Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Regional Chains Planning to Take a Bite of Decatur

A number of businesses are planned for Decatur property

Youngstown, Ohio-based Redstone Investments reportedly has agreements with a number of businesses to open in their redeveloped 315 West Ponce de Leon Avenue property.  

Atlanta-based Highland Bakery is likely the most exciting of the planned openings. While I worry the "group's" (I'd hate to call them a chain) expansion will water down their brand, Highland Bakery will add a nice, casual breakfast option to the area.  Started on Highland Avenue in the Old Fourth Ward, Highland Bakery today has locations in midtown and Buckhead as well as on the campuses of Georgia Tech and Emory University.  Highland Bakery's Decatur location will be just over 3,000 square feet and is slated to open later this summer. 

Slightly less exciting an opening is Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe.  Birmingham, Alabama-based Taziki's was started in 1998 by Amy & Keith Richards.  The chain grew slowly at first, but having witnessed the success of cross-town rival Zo√ęs Kitchen, Taziki's started franchising in 2012.  A location in Sandy Springs was their first in the peach state. Other locations followed in Athens and Alpharetta with another coming soon to Suwanee. Taziki's in Decatur will be 3,000 square feet and is expected to open early this summer. Personally, I'm as much a fan of Taziki's as I was of Pita Pit, and we all saw how that ended.  

Nashville, Tennessee-based I Love Juice Bar plans to renovate the former Wells Fargo drive-thru ATM into a drive-thru juice bar.  As I mentioned last week, local franchisee Cara Weaver is opening a new I Love Juice Bar at Toco Hills.   The Decatur location, which I learned of in preparing the Toco Hills post, is scheduled to come before the Decatur Planning Commission next month.  My friends at Decatur Metro have an in-depth story detailing the plans and its parking / logistical implications.  Essentially, the plans are to reduce the drive-thru lanes from four to one and "offer customers convenient access by foot, by bike and by car."

Lastly, in an opening I'd equate to be almost as ubiquitous as a new Mattress Firm, Orangetheory Fitness will open an approximately  3,500 square foot space in the complex.  Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based Orangetheory Fitness entered metro Atlanta a couple of years ago and has been steadily spreading throughout the state.  The franchise fitness studio currently operates thirteen Atlanta area locations with another seven listed as "coming soon" (exclusive of the Decatur location.)

What are your thoughts on these planned additions to Decatur? Who are you most excited about opening?  Do think Highland Bakery will become the next Flying Biscuit Cafe or will Decatur mark the end of their expansion?  

Please share your thoughts below. 

14 comments:

Douglas Green said...

Love Taziki's in Alpharetta. Ridiculous to compare to Pita Pit. Will do well in Decatur. You should eat there before ridiculing. Excellent chain. Looking forward to the Suwanee location also.

Atlantan99 said...

@Douglas,

Forgive me if I was not clear, I have been to a Taziki's, one of their original locations actually, in Birmingham. I thought the food was pretty awful and the service even worse. I'm a big fan of Mediterranean food and my experience left me hungry and unhappy. Taziki's is very much like Pita Pit in that they are a chain that seems to sacrifice quality for growth.

Thanks as always for your comments and readership, I appreciate them both.

Teddy said...

"nice, casual breakfast option presently missing from the area"

You state this like it's a fact. But Thumbs Up Diner is just a block or two away, and Sweet Melissa's another block down. Are you just not a fan of those places?

Anonymous said...

It's not even close to correct to say that a nice casual breakfast place is lacking from the area. Pastries A Go-Go, Thumbs Up, Sweet Melissa's, J. Christophers are all on Ponce within .5 mile of this location. Some of those (the non-"group" ones, IMO) are better options than others. But they all are decent to nice and all serve breakfast as their main meal and all seem to do good business. Highland Bakery will be different and likely successful, but it won't be the only breakfast option nearby.

Atlantan99 said...

@Teddy / Anon,

My apologies, that was an editing error and has been corrected. I have nothing against any of the other existing breakfast options already in the area.

Thanks for the comments, feedback and readership, I appreciate it.

Douglas Green said...

You should update it and go to one of the locations in the Atlanta area. Sounds like it's been a while since you been to one. They are doing very good job in this area

Anonymous said...

Decaturites are a little different. One thing I've noticed is they generally despise chains. I wouldn't touch that area if I were a chain....

Anonymous said...

I guess Tupelo Honey Cafe will never make it to downtown Decatur. :-(

anon said...

The new Jimmy John's at 1605 Howell Mill opened today.

Anonymous said...

I agree Atlantan99 Eli. I've been to Tsatsiki in Sandy Springs. There is nothing good about that menu or service. They must be successful in spite of themselves. Sometimes I think that people put up with mediocrity in food and service when beer and alcohol are in play. Everyone working there were like robots and couldn't think for themselves outside of process.

Anonymous said...

Keith Richards is a friend from way back.... Tajikistan uses locally sourced produce and hormone and antibiotic free meat whenever possible and their food is made from scratch. It has a typical fast casual order at the counter system. I would like to know exactly what constitutes horrible service at that type of establishment? Not to. Mention their hummus is some of the best around...l the weekend pasta special is excellent. Maybe you should sticick to reporting facts about openings and closing a and leave your personal opinions out.

Anonymous said...

Personal opinions are valuable when backed up by experience, and Eli has a great track record. His honest opinion is what makes people read this blog. It is certainly not for the shills in the comments.

Teddy said...

If y'all are looking for good fast casual Middle Eastern, check out Pita by the Beirut. Super delicious. (Not a shill, just a fan.)

Anonymous said...

No doubt HB will kill in in Decatur. Atlanta is a brunch town and people seem to love their stuff. Personally, not my favorite. I don't like their baked goods and def don't like waiting 90 minutes for a table.