Below please find a number of briefs, bits and bites from Atlanta's restaurant, retail and hotel scene.
Mykonos Grill has closed on Cobb Parkway. The casual Greek eatery with the same owner as the Mykonos Taverna on Clairmont Road near Sam's Club closed a few ago, but its closure seems to have gone largely unnoticed. The restaurant occupied a classic former Johnny Rockets and its future remains up in the air.
Corner Bakery is now open at Akers Mill and replaces what had been a LongHorn Steakhouse (LongHorn had already relocated to a portion of the former Circuit City in the same center.)
Michael Kors is now open at Cumberland Mall
Salt Factory Pub's new location on Main Street in Alpharetta is now slated to open November 4th. The restaurant, opening in a retrofitted and renovated former KFC, has been plagued by months of delays for a variety of reasons. My sources say November 4th is a go for sure.
Zeal Modern Eatery is now open at Market Plaza on Johnson Ferry Road in East Cobb. Zeal is led by executive chef Eric Mulville, formerly of Maggiano’s Buckhead. As of now, the restaurant features some rather late (for OTP casual dining) hours whereby they are open until 1:30AM Friday and Saturday.
Ritzy Twins, NY, a new children's clothing boutique, is opening soon at Phipps Plaza
Monsoon Children, another new children s boutique, is also opening at Phipps Plaza
Union Hill Kitchen has opened on Peachtree Road in downtown Chamblee.
Southbound, also opening on Peachtree Road in downtown Chamblee, is nearing completion, and should be on track for an opening before the end of the year. Ownership has set no date other than "Tuesday" for the opening.
DeathWatch member Zuma Sushi & Sake Bar has closed at Toco Hill and has been replaced by Matsuya Japanese Restaurant. The same restaurant space had previously also been known as Red Pepper New China Restaurant.
Varuni-Napoli, a new Neapolitan pizzeria, is hoping to open by Christmas on Monroe Drive in midtown. The pizzeria is being opened by Luca Varuni, formerly of Antico Pizza. Varuni is opening in a commercial building to the left of Hobnob that had previously housed both a showroom and studio, among other things. A property listing for the space says the "approximately 4,700 sq ft interior was designed by the renowned Children’s artist, Marta Young. Incredible attention to detail throughout this creative space includes custom ironwork & millwork, a magnificent rotunda and spiral staircase leading to rooftop skyline views.
The last time a former Antico employee went out on his own, the results were far from ideal, with the restaurant, Fuoco di Napoli in Buckhead, closing last October, less than a year after opening.
St. Cecilia, the latest restaurant from Chef Ford Fry and his Rocket Farms Restaurants group, is slated to open "Fall 2013." The seafood-heavy Mediterranean restaurant replaces Bluepointe restaurant, an Asian inspired eatery from Buckhead Life Restaurant Group, that closed in late 2011.
While work on St. Cecilia had been ramping up in recent weeks, a grease-caused hood fire in the kitchen of The Optimist this past week may cause a delay in the work at St. Cecilia. The damage was said at first to be minimal, closing the restaurant for only a day or so. Later assessments were that the restaurant would be closed a couple of weeks. Now, a source tells me work is expected to continue into late November and possibly even in early December. According to this same source, management is encouraging staff to use their PTO time and asking for volunteer work, leaving many employees disenchanted and unhappy, with the holiday season approaching. When Rathbun's had its fire, for instance, they were insured and able to continue to pay their staff, The Optimist reportedly does not have the same insurance, and is thus far not being very accommodating to its employees, behavior usually reserved for would-be diners and hospitality professionals calling Fry's restaurants seeking reservations.
Fins on 12th Street has closed. The restaurant was located in an odd location and perhaps was a better dream than reality.
Bob. as in shish kebob, is replacing Bell Street Burritos in the Irwin Street Market. Bob is being opened by Jake Rothschild and two partners. For the record, Rothschild is the landlord of the Irwin Street Market, billed as an incubator for new and emerging concepts. Many believe that Bell Street was forced out to make room for Bob so that Rothschild could ride the wave of popularity that Bell Street brought to the fledgling market. Bob's kebobs will be priced between $4-$7 and will be offered for lunch and dinner. Plans call for the restaurant to open November 9th.
Christophe's To Go is opening soon in Brookhaven. The prepared meals shop will open between Great Clips and The Cook's Warehouse on Peachtree Road. An official menu was not yet available. but the shop's website indicates both normal and paleo meals will be offered for both pickup and delivery. The shop is being opened by Chef Christophe Le Metayer who was, among other things, previously chef at The Cafe at The Ritz-Carlton Buckhead. A Sandy Springs location is reportedly in the works as well.
Sausalito West Coast Grill recently opened a second location. The new Sausalito opened at 1422 West Peachtree, joining the original at 1389 Peachtree Street. The restaurant, specializing in Latin & Mexican cuisine, was started by Ernesto Araya in 2008. Araya was previously a manager at the sorely missed Mexico City Gourmet in Decatur.
A New Value Place hotel is coming soon to Dresden Drive in Chamblee. The new 124-room extended stay hotel is located just off 1-85 and Chamblee Tucker, close to the soon-to-open QuikTrip. The Value Place brand was developed by Jack DeBoer, a serial hotel entrepreneur responsible for creating the Summerfield Suites (now rebranded as HYATT House), Candlewood Suites (now owned by IHG) and Residence Inn (now owned by Marriott) hotel brands.
Mednikow Jewelers is coming back to Buckhead! The iconic southern jeweler that dates to 1891 is opening a new showroom at Lenox Plaza, on Peachtree Road, across from Lenox Square. The jewelry shuttered their second floor Phipps Plaza location at the end of 2009 saying that they would consider reopening in the future when "the economy recovers." I'd expect for the new location to open within the next two to three weeks.