Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Plot Thickens at Scenario in Buckhead

Scenario exterior with Boneheads signage
Scenario, a new establishment billing itself publicly as a "restaurant and lounge," has made a surprising move to further disguise its business.  Opened in May at Chastain Square in north Buckhead, Scenario took the place of Chopstix, a long time (but past its prime) Chinese restaurant turned piano bar.  Ron Barber was brought in by Chopstix owners Philip Chan and Alvin Yin in early 2010 to oversee the addition of the piano bar and he eventually became a consultant.  It's my understanding that Chan and Yin are no longer involved, and that Ron Barber is the sole proprietor of Scenario.

Although many tenants in the center and neighbors in the area were opposed to Scenario when they applied for the necessary permitting to open, Barber's assertion that the business was a "restaurant with dancing" led to its approval.  Anchor tenant Publix Super Market allegedly even has a clause in their lease with Equity One, the property's leasing company, prohibiting nightclubs within the center.

I happened to drive by the center this week and noticed a man standing on Roswell Road, just outside the center, advertising "Scenario now featuring Boneheads Grilled Fish and Piri Piri Chicken for lunch and dinner."  Upon further research, I determined that Ron Barber, current Scenario owner, was previously a franchisee of Boneheads at Peachtree Battle.  Barber's  Boneheads was bought out early last year by John Cassimus (of Zoës Kitchen) to open Atlanta's first Maki Fresh, a casual Japanese eatery.  

So, with spare Boneheads furniture, fixtures and equipment, Barber has incorporated the restaurant into Scenario, clearly in an attempt to be considered a restaurant first and foremost.  Boneheads signage is visible on the exterior of the building and on menus.  The decision to add Boneheads, a restaurant featuring South African influenced fare, is unlikely to hurt the business of  nearby 10 Degrees South, a South African eatery.  I say this because the food at Boneheads is subpar, which further supports my belief that the business is trying to make itself appear as though it's a restaurant.

Oddly, despite the fact I can find no record of a liquor license having been issued, Scenario offers both a full bar and bottle service.  

Additionally, Michael Carvajal, who is listed as General Manager at Scenario, previously held managerial or marketing  positions at Opera, Havana Club and Tongue & Groove (all nightclubs). 

A glance at Scenario's  website and facebook page ( labeled  "Solsticeatl"  in the URL as that was its originally planned name ) turn up some other interesting tidbits such as: 

The fact that they misspell "Dining" as "Dinning" on their website, indicating either that A, they really don't care if you dine or B, they just don't care. 

They feature hookahs.  

They state they are "the only place that has International Resident DJs from all over the world which include DJ Oscar G, DJ Donald Glaude, DJ Christian Falero, DJ Chriss Vargas, DJ Nikolas, DJ Ross, DJ Mixx and many more"

Such a variety of DJs, and DJs in general are usually found in clubs, not restaurants.  

"Scenario offers 5000 square feet of striking architectural design and lavish décor that sets the stage for the ultimate nightlife experience over the weekend."

Maybe I'm crazy, but when I hear nightlife, I think nightclub.  

"Scenario is a hybrid creation that evokes memories for every customer that comes to visit us."
What does this even mean?

Hours:     Mon - Tue:           11:00 am - 10:00 pm 
                Wed:                   11:00 am - 12:00 am 
                Thu - Sat:           11:00 am - 3:00 am 


With operating hours as late as 3 am three days a week, covering the three popular "nightlife" days, one would think this was a club.

Friday night dinner at Scenario? 

This is not the first time a club has taken up space in an odd location.  The Velvet Room, a midtown Atlanta icon for many years, subsequently relocated to a space off Chamblee-Tucker Road.  The space they took had been a strange club for a short time before which it was part of a vacant Kroger.  (Big Lots occupies the other, larger portion. )

Not far from Scenario, Insomia, another nightclub, was located at Parkside shopping center, also home to Lefont Theaters but has since closed. Pure Nightclub, opened in a former unfinished furniture store on Clairmont Road, but closed  less than a year after having its liquor license revoked.  Similar to the Scenario situation, the business was approved despite tremendous neighborhood disapproval. Given the "scenario" in Buckhead, I predict the same eventual demise of Scenario.

What is your take on this "scenario?"  Do you think this establishment is playing games when it comes to what they really are? Have you been to the center late on a weekend evening and wondered what the heck was going on?  Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.  

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37 comments:

F&B Guy said...

What a hot mess!
You seem to have done your homework, yet again and this has all the trappings of a scam. I am curious about the "featuring the food of Boneheads" tagline. That just sounds fishy.
The fact that you cannot find a liquor license also seems strange. Given the history of the other clubs mentioned (Velvet, Pure etc.) I give this scenario about 5 months...
Keep us posted please.

Anonymous said...

this has to be a big goof, right? who in their right mind - let alone someone supposedly with hospitality experience - would this could be a successful venture? what a trainwreck.

Anonymous said...

Ugh. DJ night club + grilled fish = nasty.

The Heretic, now featuring Krystal! MJQ, now featuring Taco Bell. It just does not work.

Anonymous said...

We will serve food, that way we are a restaurant, see! No one will ever figure it out! Oh wait, they did. Rats.

Jay G. said...

No way that's compliant with the Bonehead's franchise agreement (if it wasn't already terminated). Coincidentally, the Bonehead's franchisor address is just a few blocks away on W. Wieuca adjacent to a suite full of lawyers. I'm thinking this (at least the Bonehead's piece) won't last too long.

Anonymous said...

i knew this place was a sh*thole when i found out my slutty co-worker with giant fake boobs and white hair went here on thursday nights. but reading this entire thing has made me laugh and realize it's even more of a shi*hole, and my co-worker an even bigger idiot, than i originally thought

Atlantan99 said...

@ Jay G,

I doubt Mr. Barber is that negligent that he would operate the Boneheads portion of the business w/o a proper agreement. I too realized how close the Boneheads corporate offices are and gotta think they are aware of the "scenario."

Thanks for reading the blog and for the comments.

Anonymous said...

Very similar to Loca Luna opening up as a "Family Friendly Restaurant" near Virginia Highland. I guess one of the "family members" didn't like their "food" when they blew six shots in the air at 3am on a Saturday.

I love alcohol. But, I hate these clubs that try to pretend they're something else, and then ruin everything around them.

Anonymous said...

I think all this press is created by other clubs in the area. I went to Scenario last week with my friend and we ate some great food and stayed for a couples hrs.

Anonymous said...

Went for lunch last week. They had a good crowd. Fish and Chips and Boneheads shrimp were great. Look forward to coming back and checking out their live music on Wednesday.

Anonymous said...

I have been there couple times with friends ..love their food specially Boneheads shrimp,,awesome!! and have a good time. Leave them alone!

Anonymous said...

why just don't leave them alone...
I have been there couple times with friends ..have great food, Boneheads shrimp is delicious!! and a had great time!

Anonymous said...

Love ,,Boneheads shrimp!! went couple times with friends had great food and a great time!!

Anonymous said...

My friend just sent me this article and I feel very sorry about Scenario because it is a great place to visit. I life across the street from Scenario at the Apt complex Post Chasten and I love to be able to eat and enjoy my night with my friend on a place like Scenario.

Anonymous said...

I'd love to hear comments from people who have actually been there, as opposed to all of this speculation. Especially from the person whose co-worker went there...doesn't everyone have a slutty co-worker who frequents places in Atlanta, even such highly regarded places as Canoe, Hal's, etc? One person's attendence doesn't necessarily denote the general population that you can find there. I've actually been there and found the food delicious, the decor interesting and beautiful, and the atmosphere fun. They do have a DJ certain nights of the week yes, but other nights have a piano performer and singer, a guitar performer and singer, and sometimes even karaoke. And if you type the words "Atlanta nightlife" into Google, I think you'd be amazed at what is technically considered "nightlife". It seems to me like people are just trying to feed into the "drama" surrounding this place because it seems like fun or they're bored.
Oh and by the way, the liquor license most certainly exists...considering all of the hoops it seems like these people have had to jump through just to operate, I highly doubt a missing liquor license would be overlooked.

Anonymous said...

well, it looks like Scenario associates have discovered the article and are now carpetbombing comments. not very subtle.

Catie said...

I had a wonderful dinner with my family on Friday at Scenario. It was a very elegant atmosphere. The service and food were both equally outstanding. I thought it might be a little to fancy bringing my children. But, they welcomed us and we were early. The manager greeted our table and was very accommodating. He explained the concept of the new restaurant / lounge. I was excited about the nightlife activities planned for that evening. He was more than courteous. So, after an amazing dinner with family, I planned a girl’s night out! Love, Love, Love, that we have a new restaurant and lounge close to home that welcomes us for all occasions. Also, open for lunch. I will be talking to my co-workers about this fun, contemporary spot as well! Thanks Scenario! I will be a regular for sure!

Atlantan99 said...

Yea, all of a sudden within 15 minutes there are five new glowing comments about how great the food is.

Just a hint, remarking how wonderful the Boneheads shrimp is, not the best idea.

Thanks for the (honest) comments from those that have been or heard but don't work at Scenario.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Barber sent this article to the 500+ people on the scenario email list. These responses are from the very happy and satisfied guests of the bar and restaurant. And the Boneheads shrimp happens to be the most popular item on the menu.

Anonymous said...

All this negative publicity is nonsense. Scenario's is a bar with great food (Boneheads) live music and great DJ's. I've enjoyed Boneheads for years at the other locations and was thrilled that they put the full menu in Scenario's.
Good music, good people and good food make it fun place. Unless you've been there, keep your negative opinions in check. They will have my support totally

Anonymous said...

My friend just posted a blog and you denied it ????

Atlantan99 said...

Hello Anon at 5:35,

I've published every single comment ( not blogs) that has been posted to this article.

Thanks for reading.

Anonymous said...

I like shrimps! Delcioius at this Senaria place. I eating ther last week and really good. You peopel are mean try to get him closed up. We need more fun place I eat and do. Stop being hatters!!!!' -uonimuos

Anonymous said...

I ate there last night and the food was crap, just like it was at the Boneheads at Peachtree Battle. Don't waste your money unless you want to eat garbage and watch sluts get drunk and choke on shrimp.

Anonymous said...

Atlanta99 do you have a real job ? Do you get paid for this ? I guess you do not have a real job . You are getting famous bc of scenario .. You should thank then

catie said...

Just a thought, Why do you have a complex... Sitting behind your computer, Come check out the place! I am newly single and I just started enjoying the Atlanta night life. I enjoyed every aspect of Scenario. Lunch, Dinner, and a fun night life! I even had the option of hanging out in the piano bar, a little quieter, good for conversations. Or, dancing with friends at the main bar. They offered drink specials and the service was outstanding. I suggest you get a date, and enjoy everything this contemporary / eclectic club has to offer. Are you new to Atlanta? Do you not go to restaurants that incorporate food, fun, dinner and dancing? Must be to much fun @ one place! I strongly disagree! Let me know if you ever want to have fun in Atlanta and I will read your "Blog" then;)

Anonymous said...

Super hot chicks...Brazilian night on Friday rocked! Plus ladies night free cover and drink specials.....#needisaymore

Anonymous said...

How lazy can they possibly be to have Boneheads food (I have never heard a good thing about them) conveniently available only to keep doors open? And all of these carpetbombers should at least TRY to sound legitimate.

Anonymous said...

My favorite comment so far is the phonetic spelling of Scenario as Senaria.

It might take some time to get them out of this shopping center but if they are not operating properly it will get noticed and the landlord will have them removed.

Anonymous said...

They'll be a similar situation on Marietta St. soon. The former Club Inferno is slated to be a bar/lounge. In getting approval from the NPU's the owner insisted it would be a Jamaican restaurant with a bar & occasional live music. Keep an eye out for it.

Jennifer Best said...

I think this establishment is wonderful. The new Boneheads Cuisine is great and it’s nice to be able to eat late and it’s good food, not fried bar food. The music is great and the only dancing is the people on the dance floor having a great time. Everyone has to eat! It sounds like from your remarks your either really behind the times or grumpy and old.

Anonymous said...

The grammar in these canned comments supporting the place is amusing. Scenario obviously attracts well-educated clientele. Let's eat shrimps!

Anonymous said...

I went to Boneheads last night and I slipped on a skrimps and broke my high heel. I was having so much fun though that I just threw away my shoes and kept dancing. Did I mention that the food is great. It is really good. Also they have a DJ and that is good. I just love this place. It is so good. Gag.

Anonymous said...

I received an email from Atlanta Events this morning with the subject "The new venue for your private event or party." It advertises Scenario Dining | Piano Bar | Lounge. But the photos, especially the main one of a group dressed in party clothes and popping bottles of champagne, plus the heading of "Saturday" and tag of referencing a Live DJ, communicate night club to me...

In fairness, the other text says "We specialize in creating all types of events for any type of company: Networking Events, Corporate Receptions, Award Receptions, Holiday Events, Product Line Kick Off Parties, Anniversaries/Wedding/Receptions, Incentive Parties, Cocktail Dinner Receptions, Pre/Post Parties, Convention Groups."

Which makes me think of Opera in Midtown, which I consider a night club.

A Piedmont Spinster said...

If I ever go there, I'll be sure not to eat anything (especially the shrimp) as there's apparently something in the food that renders people nearly illiterate.

Anonymous said...

Ha! Funny

Dick said...

Anonymous... When did you go for lunch?? They haven't opened for lunch in years.