Thursday, September 3, 2015

Bits & Bites

Chick-fil-A celebrated the opening of their newest Atlanta area location in an outparcel of Perimeter Mall in Dunwoody yesterday at 6AM.  The store opened after the celebratory "First 100" promotion in which 100 fans of the restaurant camped out overnight in order to receive "Free Chick-fil-A for a year" (52 #1 combo meals).  The new restaurant and drive-thru replaced a Macy's auto center.  Future Atlanta area Chick-fil-A restaurants are planned for Shallowford Road in Marietta in October, Northside Drive in midtown in November, and at Fuqua Development's Glenwood Place next year.  

Sprouts Farmers Market opened their newest Atlanta store at Gateway on Roswell Road in Sandy Springs.  The new Sprouts is the eighth in metro Atlanta for the Phoenix, Arizona-based chain.  New Sprouts  locations are also in the works in Midtown, Peachtree City and East Cobb although no opening dates have been announced. 

A new Dunkin' Donuts is planned for 223 James P. Brawley Drive on the campus of Clark Atlanta University.

After closing a location at 250 Park Avenue West overlooking the Georgia Aquarium in 2008, Starbucks is returning to the area.  A new Starbucks is planned for the Embassy Suites hotel on the lobby level, adjacent to where Starbucks previously operated.  The former Starbucks location today operates as Baja Fresh.  

A new Del Taco is planned for McDonough on Georgia Highway 20, across from the popular South Point shopping center.  The roughly 2,500 square foot freestanding restaurant will be built between Party City and Advance Auto Parts.  Construction has yet to begin, but the restaurant should be open sometime in the first half of 2016. Currently the Lake Forest, California-based chain operates seven locations in Georgia.  Sources say that a few other locations are "in the works" for metro Atlanta.  

Plano, Texas-based Urbana Varro, a national commercial real estate investment, development, and management firm, has acquired the Artmore Hotel in midtown from Jamestown.  Originally built as a luxury apartment building in 1924, the Artmore Hotel is located at the corner of 16th and West Peachtree Streets, around the corner from The High Museum of Art.  

The AJC reports that the owners of  Smith’s Olde Bar have been granted a lease extension through the end of the year. Smith's owner Dan Nolen was able to renegotiate with the current landlord,  the family of original owner Beverly Taylor, before it was put on the auction block on August 28th.

The Brickery on Roswell Road in Sandy Springs has announced that it will close in late December "with no relocation on the horizon."  The shopping center which the restaurant the calls home, Hilderbrand Court, is being razed for what promises to be a super exciting mixed use development. (M.U.D.) Having been in business for 24 years, The Brickery has lasted longer than many local restaurants, but sadly follows a trend in Sandy Springs.   This past January, The Real Mandarin House, a once popular Asian eatery on Roswell Road in Sandy Springs Plaza, closed after about 40 years in business.  Last spring, Kobe Steaks, also a Sandy Springs institution, closed at The Prado after nearly 40 years in business. 

Discount department store Filene's Basement is being relaunched as an online store.  According to an official email I received this week, the new store will open its "digital doors" "in a few short weeks." According to the email "You'll find the brands, the prices, and the amazing Basement deals you loved us for, plus a level of personalization and style diversity you've never seen before."  Filene's Basement first opened in Boston in 1908 and grew to include locations in a number of states.  Filene's closed in Buckhead and across the country in 2011 following their Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.  Another popular off-price retailer, Loehmann's, closed last year after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy but was subsequently reborn as an online only retailer.   

The Palm Restaurant within the Westin Buckhead has reopened after a nearly two month renovation.  The new design features a large hand-painted mural that overlooks the main dining room and highlights Atlanta’s landmarks. The offers seating for 240 guests (an increase of 40 seats.)  Many of the signature caricatures were removed in the renovation but some remain and others were added.  This year marks 20 years that the New York-based steakhouse has been in Atlanta.  Bruce Bozzi Jr., a fourth generation family member , today serves as the restaurant's executive vice president. 

My friends at The Douglasville Menu report that Arden's Garden will soon expand to their neck of the woods.   A new Arden's Garden is planned for Douglas Boulevard in Arbor Walk, a small center not far from Arbor Place Mall.  Started by entrepreneur Arden Zinn in 1995,  Arden's Garden has slowly expanded from making juices in Zinn's kitchen to a far larger production facility in East Point.  Arden's Garden has evolved over the years, and is now run by Arden's daughter, Leslie. Following a recent growth spurt that saw the addition of new locations on the Westside, Buckhead, Decatur, and Vinings, among other communities, the company now operates thirteen locations in metro Atlanta.  


Anonymous said...

From pictures I have seen that mural is hideous. Not sure if its the cartoony colors or just a bad picture.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to go out on a limb here and predict that the new Chick-Fil-A will be a successful location ;-)