Monday, May 18, 2015

Ford Fry Hopes to Be King of New "Court"

It's official! Ford Fry plans to open a third restaurant in Buckhead.

Ford Fry plans to open a second location of his "Mex-Tex" eatery Superica.  I'd heard this "rumor" for months, but had been unable to confirm it. Now "Superica" is listed as a tenant of the same Buckhead center previously linked to the plans.

Located in a 6,600 square foot space in Buckhead Court, Superica replaces the former Outback Steakhouse,  which closed last August. Initial plans call for Superica to open in "early 2016."

Ford Fry already operates King + Duke at West Paces Ferry & Peachtree Roads as well as St. Cecilia at Peachtree and Lenox Roads, both in Buckhead.  

The first Superica opened in mid-February in Krog Street Market in Inman Park.  Another Ford Fry eatery, The El Felix, opened this past November in Avalon in Alpharetta. 

Superica Buckhead will be Ford Fry's ninth restaurant in metro Atlanta.  

Chef Ford Fry, through his LLC Rocket Farm Restaurants, will also be opening Marcel, on the Westside.  Slated to open in July,  Marcel will occupy the former Abatoir space at Westside Provisions.  The "beefsteak dinner-inspired steakhouse" gets its name comes from Marcellin “Marcel” Cerdan, a French boxer of the 1900s.

Ford Fry is also opening what will likely be an Optimist-like seafood eatery at the new Inman Quarter development in Inman Park.  

Buckhead Court, located on Roswell Road at Le Brun Road in north Buckhead, has seen its occupancy steadily rise in recent years.

The addition of Superica to Buckhead Court leaves the center with only two small vacancies, together totaling less than 2,000 square feet.  Dtox, a popular organic juice bar, will relocate from a hidden space near Pie Shop and Storico Fresco to Buckhead Court, occupying 750 square feet.  Regency Centers, the property's owner, previously leased a 4,500 square foot space to Play It Again Sports.  The used sporting goods retailer relocated from nearby Chastain Square. 

Regency Centers also owns Powers Ferry Square, a nearby center that recently added popular eatery bartaco to its offerings.  The former 1,800 square foot Dunkin' Donuts was demolished and rebuilt as a 4,025 square foot bartaco with a patio.  

Bartaco, which serves assorted tacos and rice bowls, is by no means a direct competitor to Superica, which offers a far larger, more upscale menu.  Still, one has to wonder how many Mexican eateries north Buckhead can handle.  

As a resident of the area, it's hard not to be amazed at the concentration of Mexican restaurants along Roswell Road.  

Starting at Roswell & Piedmont Roads, one can opt for the casual, original location of Tin Lizzy's Cantina. Next, traveling north on Roswell, is bartaco, then the upcoming Superica.  The Publix-anchored Chastain Square is home to Tacos & Tequilas Mexican Grill.  In the adjacent Roswell-Wieuca shopping center, anchored by The Fresh Market, the original Willy's Mexicana Grill has been welcoming patrons since 1995. Slightly north, at the corner of Wieuca and Roswell Roads, La Fonda Latina has been a popular haunt for many years.  Just north, Taxco, another locally owned Mexican eatery, has been serving authentic Mexican fare for years.  Just past Taxco, the new Sandy Springs "Gateway" project is slated to welcome Chipotle Mexican Grill, Cheeky Mexican Taqueria and a new, yet similarly themed concept from the owners of Verde Taqueria.  
What are your thoughts on the abundance of Mexican options in north Buckhead?  What would you like most to see open in the area? What are your thoughts on Superica and how it compares with other Ford Fry restaurants?

Please share your thoughts below.  


StojBoj said...

Great news! Love to see a local "chain" open here. While I wasn't terribly impressed with Superica at KSM, I'll certainly try it again once it's opened up closer to my home.

Anonymous said...

Whatever the ability of this town to support X number of burger joints, multiply that by 100 and you'll have the floor on how many mexican joints we can handle. The number we already have is pretty big, but the number that actually serve food that is 'good' is pretty low, so there is a big opening for players that care about quality. Think about the rise and fall of Nuevo.

Theron Sapp said...

It'll be great to have Superica in the neighborhood. With all that Mexican, what North Buckhead doesn't have is one great, authentic Tex-Mex place. Tacos & Tequila is too corporate (and overrun with screaming kids), and Taxco's been coasting for a while.

Anonymous said...

I didn't know that Nuevo fell?

It looks to me like Chef Fry is heading down the "expanded way too fast" road. I tried El Felix in Avalon and it should be called El Greaso. Expensive Mexican food dripping with grease? No thanks.

Anonymous said...

Bring it on! Not sure how much market share there is, but I will gladly take this Ford Fry concept in my neighborhood! Great re-purpose of the Outback space. Kudos Regency!

AJ said...

Anon @ 9:52 - Remember that Ford Fry is not technically operating these restaurants. He's just using his know-how, name, brand, etc. to get these restaurants going. As for El Felix, I haven't tried it, but I have tried Superica (similar food) and found it to be of a much higher quality than many Mexican restaurants.

Anonymous said...

What is the "rise and fall of Nuevo"? Nuevo Laredo? Fall? Please explain.

Carl Muth said...

Sandy Springs Gateway is going to have a Tupelo Honey, as well.

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