Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Taste of Everything : ToNeTo Atlanta Sampler

Inundated with material for upcoming posts, I've decided to post shortened mini posts in lieu of a dozen or so small posts.  Please find these after the jump

After previously closing NAM early last year, and MF Sushi Bar this past fall, MF Buckhead is slated to close in the coming days, possibly even after dinner service tonight.  While the restaurant filed for bankruptcy in November,  Alex Kinjo, part owner, stated the Buckhead location at Terminus would remain open and that he was scouting cities such as New York and Miami for additional locations.  I, like many, would hate to see such a nice restaurant close but I think it was a little too pricey, even for Buckhead, and that their menu pricing adjustments came a little too late to save them.

Chase Bank will open a new freestanding location at the intersection of Collier and Howell Mill Roads on an outparcel currently home to a vacant Blockbuster Video.

FOX Sports Grill at Atlantic Station was scheduled to close January 1st, then was pushed to the 15th but is still open. I'm told the restaurant will now stay open until April 15th.  Mark Toro previously confirmed to me the planned closure date but as I'm not paid nor ever have been, to speak in a positive light about the project, I doubt I'll ever get the real story.  

Inman Park's One Eared Stag, an "On the Bubble" eatery from this past quarter's DeathWatch, is rumored to be closing in the coming days.

Northlake Idol is the new name for the restaurant previously known as Twisted Taco Northlake.  The new restaurant has the same staff and similar pricing, but now offers karaoke ( if enough people are in the restaurant), so it's rare.

Keller Williams Realty moved from their location on Peachtree Road at Colonial Drive to TOWN Brookhaven months ago.  Their now vacant space on Peachtree was to be developed as a Walgreen's but the neighborhood continues to oppose it.  I'm told the deal is done on the site, but the fight has been going on since last June over the pharmacy opening so its opening timetable is still up in the air.

Mattress Firm will open yet another metro Atlanta location, this time in the former Blockbuster Video in Brookhaven Plaza, former home of Brookhaven's Harris Teeter.  Last year they opened in the former Coco Loco in the Buckhead Crossing shopping center on Sidney Marcus Boulevard.

Genghis Grill is not doing as well as they had hoped locally, especially in south Buckhead, and may curtail their expansion plans.  Currently the Dallas-based Mongolian Stir Fry has locations in Buford at the Mall of Georgia, in Sandy Springs near R.E.I and in South Buckhead across the street from The Fresh Market.   The chain previously announced plans to open at least 10 locations including Alpharetta, Athens and Camp Creek, but none of those have opened.

Beverly Hills-based Hillstone Restaurant Group is making their south Buckhead Houston's a "flagship" restaurant.  As part of this re-branding, the restaurant will be renamed "Hillstone."  Locally, the chain has a total of four locations; the aforementioned south Buckhead location, another on West Paces Ferry Road at Northside Parkway, on Lenox Road across from the J.W. Marriott Hotel, and in Marietta on Windy Hill Road at Wildwood.

There, bar & eatery, a long since delayed restaurant in TOWN Brookhaven, is finally preparing to open, I'm told.  Apparently the owner of nearby Slack's had made it anything but easy, for what he sees as his competition to open.  They were forced to stop work after being slapped with some minor building violations brought to light, I'm told, by the owner of Slack's.  Originally scheduled to open last summer, the stop work order sidelined them for 90+ days but progress has picked up and I'm told they should be open before the end of the month.

Bally Total Fitness closed last month at Northlake Festival leaving yet another large vacancy in the center.  A former Haverty's sits vacant to its left and a former Fuddrucker's sits empty in an outparcel of the center on LaVista Road.

Pier 1 Imports is in fact consolidating Buckhead locations and will now be found in only one place, next to Marshall's on Peachtree Road in the former KitchenAid Culinary Store.  Last year they closed their location near Peachtree Battle that has now recently opened as an urgent care center, and they are in the final weeks of their liquidation sale at their Lenox Road location.

Priscilla of Boston is now closed in the Peachtree Road outparcel of Buckhead Place.  Once owned by May Department Stores and later by Federated Department Stores (Macy's), the chain was sold to David's Bridal in 2007.  This past fall, David's Bridal announced it would close all Priscilla of Boston locations so they could focus on their core business.  The store officially closed earlier this month.  Before it was Priscilla of Boston, the space was home to Houlihan's restaurant, so perhaps it could again become a restaurant.

The former Bertucci's/Bridgetown Grill restaurant in an outparcel on the Piedmont Road side of the Buckhead Place shopping center was demolished last week. While there was originally talk of both an Element and aloft hotel, new brands from Starwood, on this site, those plans have been shelved for the time being.  The restaurant was demolished not for new construction in its place, but to act as a staging area for construction crews working on the expansion of the existing LA Fitness.

Baci, a new higher end, full service offering from the owners of the Cafe at Pharr, opened earlier this week at TOWN Brookhaven.  Appetizers range from about $6 to $9 and entree sandwiches go for about $8 with most entrees going for about $15 or so.  The group also recently announced they will open another Cafe at Pharr, overall their 5th, in Vinings Jubilee in the former Grape space.

More news still to come this week!

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Anonymous said...

Rumors, rumors, rumors. I hope you and Foodie Buddha are wrong about One Eared Stag.

Good updates on the factual info. It's about time they knocked down that old Bridgetown Grille. I imagine we'll be seeing a lot of new businesses going in old blockbusters.

Serendipity. said...

I love your blog! Great info!! :)

Anonymous said...

Blah... all of that is boring and/or depressing, like most of your posts.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like someone pee'd on Anon's cornflakes (above). Your posts are never boring or depressing. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

If you kept your animosity at your former friend re: Atlantic Station out of your posts, this posting would have been full of valuable information. Still full of valuable information, but leaves a bad taste...

Atlantan99 said...

Hello Anon re: former friend / Atlantic Station.

I appreciate the feedback but you have incorrectly associated two unrelated items.

Never have I been a fan of Atlantic Station and my editorial on A.S. within the post has everything to do with that and what I feel are lies by Mark Toro and nothing to do with my former blog partner who happens to work for them now.

Thanks again for reading.

SB said...

Nice work Eli. Didn't know that demolished the long vacant restaurant on Piedmont. No more mattress places please.

Would love to see a feature from you maybe next year about what went into each Blockbuster .... mattresses, AAA car care, potential Chick fila a, etc. They are leasing up surprisingly well but mostly with crappy tenants.

Atlantan99 said...

Hey SB,

Yea, that'd be funny. So many Blockbusters!

drummerpop said...

Speaking of Blockbusters: have you heard of any future plans for the eyesore that sits next to the Bat and Ball in old Five Points?

Anonymous said...

Ugh, I had such great hopes for Genghis Grill, but sadly, they couldn't seem to get it right for me. Chow Baby, Big Chow Grill, and even the long-closed Hot Stix all had a better Mongolian BBQ, both in the variety of the ingredients and the process of getting your food to the cooks.

I've only been to the GG in Sandy Springs, but I will say its laid out TERRIBLY, very narrow aisle to load up your bowls, and waiting to choose whether you want noodles or rice when you bring your bowl to the cook instead of when you start filling your bowl is awkward. Plus no other Mongolian BBQ I've ever been to, and its been a LOT, has ever made you keep your sauce out to the side like GG does. Poor.

Atlantan99 said...


If you are speaking of the former Blockbuster on Johnson Ferry near the upcoming Brookleigh project, no nothing of late. It looks to be good for something though parking is limited. Perhaps when Brookleigh opens it will see increased interest...

Thanks for the question and for reading the blog!

Atlantan99 said...

@Anon RE: GG,

I totally agree with you on the cramped space when loading your bowl. Very poor design at both the south Buckhead and Sandy Springs locations ( I have not personally been to the MoG location)

I found the food OK, but as you said, much prefer Chow Baby (westside) or Big Chow Grill.

Have you been to Stir Crazy in TOWN Brookhaven?

Thanks for reading and for the comments!

David said...

Speaking of Brookleigh, what is actually going in there? They had one plan, then changed it, and now it sounds as if they have changed it again.

Atlantan99 said...

Hey David,

The Brookleigh project was originally gonna be a lifestyle center with residential, retail and restaurants. Last I heard all retail and restaurant spaces planned for the project have been scrapped and it will be a residential project only.

Thanks for the question and for reading the blog.

Anonymous said...

according to eater atlanta, MF Buckhead is moving to ptree and pharr and one ear stag is NOT closing... I sure do hope they are right on both accounts!!

Sheila said...

Eli, please, if you think you might be wrong on OES, do the honorable thing and do a separate post indicating that you now question the rumor.

I'm sure, like a whole lotta good (and pricey) restaurants these days, they struggle. No business is easy and I'm sure you've learned that just like we all have. The problem is, rumors like this do real damage. They spread & their customers pass them by thinking "oh, I heard they were closed/closing/not doing well".

We *LOVE* OES!!! No, I have no relationship to them and couldn't even name a server. But, each time we go, which is at least 1x/month, the tables are full, customers look happy and the food is awesome & creative. Another positive sign-- I recognize many of the staff from our earliest visits there.

I really, really, really hope your prediction is wrong.

Atlantan99 said...

Hi Sheila,

I appreciate your concerns and also am pleased to hear you enjoy the restaurant. If the restaurant remains open though a certain time-frame, a follow up statement and possibly an additional post will be made.

Thanks for reading.

Anonymous said...

a BANK at Collier and Howell Mill? least it's not a Walgreens but still...

Anonymous said...

Hey Anon @1/26:

I would much rather have a bank there than another jiffy lube, gas station or fast food joint! What were you wanting for that space?

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