Hovan will open in the Old Five Points shopping center (originally known as Gary Mesh Corners in 1953) near the intersection of Donaldson Drive, Ashford Dunwoody and Johnson Ferry Roads. Hovan is replacing Brown's BBQ which closed a few months ago, after it had replaced the short-lived Si Senor Mexican restaurant. The attached photo seems to suggest Hovan is adding a patio for additional seating.
Old Five Points center is also home to a number of other eateries including Wing Ranch and The Bat & Ball Pub. The center is also home to both a vacant Blockbuster Video and a freestanding Walgreens, and often hosts neighborhood farmers' markets during the summer.
Hovan closed their longstanding location in the food court of Perimeter Mall a couple of months ago, and well placed sources tell me that they will close in Lenox Square's food court by year end as well. I'm told that both the Perimeter and likely the Lenox (expected) closures are due to new, significantly higher rents from GGP (Perimeter) and SIMON (Lenox Square).
Hovaness Kabbenjian opened the first Hovan Gourmet at Perimeter Mall in 1984 and has since franchised the restaurant to include multiple locations in both Georgia and Florida. (Great American Cookies' first location was also at Perimeter Mall in 1977.) After conducting both phone and online research, it seems that five of the ten listed locations are closed, leaving the company with one location in Georgia (Lenox) and four others in Florida.
Hovan Gourmet specializes in Mediterranean fare, specifically wraps, with some of its more popular offerings being their falafel and shawarma. Hovan also serves other wrapped sandwiches and also a variety of salads and sides like hummus and tabouleh.
Shipfeifer Gyro Wrap Great Wraps is also located in both the Lenox Square and Perimeter Mall food courts, among others, and also features a Mediterranean heavy menu. Shipfeifer, as the concept was originally known, was started in 1974, but today is known as the more "brandable" Great Wraps. With the guidance of Mark Kaplan and Bob Solomon, both former Coca-Cola executives, Great Wraps has grown into a far larger company. Today Great Wraps has about 70 locations in 17 states plus D.C.
Which is your favorite Mediterranean quick serve restaurant? Do you prefer Hovan, Great Wraps, Ali Baba or another similar eatery? What would you like to see open in the vacant Blockbuster in Old Five Points center? Please share your thoughts below.