Thursday, April 16, 2015

Now This is a Bonehead Move: Failed Eatery Returning to Atlantic Station

The former Boneheads "flagship" restaurant in Buckhead 
Foolish franchisee resurrects failed fish eatery

Atlanta-based Boneheads (FireGrill) will be making a cameo appearance at Atlantic Station later this summer.  The fast casual seafood eatery, which closed at the beleaguered lifestyle center in late 2010 plans to reopen in their former space.  The original Boneheads at Atlantic Station was one of their first and was among the first restaurants to open in the complex.  

The franchisee of the recently opened Boneheads in Alpharetta will be re-opening the Atlantic Station location. The Alpharetta franchisee has enlisted industry veteran Dominic Colossale to serve as Director of Operations. Colossale has previously held General Manager positions at both Wolfgang Puck Express (now Chipotle Mexican Grill) and Don Pablo's (now T. Mac). 

Bonehead's was launched in 2006 by Raving Brands, which at the time was riding the success of Moe's Southwest Grill and Mama Fu's Asian House.  Moe's was sold in 2007 and today has about 600 locations worldwide. Mama Fu's on the other hand, never lived up to expectations and was sold in 2008.   Today Mama Fu's is gone entirely from Atlanta but has thirteen locations open, with five more "coming soon."  

Boneheads was sold in 2009 and today has a network of ten locations, with four more "coming soon."  Metro Atlanta is home to four Boneheads, having seen many closures over the past few years.  Notably, a Boneheads location in TOWN Brookhaven closed last summer after less than two years in business.  A reported "flagship" Boneheads location opened at Eclipse on Pharr Road last year, but it too closed less than six months later.  

The Boneheads website tells "about" the concept as follows. 

"One beautiful spring day in 2006, two different chefs driving two different cars simultaneously and accidentally collided. One chef was from Atlanta, and he had been noodling a casual restaurant concept that featured grilled fish. The other was South African, and he was trying to introduce the U.S. to a specialty Piri Piri pepper sauce he had perfected in his home country. The two men eyed their cars--then each other--and declared themselves boneheads."  

The South African in this story is Sean Lupon-Smith, the Atlantan was Michael Devilles.  Sean Lupon-Smith later bought out and rebranded both the original Boneheads in Roswell as well as the Atlantic Station location under the "Fishook Grille" moniker.  The menu was very similar with continued emphasis on the Piri Piri sauce.  The Atlantic Station location closed earlier this year while the Roswell location on West Crossville Road remains open.  

Building permits filed with City of Atlanta reflect limited work to be done to the roughly 2,400 square foot space such as a "grease trap review per the request of Fulton County Health. No changes to the grease trap or the building."  

Do you think Boneheads will succeed in its second attempt at Atlantic Station?  If Boneheads does not succeed, what should open in its place?  Popeyes?  Chick-fil-A?  Mattress Firm?  

Please share your thoughts below.  

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Boneheads describes the management style of this group.
They have never been successful. They left Peachtree Battle because of not enough parking.

The food stinks...

AJ said...

Do you still consider Atlantic Station "beleaguered"? I used to live in Atlantic Station so I was very defensive when I read your negative comments. I no longer live there, nor own a condo there, so I have no financial stake in the development. I'll go there to see a movie, to eat at a few of the restaurants and to go into a few of the stores there. I don't go often as I now live and work in Vinings, but I'm sure I'm there once or twice a month. Whenever I'm there, there's "life" there. Plenty of people. Minimal empty storefront. So what about Atlantic Station makes it "beleaguered" to you?

Tim said...

I don't think "cameo" is the right word there. What are you trying to say? Reprise?

Anonymous said...

Your disdain for Atlantic Station and people you used to associate with is so childish. Bitter describes you well.

Anonymous said...

Bold headline!

I agree though, Boneheads sucks. Decent concept, but poor execution. The people working there don't understand what they are selling.

Plus, fish is so sketchy these days. You never know where it comes from (farmed, GMO, etc). If they don't tell you where it came from, then you should assume the worst.

If they inked a fresh deal at Atlantic Station, we can assume they received a decently healthy TI package and some free rent. I give them 9 months until the bleeding starts, then they'll be gone within a year of that.

Atlantan99 said...

@Anon Re: Bitter,

Just to be clear, there is no one involved with Atlantic Station that I have ever associated with in a personal or professional capacity. IMHO, the property is dull, the stores are boring and the parking sucks.

Thanks for your comments and readership.

Anonymous said...

I am not big on Atlantic Station at all. I don't have any safety concerns but parking is a nightmare and the shops and restaurants just aren't enough of a draw. And there's too much turnover as well. Lenox and Phipps have a brand associated with it. What is the branding of Atlantic Station? It doesn't know what it wants to be. I give them credit for bringing in other events, like the Christmas lights and the summer movies, but they need to work on getting a much better mix of retail and restaurants.

Ham said...

While I’m not sure I’d call Atlantic Station beleaguered I also wouldn’t say they are thriving either. I suspect long term growth around GaTech may help their business, but in the short term I think they’re still just limping along. As more and more shopping/dinning/entertainment centers open around town the competition gets more and more intense and I’m just not sure Atlantic Station is currently a big draw.

ImAndy said...

I've been in Atlanta for 7 years, 5 of which was in Midtown. I've been to Atlantic Station 3 times. Once was for a movie and I ate at Fox Sports grill and it was aweful (closed a few months later), another I went to DSW to try to find my size in something I found at the Perimeter location, and the third time it was to go to Target which also was because I purchased all the towels in my color that Lindbergh had and needed more. I remember going into H&M as well and clothes were piled high on tables unfolded like it was a Laundromat. I had never seen anything as dumpy as that in my life and walked out.

I suspect my trips are more in line with most Atlantans. We'll go there when we need to, but it is NOT a destination.

Mark-in-midtown said...

Atlantic Station is hardly "beleaguered". The problems of a few years ago are mostly gone. While perhaps it's not quite thriving yet, the momentum is certainly in a very positive direction. WorldPay moving hundreds of employees to Atlantic Station is a big deal. The unique new office building proposed for the lot in front of Target is a big deal. One new apartment building after another after another is sprouting up all around the perimeter of Atlantic Station, to the point where Atlantic Station is far less of an island onto itself and is more integrated into a thriving and growing west midtown neighborhood. Will Boneheads succeed in its 2nd iteration at Atlantic Station? I don't know, but it certainly has a better chance this time around than the first time. The potential of Atlantic Station is off the charts. Will Atlantic Station fulfill its potential? With the momentum only increasing for people and jobs moving inside the city limits, I think there is a pretty good chance that within 10 years, Atlantic Station will be considered to be an anchor to one of the most thriving and dynamic neighborhoods in the city of Atlanta.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the commenters that it is not a destination for most Atlantans. On the weekends, it is not a hospitable atmosphere...and that H&M is a mess. People congregate blocking walkways and staircases everywhere. I've received some of the wost service in a department store at that Dillard's. I much prefer Avalon and I hope it's successful.

Anonymous said...

They already have a Fishook in Atlantic Station which was formerly a Boneheads so is the Fishook just changing there name back to Boneheads doesn't make sense to have the same concept with 2 different names in the same development

Anonymous said...

No one has ever had to make a decision whether to go to Atlantic Station or Avalon, since they are 30 miles apart!

Your comments make it sound like you haven't been to Atlantic Station since 2008 or so.

Anonymous said...

Some people never learn..... The first and last time I ever ate at a Boneheads was at Peachtree Battle. Ordering is too complicated and the food was average. I found that it wasn't worth the effort. Kudos to the salesperson that is able to sell this franchise concept. They surely must be able to sell ice to eskimos...

Anonymous said...

I'd take Atlantic Station over Town Brookhaven any day. Town Brookhaven is one of the worst and unimaginative designed centers I have ever seen. It is truly terrible. At least AS has cut down on the cars cruising through.

Anonymous said...

So out of touch this article. I don't know how you would ever call Atlantic Station "beleaguered." Is it where I as a in-town Atlantan want to spend a Saturday? Hardly. But between the BB&T, Cirque de Soleil and all the random BB&Q and beer festivals, I would say it's definitely doing okay. Maybe Boneheads isn't the best place to eat, but neither are the other 50 chain restaurants in the vicinity...aside from maybe Pig and the Pearl and Strip (for sushi). Kinnucan's is a great outdoors store and it's literally the closest Target to my house. People who are hating on the parking floor me. As one who lives in the middle of midtown and can't find a spot after 5 from Thursday-Saturday, Atlantic Station's FREE...yes FREE parking for 2 hours (more if you're at the movies) is a refreshing surprise.

Stop hating on Midtown and Atlantic Station. Stop your sorry half-ass reporting and go to a locale before you judge....like I said, I won't chose to hang out there, but when I do have to go....it ain't that bad.

Erin said...

So out of touch this article. I don't know how you would ever call Atlantic Station "beleaguered." Is it where I as a in-town Atlantan want to spend a Saturday? Hardly. But between the BB&T, Cirque de Soleil and all the random BB&Q and beer festivals, I would say it's definitely doing okay. Maybe Boneheads isn't the best place to eat, but neither are the other 50 chain restaurants in the vicinity...aside from maybe Pig and the Pearl and Strip (for sushi). Kinnucan's is a great outdoors store and it's literally the closest Target to my house. People who are hating on the parking floor me. As one who lives in the middle of midtown and can't find a spot after 5 from Thursday-Saturday, Atlantic Station's FREE...yes FREE parking for 2 hours (more if you're at the movies) is a refreshing surprise.

Stop hating on Midtown and Atlantic Station. Stop your sorry half-ass reporting and go to a locale before you judge....like I said, I won't chose to hang out there, but when I do have to go....it ain't that bad.

Anonymous said...

I actually like Boneheads. The location on Powers Ferry was excellent until... well, I'm not sure what happened. They just seemed to run out of their Piri Piri sauce and never replaced it. For a while, anyways.

I'd also frequently meet a friend a the perimeter location...

Anonymous said...

Curbed - I'm losing more and more interest and faith in your content with each passing day. First of all, this is terribly old news - Fishook closed two months ago, and the signs for BoneHeads has been up for at least six weeks. I work in Atlantic Station and have seen a huge transformation in th past two years, so I would hardly call it beleaguered. You are out of touch.... If it were still "beleaguered" then they wouldn't be constructing new office buildings, their vacancy rate would be much higher, the home values wouldn't have climbed by 30% within the past two years, they would not be developing a high-end mixed-use project in the plot of land that was formerly designated for the transportation hub, and they wouldn't be adding so much new housing. Get your sh1t together, Curbed.

Anonymous said...

I went to the new Boneheads at Atlantic Station the other day and was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. They've redone the inside and it's actually quite nice for a casual place, definitely a step up from the way it was when it was Fishhook. I think this place fills a niche and the food was quite good and the prices were reasonable as could be. Definitely a better value than when Fishhook occupied the spot.

RJ said...

Time to update DeathWatch. The Roxx is starting "summer hours" (closed for lunch during the week) starting Monday. That email was followed by the departure of their long time FOH manager Adam Adams. The service has been on a steady decline in the last year and we haven't been in months after poor indifferent service from the same server twice in a week.