Tuesday, November 30, 2010

BirthWatch Progress Report Q4 - Year End 2010

Upcoming Truffles Cafe on Lenox Road in Buckhead

This past year we have seen a number of unfortunate closures and welcomed some new favorites to the metro area. The following is a list of upcoming developments in Atlanta's restaurant, retail and hotel sectors.


3 Chefs Downtown (Midtown) Taking the former Madison Grill at the bottom of the Earthlink headquarters building in Midtown, 3 Chefs Downtown seems like a good idea. Interestingly though, a website and phone number are already registered for the business, but a lease is not yet signed. Given this little detail and the fact that the group behind the restaurant seem amateurish at best, this restaurant may never actually open.

5 Napkin Burger (Midtown) Currently a 3 unit chain out of New York, 5 Napkin Burger has plans to add location in Atlanta, Boston and Miami. Though none of these locations have been announced, its believed the Atlanta location will be where Nickiemoto's is currently located in midtown. (Last week it was announced Nickiemoto's would close in December)

Arden's Garden (Midtown) -Arden Zinn of Arden's Garden is preparing to open her sixth retail outlet in Atlanta. At the corner of Crescent Avenue and Peachtree Place in Midtown, the new location is within historic Commercial Row. Commercial Row is between the Margaret Mitchell house and the Midtown MARTA station. According to sources at the existing Arden's Garden locations, the new unit should be open by late January.

Barcelona Wine Bar & Restaurant (Inman Park) -Taking the space of Zaya Mediterranean Restaurant on N. Highland Avenue, Connecticut-based Barcelona Restaurant & Wine Bar planned to open by year end, but decided the existing build-out did not fit their needs. Revamping essentially the entire space, I'm now told the group hopes to have the restaurant open by late February or early March.

Beignet Connection (Downtown) With a "Coming Soon" sign that has been displayed for what feels like an eternity, I'm told by sources on site that the restaurant will open by the end of the week. The restaurant is located within the street level retail space at the Pencil Factory Flats on Decatur Street downtown.

Buckhead Pizza Co. (Cobb Galleria) -Locally owned Buckhead Pizza Co. will open its 4th area location sometime this spring. The restaurant will be located in a 4,200 s/f space in the Cobb Galleria Centre across from Big Chow Grill. Never been a fan of the joint, but should do decently given the surrounding offices.

Cafe at Pharr (Buckhead / TOWN Brookhaven) -The restaurant will soon re-locate from their home on Pharr Road to Buckhead Commons 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 the relocated Tulipano and MODA 404 boutiques, but not till spring. An addition location is still on the books for TOWN Brookhaven but has been pushed to next Summer.

Cakes & Ale (Decatur) -Originally I had been told that 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.

Caramba Cafe (Downtown) -Caramba Cafe closed in Morningside this past June after 22 years in business. Later this past summer it was announced they planned to reopen at the Pencil Factory Flats. While construction has been slow, I'm told the restaurant hopes to open by year end but surely by early January.

Decatur Diner (Decatur) -I'm at a loss for words on this joint. Taking over a shuttered Atlanta Bread Co., the Decatur Diner has been ridiculed and hated on so much and its not even open yet! I will admit, the exterior "faux marble" is pretty atrocious, but the idea of a diner seemed like a good idea for the neighborhood. The revelation that the ownership of Decatur Diner is also connected to the family that bought out Crescent Moon and drove that brand into bankruptcy is cause for concern. Apparently, the same family recently opened Empire Diner on Roswell Road in Sandy Springs and is far from popular with industry folk. I stopped by the DD this past weekend and was told they would be open this week... .... .... tick tock...

Delia's Chicken Sausage Stand (TBD EAV Locale) - After communicating with Delia a few weeks ago, I was told a lease was not yet in place but that she hoped to have a lease signed by mid December. If the lease in EAV is signed by then, I'd expect she would be operation by mid to late February.

Egg Harbor Cafe (Johns Creek) -Earlier this year Lincolnshire, IL based Egg Harbor Cafe announced it would open as part of the redevelopment of the shuttered Mercedes-Benz of Buckhead dealership on E. Paces Ferry. The Buckhead location fell through so they will instead open in Johns Creek. The Johns Creek location will be about 5000 s/f and I'm told is scheduled to open mid-to-late January.

Encore Restaurant (Lindbergh) -Encore is slated to open in the revolving door that is the restaurant at Piedmont and Sidney Marcus in Buckhead. Though a recent press release said they would be opening in November, they remain "in progress." Most recently the ill-fated Aliyah's Island Grill, Encore is to feature a variety of tapas and American fare and should open later this fall. I give them about 2 weeks to open and 10 months to remain open.

Genghis Grill (South Buckhead / Dunwoody) -Dallas, Texas based Genghis Grill, "The Mongolian Stir Fry," is starting to heat up the Atlanta market. Genghis Grill has signed leases for three Atlanta area locations, having already opened one in Buford at the Mall of Georgia. The chain plans to add locations in Alpharetta, Buckhead and Dunwoody in the coming months. In Alpharetta, Genghis Grill will open on Windward Parkway, near the recently opened Which Wich and across the street from Costco Wholesale. In Dunwoody, Genghis will be located near La Madeleine in the R.E.I. anchored shopping center on Perimeter Center West and in Buckhead, the location will be behind Houston's and across from The Fresh Market and Benihana on Peachtree Road. Although no signage is up, nor any work started, it is believed that the Buckhead restaurant will be located within the shuttered Blockbuster Video store on the south corner of the center.

Genki (Virginia-Highland) -Genki will open in the space that currently houses Everybody's Pizza on Highland Avenue after the pizza joint closes next month. Many in the neighborhood have voiced their opposition to a chain like Genki coming in and replacing Everybody's, to some an institution in the neighborhood, but alas, the deal is done, and Everybody's will close. Word is that Genki will open in late January or early February.

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 the restaurant has been delayed from its previously announced spring opening, I'm told that they currently plan to open December 17th.

Grindhouse Killer Burgers (Midtown) -Alex Brounstein's burger joint grows up and gets its own building. With his successful counter in the Sweet Auburn Curb Market, Brounstein is in the midst of renovating a former auto shop on Piedmont Avenue into what will be Grindhouse Midtown. Though once said to be opening in late October, Alex now tells me he's hopeful to be open by the end of January.

Highland Bakery ( Buckhead - ATL Fi Cen) -The third location for this intown favorite, the bakery and cafe will occupy a Peachtree road facing space that was most recently a Starbucks Coffee.

Kaleidoscope Bistro & Pub (Brookhaven) Executive Chef Joey Riley left the Buckhead Diner earlier this year to open Kaleidoscope Bistro and Pub in Brookhaven. He is joined by a few other Buckhead Life alums and hopes to follow in the successful footsteps of former Buckhead Diner EC's like Kevin Rathbun and Gerry Klaskala. Kaleidoscope Bistro & Pub will open at 1410 Dresden Drive on a corner space of Village Place in Brookhaven. While I was told weeks ago the restaurant would be open as of last week, that did not happen. A message posted on their Facebook page Monday states they will open "very soon."

La Fruttela (Inman Park) - A new kind of yogurt shop, offering gelato in addition to other desserts, La Fruettela will be located in the street level retail of the Highland Walk apartments in Inman Park. Little has been made public about the concept but I'm told the owner is hopeful she will be open by early next year.

Local Three (Buckhead) -Opening in the former JO√čL Brasserie, the team behind Muss & Turner's plans to open Local Three tomorrow, December 1st. In the meantime, "Local 1.5" is already open e in the lobby of of the building in which they are located.

Marlow's Tavern (Merchant's Walk / East Cobb) The 7th location for local chain Marlow's Tavern, its new location is scheduled to open December 14th at Merchant's Walk in East Cobb.

Menchie's (East Cobb + Savannah + Marietta + Cumming) Encino, California based Menchie's has quickly covered the metro with its Fro-Yo joints and recently announced even more locations. Newly announced locations are all set to be open by early next year.

Mirko Pasta (North Buckhead) -Mirko Pasta will take over the shuttered Ribs Etc. at 4233 Roswell Road in North Buckhead, a rather large structure just north of Piedmont Road adjacent to Chastain Square shopping center. In addition to the Buckhead Mirko, another location is planned for Cobb County early next year. Both locations are said to be opening in "early spring." At one point, there was talk that Mirko would open within TOWN Brookhaven but that seems to be off the table at this time.

Moe's Original BBQ (Midtown) -Started by boys from the south, this new BBQ joint is based in Vail, Colorado. With a number of locations across Colorado and Alabama, they currently hope to have their first Atlanta location January 20th. The restaurant will open in the former Kool Korners on 14th Street in Midtown.

Noche (Brookhaven) -According to a tweet by Here to Serve Director of Operations, Noche will start construction in October with a planned March opening. From what I've seen, little if any new work has been done, though a March opening may still be a possibility.

Ocean Prime (Buckhead) -Columbus Ohio-based Cameron Mitchell plans to open their ninth Ocean Prime restaurant in Buckhead next fall. While only the fact that it will be located in Buckhead on Piedment has been made public, sources tell me the location they are likely to occupy is the current Sambuca.

Perla Taqueria (Midtown) The restaurant was due to open yesterday but a fire blamed on old electrical wiring this past weekend has delayed the opening at least a few weeks.

Peter Chang's (Sandy Springs) -Famed Sichuan chef Peter Chang is close to opening his much hyped new eatery on Powers Ferry Road in Sandy Springs. The restaurant is said to be opening in January at this point, though just last week, there was word he would open by year end. If you're interested, click here to try and land at job with him, or here for an odd video of the new space.

Pinkberry (Buckhead) -Local franchisee David Beall will open his third Atlanta area Pinkberry in a former Marble Slab Creamery. Located at the corner of Wieuca and Peachtree in the heart of Buckhead, the new Pinkberry is (currently) said to be opening in February.

Pollo Tropical (North Buckhead) - Miami Florida-based Pollo Tropical is giving the Atlanta market another try. With plans for a handful of location in Atlanta in the next 18 months, their first known location will open at Wieuca and Roswell Roads on land recently vacated by Lucy's Market. Sources say the current buildings on the property will be leveled by year end and the the restaurant will begin construction in February with plans to open in May.

Red Mango (Emory) -When it rains it pours, and so goes the flood of Fro-Yos intown. More specifically, near Emory University. Red Mango will open their second Atlanta area location at the corner of North Decatur and Clairmont Roads. Near Emory, Red Mango will join local fro-yo eatery (and one of my favs) The Yogurt Tap, located on Church Street, just off Decatur Square. About a mile down North Decatur, another local fro-yo joint, Yogli Mogli, opened a location in Emory Village in August and across from it, Sprouts Green Cafe continues to offer a modest selection of frozen yogurt in addition to fresh salads and sandwiches. Lastly, Los Angeles based Menchie's opened at Toco Hills shopping center in August.

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. While originally said to be opening in August, (per their website), it now appears they won't open until mid December.

STK / STK OUT (Midtown) -New York-based "The One Group" is slated to 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. While both were said to be open by December, no visible work has been done prompting me to question whether they will actually open.

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.

Sweet Georgia Juke Joint (Downtown) -With H. Harper Station open and operating, Lush Life is plugging away at getting this new eatery open. Located within the 200 Peachtree project downtown, the restaurant will join Meehan's, already open on the opposite end of the project. With work being done in earnest now, an onsite agent told me they hope to be open by late January.

The Family Dog (Morningside) -"The Angry Chef" Ron Eyester of Rosebud, is underway with his second restaurant in the shuttered Pomodoro in Morningside. An employee reached for comment this week said they are "hopeful it will open sometime in January."

The Real Chow Baby (Midtown) -The second in the chain, it is opening in the former Doc Green's on Ponce de Leon Avenue. According to an employee at the existing location on Howell Mill Road, the restaurant will open by the end of next week.

Truffles Cafe (Buckhead) -Ruby Tuesday closed its Buckhead location in favor of expanding the Truffles Cafe concept. Aside from enlarging, not sure what else was done. According to a restaurant rep on site, Truffles Cafe Buckhead will open December 8th.

Verde Taqueria (South Buckhead) - Having on location under their belt in Brookhaven, the owner of Verde pounced on the opportunity to open in the old Fox and Hounds on Collier Road. No firm date has been announced but I'm told they hope to be operational by mid January.

Yoforia (multiple locations ) -With a growing number of FroYo joints in town, local joint Yoforia is keeping pace, having recently added locations in Athens, Johns Creek and Brookhaven. In the coming months, they plan to open locations in a number of cities areas around Atlanta including East Cobb, Dunwoody (Perimeter Pointe), Buckhead and Peachtree City, among others. Additionally, the chain will continue its expansion into North and South Carolina, adding locations Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Greensboro and Charleston, among others.

Yogli Mogli (Virgina Highlands and others) -Yogli Mogli, a local purveyor of the ever popular Fro-Yo, will be opening four additional locations in Georgia in the coming months. 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 has not slowed down since.

Your Pie (Various locations) -Athens-based Your Pie will add a number of new locations, among them Marietta and Alpharetta. The chain is also entering Florida with locations in Tampa, and South Carolina with a location in Greenville. Thus far, no ITP locations have been announced, but I consider it likely, based on the results in Marietta and Alpharetta.

Which Wich (Atlantic Station) -Which Wich will be opening in space originally earmarked for Wolf Camera. According to the "Which Wich Support Center," the new location will open next week.

Zaxby's ( Buckhead and Chamblee) -I broke news that Zaxby's would open both of these locations by year end and as of now, that's all that's being said. If construction picks up soon, I'd hope to see them both open by February-ish.

Untitled Richard Blais hot dog project (Poncey-Highland) - Scheduled to open in the former San Francisco Coffee...personally, who knows? who cares?

Untitled Ford Fry casual Italian eatery (Decatur) -Chef Ford Fry of JCT Kitchen on the Westside will open his as yet untitled Italian eatery in the old Eurasia Bistro on Ponce de Leon in Decatur. One thing is for sure, Drew Belline, longtime chef at Floataway Cafe, will leave his post to be Executive Chef at the new eatery.


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

Arhaus (Buckhead - Phipps Plaza) -Arhaus Furniture, a Ohio based environmentally conscious company, will open their 15th location and first in Georgia at Phipps Plaza next fall. Arhaus will be 17,000 s/f and be located on the Lenox Road side, near the new Davio's. The store will be two levels with its own elevator. The store will occupy a number of spaces including Bijou, Atlanta Dental Spa, Monarch Watches & Estate Jewelry, and the shuttered American Cafe space on the upper level.

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 located within the Peachtree Battle Shopping Center. Having been delayed repeatedly, a representative from the group told me last week they hope to be open "within two weeks."

Prada (Buckhead - Lenox Square) -Opening next Spring, the new Prada store was once rumored to be opening as part of the Midtown Mile, but it seems they to their senses and opted for Lenox Square instead. The new boutique will open where Godiva Chocolatier is currently: at the cusp of the Luxury Wing.

Microsoft (Buckhead - Lenox Square) -When it opens next spring, the Lenox Square Microsoft store will be the company's 7th in the country and is meant to take on the Apple store for retail sales. With a design and employee outfit that clearly is meant to resemble the Apple store, it will be interesting to see how the store does. It's big, taking up much of the gigantic shuttered Mark Shale space on the mall's main level.

XXI (Buckhead - Lenox Square) -The flagship store from cheap chic retailer Forever 21, XXI will be a mammoth store at Lenox Square. A significant portion of what will be their space is currently public area, although they will also occupy the current Restoration Hardware, Steve Madden, and DASS Salon spaces along with the former Ann Taylor space and two smaller spaces. According to Lenox Square representatives, the store will open next fall.

Zegna (Buckhead - Lenox Square) -Zegna will open next spring and be the second Zegna in the state: the first opened at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport late last year.


Courtyard by Marriott (Downtown) -Originally scheduled to open May 1st at a Hotel Indigo, then pushed to June, then July, and later October, the opening is currently set for February 1st, 2011 as a Courtyard by Marriott.

Crowne Plaza (N. Druid Hills - Executive Park) -InterContinental Hotels Group, whose North American headquarters are in Atlanta, reported a couple of months back that the long vacant office tower at North Druid Hills and Interstate 85 would become 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 since little to no work has been done, it's difficult to project a possible opening.


H. Harper Station (Reynoldstown)
Sufi's Kitchen (South Buckhead)
Tantra (South Buckhead)
YEAH! Burger (Virginia-Highland)
Zoe's Kitchen (North Buckhead)

Herve Leger (Lenox Square)
Joe's Jeans (Phipps Plaza)
Raw Denim (Buckhead)

Melia (Downtown)

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.

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Billy said...

Once again, TREMENDOUS work. I always look forward to this list each quarter!

Jack said...

Eli, You do a great job and I really look forward to your virtually daily reporting.

This past October, The Daiquiri Factory opened up in Midtown on West Peachtree St between 7th & 8th streets across from Hotel Palomar and Plaza Midtown.

With 800+ Facebook friends already and a terrific dining and adult beverage menu, a lot of people agree that it's a welcome new addition to Midtown entertainment.
Maybe I missed it on your list.

I hope you and readers will check it out online and in person.


Thanks, Eli

12InchSandwich said...

Moes is set to open in Town Brookhaven this week (grand opening Dec 2 according to the Moes blog).

Anonymous said...

On Cakes and Ale moving--I don't blame them for moving--word on the streets of Decatur is that they wanted to stay put but the building owner was not cooperative.

Cynthia said...

Great List. Very informative as always ;)

Sheila McIntosh said...

One small update for you---Cakes and Ale has indeed begun construction on their Church Street location. Check the Decatur Metro blog for details and pics. They've been planning for a March-ish opening and if you remember, their execution on the Ponce location was pretty spot-on. Given no freaky problems (which seem common in Decatur) I'd expect them to meet their target. Given that we've not been able to get a reservation for the last 4 or 5 times we've tried, I'd say they do indeed have the demand.

JonC said...

So do you think any name brand fashion retailer could survive/will open on the Midtown Mile?

Anonymous said...

"So do you think any name brand fashion retailer could survive/will open on the Midtown Mile?"
That entirely depends on their budget to replace merchandise, doors and glass when they repeatedly get robbed.

Amy said...

Sambuca/Ocean Prime is an unconfirmed deal. Sambuca remains in full operation.

Anna said...

While Bagel Palace may have the upper hand, I believe they have consistently had lackluster health scores. It'll be interesting to see if Goldberg's is clean, and if it is (as it should be), how it will perform against Bagel Palace.

Alex B. said...

Hey Eli. Nice work on this. Just FYI, the second GRINDHOUSE KILLER BURGERS will be open in January, hopefully around mid-month.

Atlantan99 said...

Hy Jon C,

Sorry about the delay. I'm not sure about the viability of brand name fashion in midtown. There was talk Prada or Marc Jacobs might go into the street level retail near the Loews but that seems to longer be in the words. As I've said before, unlike Boston or New York or California, most shoppers in Atlanta feel the need to drive thus the need for copious amount of parking is a must. Given current conditions, I don't see there being much success in Midtown for that reason.

Anthropologie opening in West Midtown in the Westside Urban Market however does have great potential. They are joining a solid base of restaurants and retailers and there is a decent amount of parking for patrons and residents.

Thanks for the question and for reading the blog!

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