Marlow's Tavern plans to open its new restaurant in Brookhaven December 13th. The 3,558 square foot restaurant opens in a newly constructed second building in Brookleigh Marketplace on Johnson Ferry Road. The restaurant is the chain's 17th in Georgia and 22nd overall. Early next year, Marlow's will be joined by a new frozen custard joint, Southern Custard, occupying a 1,300 square foot space next door.
After 24 years in business, Leather & Luggage Depot began a "Going Out of Business" sale on Black Friday. Originally opened in 1992, the family owned & operated business has been a fixture on Chattahoochee Avenue since long before "West Midtown" was en vogue. Leather & Luggage Depot carries such brands as Briggs & Riley, Delsey, Hartmann, Travelpro &
Simmons, Swanson, Swenson Samsonite!, among others. The store, which is actively liquidating its entire stock of luggage, briefcases, backpacks, wallets and accessories, plans to remain open until the inventory is depleted. The store is currently offering discounts of up to 45% retail prices. In addition to the complete merchandise liquidation, racks counters and other store fixtures are for sale. After a lifetime in the retail industry, and approaching retirement age, owners David & Gill Green are appreciative of the customers and relationships they have built over the years but decided now was as good a time as any to call it a career.
Another Broken Egg Cafe plans to open a new location in Roswell at Roswell Market Place at the intersection of Mansell Road and Alpharetta Highway. The nearly 3,600 square foot restaurant will be the Destin, Florida-based chain's sixth in Georgia. The restaurant will open in a new outparcel building to the right of anchor Sprouts Farmers Market. The new restaurant will compete head to head with local breakfast joint, Flying Biscuit Cafe, located in an Office Depot anchored center across the corner from Roswell Market Place .
An existing Burger King restaurant on Northside Drive in the shadow of Mercedes-Benz Stadium will soon undergo a significant exterior renovation. The burger chain is trying to keep up with the renovations of competitors Wendy's and McDonald's, both of whom have renovated dozens of restaurants in and around Atlanta and the country. The Burger King renovation will bring new brand messaging to the restaurant's exterior such as "Flame Grilling Since 1954" and "Taste is King." The classic mansard roof will also be eliminated in favor of more contemporary stone features. Burger King recently completed similar remodels at existing restaurants in Duluth on Pleasant Hill Road and in Decatur on Memorial Drive.
Atlanta-based Haverty's Furniture plans to open a new Haverty's Outlet store in Duluth on December 16th. The new store opens on Venture Drive, beside Dave & Buster's, in place of PGA TOUR Superstore, which relocated to a new location near Sugarloaf Mills last fall.
Main Event plans to open its new location in Suwanee on December 13th. The new location is located on Lawrenceville Suwanee Road. Dallas-based Main Event operates other Atlanta area locations near Cumberland and North Point.
BLT Steak, the upscale steakhouse situated in the ground floor of the W Atlanta - Downtown, plans to close its doors at the end of the year. I predicted a closure was imminent when I reported last fall that the space was being marketed for lease. The restaurant, which is short for Bistro Laurent Tourondel, opened along with its host hotel in 2009. BLT's last day in business is scheduled for New Years Eve. The hotel will reportedly take over restaurant operations effective January 1st, rebranding the space, at least temporarily, as "The W Kitchen." (This is likely a temporary concept as the hotel looks to secure / confirm a new signature restaurant). Other W properties in Atlanta have changed their signature restaurants from those that they opened with as well. In 2012, W Atlanta - Buckhead replaced Market, a contemporary American restaurant from chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten with Cook Hall, a gastropub. In 2014, W Atlanta - Midtown replaced Spice Market, a southeast Asian restaurant also from Vongerichten, with TRACE, a southern, farm-to-table restaurant.
Seattle-based Amazon revealed this week that they plan to enter the brick & mortar grocery business. The concept called Amazon Go, allows customers to use their phone to "swipe in" to their store and exit the store without ever "checking out." A short video showing the store and how it works describes the process briefly: "We used computer vision, deep learning algorithms and sensor fusion much like you'd find in self-driving cars." "We call it Just Walk Out Technology." Customers are billed to their Amazon account only for the items they leave the store with. The 1,800 square foot store is being tested now and is only open to Amazon employees with plans to make it open to the public early next year.
Amazon is also expanding its partnership with Tulsa-based QuikTrip. Amazon Locker, a secure location from which customers can pick up Amazon orders, is now available at about 20 Atlanta area QuikTrip locations. Metro locations offering the service include the QT on Clairmont & Briarcliff Roads, Chamblee-Tucker Road near I-285 and Lawrenceville Highway in Tucker. The service, which was tested in Atlanta, is also being expanded to the Carolinas, an expansion market for QT where the service is being credited with bringing in additional foot traffic.
Crunch Fitness plans to open a second Atlanta area location as it continues its return to the market. After opening a 32,000 square foot gym in place of the former Forum Athletic Club in Johns Creek in January, franchisees Geoff Dyer and Tony Scrimale plan to convert the former OfficeMax in Perimeter Place in Dunwoody to a new Crunch Fitness. The 18,200 square foot facility will be a lot smaller than the Johns Creek location but will seek to appeal to the many apartment dwellers and busy professionals in the area. Crunch previously operated a number of locations in metro Atlanta including gyms at Parkway Pointe near Cumberland Mall and Tower Place in Buckhead, but both closed in 2009 marking the brand's exit from the market. Dyer and Tony Scrimale, who together have a combined 75 years of experience in the fitness industry plan to open at least 20 Crunch locations in the next few years.
Philly Connection of Snellville closed as of November 30th. The restaurant was located in Snellville Plaza at the intersection of 78 (East Main Street) and 124 (Scenic Highway). The cheesesteak eatery previously closed in Decatur. Twelve locations remain open in Georgia according to the company's website. A sign posted to the Snellville restaurant's door thanked patrons for 1.5 years of patronage.