Since Wednesday is New Year's Eve, I have compiled this weeks Bits & Bites today! Thank you for your continued contributions, comments and readership. Happy New Year!
Cook-Out locations are officially open on Ponce de Leon Avenue (a converted Zesto) and on Northside Drive (the site of an old Wachovia bank branch). Cook-Out plans to open a number of new locations in the coming months including sites in Alpharetta, Athens (second location), Augusta (third location), Carrollton, Gainesville, Lithonia and Warner Robins. The North Carolina-based chain entered Georgia last year and thus far has thirteen locations open statewide. Sources say Cook-Out plans to have 50 locations open in Georgia in the coming years, a goal that at this rate seems very achievable.
A new Smallcakes is coming to Alpharetta. The new Smallcakes will open on Old Milton Parkway in a strip center that already includes chain breakfast eatery Another Broken Egg Cafe and local Italian eatery Carmine's.
With the holiday shopping season complete, I'm told that Crate & Barrel plans to close its North Point Parkway location in February. The closure would be followed by the store's opening, two exits north, at Avalon on Old Milton Parkway.
Metro Atlanta's first Earth Fare grocery store is currently slated to open January 8th. A second metro Atlanta Earth Fare store is scheduled to open in early spring as part of phase 2 of Emory Point on Clifton Road. The Asheville-based organic grocery has plans for a few other stores, including one in Cumming near the Collection at Forsyth.
Value Village has relocated its Roswell / Alpharetta store. Previously located in a former grocery store near Canton Street at Roswell Plaza, the new store is in across from Andretti Indoor Karting & Games. The new 32,000 square foot Value Village was previously the home of Discount Beverage Warehouse.
Goodwill plans to close its current Sandy Springs location (in a former A&P / Harris Teeter) January 4th and reopen in its new location (former Staples / B&R Thrift Store) on January 8th.
A new menswear boutique called Miguel Wilson is coming soon to Phipps Plaza.
Flavor restaurant on Johnson Ferry Road in Sandy Springs is being renamed "Zafron." Zafron is reportedly the Persian pronunciation of the spice saffron. A restaurant representative indicated that the new restaurant would feature a very similar menu with "a few additions." The Sandy Springs area is already home to two popular Persian eateries, Persepolis and Rumi's Kitchen, so perhaps it's smart to "stay in your own lane."
The Real Chow Baby on Howell Mill Road closed without warning over the weekend. The Howell Mill location of the stir-fry eatery was the restaurant's first location of what would later become a few around town. A location opened at The Galleria on Cobb Parkway in 2008 followed by one on Ponce de Leon Avenue in 2010 and at The Mall of Georgia in 2012. The Galleria location retained a similar format but was rebranded "Big Chow Grill - A Stir Fry Evolution," in 2010, and is no longer affiliated with the other locations. IMHO, the Ponce location was the worst in location, size and layout, and I'm surprised that it lasted as long as it did. A sign posted (on a shopping bag) on the door of the Howell Mill location indicates not that they are "closed for renovation," but that they are "moving to Alpharetta."
JuJuBees has closed at Chastain Square on Roswell Road in north Buckhead. The 1,000 square foot shop offered Italian frozen yogurt and seemingly could not compete with the many larger chain offerings of the area. Swirll, a Texas-based FroYo chain, previously closed at nearby Roswell-Wieuca Shopping Center, as did Three on the Tree, a FroYo joint from the owners of Fellini's. (The Three on the Tree space is now Greater Good BBQ, with the same owners)
After closing for a day early last month for "construction on the back stairs," Community Q on Clairmont Road will again be closing for construction. A sign posted on the restaurant's front door states that they will be closed January 4th through January 8th for "construction," and will reopen on January 9th at 11AM.
The Vortex Bar & Grill on Moreland Avenue in Little 5 Points announced yesterday they are temporarily closed. "We're temporarily closed for some emergency repairs. We'll be back as soon as possible." The "emergency repairs" reportedly relate to their roof, which reportedly had precipitated a similar short-term closure less than a month ago.