Sunday, December 18, 2011

F.A.B. Bids Downtown Adieu, Looks Ahead to F&B Opening in Buckhead

French American Brasserie or F.A.B., located on Ivan Allen Jr. Boulevard in downtown Atlanta, closed last night, Saturday December 17th.  Oddly, the reason provided was so that owners Fabrice Vergez and Cindy Brown could focus on their new restaurant, F&B, set to open next spring at the new Ritz-Carlton residences in Buckhead.  This past August, when the Buckhead eatery was first announced, rumors swirled that it was a replacement for the downtown eatery, a rumor the owners vehemently denied.

Strangely enough, Chef  Tomo Naito also announced he would open a second location of his popular Japanese eatery Tomo at the Ritz-Carlton residences, saying at the time that his popular eatery by the same name would remain open on Cobb Parkway in Vinings.  It, too, closed ahead of the Buckhead eatery which opened this past October.

F.A.B. itself was the replacement of sorts for Brasserie Le Coze, a restaurant that from 1994 until 2006 operated in the Neiman Marcus wing of Lenox Square before the retailer expanded, requiring the restaurant to close.  F.A.B. opened as part of a new development downtown on Ivan Allen in early 2007.  Sadly, it was never as popular as its earlier Buckhead incarnation.

Restaurants in general have not fared well in the area, as Panchero's Mexican Grill and Au Bon Pain both closed and Mellow Mushroom and BLT at the nearby W Atlanta - Dowtown hotel continue to struggle.

F&B has a far better chance at success in Buckhead, though a lot has changed since it left.  Buckhead has since seen Au Pied de Cochon come and go (November 2004 - August 2011) and Buckhead Life open their wildly successful French brasserie Bistro Niko at 3344 Peachtree, adjacent to the Sovereign building in the heart of Buckhead.

What are your thoughts?  Did you miss Brasserie le Coze and not a fan of its new location?  Do you think the location was the restaurant's problem downtown or has their food been outdone by newcomers?  Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Sarah said...

Having lunch at Brasserie le Coze (or the Cozy Bra as my we affectionately called it) was the highlight of any trip to Lenox. I've been to FAB a couple of times, but the location isn't as convenient for me. I wish Brown and Vergez success in their next move. As long as they still serve creamy onion soup, I'm happy.

Darin said...

This is a perpetually troublesome spot for restaurant owners because of the landscape of this area. If you look at it in satellite vie of Google Maps, you'll see that over 50% of the land space is taken up by asphalt -- roads, interstate, and many, many surface parking lots.

It's not a particularly nice atmosphere for a night out, being surrounded by all that dead space. Why travel to some asphalt wasteland outpost like this when there are so many nicer areas in the city with mice restaurants?

Some day when those surface lots get developed and something happens with the eyesore Medical Arts building, this will be a better location for businesses of all sorts.

lothomas said...

I think this is a wise move on their part. I love the building and ambiance of F.A.B., but I think they belong in Buckhead. Glad to see they are coming home. I think the concept will be different enough from Niko to offer something new and something old for all the adoring fans of Le Coze and F.A.B.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know the owners of FAB require to carry serving spoons and cocktail forks in the apron on their cost from their employers. I would not support anyone any business telling their employess to buy utensils from their packet and to use for the restaurant and carry them in the apron. No no no, they don't deserve anyother chance. Don't please come to Buckhead.

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