Monday, June 2, 2014

Fresh To Order Says Hello to Decatur in Former Hola! Space

Casual eatery hopes to energize "cursed" space.  

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.  

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I like F20 but it's become a little weird with all of the extra little things they have lying all over the place for you to buy. Various snacks, sodas, etc. Who actually buys that stuff? Makes the place look cheap and cluttered.

The service is good but has been over the top as well. I had dinner there the other night and within my first three bites had several people come by asking me how I was doing. While this is nice, it becomes distracting while I am trying to eat. Thanks for paying attention to me but don't annoy me. I spent more time looking up with a mouthful of food saying, "I'm fine. Thanks" than I did eating for the first few minutes. This "over service" has also become a trend at Tzatzikis.

Anonymous said...

I like F2O. Although I never go to Decatur because I think parking is a hassle.

Anonymous said...

Omg. Parking parking parking. It gets so exhausting hearing about parking all the time. Decatur has a MARTA station. Take the train and walk!

Anonymous said...

I think the parking topic is too much at times, but just because Decatur is a convenient arrival spot for MARTA doesn't mean it's a convenient departure option for the rider.

Anonymous said...

Decatur has a large parking deck that is free after 5 and on the weekends. There is ample parking along streets, you just gotta pay the meter.

Anonymous said...

Forgive me, but if I'm going to make a trip to downtown Decatur, I'm eating at one of the wonderful local restaurants like the Brickstore or Iberian Pig, I'm NOT going to a chain I can eat near my own house!!

Amy said...

First F20 was on Roswell Road in Sandy Springs...not Spire. And, the lunch crowd in downtown Decatur is more of a Chick FIl A (courthouse etc) and Chipotle. I think they will struggle too as the price point at F20 is actually quite high...

Jeff Anthony said...

Amy has a good point regarding lunch. However, the residents in and around Decatur will be more likely to go to F2O than they did to this generic mexican joint HOLA in the evening. I do think they'll pull some of the crowd from CHK-FLA and Chipotle but I think their real draw will be Decatur residents during the week that want a good healthy meal without having to spend time cooking it.

Regarding parking, as a resident of Decatur I don't see parking is a hassle because there is a huge parking garage behind Parker's and one behind Cook's Warehouse. If you can't handle that, then stay in Lawrenceville or whatever OTP village you hail from. :) But hey, I don't go to Midtown because of the parking, so who am I to talk LOL!

Anonymous said...

Doesn't this space have the largest outdoor eating spot in the area? That's a definite plus. Also, there's plenty of parking nearby. You just have to know where it is. F2O is plenty reasonable for breakfast, considering the quality and quantity.