Southwest joint supplanted by salads at Atlantic Station
Moe's Southwest Grill closed its Atlantic Station location earlier this evening after ten years in business. The Atlanta-based franchise, which was by all accounts one of the most popular Atlantic Station quick-serve eateries, was reportedly not offered a lease renewal.
Moe's follows the recent closure of Copeland's Cheesecake Bistro, which closed earlier this month at Atlantic Station. Both restaurants were original tenants in the project. Following their closure, the only other remaining original restaurant tenants in Atlantic Station are California Pizza Kitchen (CPK), Rosa Mexicano, Boneheads, Lobby Bar & Bistro and Kilwin's.
When it opened in late 2005 / early 2006, Atlantic Station was home to four "Raving Brands" concepts: PJ's Coffee, Doc Greens, Boneheads and Moe's Southwest Grill. Amazingly, despite massive struggles of the chain elsewhere, Boneheads at Atlantic Station remains open. None of the aforementioned brands are still associated with their former parent company. For example, Moe's is now part of Atlanta-based FOCUS Brands.
The 2,489 square foot Moe's space is expected to reopen later this spring as Salata. I first wrote about Houston, Texas based Salata this past fall when they announced plans to enter the Atlanta market with as many as 20 franchised locations over the next several years.
Salata, which refers to their concept as "The Next Generation Salad Bar," has over 50 locations in their home state of Texas as well as a handful of locations in both Illinois and California. Seen as a healthier offering, Salata offers patrons the opportunity to create their own "tossed-to-order fresh and healthy salad or salad wrap."
In some ways Salata seems like a scaled down, quick serve version of Sweet Tomatoes, but with an emphasis on higher quality salad ingredients and protein options. The restaurant will also feature assorted soups and organic teas. Despite the previous failures at Atlantic Station of Doc Green's and Au Bon Pain, which are similar in some ways to Salata, Hines, which purchased the property in 2015, seems to believe the demographics and traffic have changed enough at Atlantic Station to make Salata a success.
What are your thoughts on the closure of Moe's at Atlantic Station? Do you think Salata will be successful at Atlantic Station? Where else would you like to see Salata open in metro Atlanta?
Please share your thoughts below.