Mike Nelson and Clay Harper are best known for their chain of Fellini's Pizza restaurants but have been expanding their restaurant empire with mixed results. Many Fellini's are locatednext to, or near, La Fonda Latina locations, sister restaurants, if you will, serving Latin cuisine in a casual setting.
Two summers ago, the duo launched Three on The Tree, a yogurt shop they opened in a classic Taco Bell turned Wolf Camera. The FroYo shop did very well early on, helped by both its proximity and favorably marketing from adjacent La Fonda and Fellini's. The Tree featured six flavors, at least two of which were crafted by local chef Julia LeRoy. With a seemingly ever increasing number of yogurt shops popping up, and with LeRoy involved with other ventures, Three on The Tree was shuttered last September.
One of Chef Julia's other projects was another with Nelson and Harper, Leroy's Fried Chicken, which opened to much fanfare this past June, but closed just four months later. Many diners and critics loved the chicken, but many found the prices high for what was basically a counter. (Curly's Fried Chicken opened in its place not long after, and is still open.)
Ringside Franks & Shakes opened in place of Three on the Tree's original Wieuca Road location, but is not directly affiliated with the Fellini's guys. Jeremy Kelly, a 12-year veteran of Fellini's, enlisted Nelson & Harper in opening the restaurant though I'm not privy to the terms of their agreement.
All that to get you caught up to now!
Clay and Mike now have their eyes on Tucker, a city (currently) not home to any of their concepts. Though not in Tucker, Fellini's on LaVista Road near Vista Grove is frequented by families of nearby Lakeside High School and archrival Tucker High. I think it's a safe bet there will be cross-marketing between the two restaurants.
The Greater Good will open on Hugh Howell Road across the street from Publix in a restaurant that was most recently Golden Dolphin, a fish camp style restaurant that closed this past April. The restaurant was a Western Sizzlin back the day, and if you know WS, you know this is a rather large space.
A longtime resident of nearby Oak Grove, I'll be the first to tell you Tucker is no Decatur. Tucker's non-chain food options have increased as of late but remain limited. Matthews Cafeteria has been a Tucker landmark since 1955, and continues to serve up southern favorites like fried chicken. chicken & dumplings and Bar-B-Q ribs, among other things. Matthews is located on Main Street in downtown Tucker, which last year attracted Jason Hylton and James Maggard of the Matador Cantina. The Matador Cantina has locations in both Oakhurst and Glenwood and was joined by Local 7 last year. Local 7 features traditional American fare, highlighted by a number of burger options.
Another local group is also adding to Atlanta's BBQ options. Fox Brothers Restaurant Group, owners of both Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q in Little Five and Big Tex Cantina in Decatur will open Fox Bros. Rib Joint on Scott Boulevard later this summer. The space was previously home to Maddy's Barbecue and is located across the street from the proposed (but vehemently opposed) Walmart Supercenter at Suburban Plaza.