Monday, January 28, 2013

Tom tom to Take "Crazy" TOWN Brookhaven Space?

Tom Catherall of Here to Serve Restaurants is looking at resurrecting his tom tom a bistro concept.

The restaurant, which was Catherall's first in Atlanta, opened in 1993 at Lenox Square and was popular for many years before closing in 2002. Its space, along with the former B. Dalton Bookseller, became Atlanta's first Urban Outfitters.

Tom tom's closure at Lenox Square was the result of Tom's decision not to renew the lease, and instead, to dedicate his resources to the opening of a new restaurant.  That new restaurant was Twist, his tapas and sushi restaurant that opened at Phipps Plaza not long after and will celebrate its 10th anniversary starting February 4th.

Today, Here to Serve Restaurants includes a number of concepts, among them Prime at Lenox Square, Goldfish at Perimeter Mall and Shout at Colony Square.  

Tom tom would open at TOWN Brookhaven in the place of Stir Crazy.  Chicago based Stir Crazy had a tough time of it in their Atlanta debut and closed their restaurant last August, just short of a year after opening it.   

Here to Serve's Noche Tequila & Tapas Bar opened at TOWN Brookhaven in late 2010, and has been one of the most, if not the most, successful eatery in the development.  The third of what is a now a four unit concept, Noche has wide appeal and according to inside sources, has waits many nights when neighboring restaurants sit with idle tables.  

Given that Here to Serve seems to have a unique understanding of the Brookhaven market, they seem like the perfect group to take over the Stir Crazy space.  They will walk into a fully built out restaurant in need of minimal renovations or capital to get the doors open.

TOWN Brookaven has already seen Slack's Hoagie Shack, Stir Crazy and Swirll Frozen Yogurt fold, and will likely witness other closures sooner rather than later.  Poorly executed concepts like Treza and Bonehead's are at the top of my list of most likely to close.

Tom has been toying with the idea of re-opening Tom Tom for some time, at one point even considering the space that is now Yebo (adjacent to Twist).  I think Tom has made the right decision to open in Brookhaven rather than Buckhead, especially given the size space he will get in Brookhaven compared to the shoebox at Phipps.

Sources say a deal is darn close, but that the ink is not dry.  I say, this deal is more likely to happen than the likelihood of Modern in Buckhead staying in business beyond one year.  What are your thoughts on a tom tom return?  Do you think the location makes sense?  What was your favorite menu item?  

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Bonehead's location within Town Brookhaven is questionable

Town Brookhaven needs a good breakfast spot. Too bad there is already a J Christopher's down the street. Maybe a Thumbs Up or Another Broken Egg could be a good addition.

Anonymous said...

How does Atlanta get stuck with so many restaurant concept-creators that are absolutely clueless. And operators that are equally as clueless?

Or is it a reflection of a populace that gets stuck on what is known/popular and refuses to try what is new/experimental?

Atlantan99 said...

@Anon RE: Breakfast,

Unless they closed last week, Flying Biscuit has a location within TOWN Brookhaven. While the restaurant is nothing like what it used to be in their pre Raving Brand (chain) days, they do serve breakfast.

Thanks for the comment and for reading the site.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, Flying Biscuit. Not a fan, that's probably why I didn't think of it.

Dana said...

There is a trend in many recent posts, namely the rebirth of Town Brookhaven as the new city's downtown.

Anonymous said...

Tom tom coming to Towne BHaven would be awesome. I always thought whoever goes to that (or Slacks) space would have to be a familiar name, and TT was a popular place for 10 years.
Agree that Treza and Boneheads are neck and neck for next closure.

Anonymous said...

Town Brookhaven needs a good coffee shop!

Anonymous said...

We have been to Boneheads a few times and there are always people in there. The Cup needs to close. Yuck.

It would be good, since you are very in the know about Brookhaven, to know what is going on with Pizza Rock on Caldwell and Dresden, and I have heard rumors about a Mexican going in somewhere around there as well (not Verde, like a full Mexican).

Anonymous said...

I'll second that suggestion of a coffee shop. It would also be nice to have a bar with a solid selection of craft beers.

Victor Moldovan said...

Ewww.. I can't believe all of you talking about Town Brookhaven like it is special. It's nothing but a strip-mall with cheezy apartments stuck on top. It's actually worse than Atlantic Station. It's like faux-urban Disney

Anonymous said...

Ewww... I can't believe all of you gushing over Town Brookhaven--a strip mall with cheesy apartmens plopped on top. It's worse than Atlantic Station. Think faux-urban Disney....

Atlantan99 said...

@Victor,

I may think some of Jeff Fuqua's planned and existing projects ( i.e. TOWN Brookhaven and Perimeter Place) are not great, but for the most part they are better than others, Atlantic Station for sure one of the those. Mark Toro speaks in rumors and hyperbole and his "success" with Atlantic Station is laughable. I think TOWN Brookhaven could improve in a few areas, ( Costco adding a gas station will be a nice amenity for shoppers and residents) Atlantic Station is a mess, was a disaster and will always be a cluster.

Thanks for the comments and readership.

Anonymous said...

Town Brookhaven first appears to be great when you drive in....but each visit shows the true colors of very cheap looking apartments and one too many tenants that got suckered into the entire scam that it really is. The big box stores do not help the small shops and the dine in movie takes all the parking in the center so the small shops have none. There are a few really nice shops but they should have gone to another center. Too many vacancies

Anonymous said...

Town Brookhaven is like a bad cheaply built prop at Universal Studios..zero retail........very much over rated

Anonymous said...

Saw that several new shops are opening up:
- European Wax (next to old Swirl)
- The Joint chiropractic center (next to Massage Heights)
- and maybe a boutique on the corner across from THERE (construction permit only said "boutique". Didn't see a name)

For me the biggest issue with the center is that it doesn't invite walking. Those LONG stretches of stores really kills the point of a lifestyle center. There should've been more density and smaller blocks that to eye doesn't look like you have to walk a mile (by ATL standards) from one end to the other.

Anonymous said...

I cannot believe that anyone would find Town Brookhaven
hard to walk. There are sidewalks everywhere. This is an entirely new area that has been developed from a combination of vacant and aging land and property. The concept is to encourage you either drive or walk once
and park. You can then go workout, shop , dine, pick up
your dry cleaning,vitamins, have a massage or get your
nails done all in one place. What is so wrong with that?
You call it Disney like,well look around Atlanta, most centers are built the same. Concrete is an element of most centers. Alot of it at Lenox and Phipps !Unless it is
a historical district most of Atlanta is concrete . Brookhaven is a new city like it or not and the residents
should embrace the revenue from a new center versus
taking bets on who closes next! Centers like TB keep your mil rates down and bet your next $ that without a vibrant center you will be asked to contribute higher property taxes! Granted retail services need to expand and will but across the entire USA brick and mortar retail is tough given the online successes! Not because TB is
horrid ! Perhaps a positive discussion with the landlord would be helpful telling them what services you need. Here is my list : men's store, children's full store, clothes
and shoes, paper store, full day spa, computer services,
attorney, Dr, Med Spa. quality linens. Housewares , framing art store, knitting supplies, great workout clothing
pet accessories, high quality pet food, cosmetics , candy
store. Bike shop. Urban Outfitters. H and M. A cool denim
store. Many options for our great, new, thriving city!
I for one thank the exsisting business owners for coming to TB and I wish all of you great success and I plan to support you and I do not wish for any of you to fail!
And one more thing, walk a little. park at Costco or at big
LA fitness deck and walk the mere 3/10 of 2 blocks up to
Main Street, your waistline will love you and your wallet
will spend less on gas because you can do so much in
1 place regardless of your dislike for concrete but you saved some of the environment by driving less.
Here is to a positive attitude for 2013. Good for your heart
and community and the children to see positive role models versus wishing such negativity on the community

Anonymous said...

Just saw the feed that Tom Tom did not renew their lease at Lenox Square . I also recall they had a fire about the same time. One fire equals another new restaurant..Tom
Tom closed, Twist opened.. Obvious that Here to Serve wants to dominate TB with just what they are good at,
Drinks, not food. Atlanta tends to bathe in booze , chains
and are easily satisfied with a $5.00 martini . One would think TB would want a unique Chinese or Vietnamese spot, great steaks or BBQ, the southern charm not yet
another shallow shell of chain like food served by Twist
Shout, Strip ,Noche. Sad people flock over a $5.00
martini and such a boring menu as Noche at TB but guess a big screen and a $5.00 martini and not even a good tamale wins.. What is Niche? Mexican. Southwestern or tex mex or tapas?? Last time I went far
south tapas was not there . Tapas is Spanish and Noche is far from a Spanish tapas menu yet they claim they are
Instead of bloggers blaming TB for the mix. maybe you
should complain that your neighbor is so easy to please with such low quality and more unique concepts fail Nd such bad food prevails just be side they give people
a big s green a d a $5.00 martini !

Anonymous said...

I can never find a parking place at Town Brookhaven but I never see anybody in the shops so where are they? Noches is the only place I see customers. I actually think people park in front of the small stores that really need the business and toto the dine in movies for hours. There are way too many empty stores

Anonymous said...

Town Brookhaven should use all the middle grassy area for more parking. The larger stores do NOT help the small guys because they are TOO far away. I have heard the leasing there is impossible and they are SO worried you will leave before the ink s dry? What's up with that??

Anonymous said...

TB Bad Intersections cause confusion.
One problem in Town Brookhaven is the poor design of the two main traffic intersections. They look nice, but they are impractical because they are too widelt separated with the islands. Most people do not pay close enough attention to know when it is rightly their turn to advance after stopping (if they even bother to stop). In addition, the pedestrian crosswalks are set back from the corners, so if a vehicle yeilds to peds, they are not really in the queue for the 4-way stop; they have to advance one car length to stop again at the corner to allow vehicls from the other three lanes to clear. Constant horn honking and near misses.

Anonymous said...

Tom Tom is Noches way of controlling the center since
his Terminus concepts all failed! What about Fox Brothers BBQ? A nice local business that does not compete with exsisting businesses! Gives us all in
the community another option and brings me back to TB
while TOM TOm seems to even compete with Noche
Or give me some steak, please?? Management really needs to get with it and add valet parking for all not just
movies. Let the valet walk, run. but good customer service pampers the customer and parking at LA fitness to walk to Tom Tom or Noche or anybody is absurd!
Poor planning and I feel sorry for the little shops and little
restaurants. Very good food in little restaurants and nice clothes in shops but I tried to go to AT&T the other day
and could not park so left and I would have shopped and
eaten while there because I was starved and could have eaten while they tended to my phone.

Anonymous said...

My waistline is just fine thank you and I go to TB to exercise at LA Fitness and usually have dinner somewhere there after. My comment to walking has to do with the design of the center and not it's supply of sidewalks. I didn't say it was HARD to walk, I said it doesn't INVITE walking because of the long stretches of corridor. Have you ever been to Aspen or Breckenridge/Park City? Aspen is built in small, dense blocks, where you can easily hop from one side to the other and the stretches aren't very long. Pretty easy to find yourself walking around block to block and covering a large area. Breckenridge/Park City/Vail are long continuous streets where the optics do not lend itself to people wanting to walk all the way down to one end to see what is there and have to come all the way back up.

My point is very few people are going to walk from Noche all the way down to GNC, despite that the distance isn't very far at all. It's the way it was designed.

Only in Atlanta can you have sprawl in a center designed for density. They sprawled the heck out of the center when it should've been more concentrated.

A perfect example of a place like this is in Dallas in Uptown. It is perfect. Several short blocks with the sides not separated by islands. The place is integrated into the surrounding area and it thrives.

Anonymous said...

I'm still hoping Treza makes it. It's become my favorite place for a nice salad and a good pizza. The gelato is quite delish, too. I'm usually there once a week for lunch and depending on the day it's either partially full or full. At dinner they seem to do more take out than dine in, at least during the week. The parking situation isn't great and Costco's gas station - while welcome - isn't going to help. People going to LA Fitness should be required to park in the deck and the surface lot should be left for people going to eat and shop. And, Atlantans need to get more with the idea of parking and walking a bit. Also, no one seems to ever mention the Old Blind Dog here -cool interior, good food and a nice spot for a beer with friends. Hoping it's never mentioned because it is doing well.

Anonymous said...

Treza does have good pizza but they need better staff.
Went there recently for pizza and while enjoyed the pizza, the service was quite slow. Was not busy but management needs to be visible and manage the process. Meanwhile for great salads , appetizers and very
tender lamb and overall great, fresh middle eastern food
with super wines, my go to place is Olive Bistro. They have a very good staff and I walk or find parking in deck
right behind them. I am not a beer person so I tend to
not hit the beer places but I love true Irish food and would go to Blind Dog if they had Irish food, but I read
their menu and it does not reflect an Irish menu. That seems to happen alot in Atlanta. Menus miss the concept
I love the overall TB concept and love to walk but I do think management is asleep at the switch and should
require La fitness to use their deck and also valet the movies to that deck or Costco . Seems like parking could
expand behind Costco. I am a local resident and can and do walk from my home but when I go to publix I do need
parking and at night I do not walk to Olive Bistro or Treza
so I need the deck or at Marshall's behind Treza . A deck
should have been built just for the movies under the movies. The planners here really goofed and the small
owners are paying the price. They have good food and it
is not their fault the landlord goofed, so for now I will walk
but I hope landlord reads these blogs because they need
to get involved. Before they bring Tom Tom or anyone
else they need to fix parking. I can walk but this center needs 7 days a week traffic and that requires customers
from Norcross, Buckhead and they cannot walk!
I will try There. For some oysters. Saw their sign when I walked from La fitness to Olive Bistro where I enjoyed a super fresh salad and eggplant after my workout. Brookhaven residents like myself need to support the local guys because an empty huge piece of land is not
inviting nor will it help our property values! So walk a little
and support alot!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely loved Tom Tom and would be ecstatic if they come to Town Brookhaven. There are the lunch type places, but need a bit more dinner like places like Olive Bistro. Please, please come!