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.