|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.