Thursday, October 18, 2012

Tupelo Honey Hopes to Find the Sweet Spot in Decatur

Asheville, North Carolina-based Tupelo Honey Cafe is expanding and Atlanta is on its radar.

The Asheville favorite has been serving southern favorites in since 2000, and recently started to expand their concept.  The restaurant opened a second Asheville location in early 2010 and just opened their first out-of- state location in Knoxville, Tennessee earlier this week.

Not surprisingly, sources say that Decatur is the likely local target for the restaurant's planned Atlanta area expansion.  I had the pleasure of dining at their original location earlier this summer, and would describe the restaurant as a cross between the original Flying Biscuit Cafe and Another Broken Egg Cafe.

Destin-based Another Broken Egg Cafe and Lincolnshire, Illinois-based Egg Harbor Cafe have both entered the Atlanta market with multiple locations open and more in the works.

Ruby Tuesday in Decatur is obviously one of the most prominent spaces available, but its location, basically next to Thumbs Up Diner, makes it less likely for Tupelo Honey.

Another Asheville-based restaurant, Chai Pani (literally "tea and water" and also slang in India for going out for a cup of tea, a tasty bite, a snack, or “a little something”) recently signed a lease on the former Watershed space in Decatur, and should open early next year.  Chai Pani's Asheville location is located not far from the original Tupelo Honey, and serves a variety of Indian street food.

So yeah, what's going on with this Asheville/Atlanta import/export business?  Decatur-based Farm Burger is opening in Asheville in March, joining Atlanta-based Doc Chey's Noodle House, and now Chai Pani and possibly Tupelo Honey are coming to the ATL.

What Asheville-based restaurant would you love to see come to Atlanta?  Early Girl?  French Broad Chocolates?    Have an idea for a concept that would do really well in Asheville?  Share your thoughts in the comment section below.


Anonymous said...

Went to Tupelo Honey in Asheville and really enjoyed it. Some of the best bacon I've ever had.

Chai Pani should be interesting as well.

Anonymous said...

Asheville Pizza & Brewing is a concept I can totally see being a big hit in ATL.

Basically a Fellini's with arcade games and a big screen showing movies. But, it's split up ... beer, adults in the front... and kids, families, games and movies in the back.

The food there is ok. But kids love playing games and being able to run around while waiting for dinner.

FM Fats said...

It will be interesting to see where these folks end up. There's not much vacant restaurant space in City of Decatur, just the shuttered Ruby Tuesday and Depeaux locations.

Anonymous said...

There is, please trust me on this, a somewhat cursed space opening up near Eddie's Attic.

There are also a few other cubbies, like the former violin store on Clairmont. TH should do very well in Decatur.

We are really just a smaller, sightly more mature, version of intown Ashe.

Now if we could just get an outpost of Jack of the Wood and its upstairs restaurant, I'd never leave the city limits! Oh yeah, and Moogfest.

Bl@zr said...

Tupelo just opened up in downtown Knoxville, TN's Market Square and is planning on opening up in Johnson City, TN at an old train depot as well. They are the kind of place that does well to fix up buildings with character, charm so hopefully they will find something in the Atlanta area just as unique.

Kenbud said...

Thumbs Up, J. Christopher's and Sweet Melissa's in downtown Decatur .. and now possibly Tupelo Honey? I feel sorry for those three places. Tupelo blows them all out of the water.

Not. Even. Close.

Kenbud said...

Thumbs Up, J. Christopher's, Sweet Melissa's ... all in downtown Decatur. Now Tupelo Honey wants to join in? Man I feel sorry for the first three. Tupelo blows them out of the water.

Not. Even. Close.

Elizabeth Lee said...

So excited about this. While I do like flying biscuit I have to say I think Tupelo Honey is worlds better! If an Early Girl Eatery ( or its sister, cousin, whatever from Charleston Hominy Grille) ever opened in Decatur, I might not ever cook again!!

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