Saturday, December 24, 2011

FOX Sports Grill and City Sports to Shutter at Atlantic Station

Atlantic Station's FOX Sports Grill and City Sports will both close effective January 1st, confirms North American Properties managing partner Mark Toro.  While Toro continues to deny that a deal is in the works to bring Neiman Marcus's new Last Call Studio store to the the same space these two businesses now leave empty, I feel that the pieces are falling into place.

FOX Sports Grill opened in October 2005, followed shortly after by City Sports.  They were among the early openings of Atlantic Station.  FOX Sports Grill, based in Westlake Village, California, first experienced some difficulty in 2008 when its then parent company B&B Restaurant Ventures LLC. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.  Luckily though, the location at Atlantic Station along with another west coast location were kept open and were both purchased by an original investor of the concept.  Now though, with new Atlantic Station owners looking to overhaul the massive intown project, FOX Sports Grill is leaving, the exact reason unknown.  They had been mentioned as early as last year as a potential location for Legoland, which  opted to open at Phipps Plaza instead.  At the time, talk was that FOX Sports would relocate to the Geisha House space.  Instead, Geisha House's space sits empty, and across from it, in the former Dolce, Irvine, California-based Yard House, similar in price and cuisine to FOX Sports, will open this April. I was told earlier this month that North American was pushing FOX Sports out, as they, unlike the Dolce group of restaurants, were paying rent.  Whether this is true remains a mystery.

As far as City Sports goes, it seems they never caught on locally and as a result, have no plans to replace the Atlanta location elsewhere in the city.

With the success of the Regal Cinemas, the largest draw to Atlantic Station, these two closings open up what should be prime real estate for someone, Neiman Marcus Last Call Studio or not.

What do you think should open here?  What is Atlantic Station missing?  Have you visited the center for anyone other than H&M, Publix or Regal Cinemas?  Take a moment and weigh in, share your thoughts and gimme your two cents.

Like what you see? Follow me on twitter and like me on facebook

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

I WISH ATLANTIC STATION COULD BE USED FOR NUCLEAR TESTING

Anonymous said...

Fox Sports Grill was the worst excuse for a sports bar that I've ever seen. Good riddance.

Anonymous said...

FOX HAS BEEN SHITTY SINCE THE BEGINNING OF TIME WHY DID IT TAKE THIS LONG

Anonymous said...

Interesting. Wasn't Toro denying the closures just last week.

Atlantan99 said...

@Anon,

Yes, it seems Mr. Toro has changed his tune as it relates to the accuracy of my (earlier) post. I Doubt I'll ever get him to agree that they still don't have the right mix there, but here's to hoping!

Anonymous said...

Fox Sports is leaving because it does not fit into the "Let's try to change the entire demographic of Atlanta within Atlantic Station" a.k.a. "Get Rid of the African Americans."

As far at Mr. Toro not "working with You" it is because you don't kiss his ass like "that other site" and report the facts.

Anonymous said...

I love City Sports and as many "City Sports Atlanta" shirts that I see around town, I am sure they would do well at another location. The one in DC is in Chinatown...maybe they could open up in the Buckhead area somewhere.

Atlantan99 said...

@ Anon,

As I said, Yard House is a very similar restaurant and as a result may very well attract one demographic more than another.

As far as Toro goes, it's not matter of ass kissing, just a refusal on his part to be fair and reasonable. As far as that "other site" goes, I've been told that Toro is financially compensating its administrator to blog positively about Atlantic Station. I have and will continue to blog about developments in Atlanta's retail, restaurant and hotel industries including both hard facts and my opinions in posts.

Atlantan99 said...

@Anon,

I have to be honest, I never saw THAT many City Sports Atlanta shirts, nor do I think the store was doing well overall. Their stores up north are closer to colleges and are in busy metropolitan areas, and serve a certain consumer. I could be wrong but with stores like DEKA and ROAD RUNNER Sports along with The Sports Authority and Dicks already in Buckhead, they would not make it.

Thanks for the comment and for reading the blog!

Anonymous said...

You've "been told" that the other site's admin is being compensated? That's a heavy charge.

Meanwhile, the Fox Sports grille is a spot for thugs and morons. African American or not. Good riddance.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see a Sweetwater Brewery type restaurant to take over Fox Sports Grill..it'd attract the type of consumer AS is looking for now and would be a unique restaurant to bring people in.

Anonymous said...

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Unfortunately, Mr. Toro is not correct in his comments quoted in this article. City Sports nor Fox Sports Grill will be closing on January 1, 2012. Please patronize both establishments on January 1, 2012 as both will be open for business.

Fiasco said...

The Atlantic Station honchos need to convince a top local chef to branch out there. That'd be a pretty profound statement. Maybe Rathbun? Maybe the Woodfire Grill guy? Wasn't he trying to open an upscale barbecue joint (oxymoron alert) at some point? And yes, the Sweetwater restaurant concept would be wise, too.

Atlantan99 said...

2 Anon,

I don't know who you are but City Sports confirmed by phone they will be closing at Atlantic Station effective January 1. FOX Sports may be open past the first, but I'd advise against a Valentine's Day reservation there for a more than the normal reasons.

Thanks for reading the blog.

Atlantan99 said...

@Fiasco,

It's a great idea to bring a local chef to Atlantic Station, but it will NEVER happen. Richard Blais could have opened ANYWHERE... and he chose a seemingly restaurant cursed space in midtown over a number of other options, including but not limited to AS. Rathbun would be crazy to open at AS as would basically any other notable chef. Rathbun has almost single-handedly made Inman Park what it is today. And the various chefs of the nearby West Midtown would never open in AS, EVER!

A local boutique is one thing but restaurants are totally different, especially chef-driven local concepts. Ponce City Market offers the most dynamic option for new concepts and will do surely be able to land who they want. Buckhead Atlanta, with such a great location, will probably do OK as well. Atlantic Station MIGHT (if lucky) get those that both other projects pass on or reject.

Anonymous said...

I think the Neiman Marcus Last Call Studio would be a good fit for Atlantic Station.

Let's face it... it's never going to be like "Virginia Highlands" or "Little 5 Points" and that is fine! Some local shops and restaurants are fine, but it also needs new to market stores and restaurants like Yard House and Neiman Marcus Last Call Studio to attract people there... places you can't go to elsewhere in Atlanta.

Also, it's not about removing African Americans... it's about not letting Atlantic Station turn into another Underground full of thugs and idiots.

It's definitely gotten better in the last few months and I appreciate Toro's no BS attitude... he has a plan, it's working and he is sticking to it. FOX Sports Grill closing is not a surprise and many people requested it when they reached out on social networking sites.

Anonymous said...

They should get REI to build a store next to Dillard's. The Neiman Marcus Last Call Studio would also be a good choice.

Anonymous said...

Atlantic Station need to keep the tenants that residents "customers" want. This was not built to be a commuter center and it never will be. We live here. We like Fox Sports, we like City Sports. The others won't make it either. You'll see..

Anonymous said...

"we like fox sports"

HA. You must be one of the three thugs that hang out/work there.

OO said...

City Sports might have been a better fit for one of the many empty street-level retail spaces in midtown or even downtown.

Both the Chinatown and 19th Street locations in DC seemed to be doing well when I lived there. But they also had the advantage of being near transit stations, right on the street and in high-density areas with constant foot traffic.

Anonymous said...

AS continues to be primarily a tourist stop. Yard House will be a good fit. They are in the Shops at Gulfstream, the horse track/casino/retail behemoth just north of Aventura in south Flori-duh. Locals will always use AS as the landmark that they pass on the way to IKEA.

Atlantan99 said...

UPDATE : City Sports will close tomorrow the 1st but FOX Sports Grill is not scheduled to close until the 15th.

Anonymous said...

Atlantic Station is a nice location, it's maintained pretty well and it suits my needs perfectly. I appreciate the fact that it's becoming more and more a cultural mixing pot as opposed to "the whites" in the daytime and "the blacks" in the evening. I used to live in NY and am accustomed to everyone being at the same place, at the same time, so the fact that Atlanta is transitioning and catching up to the rest of the world is nice. All of this OTP v. ITP and self-imposed racial segregation is ridiculous. Anywho, I mostly find myself headed there for Regal Cinemas, Strip, West Elm, Z Gallerie, Dillard's, Victoria Secrets, LOFT, K LA Boutique, LOFT, and sometimes CPK or Rosa Mexicano but those times are only at the insistence of others....

Anonymous said...

Mark Toro is doing an awesome job of creating a nice atmosphere at Atlantic Station. He bought the property along with his partners and can do what ever he wants... Keeping the punks that wear their pants by their knees out of Atlantic Station is great for the community. This is not about race - the Lobby Bar is frequented by many African Americans most of them live at Twelve and I have to tell you they are a class act. However, The Lobby Bar was full of punks and hookers years ago, but after being raided a few times the bar has changed. My girlfriend was one of the first to buy at Twelve and I have been frequenting Atlantic Station for over 4 years now. I almost punched some jerks for their out of order behavior at Fox Sports Grill before…. I have many friends who so call themselves liberals, but never meet us at the Lobby Bar. I do not look at people by the color of their skin, but I would judge them their actions… I can’t wait for the YardHouse to open so I could bring my friends to the rock bar there and then bar hop to the lobby with our friends who are Brothers (African Americans)… Mark Toro's no nonsense approach seems like a breath of fresh air and I am a huge fan - he really cares... written by J.P.

Anonymous said...

It never ends without the oppressive word "racism." The more things change, the more they stay the same. Most ever other state, at least on the upper east coast, has passed the words of whites, black, mexicans, etc. When are we going to do this in Georgia. I have travelled tomany states within the US and many other countries. I find this state so RACIST! Its always going to be the good ole boys state..Ugh!