|The Greenhouse will soon be gone from Ponce de Leon Avenue|
After a number of delays, the "Murder" Kroger on Ponce de Leon Avenue will close for good on October 28th. The store and surrounding property, totaling 5.5 acres, will be redeveloped into "725 Ponce," a mixed use development that will feature a new 12-story office building built over a 60,000-square-foot Kroger. The $190 million dollar project from Atlanta-based New City LLC was first announced this past January but was delayed a number of months reportedly due to financing difficulties. In the end, New City secured J.P. Morgan Asset Management as its capital partner. Birmingham-based Brasfield & Gorrie will serve as the project's general contractor. Demolition of the current Kroger store could begin as early as mid- November. The office building is set to be finished by the end of 2018, with the new Kroger expected to open in early 2019.
In other Kroger news...
The new Kroger at Fuqua Development's Lindbergh Place project is expected to open November 9th.
In advance of the Kroger expansion at Howell Mill Square, Chin Chin has moved to a new space within the center which should be open very soon.
The Kroger at Embry Hills, which previously forced the closure of the S&S Cafeteria, is reportedly on track to close by the end of the year. The closure, which is to make way for a new Kroger Marketplace store, has been delayed once already, with neighborhood rumors flying that the project may be in jeopardy. Kroger sources confirm plans remain in place, and that the store will close at the end of the year.
Cafe 101 on Jones Bridge Road in Johns Creek has closed with The Mughals replacing it.
According to their official facebook page, the Uncle Maddio's Pizza in Savannah closed September 30th after about three and a half years in business. The restaurant, which proudly displayed its 100% health score and TripAdvisor accolades in its restaurant, seemed to have a devout, but perhaps small following, judging from the comments on its facebook page. The closure comes on the heels of over a dozen others around the country for the fledgling Atlanta-based chain. In an article published Monday to online pizza publication Pizza Marketplace, Uncle Maddio's founder and CEO Matt Andrew claimed that only eight locations have closed. The article, which by Tuesday evening had been removed, also included Andrew claiming "bad franchisees," not a bad product or brand, was the reason for failing restaurants.
The Wendy's on Pleasant Hill Road near Gwinnett Place Mall is closed for an "Image Activation" renovation. The Pleasant Hill renovation follows similar renovations of older Wendy's on Howell Mill Road, Boulevard, Marietta Boulevard and elsewhere.
The old school barn style Dairy Queen on Cobb Parkway in Marietta is also closed for a renovation. The building has been stripped down to four walls and will be completely rebuilt to give it a more modern look.
Kipos, the restaurant that the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported in May would be opening at The Shops Buckhead Atlanta, has opted not to open. The traditional Greek eatery was to open in place of the former American Food + Beverage, and give Kyma a run for its money. I was exclusively provided the following statement from a representative of OliverMcMillan explaining the restaurant's decision:
"The Kipos brand has decided against expanding beyond Chapel Hill at the current date. OliverMcMillan plans to continue its relationship with the Giorgios Hospitality Group and hopes to bring one of its concepts to an OliverMcMillan property at some future date.”
This news follows weeks of industry chatter that Giorgios Hospitality was experiencing financial issues that were reportedly affecting its expansion efforts. Attempts to reach the Giorgios Hospitality Group for comment were unsuccessful. OM sources indicate that they remain hopeful that Giorgios will eventually bring Kipos or another of its concepts to one of their projects in the future.
In more exciting Buckhead Atlanta news, Dallas, Texas-based Lombardi Family Concepts plans to open Taverna in the former Thirteen Pies space by the middle of next month. The restaurant will serve pizza, risotto, and fresh-made pasta dishes such as spaghetti with lobster bolognese.
Additionally, Robert Talbott, a menswear retailer from Monterrey, California, has opened their first and only Atlanta area boutique at The Shops Buckhead Atlanta.
A new location of Wing Stop is "opening soon" at the Kroger-anchored The Crossings shopping center on South Cobb Drive in Smyrna.
The Real Chow Baby quietly opened its new location in Alpharetta earlier this month. The restaurant, which closed its original location on Howell Mill Road in late 2014, said at the time it was "relocating to Alpharetta." The Alpharetta restaurant is located in street level space within the Alpharetta Lofts, a luxury condominium building at 58 Canton Street. Strangely, the restaurant has set up a "personal" facebook page rather than a "business" facebook page, making searching for the restaurant slightly challenging. Following the Howell Mill closure, the other remaining Chow Baby on Ponce de Leon Avenue also closed, making the Alpharetta location the sole location for the once promising chain. A location in Buford at the Mall of Georgia closed in late 2014, while a location in the the Galleria by Cumberland Mall eventually changed owners and names and is today known as Big Chow Grill.
The former Chow Baby on Howell Mill Road will soon be reopened by original founder Mike Blum as One Rooster Mongolian Bar.