Urban Cookhouse, which recently moved its corporate headquarters from Birmingham, Alabama to Columbia, South Carolina, plans to open its first Atlanta area location today at Gateway on Roswell Road in Sandy Springs. Will Gillespie, owner of both the brand and operator of the Sandy Springs location, said he plans to open a number of additional locations in the Atlanta market in the coming years.
Lucy Goosey Gifts has announced they are closing at Vista Grove shopping center at the end of the month. The Touwsma family has operated a business in the nearly 4,400 square foot space for 26 years but has decided to call it quits. Having grown up nearby, I witnessed the many iterations of the business, first as Vista Grove Hardware, later as Limetree (which eventually expanded to many units around Atlanta), and most recently as Lucy Goosey.
The UPS Store in Brookhaven Station will move to a larger, new space on Monday. The new space that the package services company will occupy is a portion of the fomer Sherlock's/The Cook's Warehouse.
On Wednesday afternoon, Macy's announced the list of the 40 stores it plans to close and while the North DeKalb Mall store was obviously on the list, no other Atlanta area stores are closing.
Sean Palani, who relocated from Connecticut to open the first Barcelona in Inman Park in 2010, has left Barcelona's parent company, Barteca Restaurant Group. Palani functioned in numerous capacities in Atlanta for the group including "Director of Hospitality" and Regional Sales Manager for the group's eventual three bartaco locations and one Barcelona location. (A second Barcelona is expected to open soon at the Ironworks project on Howell Mill Road.) Palani's new role is "Senior Operations Manager-Delta Sky Clubs Account" for international food-service and facilities management company Sodexo North America.
Current Davio's General Manager Claude Guillaume is also leaving for an airport job. Guillaume, who for many years was the General Manager at The Ritz-Carlton Buckhead's famed Dining Room, and later Director of the hotel Food & Beverage department, came to Davio's in 2010 to open the Boston based restaurant's Phipps Plaza location. Guillaume will begin his new role as "Vice Presdient of Guest Experience" for Marietta based HBF on January 19th, after departing Davio's on the 16th. HBF, like HMSHost and Sodexo, is a foodservice provider, specializing in airport outlets. According to the company's website, HBF operates in eleven domestic airports including Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, San Francisco International Airport and Orlando International Airport, among others. At Hartsfield-Jackson, HBF operates Varasano's Pizzeria, Goldberg's Bagel Company & Deli, Sweetwater Draft House & Grill, Qdoba Mexican Grill, and P.F. Chang's China Bistro, among others.
Atlanta based Capella Hotel Group will build its first metro area hotel near Porsche Cars North America's headquarters, adjacent to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The 214-room "Solis" hotel, is scheduled to break ground in late March and open some time in 2017. The hotel will be designed by HOK Architects, which also designed Porsche’s North America headquarters. Peter Silling & Associates will design the hotel’s interior. The property, at Two Porsche Drive on the east side of Hartsfield-Jackson, will include 6,500 square feet of event space, a 3,600-square-foot ballroom, and a rooftop lounge with panoramic views of the Porsche handling course at the nearby Porsche Experience Center. Capella Hotel Group, orginally known as West Paces Hotel Group, was launched in Atlanta in 2002 by Horst Schulze, former President of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. The hotel group was renamed Capella Hotel Group in 2011, after its "Capella" hotel brand. The group's website describes Solis Hotels as being "for travelers and meeting planners who seek luxury accommodations characterized by exceptional service, quality finishings and meticulous attention to detail." Capella Hotels Group had previously been linked to bids for both the new hotel planned near the Georgia World Congress Center and also rebranding The Mansion on Peachtree, which eventually became a Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Solis Hotels currently operate in China, Ireland and Russia, with an additional property coming to China, and inital launches in Qatar and Indonesia. This past fall, the group finalized plans to open a new 27-story hotel next fall on International Drive in Orlando.
In related news, InterContinental Hotels Group, with North American headquarters in Dunwoody, plans to open a second InterContinental Hotel, this one near Hartsfield-Jackson. The hotel would be built adjacent to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport’s domestic terminal. The group selected to build the project is Majestic Carter Atlanta Mixed Use LLC, a team that includes Atlanta based developer Carter, Majestic Realty Co. and GPM Investments LLC. The group will be tasked with not only the construction of the hotel, but also a commercial development and a travel plaza. The project architect is expected to be John Portman & Associates. Atlanta's first InterContinental Hotel opened on Peachtree Road in Buckhead in late 2004.