Monday, December 22, 2014

A New Place to Fill Up is Coming to Chamblee

A view of the building today 
Haven and Valenza owner planning new restaurant in Chamblee.

Michel Arnette, Buckhead Life alum and proprietor of Valenza and Haven on Dresden Drive, plans to open a third concept.  The new, as-yet-unnamed eatery will open at the site of the former Brown Auto Service station on Peachtree Road in Chamblee.  

Michel Arnette spent twelve years managing Buckhead Life concepts Buckhead Diner and later Pricci, before opening Haven and Valenza in Brookhaven in 2003.

Arnette, along with his wife Tanya and their now adult son, have lived in the "ChamHaven" (my word, not his) area for years and Michael had always admired the old gas station.  

According to Arnette, the restaurant will be "upscale casual" and will likely feature classic favorites like burgers, fries and malts. Arnette said he plans to harken back to the days of the "classic American restaurant" with elements of a traditional diner as well.  Arnette told me the prices will be moderate with likely nothing priced more than twenty bucks.   

Arnette told me by phone that he's actually had the property leased for a year but has been working behind the scenes to make sure everything comes together.  Arnette plans to honor the 50s era history of the building, renovating it for use as a restaurant, but maintaining the structure's style and appearance.  
Remnants of the former auto shop sit idle inside  
According to property records, the 2,370 square foot structure was built in 1953 and sits on about a half acre. One of Arnette's last remaining punch list items (pre the start of renovation) was getting the building on sewer rather than septic, as it is now.  According to Arnette, he has been working for months with both the city of Chamblee and DeKalb county and a plumbing resolution should be in place in the coming weeks.  

If the plumbing change goes as planned, current projections call for the restaurant to be open sometime late in the second quarter or early in the third quarter of next year. 

Looking north, the new restaurant is located just inside the City of Chamblee 
The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner and will have plenty of onsite parking.  

This would not be the first time a former service station was turned into a restaurant.  Leon's Full Service and Taqueria del Sol in Decatur and Grindhouse Killer Burger in Midtown were opened in former service stations.  


Anonymous said...

Yea, good for Mike. That will be a good addition to the area.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget about the former gas station, The Grove (on Lavista).

There are a lot of ugly, dilapidated properties across the street from the Lowe's. I'm surprised that they haven't been developed into apartments (which would be better than how they look now), one owned by GE, one owned by Oxford Chemical, several owned by some real estate type companies.


Anonymous said...

Glad to know the structure isn't being torn down for some hideous new design.

And Fellini's on Howell Mill also was a service station back in the day.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

I grew up in the neighborhood across the RR tracks from Brown's. Know the location well. It's good to see Chamblee still thriving.

It was a great place to grow up, but it was actually rougher around the edges in the 60's and 70's. Anybody else remember those awful Greenbriar Apartments?

cafeej said...

That has become a nice little restaurant row on PIB with Old Brick BBQ, Rose of India, and Galla's already established. A nice addition to the location and am sure they will kill it. Just need to get that former liquor store occupied or demolished.

Anonymous said...

The old liquor store building was originally a "Shrimp Boat" fast food restaurant location. Some of the telltale details are still on the building.

As far as the properties across from Lowe's - the GE area is still a hazmat / brownfield site that is in the process of being cleaned up. Some of the other properties are probably affected by runoff from that site, or have other problems (leaking tanks at the old Buddy's?).

Anonymous said...

The old Buddy's site has been cleaned. And there may be something in store soon on those other sites mentioned. It's all good stuff for Chamblee if the city can get out of its own way.

Anonymous said...

There is a similar property and a great opportunity for someone in downtown Tucker. It is at the corner of Main St and Lawrenceville Hwy. High traffi area and Tucker is having a nice renaissance

Anonymous said...

The problem with the sites across from Lowe's is the pricing is ridiculous. And the Buddy's is a tiny footprint (too small for many concepts). There is strong potential for there to be a good lineup on that row, as mentioned before, but good local restaurants aren't going to be able to pay those asking prices unless the numbers come down considerably, IMHO.

Anonymous said...

Residential won't work across from Lowe's because it was Oxford Chemical and its proximity to GE. There is something big in store for that site and developers are working things out. Patience.

Anonymous said...

50s style diner in Atlanta! Yay!
Will it be segregated?

Just a reminder -- everyone likes burgers, fries, malts, but the 50s weren't that great for *everyone*

Penley Sheppard said...

Awesome! Can't wait to eat there. Michael Arnette has the magic touch when it comes to great food and service. Congratulations!

Anonymous said...

great concept, sure to be packed at all times. chamblee residents are hungry for good restaurants in the area just look to the success of southbound and Union Station.

Anonymous said...

Holy cow! This is very exciting. If the food/service at the new place is even half as good as Valenza, I'll be a regular!

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