Friday, December 27, 2013

Bits & Bites

New aloft hotel starting to take shape 
Atlanta's first aloft hotel is delayed again, and now plans to open in April.  The former Day's Inn hotel was completely gutted to make way for the new chic hotel, and it is finally starting to take shape.  The hotel was first announced last summer with plans to open this past spring.  The opening was then pushed to this coming January, but is now set for April 3, 2014, a date I'm now told should be final.

More after the jump

Einstein Bros. is expanding into the former Caribou Coffee at Toco Hills.  The Caribou Coffee closed in April as a part of the Minneapolis-based chain's  nationwide withdrawal from certain markets.  Before the combo Caribou / Einstein's, the space was a Pollo Tropical.  Einstein's previously had a similar shared space in Dunwoody at Hammond Drive and Peachtree Dunwoody Road. In that case, the Einstein's took over the adjacent space from Verizon Wireless when they moved to Perimeter Place.  Sources say this location is the region's busiest location.  At Toco Hills, Einstein's once had lines out their door on weekends, but with increased competition from Dunkin' Donuts, and Goldberg's Bagel, not to mention Starbucks, the location's popularity has cooled.  The Toco Hills expansion will also include a renovation of the existing space.  Work will take about three weeks with the restaurant being closed during that time.  This process is due to begin in the coming days.

Bonehead's Grilled Fish and Chicken has signed a lease to open a "flagship location" in the ground floor of the Eclipse building on Pharr Road. The nearly 4,000-square-foot space at the corner of Pharr Road and North Fulton Drive currently houses Aqua Bistro, an Asian eatery and sushi bar.  I believe Aqua Bistro has been a tenant in the condo building since it opened in 2004.  According to a representative at Boneheads' corporate office in Buckhead,  Bonehead's and a separate, full-service, as yet unnamed bar at Eclipse are slated to open April 1st. The first Boneheads opened in Roswell in late 2005 and was originally owned by Raving Brands, today known as Big Game Brands. The chain grew to about a dozen or so locations before struggling and eventually being sold in 2009 to Ron Barber, one of the original franchisees of the brand.  Locations at Peachtree Battle, Atlantic Station and in Roswell have all closed in recent years in addition to out of state closures.  Most recently, the restaurant in Lake Forest California closed this past March.  The California location was to have been the first of 24 planned locations in California.  Another Bonehead's was announced to be opening in Brooklyn, New York, last year, with others in the works on Long Island.  Although the Brooklyn location reportedly began site renovations earlier this year, unforseen construction expenses reportedly caused the franchisee to pull the plug.   Currently the chain has a total of seven in Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina and Texas, with an eighth on its way to College Station, Texas soon.

Souper Jenny owner Jenny Levison will open a second location of her acclaimed soup eatery in Decatur next year. Slated to open February 3rd, the Decatur outpost will open in the former Pita Pit space on West Ponce de Leon Avenue, just off the square.

Rhinoceros Boutique is closing its Sandy Springs boutique.  The store, located on Sandy Springs Circle, opened not long ago, and was the latest incarnation of the boutique that was originally located in the Shops Around Lenox before moving to Atlantic Station and then Marietta.  Owner Nathalie Welch continues to operate an out of state offshoot at Warehouse Row in Chattanooga.  The Sandy Springs location started its closing sale today and will continue to offer sales until they close for good on January 3rd.  (The store will be closed December 31st and January 1st)


Anonymous said...

einsteins never hag lines out the door. competition also includes the Bagel Palace

Anonymous said...

Go ahead and add Boneheads to the deathwatch.

And doesn't the poor Rhinocerous lady know that a consistent location is one of the keys of success in retail? STAY PUT and grow your business! No wonder it failed.

Anonymous said...

I only get to DC about once a quarter now. I miss Nando's terribly. Have to use Bonehead's as a substitute sometimes. It's ok, never seems very busy at Perimeter Place.

Carl Black said...

Another prime shared Einstein's/Caribou space was on Holcomb Bridge.

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