Chicago, Illinois-based Stir Crazy will close their Atlanta restaurant (and as many as two other out-of-state locations) later this afternoon. The Atlanta area restaurant, located in TOWN Brookhaven, never really lived up to the expectations of the company, and its closing comes as little surprise. I was the first to announce Stir Crazy would be opening in Atlanta in February 2011, and they opened their doors August 26th.
Their closure comes just shy of one year in business, and is the second significant chain restaurant to have closed in Atlanta in just the past seven days. New York-based 5 Napkin Burger closed their midtown Atlanta location August 13th, having opened it August 15th, 2011.
I think both restaurants should have done a better job or researching the neighborhoods in which they were opening, and if they had, they might still be in business. 5 Napkin should have been in Buckhead, Stir Crazy in Dunwoody or Alpharetta.
Stir Crazy is similar in cuisine to that of Atlanta-based Chow Baby and Dallas, Texas-based Genghis Grill. Chow Baby was in fact the original Asian eatery planned to open at TOWN Brookhaven, but they later pulled out as did many other local eateries.
Chow Baby is preparing to open their third location, this one at the Mall of Georgia. Genghis Grill, on the other hand, has scaled back expansion plans and has already closed their south Buckhead location. Genghis Grill still operates locations near Perimeter Mall and the Mall of Georgia.
Stir Crazy will not be the last restaurant to close in TOWN Brookhaven (known to some as food court Brookhaven.) The project simply has too many mediocre restaurants, and does not have the kind of multiple day-part traffic to support them all.
Slack's Hoagie Shack, a Cinnaminson, New Jersey based sandwich shop, closed their restaurant in TOWN Brookhaven as it tried to hard to be upscale, and had a poor location.
Eateries like Treza, which recently revamped its menu and also tweaked its pricing, are also questionable long term. The fact that Treza finally relented and was featured on Scoutmob, is far from a shot of encouragement. Scoutmob is a losing proposition for many a restaurant, and for Treza to get in bed with them so long after their opening screams trouble.
Other eateries like The Cup and Swirll are also likely to close. There and Newk's Express Cafe each have obstacles to overcome but appear to be doing better than most. By far, the most successful concepts are Noche, Moe's, Cafe at Pharr/Baci, and newcomer Olde Blind Dog.
Bonehead's Fish and Piri Piri Chicken is scheduled to open near Moe's but given the response to recent postings on their food and concept, I doubt they will be successful.