Bits & Bites has proven to be a popular post. Please find below a few news briefs from the restaurant and retail world of Atlanta.
Jolie Spa is closing their Roswell Road location near Tin Lizzy's and will re-open in the lower level of Macy's Lenox Square. The lower level spa in Macy's has had many names over the years, most recently it was Premier Salon & Spa.
Brushstrokes, the third-largest gay-owned and operated retail business in the United States, is expanding their "Pleasures" space to include an additional 500 square feet. The adult store will occupy space that will soon be vacated by the popular Thai restaurant, King & I. Despite rumors to the contrary, King & I is not closing, but is instead reducing their square footage by about 50%. The new space will enable Brushstrokes to expand their variety of adult offerings. The Pleasures store currently sells and rents DVDs, books and magazines. The combined store will total 7,000 square feet with expansion related renovations slated to be complete in March.
Flight Night Club will soon open at 309 Pharr Road. The new club will open in a space adjacent to the Atlanta Fish Market that most recently played host to Kings of Atlanta, a high end men's salon. Kings of Atlanta closed a few months ago, but according to its website, is now located with an existing women's salon nearby, at 360 Pharr. Details on Flight Night Club are sketchy to say the least, but according to a source, the club will have a dining component and is being designed by Atlanta-based design firm Plexus r+d. My research indicates that the establishment is being opened by Godfrey Tago via The Luo Group LLC. Tago previously owned the short-lived London Bistro Lounge on Howell Mill Road where Carizma is somehow still open.
Houston's will close their Wildwood location in Cobb county effective January 31st. A source told me of this probable closure last summer, but was unsure of the timetable. According to that same source, the timing of the closure coincides with the expiration of an existing lease and reflects Houston's determination that the Wildwood location was not meeting their sales expectations. While the Wildwood location does a great lunch business, dinner business was way off from all of the group's Buckhead locations, and its sales had been sliding. Houston's closed their other Atlanta area location on Ashford-Dunwoody Road near Perimeter Mall a few years ago, and according to a source, it was because corporate was unhappy having their restaurant in a Walmart anchored center. That restaurant currently operates as a J. Alexander's. The Wildwood closure leaves parent company Hillstone with restaurants on Lenox Road near Lenox Square, and on West Paces Ferry Road near Interstate 75. A third location on Peachtree Road in South Buckhead was renamed "Hillstone" last year, and is meant to serve as a flagship restaurant. Hillstone features the same menu as Houston's. According to published reports, all of the Buckhead area restaurants ring up roughly $6 million in annual sales, while the Wildwood location did about half as much.
Adidas Originals has closed their Lenox Square location on the lower level of the mall near Urban Outfitters. There is no doubt the location was "challenging," but having Urban Outfitters, and more recently, Original Penguin as neighbors would seem to have been good for business given they cater to similar markets. The adidas Sport store on the upper level of the mall remains open and carries a limited variety of merchandise from the Originals store. Interestingly, the adidas website is so out of date that it not only lists the Originals store as still open, but also lists Galyan's on Peachtree, Deka on Pharr Road and The Sport Shoe on Cobb Parkway as places to go to get their footwear! Given their seemingly uber tardy updating, it's rather amazing that the site makes no mention of the shuttered Y-3 store at Shops Around Lenox or the old Just For Feet at Buckhead Triangle.
Vera Bradley will open its second Atlanta area boutique, this one at the Mall of Georgia in Buford. The some how still popular purveyor of quilted bags, purses and other accessories will open on the upper level, between Michael Kors and Apple. The roughly 2,200 square foot space is scheduled to open in May.
As I mentioned earlier, Target Greatland on North Druid Hills is undergoing the company's "PFresh" update. Included in this update (which many other local stores have already received) is the addition of a fresh grocery section as well as expanded frozen foods. The store will also lose their cafe, but gain a Starbucks. Additionally, with Target no longer using the "Greatland" branding, the store will become simply a Target. All signage and interior modification should be complete by mid-to-late March.
The DeKalb County Board of Commissioners has denied the request by McDonald's to build a drive-thru window at their proposed restaurant on Clairmont Road near Briarcliff Road. The proposed restaurant would have replaced a single story medical building, and was nicknamed the "Fire Station" McDonald's by area residents, given its proximity to Fire Station #8. Given this setback, it's highly unlikely McDonald's will push forward with their plans for the site. In related news, the board deferred consideration of the plans to reconstruct the existing McDonald's on Clairmont Road in front of Sam's Club pending further study on the potential effect on the nearby stream.
Stay tuned for three more exciting new posts in the coming days!