Wednesday, November 11, 2015

David Abes Departs LDV For A "Sweet" New Gig

Industry veteran takes leadership role at Buckhead Life. 

David Abes, currently Director of Operations for New York-based LDV Hospitality, will be leaving his position at the end of the week.  

"I'm very excited" Abes said of the new position.  "I'm leaving LDV in great hands. They are a great team and are doing amazing at Dolce."

Abes joined LDV last fall, and helped the group open both Corso Coffee and Dolce, both at The Shops Buckhead Atlanta.  Along with fellow New York-import Le Bilboquet, Corso and Dolce have proven to be among the most popular restaurants in the complex.   Future plans to open American Cut and Regent Cocktail Club are reportedly on hold until next fall, as the group focuses on its upcoming openings in Puerto Rico and New York.  There are reportedly no immediate plans to replace Abes.  

Abes, who came to LDV by way of Here to Serve, will be coming home, in a way.  

Before coming to LDV Hospitality, Abes spent fourteen years as Director of Operations for Here to Serve Restaurants. In its heyday, the chain included fourteen restaurants throughout metro Atlanta.  Prior to Here To Serve, Abes served as general manager for the Atlanta Fish Market during the mid-to-late 90s.   Abes also previously served as general manager of Horseradish Grill and was owner of Insignia restaurant.

Abes's new role will be Florida Regional Director of Operations for Buckhead Life Restaurant Group.  In his new position, Abes's first task will be the opening of a second Lobster Bar Sea Grille in south Florida.  

The new Lobster Bar Sea Grille will be opening in the one time China Grill space on Washington Avenue in South Beach.  Siena Tavern, a Chicago-based Italian restaurant, subsequently opened in the space last fall, but only lasted six months before closing earlier this year.  Abes expects the 10,000 square foot restaurant to open by next fall.  

Abes tells me he will not be "relocating" to Florida and that after the opening he will assume the role of COO with the company at their Buckhead headquarters.  

Started by Pano Karatassos and his then partner Paul Albrecht in 1979, the Buckhead Life Restaurant Group has been a staple of the Atlanta dining scene for decades.  Today, Buckhead Life includes Kyma, Chops Lobster Bar, Corner Cafe, Pricci, Bistro Niko, Buckhead Diner and the Atlanta Fish Market in Atlanta.  The group entered the south Florida market in 2007 with Chops Lobster Bar and later added City Fish Market, and most recently, Lobster Bar Sea Grille, a more contemporary version of Chops Lobster Bar in Ft. Lauderdale.  


Anonymous said...

Whoa, American Cut postponing its opening until NEXT Fall??!! I thought they already started on their very expensive and massive buildout? I can understanding holding off a month or two but this is essentially holding off for a year. Time kills deals and I wonder if the "delay" is a soft way of letting them eventually back out when the focus on them opening subsides. Easier for them down the road to blame it on market conditions or something vague.

And if them eventually not opening up is the case, is that an indictment on the development itself, their concept, or saturation in the market with high end steakhouses?

My money is on them not opening up at Streets of Buckhead/ Buckhead Atlanta / Shops at Buckhead Atlanta.

Anonymous said...

Yeah ^ seems odd to be this close to completing the build out and deciding they need to push the date back because of competing interests in Puerto Rico and New York. Seems odd with the timing of David Abes departing as well.

As my grandfather used to say, "The reason is never the reason."

Anonymous said...

Look, I think Buckhead has enough steakhouses as is and thought the money they were spending on the buildout given the competitive environment was insane. However, I guess you can't have a high-end center without a high-end steakhouse.

Their competition:
Del Frisco
NY Prime
Capital Grille
That place that closed at Lenox
Ruth's Chris
KR Steakbar

Shelly said...

^^^ Yes, the AJC had a good rundown of the Buckhead Whateveritscallednow troubles:

Anonymous said...

Buckhead Life, now there's a vestigial appendage to Atlanta's restaurant industry.