Monday, August 23, 2010

BirthWatch Progress Report : Q3

While this blog has been reporting a lot of sad news, closings and such, there are some exciting openings and expansions planned for Atlanta's restaurants, retail and hotels, in the coming months. In May, I provided a list of projects at various stages of development, here's the new updated lists of where we/they are now...


Barcelona Wine Bar & Restaurant (Inman Park) Taking the space of Zaya Mediterranean Restaurant on N. Highland Avenue, Connecticut-based Barcelona Restaurant & Wine Bar plans to open by year end but nothing is confirmed. When last I posted about them, a time frame of "6-8 months" was provided but I'd like to think that was a bit aggressive.

Cafe at Pharr (Buckhead) The restaurant will soon re-locate from their home on Pharr Road to Buckhead Commons on at 3145 Peachtree Road. They will open in a space that, if memory serves, was a Smoothie King a few years back. Cafe at Pharr will join the famous Trio shoe repair and also relocated Tulipano and MODA 404 boutiques.

Cakes & Ale (Decatur) Originally I had been told they were going to expand in their current space on West Ponce; instead they will move to Church Street just outside of the Decatur MARTA station. While I personally would have stayed put and expanded, apparently they think that they can increase revenue enough to warrant the relocation and extensive build-out. As construction has yet to begin, an opening date is not yet on the horizon.

Davio's Italian Steakhouse (Buckhead -Phipps Plaza) Davio's Northern Italian Steakhouse is scheduled to open Wednesday August 25th on the main level of Phipps Plaza in Buckhead. The restaurant is opening in a portion of the former Niketown space and has added additional outdoor dining. Currently the chain has locations in Boston, Foxborough, MA, and Philadelphia. While I am not a fan of more high end steakhouses in the area, Davio's is different than most, with its Italian take, a variety of gluten-free lunch and dinner options, and a kids' menu.

Deckard's Kitchen & Kegs (Midtown) Named for Taco Mac Corporate Chef Matthew Deckard, Deckard's will be a slightly more upscale eatery with "craft food and artisan liquors." The restaurant is located within the Home Depot anchored shopping center on Ponce de Leon and is scheduled to open in early September.

Der Biergarten (Downtown - LMD) David Marvin and his Legacy Property group plan to open their this new German Biergarten late next month in the space that most recently housed the ill fated "The Wine Loft." This will be Marvin's first LPG operated restaurant concept without the guidance of Concentrics Hospitality Solutions. The restaurant is instead being opened in partnership with Wolfgang Hartert, a German native and is likely to be managed by Brian Bullock, who was hired from BrickTop's. Years back there was a Biergarten in Atlanta, in Buckhead, now closed. I'd be surprised if this concept makes it downtown especially where Marvin could, but chooses not to, offer free parking to restaurant patrons.

Egg Harbor Cafe (Buckhead and Johns Creek) Earlier this year Lincolnshire, IL based Egg Harbor Cafe signed a lease to open in Buckhead and recently signed a lease for another location in Johns Creek. Slated to occupy 3900 s/f in the former Sears automotive building at 102 West Paces Ferry Rd., significant work has yet to begin, so the "fall opening" is optimistic. The lease for the Johns Creek location was just signed earlier this month and is for a space slightly larger, at just over 5000 s.f.

Encore (Lindbergh) Slated to open in the revolving door that is the restaurant at Piedmont and Sidney Marcus in Buckhead. Most recently the ill fated Aliyah's Island Grill, Encore is said to feature a variety of tapas and American fare and should open later this fall. I give them 10 months, max.

Empire State South (Midtown) Originally scheduled to open in late April, then June, Empire State South from acclaimed chef Hugh Acheson is far from on track. New estimates peg opening at "late August." Already with two established and popular restaurants in Athens, Five and Ten and The National, Empire State South will focus on "the food of the south." Located at 999 Peachtree, it will benefit from the new Loews Atlanta Hotel and the expanding Midtown Mile.

Flip Burger Boutique (Buckhead) Located in redeveloped Tuxedo Festival at the intersection of Roswell and Piedmont Roads, this will be the second Atlanta area location of the boutique burger joint. Chef Richard Blais and his business partner Barry Mills have progressed in the buildout of their upcoming Buckhead location but its hard to put a date on opening though I've been told they hope to open by mid October.

Fritti (Buckhead) Riccardo Ullio, owner of U Restaurants, is said to be bringing the battle for the best pizza to Buckhead. The new Buckhead location would open as part of the redevelopment of the former Sears Automotive building at 102 West Paces Ferry, next to the St. Regis Hotel. This expansion seemed more set in stone when last I reported on it, now with the closures of Beleza and Lupe, it may be in doubt.

Gigi's Cupcakes (Buckhead - Tuxedo Festival) The second of a Nashville based franchise to be located in Atlanta, the new Buckhead location in Tuxedo Festival, at the intersection of Piedmont and Roswell Roads is scheduled to open this week.

Genki (VaHi) Supposedly opening in the current Everybody's Pizza on Highland Avenue, word is Everybody's will close before the end of the year and Genki will open early next year.

Goldberg's Bagel Company & Deli (Toco Hills) Goldberg's Bagel Company & Deli is planning to open their sixth location in Toco Hills shopping center. They will open in the former movie theater on the Publix Supermarket "wing." Goldberg's will join Bagel Palace & Deli and Einstein's Bagels in the immediate area offering similar fare. The most direct competition is clearly Bagel Palace, as they cater to the heavily Jewish (& Emory) clientele and offer essentially the same menu as Goldberg's. While work on the space has picked up in recent weeks, no opening date has been set.

Grindhouse Killer Burgers (Midtown) Alex Brounstein's burger joint grows up and gets its own building. Scheduled to open in late October, Grindhouse midtown will open in what was most recently a car wash on Piedmont Avenue.

H. Harper Station (Reynoldstown) Chef Todd Richards, formerly of Rolling Bones will be open H. Harper Station on Boulevard in the old "The Depot". The restaurant will feature Caribbean and New Orleans inspired dishes and is set to debut in late October.

Kaleidoscope Bistro & Pub (Brookhaven) I broke news of this restaurant opening in early July but no work has been done on the space. Being opened by Joey Riley of the Buckhead Diner and his partners, I was told they hoped to open in October, that now seems improbable.

Lenox Cupcakes (Buckhead - Phipps Plaza) Located on the second level of Phipps Plaza in the Belk wing, Lenox Cupcakes plans to open in the coming days.

Local Three (Buckhead) Opening in the former JOËL Brasserie, the team behind Muss & Turner's plan to open Local Three in the space in early to mid-October.

Noche (Brookhaven) According to a tweet by Here to Serve Director of Operations, Noche will start construction in October with a planned March opening.

Menchie's (Toco Hills + East Cobb + West Paces + Tuxedo Festival + Savannah + Marietta + Cumming) Encino, California based Menchie's will open its third Atlanta area location this week at Toco Hills Promenade. Building permit delays with the city of Atlanta have caused delays at both Buckhead locations, while the other locations should open later this fall.

Pano's (Buckhead) Delayed a number of times already, there was talk it was never going to open, but that is simply not the case according to Buckhead Life reps. Though as with many in the restaurant industry, business was tough for Buckhead Life and projects were slowed, Pano's will open at the St. Regis hotel by year end. With Bistro Niko, their French concept, now open at 3344 Peachtree, Buckhead Life can once again dedicate themselves to the beloved Pano's (previously known as Pano's and Paul's). [According to some insiders, this project may never come to fruition]

Pinkberry ( East Cobb - Merchants Walk) The brand that many say was the domestic originator of the now wildly popular "FroYo" craze, Pinkberry, will open its second Atlanta area location in Cobb county this fall.

Pollo Campero (Buford Highway) Pollo Campero has taken over what was once a Popeye's Chicken and plans to open a restaurant of their own by late October.

Saigon Cafe (South Buckhead) This will be location number six for Saigon Cafe, a locally owned restaurant chain featuring Vietnamese fare. The space was most recently Mama Fu's Asian House and is located across from Piedmont Hospital. According to the restaurants website, the new location be open in August, tick tock, tick tock...

STK / stk out (Midtown) New York-based "The One Group" will open two concepts at 1075 Peachtree late this fall. STK, its signature upscale steakhouse on the Peachtree Street side, and "STK OUT," a new more casual concept on the corner of 12th and Peachtree. The two concepts will be in a single subdivided space, encompassing a total of 12,000 s/f on two levels.

Smashburger (Metro Atlanta) As far as I know, leases have yet to be signed though locations have been discussed from Alpharetta to Buckhead and everywhere in between. There is certainly plenty of available real estate, just a matter of the right mix. Have any idea where one may be opening? Leave me a comment or drop me a note and I'll investigate.

Sprig ( Oak Grove) Nothing much has been said other than they plan to open in "the fall". Unlike the aforementioned Napoleon's, little work has been done and I'd be surprised if they open much before mid-late November.

Sufi's Kitchen (South Buckhead) Opening in the former Shipfeifer's on Peachtree, Sufi's Kitchen plans to open in the coming weeks and will serve tradition Persian cuisine.

Tilted Kilt (Dunwoody) The fifth area Tilted Kilt, this new Dunwoody location is under construction in the former Max and Erma's in Dunwoody. The restaurant should be open within the next 30-60 days.

The Big Ketch (Buckhead) The group behind Tin Lizzy's took over over the former Taco Stand in Buckhead and is launching this new concept. Originally set for a mid-late May opening, and later pushed to late July, it's now opening "later this fall." The full name of the casual seafood restaurant will be "The Big Ketch - Oyster Bar and Seafood Grill" paying homage to a favorite now-closed seafood restaurant in St. Petersburg, Florida. With offerings such as fresh grouper, you peel shrimp, crab legs and fresh oysters, at prices in the low teens to low $20s, they should compete nicely with the recently opened Coast Seafood & Raw Bar.

The Daiquiri Factory (Midtown) Opening at 889 West Peachtree Street, the restaurant's owner told me in May she would be open by early June at the latest, as of today I have yet to receive confirmation on when they will be open.

The Firkin & Griffin (Dunwoody) The third Atlanta area location for this Canadian chain, the new Dunwoody location should be open by late October.

The IVY (Buckhead) The IVY will soon open in what was for the longest time Carbo's Cafe on Roswell Road. The restaurant is said to be on track to open in late fall.

The Kind Pie (Buckhead) Having closed in its cubbyhole of space on E. Paces Ferry next to Park Bench and Cafe Agora, owner John said he will reopen nearby but nothing has been said lately.

The Real Chow Baby (Midtown) Opening in the former Doc Greens on Ponce de Leon Avenue, the new Chow Baby should be open by years end.

The Square Pub (Decatur) New pub concept scheduled to open on the Square in Decatur. A delay in approval of building permits may cause the restaurant to push its opening, I'd guess November / December.

YEAH! BURGER (VaHi) With the first YEAH! Burger now open in West Midtown, Shaun Doty and his business partner Erik Maier have their sights set on the Highlands. With renovations now underway, I'm told told they hope to open in late October, but that will undoubtedly turn into mid November, if not later, given how long it took for the original location.

Yoforia (Athens + West Midtown + Johns Creek ) With a growing number of FroYo joints in town, local favorite Yoforia is keeping pace having added locations in Vinings and Brookhaven recently. Within the coming weeks they plan to open in Johns Creek with a location in Athens and in West Midtown on tap to follow later this fall.

Yogli Mogli (Alpharetta Commons) Yogli Mogli, a local purveyor of the ever popular Fro-Yo will be opening two additional locations in Georgia, this summer. Yogli Mogli opened its first location at 6595 Roswell Road near the intersection of Abernathy and Roswell Roads in Abernathy Square in 2008 and added a second this past March on Johnson Ferry in East Cobb and just last week opened in Emory Village. Similar to the Yogurt Tap in Decatur and the upcoming Menchie’s in Toco Hills, Yogli Mogli offers a variety of nutritional yogurt flavors in a self serve environment and an array of toppings from fruits and nuts to cereals and candy.

Zaxby's ( Buckhead and Chamblee) I broke news that Zaxby's would be opened both of these locations by years end and as of now, that's all thats being said. If construction picks up soon, I'd hope to see them both open by late December.

Zoës Kitchen (Tuxedo Festival) Birmingham Alabama-based Zoës Kitchen will open their second metro area location later this fall at Tuxedo Festival just north of the intersection of Roswell and Piedmont Roads. With a sign having just been put up and work yet to really progress, I'd say it would be late November before they are open.


Anthropologie (West Midtown) The third local store for Urban Outfitters trendy womens concept, Anthroplogie in Westside Urban Market is scheduled to open next spring.

DEKA Athletics (Buckhead - Shops Around Lenox) With their current location on Pharr Road currently liquidating current merchandise, a move is near. I'm told they hope to have all old merchandise liquidated in the coming weeks and be in the new space by late August or early September. The move is not only dependent on the liquidation of current inventory but also the completion of the build out at Shops Around Lenox where they are converting a portion of the former CompUSA space.

H&F Bottle Shop (Buckhead - Peachtree Battle) Being opened by the group that brought Atlanta Restaurant Eugene and Holeman & Finch, H&F Bottle Shop is being opened within Peachtree Battle shopping center. Details are vague as to an exact opening but from what I can see and what's been said / shown via their facebook page, I'd guess they would be open by mid October.

Herve Leger ( Buckhead - Lenox Square) As usual Simon is pretty useless in terms of providing an opening. Given the signs regarding their opening recently went up, I'd surmise they plan to be open in time for the holiday shopping season.

Fendi (Buckhead - Lenox Square) They've been working on the space for months so hopefully they open soon. No offical word from Simon but I'd guess they'll be open by late September.

Vetted (Buckhead) This new women's boutique will open with the ill fated Lexie + Jane recently closed. After extensive interior renovations and a new management team, Vetted plans to open in mid to late October.


Hotel Indigo (Downtown) Originally scheduled to open May 1st, then pushed to June and July, and later October, the new opening is set for February 1st, 2011. Possibly delaying the opening is the fact that the hotel is being made out of the renovated and historic Carnegie Building. The hotel is not only old but is not the most ideal for use as a hotel with what I can only image with a plethora of modifications to the structural layout of the floors and plumbing. This will be IHG's second Hotel Indigo in metro Atlanta, third in Georgia. Hotel Indigo downtown will features 155 guest rooms, 14 of which are suites.

Crowne Plaza (N. Druid Hills - Executive Park) InterContinental Hotels Group, whose North American headquarters are in Atlanta, reported a couple month back that the long vacant office tower at North Druid Hills and Interstate 85 North would be turning into a Crowne Plaza Hotel but no visible work has been done. As I live in the area I'm keeping up hope that they progress soon, but as little to no work has been done, its difficult to estimate a possible opening.

Sol Meliá Hotels & Resorts (Downtown) - This Spanish based hotel operator will brand the soon to close Renaissance Hotel in downtown Atlanta with one of its flags as it has been selected to manage the hotel for The Fundus Group, the hotels owner. A formal announcement is expected September 1st.

Newborns -

CB2 (Midtown)

5th Street Cafe (Midtown)

Napoleons (Oak Grove)

Slack's Restaurant & Bar (TOWN Brookhaven)

Sugar Shack (Brookhaven)

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As always, I'm human and perhaps I missed something, maybe you're opening something, either way, leave me a comment and give me your thoughts.


AJ said...

As usual, kick a$$ job! Thanks for your hard work.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the comprehensive update! In the last several days, work has begun on Kaleidoscope Bistro & Pub, so perhaps an October opening isn't completely out of the question...?

Anonymous said...

Excellent listing and timely as well

widmerpool said...

When are we going to get some more burger concepts...

Anonymous said...

Grindhouse is coming along. There's been quite a bit of work on the site, and one of the two concrete "piers" which used to house the vacuums (I think) has been removed.

Anonymous said...

Spot on about David Marvin and parking. Outside of the tourists and conventioners in the area, I don't know of many locals who'd want to head down there to go to a Biergarden especially with so many better beer options already in town: Brickstore, 5 Seasons, Tap, Leons, any Taco Mac, Cypress Street, Fado, Park Tavern to name a few. Well if that spot failed for wine, might as well round it off and fail with beer.

Anonymous said...

Don't look for Egg Harbor Cafe in Buckhead. It's not happening. Opening in John's Creek only.

Anonymous said...

Herve Leger--- slated to open Oct 2010

Atlantan99 said...

Hey Anon,

I can't say that I'm shocked that Egg Harbor is not going into Buckhead as J. Christopher's is around the corner, and 2 Flying Biscuits are nearby. I question being why they would have ever signed on in Buckhead as all the existing completion is just that, existing and is not new. Hope they make it in Johns Creek.

Thanks for the info!

Atlantan99 said...


I was emailed by the property owner at 889 W. Peachtree and according to Kechia Matadin, owner of The Daiquiri Factory, she will open in September.

Anonymous said...

About Egg Harbor- They would have definitely done the Buckhead all fell through, not by their choice.....
Who knows about Johns Creek being successful? Hope it is for their sakes, but awful "iffy" in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't Davio's be on the Deathwatch instead? Another over priced steak joint is exactly what Atlanta needs and can afford.

Atlantan99 said...

Both Lenox Cupcakes and Gigi's Cupcakes are now open in Buckhead.

alsosara said...

How about Exhale Spa in Midtown? Just soft opened with Grand Opening mid-Sept. Located in Loews Hotel.

Atlantan99 said...

Hello Sara,

While I'm aware that the spa recently opened within the Loews in midtown, its opening has been covered in local media and spas are not what this blog covers.

Anonymous said...

Is Zaxby's still planning to open both the Roswell Road and Peachtree Road locations by year end? No progress has been made on the Peachtree location, and a "For Lease" sign still stands where the restaurant was rumored to be built.

Atlantan99 said...

Hello Anon,

I too had wondered the same thing considering the lack of progress at both sites. According to a Zaxby's rep in the real estate department, they are both still in the works, apparently permitting is taking longer than expected. Hopefully we'll have em open by February/March...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update!

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