza)
Love Culture (Perimeter Mall)
Microsoft Store ( Buckhead - Lenox Square)
Comfort Suites (Downtown)
As always, I'm human and perhaps I missed something, maybe you're opening something, either way, leave me a comment and give me your thoughts.