Monday, February 28, 2011

BirthWatch Progress Report Q1 2011

Upcoming Grindhouse Killer Burgers on Piedmont Avenue

During 2010 and already in 2011, we've seen a lot of changes in the Atlanta area in terms of restaurants, retail and hotels, and not all of it has been good. Just this week, news broke that with the Palomar Hotel's sale, Kimpton, the management company of both the hotel itself and the in-house restaurant Pacci, is being replaced, and the hotel will likely be re-flagged and the restaurant re-concepted. There has been some promising news and the list that follows is my now quarterly segment on ToNeTo Atlanta, BirthWatch, meant to catch you up on the progress of new developments...


5 Napkin Burger (Midtown) Currently a 3 unit chain out of New York, 5 Napkin Burger has plans to add locations in Atlanta, Boston and Miami. The Atlanta location will be where Nickiemoto's recently closed at the corner of Piedmont Avenue and 10th Street. A restaurant representative reached for comment in New York stated they plan to open by mid-to-late June.

Another Broken Egg Cafe (Peachtree Battle) Destin, Florida-based Another Broken Egg Cafe will enter the Atlanta market with a location in Peachtree Battle Shopping Center. Opening in the former Savor Specialty Foods, the space will go through an extensive renovation. Latest word from the powers that be is that the restaurant is targeting a June opening.

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. With plans to revamp the entire space, work has only recently begun. Currently the ownership group hopes to open mid-late summer.

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 it should do decently given the surrounding offices. Originally scheduled to open March 1, it's now been pushed to a more vague "mid-to-late March at the earliest."

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. This location was to open in January but has now been pushed to mid-late March. An additional location is still on the books for TOWN Brookhaven but likely won't open till late summer at the earliest.

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. Currently they hope to open sometime in May.

Chick-fil-A (Northlake - FSU) Opening what many may find difficult, another location ITP, Chick-fil-A, is at it again. After knocking down an abandoned Taco Bell, the Chick-fil-A is starting to progress. Corporate sources tell me they plan to open May 12.

Delia's Chicken Sausage Stand (EAV) - Flying Biscuit founder Delia Champion and Molly Gunn of The Porter are scheduled to open later in March. A fleet of food trucks is to follow soon after.

El EscorpiĆ³n (Midtown) Riccardo Ullio is at it again. After he failed to find success with multiple concepts not far away at 905 Juniper, he's now taking over the short-lived 5th Street Cafe space. No word on the cuisine, but the location will be as big an issue as any, as he found out with Beleza and Cuerno, and later Lupe.

Erbert and Gerbert's (Decatur) A Wisconsin favorite for two decades, the sandwich chain is being opened locally by a husband and wife duo who went to school in Wisconsin and longed for their favorite eatery. The eatery is located on E. Ponce de Leon Avenue, not far from Your DeKalb Farmers Market. A representative from the restaurant told me over the weekend they plan on having a soft opening March 23rd, followed by a grand opening on the 30th.

Evos (Midtown) I really can't say anything new here. The location closed, and for good reason and is now supposedly being re-opened. I reached the Prado location for comment (and it's the same franchisee) and the employee did not have a clue and seemed less than interested in finding out. I hope they do the smart thing, and keep it closed.

Exteme Pita (Alpharetta) This Canada-based fast casual concept reminds me too much of Raving Brands to be too enthusiastic. They will open on North Point Parkway in Mansell Crossing shopping center in about a month so I'm told.

Farm Burger (Buckhead - Tower Place) After speaking last week with George Frangos, owner of Farm Burger , it seems the deal for the space is not yet done though he would neither confirm nor deny the space, it seemed that it was one being looked at.

Five Guys (Midtown - Spire) Their Westside location is doing awful and that may have led the franchisee behind this on / off location to re-think things. I've been unable to obtain any concrete opening date or timetable and would not be surprised if it never opens.

Genghis Grill (South Buckhead / Alpharetta) -Dallas, Texas based Genghis Grill, "The Mongolian Stir Fry," is starting to heat up the Atlanta market. Genghis Grill has plans to open a total of 10 locations in Atlanta over the next 18 months. Currently the chain has locations in Buford at the Mall of Georgia and in Dunwoody near Perimeter Mall. The chain has restaurants under construction in South Buckhead and Alpharetta and is scouting additional sites in Marietta, Kennesaw, Camp Creek and others. In Alpharetta, Genghis Grill will open on Windward Parkway, near the recently opened Which Wich and across the street from Costco Wholesale. In Buckhead, the location will be beside Houston's and across from The Fresh Market and Benihana on Peachtree Road. The restaurant in Buckhead is opening in a vacant Blockbuster Video space and will be labeled the flagship location for the state according to a company representative. He hopes to have the Buckhead location open March 7th, but that may change by a few days depending on permits.

Genki (Virginia-Highland) -Genki will open in the space that most recently housed Everybody's Pizza on Highland Avenue for well over a decade. Many in the neighborhood have voiced their opposition to a chain like Genki coming in and replacing Everybody's, which was an institution to some in the neighborhood. Originally scheduled to open in late January or early February, I'm told they currently hope to open in early April.

Godiva (Buckhead / Lenox Square) Relocating from their current space in the Luxury Wing, Godiva will open a new concept store on the second level. Taking the space recently vacated by Energie / Miss Sixty, I'm told they plan to open by late March.

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, then late January, the new target is mid to late March.

Haute Dog (Poncey-Highlands) New overpriced hot dog joint coming soon to former San Francisco Coffee space on Highland Avenue. Sadly still scheduled to open in the coming months.

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. End of March.

La Parrilla (Toco Hills) La Parrilla will open their 15th Atlanta area location later this spring in Toco Hills. Taking a portion of the former Edo restaurant, renovations are underway and I'm told the restaurant should open in 90 days.

Menchie's (East Cobb + Athens) Encino, California based Menchie's has quickly covered the metro with its Fro-Yo joints and recently announced even more locations. After opening two locations in Buckhead in recent months, the chain will add locations to the Avenue East Cobb and on Alps Road near UGA. Both locations are due to open in late March.

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 Merchant's Walk. Both locations are said to be opening in "early spring."

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 hoped to have their first Atlanta location January 20th, but new information leads me to expect an early March opening. The restaurant will open in the former Kool Korners on 14th Street in Midtown.

Noche (TOWN Brookhaven) -According to a tweet by Here to Serve Director of Operations, Noche will start construction in October with a planned March opening. As of last week, word is they plan to open March 16th.

Ocean Prime (Buckhead) -Columbus Ohio-based Cameron Mitchell plans to open their ninth Ocean Prime restaurant in Buckhead next fall. With little visible work having been done, I guess I'll stick with "fall" as it's hard to guesstimate given the lack of progress.

Pig-N-Chik (Sage Hill / Emory) Local BBQ joint will take over the old Dusty's Bar B Que near Sage Hill on Briarcliff Road. The space was most recently the Sage Hill Cafe but closed late last year. This will be Pig-N-Chik's third location, with others being on Roswell in Fountain Oaks shopping center and on Peachtree Industrial Boulevard in Chamblee. A restaurant representative tells me they hope to open by mid March.

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 was said to be opening in February but is now scheduled to open March 4th.

Red Mango (Howell Mill) - The third area location for this import FroYo, they will reportedly open before May. With no work done, I'd give em till at least late June.

Seed Kitchen & Bar ( East Cobb - Merchant's Walk ) - Doug Turbush, who last month left Buckhead Life's Bluepointe restaurant where he was Executive Chef, will soon open a new Farm-to-Table restaurant at Merchants Walk in East Cobb. Originally to be called Heirloom Kitchen & Bar, Turbush opted for a name change to avoid confusion with Heirloom Market BBQ, a new restaurant not far from Cumberland Mall. Now called Seed Kitchen & Bar, the restaurant will open adjacent to the coming Whole Foods, with both expected to open later this summer.

Stir Crazy (TOWN Brookhaven) With their space not even built yet, it will be some time before they actually open. My best guess at this point is that they will open late summer or early fall.

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. Last week I learned the project will continue though T.O.G. and the developer are now discussing how to share the costs of the restaurants now over-budget build-out plans.

Swirll (North Buckhead) Houston,Texas-based Swirll will open their first Atlanta area location in the coming months. Located within the Roswell-Wieuca Shopping Center, Swirll joins a number of existing yogurt shops in the immediate area. Just north of Piedmont Road in Tuxedo Festival, LA-based Menchie's opened last year, north on Roswell Jujubees is located in Chastain Square Shopping Center and adjacent to the upcoming Swirll, my personal favorite Three on the Tree has been open since last summer. My research indicates Swirll charges .43 per once, whereas Three on the Tree charges only .39. Menchie's charges .44 and last I checked, Jujubees was not self serve. While building permits have been filed, no visible work has been done.

The Beignet Connection (Downtown) With a "Coming Soon" sign that has been displayed for what feels like an eternity, I was told by sources on site that the restaurant was to open back in November. The restaurant is located within the street level retail space at the Pencil Factory Flats on Decatur Street downtown. Currently the uber amateurish website displays an opening of February 2011, anyone been in today?

The Barrelhouse ( Midtown - Tech Square) Being opened by James Brooks of EAV's Graveyard Tavern, the Barrelhouse is taking space vacated by St. Charles Deli. (St. Charles Deli downsized and moved closer to Waffle House) With renovations underway, I'm told they hope to be open by late April.

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." now sometime in March.

The Varsity (Dawsonville) With the closing of the iconic Varsity Jr. on Lindbergh Drive last year, the local restaurant will open a new location off Georgia 400 near the North Georgia Premium Outets in Dawsonville. Having witnessed build-out in progress last week, I was told that they plan to open by late April or early May. This will be the chain's sixth location with existing eateries in Athens, Alpharetta, Downtown, Gwinnett and Kennesaw.

Three Dollar Cafe (Embry Village) It has been very difficult to get concrete details on this space. If it opens, I'd expect for it to be in the next 30-45 days, if not sooner.

Three on The Tree (LaVista and Howell Mill) While neither location has opening dates set in stone nor has construction begun at either site, I'm told they will both open sometime in the spring. It's likely the LaVista location will open first as its being opened with the existing Fellini's and that the location adjacent to the La Fonda on Howell Mill, with far more renovations, would follow soon after.

Twisted Taco (Johns Creek) I'm told they hope to be open by end of March or early April.

Verde Taqueria (South Buckhead) - Having one 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. Having not seen much of anything going on, I'm wondering whether this just aint gonna happen. The Brookhaven location was of little help in clearing things up stating the location was opening soon, but that they did not know how soon.

Which Wich (TOWN Brookhaven) With construction still underway on the actual building Which Wich will be located in, I'm told the restaurant plans to be open by late summer.

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 the Westside. 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. Their original location on Highland Avenue is suppose to reopen soon after converting to a self-serve operation.

Yogurtland (West Paces Ferry) With a temporary "coming soon" banner now waving proudly in Paces Ferry Plaza Shopping Center, it's only a matter of time before the yogurt wars freeze over. Menchie's opened late last year on the other side of the road in a former Planet Smoothie but with Menchie's charging .44 per ounce and talk that Yogurtland's going rate is a mere .30, it will be interesting to see how this competition turns out. I'd expect for Yogurtland to be open by late April.

Yogli Mogli (Multiple locations) -Yogli Mogli, a local purveyor of the ever popular Fro-Yo, will be opening multiple 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 last 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.

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. With both sites still showing no progress, I don't know what to think. Corporate says they are both still a go but I'm getting tired of waiting!

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. Sources tell me the restaurant will open late mid-late March.

Unnamed taqueria in former Sprouts space (Emory Village) Nothing has been said since it was made clear it would be a taqueria. Anyone with deets, feel free to share.

Unnamed Fifth Group Tex-Mex and "Mexican inspired" concept in former Il Mulino (Downtown - 191 Building) Fifth Group may be looking to resurrect its Sala concept from VaHi with this new concept. Sala was located where The Original El Taco is now and offered food similar to what is being described for the new space. Ai3 is assisting in design and the group is targeting a fall opening.

Unnamed upcoming eatery in former Shaun's Restaurant now , chef at Holy Taco (Inman Park) Robert Phalen of EAV's Holy Taco and his business partners plan to open within three months or so. Phalen describes the cuisine as "organic sustainable new cuisine with European undertones."


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.

Armani Exchange (Buckhead - Lenox Square) Relocating from Phipps Plaza, I'm told they hope to open by late March, early April.

Bottega Veneta (Buckhead - Phipps Plaza) Phipps Plaza was less than helpful in offering details as to their opening but I'd guess they be open by early April.

Crocs (Buckhead - Lenox Square ) The existing kiosk location in the mall tells me they should have the new store open by mid April.

Disney Imagination Park (Dunwoody - Perimeter Mall) The first of its kind in Georgia, this new concept store from Disney will be located on the main level of Perimeter Mall and is expecting to open in early April.

Love Culture (Dunwoody - Perimeter Mall) This store seems very similar to Forever 21 and has the potential to do well in female dominated Perimeter Mall. The store is scheduled to open by May.

Madewell (Dunwoody - Perimeter Mall) It's listed as "coming soon" on the Perimeter Mall site but No one seems to know anything. I'd say late summer.

Microsoft (Buckhead - Lenox Square) -When it opens later this 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.

Prada (Buckhead - Lenox Square) -Opening later this 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.

Von Maur (Alpharetta - North Point Mall) Recently work began on the exterior of the building, leading me to believe they are serious. Could a fall opening still be in the cards?

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.

Z Gallerie (Dunwoody / Perimeter Mall)


Crowne Plaza (N. Druid Hills - Executive Park) -InterContinental Hotels Group, whose North American headquarters are in Atlanta, reported earlier last year 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.

Hilton Garden Inn / Homewood Suites (Midtown) Hilton will open a pair of new hotels on one parcel of land on 10th Street in Midtown. Originally announced in 2008, pre-construction is just now beginning with the hope that both properties will be ready by early next spring.


Arden's Garden (Crescent Avenue and Peachtree Place in Midtown)
Cafe Intermezzo (Downtown)
Caramba Cafe (Downtown / Pencil Factory shops)
Encore Restaurant (Lindbergh) Activity inside but unclear what the "official" story is???

Ermenegildo Zegna (Buckhead - Lenox Square)


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.

La Fruttela (Inman Park) - A new kind of yogurt shop, offering gelato in addition to other desserts, La Fruettela was to be located in the street level retail of the Highland Walk apartments in Inman Park. I've seen virtually no progress on the space and word on the street is that it just aint happenin'.

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 said the current buildings on the property would be leveled by the end of last year and that the restaurant would begin construction in February with plans to open in May. Last week I got word the project is off the table. I was told the official reason was that the restaurant was unable to get an easement it felt necessary and their inability to secure it, left them with no other option but to abandon the project. Perhaps they just realized their site selector was not having a good day when he found them that space.

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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Anonymous said...

First off, I live in Midtown and construction has not yet started on the dual brand hotel.

Second, last time I was at Five Guys on the Westside (a couple of weeks ago) it was pretty busy, so how could it be doing bad? And I swore I saw paper on the glass and construction on the space at Spire.

Finally, when you say "next spring" for Microsoft and Prade, do you mean spring 2011 or spring 2012?

Atlantan99 said...

Hello Anon,

My apologies on the hotel. That should have said pre-construction is underway.

I can assure you that Five Guys is in trouble and when the first waves of closures comes, it will be at the top of the list. The Spire space could very well be under construction, its just changed directions, spaces and dates so often, it's hard to keep track.

When I say next spring, for Microsoft and Prada, I mean this upcoming spring. Sorry for the confusion.

Thanks for reading!

cafeej said...

I ride my bike through Town Brookhaven every weekend we have good weather, and Noche is making good progress. The bar has its taps installed, and it is constructed to serve the patio as well as the interior during warm weather. It looks like it will be a nice addition to the area and provide walkable nightlife to Town Brookhaven residents.

tamara said...

ouch. love grindhouse, but the font on that signage is hideous.

Jim Brams said...

ToNeTo ATL - Don't forget Mitchell Anderson's brand-new MetroFresh in the Atlanta Botanical Garden!

Anonymous said...

Eli, Is the 5 guys in question here the one on Northside Drive or the one in West Village? Both I guess could be considered Westside. Great work as always on the list.

Atlantan99 said...

Hey Anon,

The Five Guys I was referencing was their location within the street level spaces of Tivoli Tenside on Northside Drive.

Sorry for the confusion.

Nom Nom Nom said...

How can you say that Haute Dog is overpriced as it has not even opened or put out a menu? And who are you to dictate what is overpriced? Do you set the market for the price of gourmet hot dogs? What does a kobe beef hot dog cost these days and how much is Haute Dog chargeing for theirs since you are the expert?

Anonymous said...

Where is the Ocean Prime opening in Buckhead? Also.... What about the new locations for Restoration Hardware and Crate & Barrel in Buckhead?

Anonymous said...

There is no "Haute Dog", it's the Haute Doggery.

Anonymous said...

Can you get the scoop behind the name change of Rama 5 of Thailand in Buckhead near Buckhead Bottle Bar? They look the same but now the sign reads "Thai Silk". What's changed in there?? Hopefully the food!

Tres said...

Wow, that XXI Forever is taking up a lot of space. But if it's taking up the Restoration Hardware, DASS Salon (which in turn was Express before the '95 addition), and Ann Taylor, how are MARTA riders and Hotel Guests going to get access to the mall?

Atlantan99 said...

@ Nom Nom Nom,

I'm able to say what I say about Haute Dog(gery) because of information made available thus far about the concept. It will basically be a gimmicky, hot dog version of FLIP. Small portions, in a chic atmosphere with a high price tag. But yea, I'am no expert and don't mean to make it seem as though I'am. This is my personal opinion taken from what what I've heard and what I anticipate.

Not sure what you are getting at with the CL link though I did read it and find it to be a good read. (Note my blog is not referenced either explicitly or otherwise in the that article)

Thanks for reading!

Atlantan99 said...

@Anon RE: Ocean Prime , C&B + RH.

Ocean Prime is opening in the now closed Sambuca on Piedmont, just south of Peachtree.

While C&B is all but a done deal, nothing has been set in stone so no opening timetable is available.

RH, not too much to say on that one. Lenox closed, Perimeter will follow and they hope to return to Buckhead within 12-24 months and have that be their flagship and only store in Atlanta.

Thanks for reading!

Atlantan99 said...

Hey Anon,

Rama 5 changed names to Thai silk a few weeks ago and from what I'm told the menu is basically the same. The owner of Rama 5 brought in a new partner and that is what led to the name change. There will be minor renovations and menu tweaks but nothing too serious. Also, apparently they lost their liquor license and are in the process on reacquiring it.

Thanks for reading the blog and for the question!

Atlantan99 said...

Updates and Omissions :

no. 246 will be the name of Ford Fry’s forthcoming Italian-inspired restaurant.

Smashburger may finally be getting close to announcing locations for its entry in Atlanta.

H&F Bottle shop (thought it was already open) ... will finally open this Friday, March 4th.

Atlantan99 said...


It's unclear just how much of the Restoration Hardware XXI will take. I know it won't be all of it. For now there is still access to the JW / MARTA via the mall, but the access may change / be altered once XXI opens. When I get the ever so helpful bunch of Simon reps to give me a straight answer, I'll be sure to post it.

Thanks for reading and for the comment!

Billy said...

Great information as always. It amazes me that some people nitpick when your birthwatch is the best, most comprehensive list of openings anywhere. Thanks for keeping us informed.

Lee at said...

I believe your location of Genghis Grill in Alpharetta is slightly incorrect. Based on their petition to the city, they will be located near the corner of Windward and Highway 9, kind of in an outparcel of Lowes. If you imagine yourself standing at the Ippolito's and look across Windward, you'll see the new, smallish stripmall they will occupy.

That being said, I don't think they have begun their buildout. May be a while still. But It should be a popular place on Windward.

Atlantan99 said...

Hey Lee,

Is it still possible that the address is 4915 Windward Pkwy W? I'm not so familiar with that stretch of Windward.

Lee at said...

Yes, that address is correct, which places them past Highway 9 on Windward. The online maps don't often do Windward addresses correctly.

Atlantan99 said...

@ Billy

Thanks, I appreciate it.

Atlantan99 said...

@ Lee,

That makes sense. Sorry for the misinterpretation of the maps.

Anonymous said...

Jonathan Adler opens his new boutique in Westside Urban Market on March 25. It's his first store in Atlanta.

Nom Nom Nom said...

Just wanted to point out that your blog is only OPINION and NOT FACT. Mostly guess and innuendo. The crap you say is just that, CRAP, and should not be taking for anything more than that. I just wanted you to say it yourself.

Atlantan99 said...

@ Nom Nom Nom,

Yes, much of this site is opinion though to say nothing is factual would be a false statement.

Thanks for reading

thejohnp said...

Should you go ahead and add Pig-N-Chik to your Deathwatch?

Not saying a restaurant can't make that hard to get to space viable, just don't see PnC being the one that does it.

Do you think Nom Nom Nom is the nom de plume of Mr. Blais?!?!

Atlantan99 said...


I'm hesitant to put Pig-N-Chik on the DW. I'm hoping they can make a go of it there. Given how popular Dusty's was in the at same space not long ago, I think they may be able to do well. With two locations under their belt, they should be better off than the Sage Hill Cafe.

As for Nom Nom Nom, who knows, who cares? I kinda doubt Blais would be on here saying stuff like that, but really, don't care one way or the other.

Thanks for your contributions to the site and for the comments!

Atlantan99 said...

*UPDATE* The aforementioned unnamed taqueria opening in the former Sprouts in Emory Village will be called the "Bad Dog Taqueria."
The executive chef will be Lis Hernadez, who has worked at Osteria 832 and sister concept Stella (now a Doc Chey's). The restaurant plans to open later this spring.

Anonymous said...

Always love reading this blog, and although it's mostly opinions; I'm glad you actually write your own stuffvs some of your competitors who often copy/paste from ajc, creative loafing, and the business chronicle. Thanks for being original and creative!

Atlantan99 said...


Thank you, that means a lot.

Tom said...

Another intown opening: The owner of the Toco Hills Blimpie on N. Druid Hills Rd. told me that they are splitting the restaurant in half and a Kyoto Joe's Japanese Grill is moving into the other half. Renovations are already underway inside the store.

Atlantan99 said...


Very interesting. That is a strange co-brand.

Thanks for the tip

Anonymous said...

Thanks Eli! Always look forward to what's going on :) Saw your name in the newspaper the other day, nice!

Anonymous said...

"stillborn" ?? Really? The callous and flip use of the term disturbs and saddens me. Find some better euphemisms please!

Atlantan99 said...

@ Anon RE "Stillborn",

I understand what you are saying. Given the theme of life (BirthWatch) and death (DeathWatch), do you have a suggestion for another title?

Thanks for the comment for reading the blog!

NomNomNom said...

No, I am not Blais, I just think the guy gets a bad rap in this town by a bunch of people, and you are giving his restaurant a drumming down before it even opens. Personal opinions aside, how fair is that? I personally don't care for Filp Burger. I think there are better burgers out there, but it is undeniable that Blais' food is thoughtful, creative and tasty at times. But what I can tell you is that there isn’t a good dedicated hot dog joint in this town.

And maybe I was a little harsh in my criticism earlier, but foodie blogs (yours included) DO have an influence over people's dining habits and bashing a restaurant before it opens (as you have done) or creating lies about the crime at a particular restaurant without the facts (as FoodieBoodha did) have a profound affect on the lives on many people who work in these places.

And since you agree that your content is actually your opinion, maybe you should change your blog name to Tomorrow's Opinions Today? Just saying.

Anonymous said...

They are indeed working on the space where Five Guys is going in Spire... just an fyi.

Anonymous said...

I'm not into all the bashing here. If people don't like what you write, they don't have to read it.
I just want to know how you find out all this stuff? Since I work in commercial construction, it'd be awesome to get the heads-up before they actually get to the construction portion...

Atlantan99 said...

@ Anon RE: construction,

Send me an email ,

Thanks for your interest in the blog.

Tres said...

As an update to my XXI Forever at Lenox construction question earlier, it looks like construction on that store has begun. It looks like the store is going to essentially take over the entire portion of that mall level atrium. And to answer the MARTA/Hotel entrance question, it looks like people there are going to be directed to go down the escalator to the plaza level to enter the mall (IOW, XXI is being built around the escalator). Now, I'm wondering what they're going to do with the elevator as far as ADA compliance. The store looks like it's going to take over that entire section of Restoration Hardware, Dass, Ann Taylor, and the mall walkway itself. Makes you kinda wish they left that red one they had in the middle of the atrium intact from the 80s and early 90s.

Anonymous said...

Quick note on LaFruttela on Highland Ave. in Old Fourth Ward. A (rather noisy) buildout has begun on the space formerly occupied by Curves on the ground-floor retail level of Highland Walk. My guess is that they're trying to get this location finished and open by May.

BTW, love the blog!

Atlantan99 said...

@ Tres,

Totally agree! I'm told however that XXI will not be taking all of the Restoration Hardware space and instead just a portion of it. Recently I've lost confidence and trust with much of the intel I get from the "official Simon representatives" and much prefer my own sources, as 9 times out of twn they have info that's more accurate and honest.

That wing is gonna be a mess for a while and you bring up a good point in terms of ADA compliance. Guess we'll have to wait and see...

Thanks for reading and for the comment!

Atlantan99 said...

@ Anon,

Are you sure it is in fact La Fruttela that is opening? I thought they abandoned the project...

Thanks for reading and for the kind words on the blog.

Anonymous said...


They've mounted the reverse channel letters to the building, so "Fruttela" is definitely in the making.


Sara said...

Happy to say Erbert and Gerberts Decatur has been doing great. Wonderful community reception, and walk-in, delivery, and catering business keeps growing daily.

We understand how the location may be perceived as less than ideal by those not having spent time researching traffic patterns,residents and businesses density in the area (who are all looking for more quality and affordable places to eat), rental cost compared to food price points, etc. There truely is a wealth of opportunity on this side of town for small businesses...above and beyond our flavorful soups and sandwiches.

Thanks for visiting our store and wishing us well!


Sara and Ed Andrist


tamara said...

Re: Erberts and Gerberts

Unless their shills (don't seem to be), from Yelp it looks like Erberts and Gerberts is getting plenty of traffic, and favorable reviews. I too thought it was a strange location when I saw it going up on my way to YDFM, but if they're doing well, more power to them. (Probably the traffic just from people going to YDFM--an ATL institution--is a boon.)

Sara said...

Thanks Tamara. You are correct, we get quite a bit of ydfm business. In addition there are a lot of little businesses tucked away over here that people passing through or who don't live in the area tend to overlook. We are also on the bike path, across from marta HQN and our community outreach has won the hearts of many of the local offices.
Also, residents in the area, including a few big apt complexes, appreciate a lunch/dinner option close to home.

We hope you give us a shot if you haven't already. We have lots of specials going on next week for our grand opening for different groups (you can see the schedule on our FB page)M saturday pm/early evening is a party for adults. If you come by, be sure to say hello!


Sara andrist: E&G partner

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