|New branding and logo for TREZA|
Tre'za, a new eatery that opened within TOWN Brookhaven this past fall, has closed for the week for what it is calling a "Spring Spruce Up." The restaurant closed after dinner service this past Sunday and plans to re-open this coming Monday the 23rd.
The restaurant has struggled to carve out a niche in the restaurant heavy TOWN Brookhaven project and has already lowered its prices across the board to be more in line with what they bill themselves as: fast casual. At opening, some items were priced as high as $18, pricing them out of what many would consider the fast casual price range.
Atlanta-based f2o has done a considerably better job at straddling the fast casual line with its restaurants. Offering a wide range of menu options ranging from paninis to salads and "long plate" options, most menu items are no more than $12. Unlike Tre'za, f2o already has six locations open and successful with two more on the way, one in Hartsfield-Jackson, the other in Emory Point. Tre'za has two locations open in Arkansas but they operate under the name ZAZA Fine Salad + Wood-Oven Pizza Co. rather than Tre'za Fine Salads + Wood Fire Pizza. Also, the two Arkansas locations have their own separate website with no mention of the Atlanta location, while the TREZA website mentions locations in both states. Interestingly, Tre'za's new logo and name closely resembles that of ZAZA. ( Tre'za Fine Salads + Wood Fire Pizza is now TREZA Fine Salad & Wood-Fired Pizza Co. )
Ocoee, Florida-based Urban Flats Flatbread + Wine Co. also had issues in defining what exactly they were. They offered sit down service and were available for reservations on OpenTable, but tried to be multiple things at the same time. They had elements of Seasons 52 in some of their entrees, elements of f2o with others. The restaurant opened and closed twice and appears to be closed for good at this point.
Overall, I like the TREZA concept and am a fan of a number of the restaurant's menu items but it lacks character: its walls, for the most part, are plain and it lacks ambiance. During pre-opening and in the months that followed, the restaurant hyped its social media presence and encouraged patrons to fan them on facebook and like them on twitter, but those efforts have slowed with their last tweet coming on March 3rd and their facebook page only recently updating, with the Spring Spruce Up the latest post. Multiple flat panel TVs positioned behind the service counter previously featured the restaurant's menu but now simply display odd sized photos of select food items and on other days pictures from the restaurant's pre-opening party.
I've noted both to friends and on this site a number of things that have changed in the restaurant including a redesigned menu, fewer daily gelato offerings, the removal of the tomato sauce jar from each table and a decrease in both soft drink and dessert options. These changes have led me to believe that management has seen the light and is doing what they can to stop the bleeding. This is good and bad. For instance, something as little as a specific gelato flavor or the fact that a patron liked having the tomato sauce jar at their table may lead that same patron away if the changes are not reversed.
I think that the limited parking that is available to TREZA patrons at the front of the restaurant is a larger issue than management may realize. Similar to Urban Flats at Lindbergh City Center, the concept has enough internal challenges, that adding limited upfront parking to the mix further limits the restaurant's would- be patron pool. In both developments, I feel that the restaurants anticipated getting far more business from area employees or residents than actually materialized. Both locations are "near" Buckhead but not close enough for would-be Buckhead workers to drive there, eat and drive back on limited lunch breaks.
I look forward to seeing what the refreshed TREZA looks like and am hopeful that they can correct their internal issues. With luck, a streamlined logo and fresh approach will garner them more business from the community. A previously announced location in Birmingham, Alabama has apparently been shelved for the moment but perhaps will eventually open if the Brookhaven refresh is successful.
What are your thoughts on TREZA? Do you think TOWN Brookhaven has too many restaurants? What could TREZA do to get you to become a regular? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.