Carlo's Bake Shop plans to open its first Atlanta area location at Perimeter Mall in Dunwoody later this spring. The new kiosk is located on the mall's first floor, near the escalators, between H&M and the food court. Hoboken, New Jersey based Carlo's first opened in 1910 but gained international notoriety when owner Bartolo "Buddy" Valastro, Jr. starred in the TLC reality show "Cake Boss" which chronicled the bakery, its owners and family. This will mark the chain's second location in the south following the December 2015 opening of a location within the revamped Dining Pavilion at The Florida Mall in Orlando.
Bath & Body Works plans to team up with its sibling brand White Barn and move its existing Perimeter Mall location to a new space in May. Bath & Body Works is currently located on the mall's first floor near Macy's but will relocate to an upper level space near TUMI where it will add White Barn, which is not currently in the mall. A store employee indicated to me this week that the new store is expected to open May 5th. In recent years, Bath & Body Works has opened similar combined stores at Cumberland Mall and North Point Mall, both of which, like Perimeter Mall, are owned by General Growth Properties (GGP.)
Adjacent to the new Bath & Body Works/White Barn store, LUSH Cosmetics is expected to relocate to a new space across the hall. A store employee at LUSH was unsure when exactly the new store will open but it will likely debut later this summer.
Guitar Center plans to open its newest Atlanta area location this Thursday March 23rd at Kennesaw Marketplace in Kennesaw. The new store joins anchors Academy Sports + Outdoors and Hobby Lobby in the new mixed-use center. A new Whole Foods Market is also expected to open in the center "in 2017." Westlake Village, CA based Guitar Center operates a number of other Atlanta area locations includes stores in Gwinnett, Alpharetta. Atlanta Guitar Center will celebrate its Kennesaw opening with "a weekend of festivities and specials including gear giveaways, live music, free lessons, and more!" (While I was preparing this post and listening to music on YouTube, I heard an ad for the new location that incorrectly describes it as being in the Barrett Crossing shopping center, the center containing Bargain Hunt and Floor & Decor, which is across the street from where they are actually opening.)
The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) posted signs on its Toco Hills office this week indicating that its planned move to Decatur has been postponed. An employee with whom I spoke at the Department of Labor indicated the move, previously scheduled for March 16th, was postponed due to "lease issues at the new location." The employee indicated that the delay should be minor, probably only a week or so. The sign encouraged GDOL customers to visit the GDOL website and to connect with them on social media to monitor updates on the move.
Toco Hills Coin Laundry closed this past Wednesday at Toco Hills shopping center. The business will be replaced by a new restaurant later this year.
Taco Bell plans to open a new freestanding restaurant in Brasleton near the entrance of the Park 85 office park. The 2,159 square foot restaurant is to be built at 6011 Highway 53, between existing Zaxby's and Dairy Queen locations.
Struggling electronics retailer RadioShack announced yesterday plans to close 552 stores, or 36% of its already trimmed store count. After first reporting on the planned closures March 5th and hinting at the possibility of a bankruptcy filing, RadioShack filed for bankruptcy for the second time in recent years last week. The stores slated for closure reportedly have the "lowest sales velocity and highest rent," according to the company's court filing. The company said it will "continue to evaluate" the fate of its remaining 1,000 stores. The closures are expected to occur in two waves, with 187 closing immediately, and another 365 closing as inventory is depleted, with all expected to close by the first week of April. In metro Atlanta, RadioShack will close its locations in the Barrett Crossing shopping center on Cobb Parkway in Kennesaw, Chamblee Village shopping center on Chamblee Tucker Road in Chamblee, Lawrenceville Commons shopping center at Lawrenceville Suwanee Road, and Lawrenceville Highway in Lawrenceville, and Peachtree Corners Marketplace on Peachtree Parkway in Peachtree Corners. RadioShack will also shutter a store in West Town Square shopping center on Washington Road in Martinez, near Augusta.
Struggling department store JCPenney also announced a round of closures that will mean the loss of a number of Georgia stores but none in metro Atlanta. Plano, Texas based JCPenney plans to close 138 stores within the next couple of months. Collectively, the stores represent about 14% of the company's locations, but reportedly account for just 5% of its total sales. The Georgia JCPenney stores destined for closure are in Dublin Mall in Dublin, Macon Mall in Macon, Milledgeville Mall in Milledgeville, Gateway Plaza in Thomasville, and Tifton Mall in Tifton. JCPenney closed its Perimeter Mall store in 2002 where it was demolished and rebuilt as Dillard's which opened in 2005. JCPenney also closed its Cumberland Mall store in 2005, which was demolished and rebuilt as Costco the following year. JCPenney continues to operate a number of metro Atlanta atores including those at Northlake Mall in Tucker, North Point Mall in Alpharetta and Mall of Georgia in Buford. The JCPenney store at South Point shopping center in McDonough is one of the chain's newest, having opened in 2008. Local sources indicate the South Point store is one JCPenney's most productive chain wide.
Midtown’s newly renovated 715 Peachtree building has landed three new retail tenants. The 10 story office building about a block north of the Fox Theatre was purchased in 2015 and later underwent a multi-million dollar renovation. Originally constructed as a regional headquarters for J.C. Penney in 1972, the building was most recently occupied by Bank of America until 2012. It has been vacant since that time. 715 recently welcomed co-working concept Spaces, while Honeywell International Inc. confirmed this past December that it will put an 800 employee software development center on two floors of the building. Bareburger, a new to market "healthy" burger joint from New York, plans to open in a 3,754 square foot space in the building's street level. The restaurant offers "organic and all-natural" burgers and plans to open later this fall. Land of a Thousand Hills coffee company, which launched in Roswell in 2005, will join Bareburger in the building's street level retail space with a nearly 1,500 square foot coffee shop. Since its launch, Land of a Thousand Hills has expanded via franchising and today has locations in Atlantic Station and Cumming, and single locations in Virginia, Massachusetts, Texas and Florida. Plans call for the coffee shop to debut next month. Atlanta based Stone Summit, which opened its first rock climbing gym off I-85 in DeKalb county in 2010, and added a second location in Kennesaw at the end of 2014, will open a smaller facility at the 715 building. Stone Summit at 715 will offer bouldering only, meaning that it will not need tall ceilings and will be a fraction of the size of its larger siblings. At about 10,000 square feet, this may be a pilot for Stone Summit to test smaller format, bouldering only facilities for possible expansion to new markets. The new Stone Summit is expected to open late this year.
Muss & Turner's plans to debut its new East Cobb location this coming Monday March 20th. The new restaurant replaces Common Quarter in Woodlawn Square shopping center on Johnson Ferry Road. Both Common Quarter and Muss & Turner's are owned by Unsukay Concepts. Unsukay's other concepts include Local Three in Buckhead, the original Muss & Turner's in Smyrna and Eleanor's the speakeasy at the Smyrna Muss & Turner's.
The speakeasy inside Ponce City Market’s City Winery has rebranded itself ABV. ABV [Alcohol by Volume] by City Winery debuted earlier this month and describes itself as "A Modern Drinkery." The speakeasy, which first debuted last fall, has now dropped the password (previously required for entry), created new drinks, added happy hour, and scaled down pricing. The cozy space, open from 5pm til midnight daily, will feature a live DJ from 8 pm to midnight. ABV will also feature a "happy hour" every day from 5 to 7 pm with a complimentary slice of pizza with every cocktail purchase.