Aja (pronounced like Asia), the Asian restaurant & bar from Here to Serve Restaurants, has closed. The 9,024 square foot restaurant was located in the lobby level of One Alliance Center on Lenox Road in Buckhead and closed after dinner service this past Saturday.
Fellow Buckhead area restaurant Ocean Prime is scheduled to close this coming Saturday the 12th, after about four years in business.
Aja opened in October 2008 in place of Emeril's, which had closed in April of the same year after about five years in business.
Aja seemed to go through a number of identity crises: it was not sure if it was a lounge, a bar, a restaurant, a club, or some combination of them all. The restaurant featured Chinese, Japanese and Thai cuisine. According to a well placed source with knowledge of the situation, "we (H2S) just couldn't make the space work no matter what we tried."
The building's landlord, Highwoods Properties, was reportedly very understanding and let the group out of their lease. As of now, there is reportedly no immediate replacement tenant lined up, but I suspect someone will come forward soon.
Three Alliance Center, the final phase of Tishman Speyer's Alliance Center development, is currently under construction next to One Alliance Center. The 30-story office building will contain 500,000 square feet of office space and is slated for completion in late 2016.
Aja is only the latest Here to Serve restaurant closure. Late last year, the group closed its popular Shout restaurant at Colony Square in midtown. This past May, Here to Serve shuttered Goldfish, their seafood eatery at Perimeter Mall in Dunwoody. Earlier this month, the group converted their Noche restaurant in Johns Creek to their Coast seafood concept.
Going forward, the group will continue to operate Noche (three units), Prime, Twist, Coast (two units), Smash, Strip and Shucks.
What would you like to see open in place of Aja? Why do you think Aja was unable to make it? What is your favorite Here to Serve Restaurant concept?
Please share your thoughts below.