Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Hovan Gourmet Jumps From Dunwoody to Brookhaven

Atlanta-based Hovan Gourmet will soon open a new location in Brookhaven

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. 

Atlanta-based 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. 


Anonymous said...

Thai Lanna has been closed for a while.

Atlantan99 said...

You are spot on! That should have said Wing Ranch. The change has been made. Thanks for the quick catch!

Tara Ansley said...

Call me silly but this is my favorite place. My mother used to get the wraps and put them in my brother and I's lunch box growing up in Buckhead.The family that owns it is incredibly sweet. I've been going to the one at lenox for many years and the dad remembers me all the time and asks about my mom and brother. I'd much rather give them my business then other "chains" and crappy mall food. The turkey wraps are amazing for lunch and keep for a few days so get a large, cut into servings at home, and bring them to work !!!

Anonymous said...

oh Tara I am with you! I'd sometimes go out of my way to eat while at Perimeter so I could have their falafel. So good! And if you got the two sides you had another meal to have at home.

I noticed it was opening when I went to Moon a couple weeks ago. I was so upset last time I was at Perimeter and it was gone that seeing that they were opening there was great. With OU for U gone from that area too I was wondering where I could even grab falafel nearby anymore. I know there's some other spot in Dunwoody I haven't tried yet but the name always escapes me so obviously I've never gone.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if Thai Lanna is actually closed. The sign says they have gone to Thailand for break (it has been a while).

My neighbor said he talked to the owner a while back. Their kids have graduated from college in the US and they were considering moving back full-time.

Atlantan99 said...

@Anon RE: falafel nearby,

It's not this exact area but as I mentioned earlier this year, David Bloom plans to open Pita Grill in Wieuca Roswell shopping center in a few weeks. Bloom has hired Roi Levi, formerly of Pita Palace at Toco Hills and plans to offer a kosher menu consisting of falafel, gyros and other Mediterranean favorites.

Thanks for the comments and for reading this site.

Anonymous said...

I was in Perimeter the other day and noticed that it was gone. Sad because I did like their Falafel. I did notice that Chipolte is coming soon. Is this their first Mall attempt? should be interesting to see how it does. especially with one across the street at the Target Center.

Anonymous said...


The Pita Grill is in my hood, and they've put up a banner announcing they're arriving soon and they're still working on the space. I really hope this makes it, I think it will be great food and great for the nieghborhood! The space is terrible, that's my one concern, no visibility from Roswell Road!

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to great wraps and falafel in the area. I hope they will be successful there, breaking the chain of failed restaurants in that space, or at least last long enough to escape to the new center being built next block south. That old row of shops is very cramped. Parking is too limited and Hovan's deck eliminated 2 spaces. Also during warm months the ladlords host a 'farmers market' Thurs and Sat. Market vendors compete with the tennants for business, space and parking. Not good. Best of luck and my support to Hovan.


Atlantan99 said...

@Anon RE: Chipotle,

Thank you for the comments. Chipotle is planning a new location in the Lenox Square food court. Lenox and Perimeter will be their first mall-based locations in Georgia. The mall attracts different customers than the shopping center you mention and I think they could both do well.

Thanks again for the comments and for reading the site.

dikran k. said...

I'm so glad Hovan's is back. As indicated above, they closed their Perimeter Mall food-court location a few month ago. This is by far the best middle-eastern food around. Their Falafel and Shawerma are phenomenal. I can't wait to come back with the family to ttry their evening menu. I will spread the word about this lttle charming resrtaurant, because I want to be able to enjoy their food for many years.

Anonymous said...

I've been going to the one at Perimeter Mall since it opened in the 80's. I now live out of state, but when I come back to Atlanta, I always go to Permimeter to get my Hovan fix. Now I'm crushed! It's by far my top choice for it's genre. There's just something about that cheese spread that cannot be duplicated anywhere else (and I've tried them all). I'm so sad an iconic place in the Food Court in Dunwoody is gone.

Pamela Stewart said...

Also, their pasta salad is to die for. Love the six piece sampler platter, but didn't see that on the menu. Hope they still have it. I went into withdrawal when they closed the Perimeter location and was afraid I'd lost them forever. Too bad I moved from Brookhaven to Marietta 2 yrs ago, but it's definitely worth the drive. I know that area well.

Pamela Stewart said...

I moved from Brookhaven to Smyrna but it's definitely worth the drive. The pasta salad is to die for and the six piece sampler can't be beat. Sure wish they'd open a store out my way ~Cumberland Mall area, but guess I'll settle for the Johnson Ferry location for now (I just hope that location is still open, as I noticed these posts were from 2013~and being fully aware of how quickly that particular location changes hands). Fingers crossed! 🤞