Thursday, August 7, 2014

Big Al's Gourmet Butter Burgers Coming to Buckhead

Electronic billboard facing southbound Peachtree Road near Peachtree Battle
A new restaurant named Big Al's Gourmet Butter Burgers is coming soon to south Buckhead.  The new restaurant will be located in The Shops of Buckhead (2221 Peachtree Road), the same center as Cami Cakes and Alexis' Suitcase.  

Big Al's will occupy suite G, a 1355 square foot space that was previously a business called Signs of Buckhead.  Big Al's owners will spend about a quarter of a million dollars to convert the space from its previous use.  

The Shops of Buckhead with no signage for Big Al's Gourmet Butter Burgers 
Big Al's is being opened by Alre Alston, reportedly the owner of The U Bar on Camp Creek Parkway in East Point, home of Mandingo, the mechanical bull.  

The U Bar fka Ultimate Sports Bar Grill frequently advertises  and runs promotions with radio stations Streetz 94.5 and Hot 107.9.  The restaurant is most memorable to me as a result of their constant "sexy lady bull ride contest."  Women are encouraged to dress for the occasion and ride "Mandingo," the mechanical bull, for a chance at a couple thousand dollars.  Other notable promotions according to their website include:

"Free chicken for everybody" and  "Free seafood for everybody all night" 

The U Bar is reportedly "Atlanta's #1 Sports Bar."

Interestingly, in my research for this post, I discovered a lawsuit filed against Alston and The U Bar by a number of former servers. (Robinson et al v. Ultimate Sports Bar, LLC et al).  Among the claims are allegations that Alston failed to pay employees minimum wage and also did not accurately compensate them for overtime hours worked.  The case was filed in May in United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.  

The inside of Big Al's earlier this week
With a seemingly unresolved legal case and a restaurant that is far from open, it seems a little early to be promoting the restaurant with a giant billboard in Buckhead.  A contractor at the restaurant indicated the restaurant would be open by the end of September, but I find that hard to believe.  The stretch of Peachtree Road Big Al's is opening on has seen tremendous restaurant turnover of the past few years and they find that yet another burger joint is not the recipe for success.   

What do you think of this new Buckhead bound eatery?  Do you know what a butter burger is?  Have you ridden Mandingo? 

Please share your thoughts below.  


K Cochran said...

Good leg work on the legal front. I have some space alittle further up 85 @ GPM that is ready to go for restaurant w full bar service but, alas, no 'Mandingo'. Not sure if the lawsuit will prevent an opening that soon; depends on how deep their pockets are.

Anonymous said...

I think we're already past the saturation point for burger joints and you have to have something very special or unique to survive. Perhaps "Mandingo" is the key... lol

Anonymous said...

There's no quick service burger anywhere around here. Grind house and farm burger are almost 3 miles each

AJ said...

I'm not one of those "we have too many burger places" people, but this one does look like it'll fall into the "death watch" list rather quickly...

Anonymous said...

Who ever wrote this article is a hater ,I feel this place will do great so stop hating!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Whoever wrote this article is a hater I feel this business will do excellent great concept so stop hating!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

titiana said...

as a server myself living in the same area, people shouldn't put stuff like this up , lawsuits are usual and are going to be always there . it doesn't mean the allegations are true, people unfortunately do things for money and take advantage. I've been a manager in a bar too so I know. I welcome this place to the area and hope it does good and based on his history im sure the owner will do great. its also creating jobs in the community but I notice these are two different places with different concepts so I don't think its big enough for what your trying to put out there. also ive worked at the ubar I the past and it was great and im glad its coming cause I need some closer to buckhead. StOP hating , do some better with your time, will be applying big al

Omegah Brown said...

My name is Omegah Brown and im looking for a job position for a cook i have worked in food before and not scared to get burned and i live close by and new to the area
please give me a call,

Anonymous said...

I have an office in the complex. The parking is a nightmare at lunch time. I thought it was going to b a quick lunch spot too. It looks like it will be a sit down place for dinner. I just don't see it being successful in this spot. I wish he could have gotten the spot up the street where gustos is. Even though I love that place. I wish him luck and will definitely support his business. But to have something on the higher end in this complex seems a bit off path.

Anonymous said...

I visited Big Al's for the first time last week. I was disappointed. The actual burgers were nothing special. I couldn't tell that they butter had been used in any way. My wife ordered a glass of wine and got a plastic thimble full. No particular ambiance. Just an average burger joint except for one thing: boutique burger prices. I went to Steak N Shake and got their butter burger for a lot less and liked it better. Not a good sign. Average food plus high prices, I predict, equals short lifespan for Big Al in Buckhead.