Miami, Florida-based Lime Fresh Mexican Grill will soon have three locations in Atlanta and has plans for more. Having opened this week in the former Johnny Rockets on West Paces Ferry Road in Buckhead, the chain will open another location in the former Bakeshop on Peachtree Street in midtown. Their third location, about which I previously tweeted, will be in Peachtree Hills at Brookwood Square. All three of Lime's openings are in locations where an existing restaurant was, and Lime bought out their lease. In Peachtree Hills, Genghis Grill has only been open since March of last year, but will soon make way for Lime Fresh. (I knew Genghis Grill was not doing so well in this location, but was originally told Lime Fresh was opening in another space within the center)
Dallas, Texas-based Genghis Grill entered the Atlanta market in the fall of 2010 with its first store on Mall of Georgia Boulevard in Buford. The Peachtree Hills location soon followed, and later came a third location on Perimeter Center West in the R.E.I.-anchored shopping center. Other locations were announced but never opened in Alpharetta and Camp Creek, and I doubt either ever will. Their plan was to open a total of ten locations by late this year, but instead, they will soon be down to just two.
Lime Fresh has been expanding a lot of late, thanks in large part to a license agreement with Ruby Tuesday that gives the Maryville, Tennessee-based chain rights to expand the Mexican eatery. Thus far, Ruby Tuesday has only opened a handful of Lime locations, but plans to do up to 200 nationally, should their initial stores perform well.
Lime Fresh joins a crowded Atlanta market with now national brand Moe's Southwest Grill having started here, and expanding local chain Willy's Mexicana Grill with a growing number of locations. Additionally, Chipotle Mexican Grill opened two new locations recently and Qdoba and Baja Fresh have both re-entered the market, each with plans for additional locations.
Nearest to the Lime Fresh in Peachtree Hills is a Willy's Mexicana at Peachtree Battle, but that is not to say Lime Fresh won't do better than Genghis Grill. I have yet to visit the Buckhead location, but Floridian friends of mine rave about the quality of the product, something Genghis Grill lacked in comparison to other similar concepts. Peachtree Hills is definitely not as good a location as either Buckhead or Midtown, but it does offer the most parking of any of the spaces.
What is your favorite "Fresh Mex" or fast casual Mexican eatery in town? Have you tried Lime Fresh in Atlanta or elsewhere? Why do you think Genghis Grill has struggled in Atlanta? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.
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