According to well placed sources, Atlanta-based Fresh To Order (aka F2o) has signed a lease to open a new restaurant in Decatur. The growing “fine-fresh” restaurant plans to open later this year in place of the shuttered Hola! Mexican Cantina. The space sits at the high traffic / high visibility corner of Ponce de Leon Avenue and Church Street, adjacent to Noodle and across from Leon's Full Service.
The space was for many years an Atlanta Bread Company location before going through a series of failed concepts over the past few years. After nearly a year of renovations and delays, Decatur Diner opened in 2011, only to close a few months later. Hola! opened in early 2013, but closed before Thanksgiving.
Although chains have not been widely accepted in Decatur, Fresh To Order could do well given its moderate pricing and slightly above "fast casual" quality food. As someone who has sat and watched the lunch lines at nearby Emory Point, Fresh To Order is clearly a winner with many lunchtime diners. F2o, along with Which Wich? and The General Muir are easily the three most popular eateries at the project.
Pierre Panos opened the first F2o at the Spire on Peachtree Street in midtown in 2006. Since then, the chain has grown to a total of eight in metro Atlanta including locations at both CNN Center and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The chain also expanded into franchising which led to locations in Nashville, Chattanooga and Waterford Lakes, near Orlando. Recent franchise agreements will reportedly bring additional locations to central Florida as well as the Charlotte, North Carolina and Greenville, South Carolina markets. Two other locations are reportedly in the works to open in the coming months in Gwinnett county.