Monday, October 13, 2014

A Bonehead Opening Leads to a Short Life in Buckhead

Fast casual seafood eatery calls it quits in Buckhead

Less than six month after opening, Atlanta-based Boneheads Grilled Fish - Piri Piri Chicken has closed its corporate-owned Buckhead "flagship."  The restaurant and its secret "Buckhead Speakeasy" lounge opened in late April and closed yesterday.  The restaurant opened in the street level retail space within the Eclipse condo building at the corner of Pharr Road and North Fulton Drive.  Boneheads replaced Pan Asian eatery Aqua Bistro, which had been in the space since the building opened in 2005.

Sources say that Rob Barber, owner of Boneheads, spent close to two million on the buildout of the space. 

Raving Brands, (now known as Big Game Brands), the restaurant's original owner, sold the concept to Rob Barber and his BH Acquisition, LLC in late 2009.

With a number of outdoor seating options, one would have thought the restaurant would have been set up for success given the warm weather that followed its opening.  Sadly though, as predicted, the chain did not resonate well with locals and was reportedly never busy, even at lunch.  

The nearly 4000 square foot space was papered up as of today with the Boneheads signage already removed. Workers were actively removing equipment from the restaurant earlier this afternoon.

This past July, I was first to report that the Boneheads in TOWN Brookhaven would close too.  The franchised location closed a few days after my post, less than two years after first opening.  

According to the Boneheads website, the chain currently has nine locations in six states.  (The Buckhead location still appears as open and was number 10.)  

The Boneheads site reflects there being a number of new locations in the pipeline.  Boneheads are reportedly "coming soon" to  Alpharetta, Little Rock, Arkansas, Oxford, Mississippi,  Houston, Texas, Pensacola, Florida, Visalia, California, and Lahore, Pakistan.

What would you like to see replace Boneheads?  Why do you think Boneheads failed?  Did you ever visit their secret speakeasy?  

Please share your thoughts below.  

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

The food was good, but parking was awkward, construction dirt had not been cleaned up inside, everything was covered with dirt, no ambience to speak of.

Anonymous said...

How embarrassing for the concept when corporate opens a "flagship store" that does not last 6 months.

Anonymous said...

Tried to have lunch there three or four times and could never find parking, either in the deck or on the street. I called one time and asked if there was dedicated parking anywhere and was told I could valet for free. Seriously? You want me to tip a valet to spend 25 minutes in a fast casual restaurant for lunch? This ain't Beverly Hills!

Anonymous said...

Too bad for them but they should have known parking would be an issue. I really like this concept and not sure why they are struggling so much. When I lived in Marietta, I would frequent their location on Powers Ferry. They closed for a while, reopened but without their piri piri sauce and then even it came back.

PB said...

As much as you love to brag you were "first to report" this or that, I lost count of how many posters (me included) predicted the demise of the Brookhaven Boneheads months before you did.

Atlantan99 said...

@PB RE: closure prediction,

I'm not sure when you are referring to but I predicted their troubles even before they opened! The concept is now, and was then, flawed and has little chance of surviving, especially when placed in a center like TOWN Brookhaven.

http://www.tonetoatl.com/2012/07/bonehead-opening-in-brookhaven.html

Thanks as always for your comments and readership.

PB said...

Youre comment above "This past July, I was FIRST TO REPORT that the Boneheads in TOWN Brookhaven would close too" is what I was referring to, and was predicted by many posters on here, many months sooner.
In previous article, you wrote "..........I question the thought process in another restaurant [Boneheads] opening in the project." and "I doubt Boneheads finds this same success, but who knows?" is hardly a prediction of a closing failure.
My basic point remains: if you would stop the constant bragging (while rarely posting the numerous times you've been dead wrong), your column would be so much more enjoyable!
Thanks for your comments.

Anonymous said...

The place where I eat popcorn while reading the comments related to the amount of bragging on this blog is in no danger of closing anytime soon.

Anonymous said...

the closing was intentional. The owner has a new operation planned with a new partner. It will be Buckhead Saloon. Work is well underway, and staff has been hired. Veteran operator has been hired as a partner for the concept but Barber is financing the entire deal for now. it will be an upscale tavern and the speakeasy will become a sports bar.
Does anyone think this will work?

Anonymous said...

the closing was intentional. The owner has a new operation planned with a new partner. It will be Buckhead Saloon. Work is well underway, and staff has been hired. Veteran operator has been hired as a partner for the concept but Barber is financing the entire deal for now. it will be an upscale tavern and the speakeasy will become a sports bar.
Does anyone think this will work?