Thursday, June 17, 2010

What's The Fuss? Mama Fu's Closes in Buckhead

The last remaining Atlanta area Mama Fu's Asian House closed earlier this week. I noticed last week that the restaurant seemed abandoned inside and read a posted sign stating that they were open for lunch only: it was lunchtime. This was the chain's original location, opened by former franchiser / developer Raving Brands, in 2003. The concept's largest franchisee, Austin-based Murphy Adams Restaurant Group, purchased the concept from Raving Brands and moved its corporate headquarters to Austin. When Raving Brands owned the concept, there was talk of hundreds of locations in 5 years: that didn't happen. As recently as October 2008, Murphy Adams claimed that they hoped to add 150 locations by 2013. By my count, they have added 1, for a grand total of 12 locations system-wide. Personally, I think one could find better Asian style cuisine almost anywhere but one reader on Yelp took it a step further saying "I would rather eat cardboard garnished with toe jam than to eat here again. Bland and gross." Overall the restaurant had a 1.5 rating based on 19 reviews. I noted the limited success of the chain in an earlier post: clearly Atlantans prefer the likes of Tin Drum Asia Cafe and Doc Chey's Noodle House. While Murphy Adams is the current owner of the brand, Raving Brands retained ownership of this location and recently had listed it for sale with The Shumacher Group.

The Buckhead location at 1935 Peachtree Road would seem to be a great site for a restaurant, as it's across the street from Piedmont Hospital. To that end, I've heard that there may already be a deal in the works for a replacement eatery. ToNeTo Atlanta

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Anonymous said...

Mama Fu's "Asian inspired cuisine" was just awful. It was as if they were told to make the food without the required spices and seasonings.

Anonymous said...

What Sprock didn't realize is that its a lot easier for Joe the Plumber to roll a burrito than stir fry chinese food. That's where Raving got off track. Creating brands that were just too hard to franchise. Look at the other Raving concepts that have seen some success. Shane's, Planet Smoothie and Monkey Joe's. All very easy to operate with a half way intelligent owner. The biggest joke was Flying Biscuit. You need a culinary school degree to operate that!

Anonymous said...

Yes - FB was tough...way too tough to operate. I was a former employee and I saw upfront the costs and waste. It was bound to fail - unfortunately. With all the loss however - Sprock has the $$$$ he won in the end.

Mama Fu's was nice when there were cooks like Franciso ! Big up Vargas...need more men like you in restaurant kitchens!

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