Friday, September 15, 2017

Bits & Bites

After a couple of permit and weather delays, Willy's Mexican Grill will officially debut their new Northlake/Tucker location on LaVista Road this coming Monday September 18th.  The new restaurant is located on the site of a former bank that was redeveloped to welcome not only Willy's, but a relocated drive-thru Starbucks and Aspen Dental office as well.  The Northlake Willy's marks the Atlanta-based chain's 32nd location, with sources telling ToNeTo Atlanta that more are in the pipeline.  
Spiller Park Coffee opened earlier this week at Toco Hills shopping center.  The coffee shop, the second by the same name, is owned by celebrity chef Hugh Acheson.  The coffee shop occupies about 1,100 square foot in a portion of the former Shoe Center space.  ToNeTo Atlanta first broke news of the planned coffee shop this past December.  


Growing salad franchise Salata plans to join Chuy's at the new Liberty Park Village in Alpharetta near Avalon. The chain's first Atlanta area location is expected to open next Thursday September 21 at Atlantic Station.  Additional Salata locations are planned near Northside Hospital on Johnson Ferry Road, in East Cobb at Providence Square, and in Peachtree Corners at Peachtree Corners Town Center.  As ToNeTo Atlanta reported this past fall, Salata signed an area development agreement for up to 20 franchised locations in metro Atlanta over the next few years.  Unbeleafable Holdings, a subsidiary of Dallas, Texas-based private equity firm Henry Investment Group (HIG), secured the Atlanta development rights.  


Atlanta-based Bantam + Biddy, the casual, family-friendly eatery featuring all-natural poultry from chef-restaurateurs Shaun Doty and Lance Gummere, will open its first out-of-state location in downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee.  The restaurant, located at 728 Market Street, is the first announced restaurant in the Market City Center project and is expected to open later this fall. The restaurant, whose name refers to two poultry breed sizes, serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily and will also offer a full espresso bar and alcoholic beverages.  Bantam + Biddy's Atlanta locations include Ansley Mall in Midtown, Lenox Square in Buckhead, and Avalon in Alpharetta.  Bantam + Biddy previously had a location in 1010 Midtown, but it was replaced last year with The Federal, a full-service restaurant from the same owners.  

Whole Foods Market officially confirmed earlier today news that ToNeTo Atlanta reported earlier this month, which is that the grocer will open their new Kennesaw store Friday October 6.   Whole Foods also revealed today that like their new Chamblee store, the Kennesaw store will include a coffee bar from Revelator, Hops ‘n’ Sauce, an in-store barbeque and beer eatery, and fast-casual Japanese from Tori Bird by Genji. The store will celebrate with a pre-opening block party on Saturday September 30.  In related news, Harry's Farmers Market on Powers Ferry in Marietta will close on Thursday October 5.  


Like Willy's, Bulla Gastrobar was slowed by both local permit and weather delays and setbacks at its Miami-based home office, as it prepared to open its new Midtown Atlanta restaurant.  Sources at the restaurant tell ToNeTo Atlanta that the new, firm opening date is next Saturday, September  23.  



Atlanta-based Emory Healthcare has purchased six locations of failed healthcare concept Harken Health. Harken, a division of UnitedHeathcare, shuttered all of its clinics early last month, after it proved to be an unprofitable venture.  Former Harken locations in Marietta and Roswell have already reopened, with plans for the Brookhaven location in TOWN Brookhaven to reopen next Tuesday, September 19th.  The Decatur clinic on West Ponce de Leon Avenue is expected to reopen Friday October 6, with reopening dates in Austell and Duluth not yet made public.  A Harken Health clinic that was under construction on Monroe Drive at Midtown Promenade was apparently not part of the purchase, and will not open as an Emory Healthcare clinic.  

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.  Emory purchased the clinical practices, but is leasing the buildings.  
Emory is on a growth spurt of late, having opened a new clinic in the Old Fourth Ward last month, with plans to open a new clinic in the former Justin's on Peachtree Road in south Buckhead and at Belmont Physicians Center on Windy Hill Road in Smyrna in November.  


Entrepreneur Chris Welton recently purchased the rights to bring the first five Solcioty Fitness franchises to metro Atlanta.  Solcioty,  a new "high-energy" gym concept based in Columbus, Georgia, opened its first location in Columbus's Bradley Park Village last September and recently began offering franchises. Welton, along with his daughter, recent Ole Miss graduate India, will open their first studio in Buckhead's Tuxedo Festival at Roswell and Piedmont Roads. The studio will be about 2,600 square feet and will be located adjacent to Savi Provisons.  Solcioty offers a variety of weights as well as run, row and ride options for fitness enthusiasts.  Chris seems confident in his decision to franchise the new, unproven concept saying “We are very comfortable being Solcioty’s first franchisees; somebody has to do it,” but with Total Row already in Tuxedo Festival, Burn Studios opening across the street, and countless other fitness studios with local and national appeal already in the area, I fear this might not work out so well.  Oh, and parking in this Edens-owned center at peak hours is already one of the worst experiences in Buckhead.



A new market and restaurant called Tip Top Kosher Market recently opened on Savoy Drive in Chamblee.  The business,  adjacent to The Mad Italian near the intersection of Savoy Drive and North Peachtree Road, offers Israeli grocery products as well as a small eatery featuring Israeli classics like hummus and shawarma. The business opened last month and according to readers, has been quite popular.  

Norcross-based Global Franchise Group, franchisor of Great American Cookies, Hot Dog on a Stick, Pretzelmaker, and Marble Slab Creamery/MaggieMoo’s Ice Cream & Treatery, announced earlier today that is has purchased Round Table Pizza.  The Concord, California-based company encompasses its eponymous concept as well as Round Table Clubhouse and Round Table Pizza Wings Brew. There are 440 U.S. locations in seven states and 10 international stores. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Women's shoe retailer Aerosoles filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier today with a plan to close 95% of its 78 stores and focus on its wholesale, e-commerce and international businesses.  Aerosoles, like many struggling retailers, blamed its bankruptcy on declining mall traffic, big industry wide markdowns and a shift toward online shopping, according to a court filing.   Edison, New Jersey-based Aerosoles said it plans to maintain four flagship stores in New York and its home state.   "This restructuring will enable Aerosoles to become a stronger, more vibrant brand, and position the company for future growth," interim Chief Executive Officer Denise Incandela said in a statement.  The company, once part of Kenneth Cole, said it expected to complete its Chapter 11 restructuring, which could include a sale to a third party, within about four months.  In Georgia, Aerosoles operates stores at Mall of Georgia in Buford and the North Georgia Premium Outlets in Dawsonville.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to try the Spiller Park Coffee. Sad to hear Aerosoles filed for bankruptcy. I would like to try Willy's but the lack of parking may keep me away. Tried to go to Starbucks in the same center the other day and it was crazy. I can't believe someone is opening a gym in Tuxedo Festival. When people get a bank loan isn't the location evaluated for reasonableness? A gym needs parking and there is virtually no parking there at times. Thanks for all the info.