Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Concepts by Ford Fry Continue to Multiply... in Buckhead

Out with Buckhead Life, in with Ford Fry : Take Two?
Well placed sources indicate that chef Ford Fry has just signed a lease on yet another former Buckhead Life restaurant space.  Ford Fry is apparently planning to open what will be his second Buckhead area eatery, in the former Bluepointe space at the Pinnacle Building.  The space is located on the lobby level of the iconic Buckhead skyscraper at the intersection of Lenox and Peachtree Roads in the heart of Buckhead.  The restaurant will likely cater to the heavy hitters in the many  financial organizations in the Pinnacle Building as well as nearby hotels such as The Ritz-Carlton Buckhead and J.W. Marriott Buckhead.

I remember Bluepointe opening in 1999, a beautiful  lobby level eatery for the newly completed Pinnacle office tower.  Kevin Rathbun was the opening chef and the restaurant became a new favorite for many.  With so many restaurants having opened in Buckhead in the time since then, and with reduced hours, the decision was made to close the restaurant last November.  Many friends still favor the restaurant and ask about it when they visit, only to be saddened by the news of its closure.

Sources tell me that the as yet unnamed restaurant will likely feature Italian fare, but would be different from Fry's popular No. 246 in Decatur.  Personally I think Ford does a darn good job with the food, although the service is lacking at most of his restaurants, and therefore you're left feeling a little ripped off; paying Four Star prices for Two Star service. 

It seems that Chef Fry has the magic touch of sorts: his most recent creation The Optimist was earlier this year named best new restaurant of the year by Esquire Magazine.  I would not be at all surprised to see one of the more established but aging Italian eateries in Buckhead close if Fry finds similar success with this eatery.  The likely list of candidates includes Pricci, Antica Posta and La Grotta.

Ford Fry plans to open King + Duke in the former Nava space at Buckhead Plaza in March.  Nava, open since 1996, was once one of Buckhead Life's most popular restaurants, but had begun to show its age of late and Ford Fry was able to secure the lease on the building as a result.  King + Duke will be a "Colonial American"  eatery with a twenty-four foot hearth for cooking the "Colonial" way.

Mark Toro, of North American Properties, has publicly said that Chef Fry will open a new restaurant in NAP's Avalon project in Alpharetta although no official press release from the chef has surfaced.  Toro's people have also said Chef Fry was looking to open in Atlantic Station, to which I would ask  "Will the restaurant feature pork from the flying pigs overhead?"

More credible sources say Ford Fry may be planning a new Inman Park restaurant, possible within one of the multiple new projects in the area.  It's highly likely that such an intown eatery would feature "Texas, tex-mex with some authentic Mexican."

Ford Fry > Buckhead Life ?  What do you think?  Will Chef Fry's Midas Touch continue with two Buckhead restaurants?  Share your thoughts below.  

6 comments:

Eric Smith said...

I think Pricci would be the candidate to close as Buckhead Life seems to be cutting restaurants that do not perform as well as others (thinking of Atlanta Fish Market and Buckhead Diner doing better). Also, Antica Posta and La Grotta have loyal followings.

Atlantan99 said...

Hey Eric,

I tend to agree with you on Pricci and kinda put the other two in there so was not to TOTALLY single Pricci out... as I now have, whoops.

Thanks for reading the site and for your thoughts.

Anonymous said...

This is off subject but can you tell
me what happened to the Indian Resto that was supposed to open at the corner of Clairmont and Briarcliff, next door to Benchwarmers?

Atlantan99 said...

@Anon,

Yea, just a little. I see signs of progress, albeit slow, but no idea when it will actually open.

Thanks for the comment and readership.

Alex Ansley said...

Great food, but fry's evolving from chef driven and focused to investor driven/focused. Pity. Greed ruins everything good.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoy Pricci and as fairly regular Buckhead Life rest. visitors, I've always been interested in which were the more popular. I always assumed Atlanta Fish Market was the most popular. How on earth are you able to know these things? Are their weekly/monthly results published online somewhere???