Thursday, June 11, 2015

Will New Restaurant be the Answer to Midtown's Prayers?

From left, Alejandro Torio, Chef Jamie Lynch, Patrick Whalen and Ayman Kamel of  5Church 
New restaurant coming to Colony Square 

Charlotte, North Carolina-based 5Church plans to open an Atlanta location next year in midtown.  The new restaurant will open in place of the former Shout restaurant at Colony Square on Peachtree Street in midtown.  

Shout closed this past December after a ten year run.

Plans for the 11,000 square foot 5Chuch include making better use of the upstairs and downstairs patios, both with views of Peachtree Street.   

This past year, Colony Square owner Tishman Speyer completed a $5 million renovation of the property.  Colony Square was completed in the early 70s and had become stale inside and out. With 5Church committed and word that the former Goldberg's may soon get replaced, Colony Square is looking up. 

The original 5Church is located at the corner of 5th and Church Streets in Charlotte, but has an address on North Tryon Street.  The 5,000 square foot 5Church Charlotte opened in May 2012, and will soon be joined by a location in Charleston, South Carolina. The 5,500 square foot Charleston restaurant is located at Market & East Bay Streets in the city's historic downtown area.  The Charleston restaurant, originally a church and most recently Mad River Bar & Grill, is currently projected to open in late August or early September.  

5Church is the second Charlotte-based restaurant in just the past month to have plans to expand in Atlanta.  Early last month, I broke news that The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar plans to open in the now-closed Goldfish restaurant at Perimeter Mall in Dunwoody.  Ironically, in both cases the Charlotte-based restaurants are replacing restaurants owned by Atlanta-based Here to Serve restaurants.  

5Church describes themselves as a "New American Restaurant" and based on their Charlotte location's menu, offers a wide range of food seasonal options that blend traditional and contemporary cuisine.

If the Atlanta location follows the Charlotte model, expect lunch and dinner during the week, and brunch on Saturday and Sunday.  

MAP Management Hospitality Group, which includes partners Patrick Whalen, Ayman Kamel and Alejandro Torio, owns and operates the restaurants.  The group also owns and operates Nan and Byron’s restaurant in Charlotte’s South End.

A number of "large market" restaurants like Craft, Emeril's, AquaKnox, Il Mulino and Five Napkin Burger have had troubles in expanding to Atlanta with all closing in short order.  

In midtown, Taco Diner, a concept from Texas-based M Crowd Restaurant Group, scrapped their plans to open altogether following disappointing sales from their existing midtown eatery, Mi Cocina.  

Regional restaurant groups such as Indigo Road Hospitality have found success in the suburbs of Atlanta.  The Charleston, South Carolina-based restaurant group opened Oak Steakhouse in Avalon in Alpharetta late last year, and later opened Italian restaurant Colletta earlier this year, also in Avalon.  Sources indicate the two restaurants have been among the stronger performers in the new complex.  The group's Asian eatery, O-Ku, is slated to open early next year in the Ironworks project on the Westside.

Without question, the most successful out of market import has been Barteca and their Barcelona Wine Bar and bartaco concepts.  There are currently two bartaco locations open, with a third slated to open this summer in Inman Park. There is also a single Barcelona open in Inman Park with a second planned for the Ironworks project on the Westside early next year.  

One of my favorite Charlotte area restaurants, Rooster's Wood Fired Kitchen, had previously expressed an interest in expanding to metro Atlanta, although I'm unaware of any current plans.  The restaurant group has two locations in Charlotte, one in Winston Salem and will soon open a new location in Charleston.  

A representative from 5Church indicated to me they hope to have the Atlanta restaurant open by early 2016 but (knowing how the City of Atlanta is), I suspect that may turn into mid-2016.  

Have you been to 5Church in Charlotte?  
Are you excited for a new restaurant in midtown?  
Do you still miss Shout?  

Please share your thoughts below.  

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Unknown said...

I am so excited for 5church and the opening of their new restaurant in Midtown. 5Church has an atmosphere and amazing food you won't get anywhere else! Congrats to the owners and the company!!

Lauren Blake said...

I go to 5Church CLT monthly and can't say enough good things about it. The food is phenomenal

Anonymous said...

Hopefully they will be able to overcome the horrible parking situation... I NEVER think about going to Colony Square because of it...

Anonymous said...

The parking at Colony Square is actually one of the easiest in the city - you can access it from 14th, 15th and Peachtree and there is always a spot especially in the evening. I think this will be excellent for CS and Midtown!!!

AJ said...

I think any restaurant/restaurant group can succeed in Atlanta if they simply research. Having a name in another city doesn't mean success in Atlanta (or any other city for that matter). Your example of Barcelona and Bartaco are perfect examples of a company doing their research and knowing where to open, what to serve, at a proper price point. The failure of Craft and Emeril's is the perfect example of what not to do - I'm a powerful chef/TV personality, I'm going to open a restaurant based solely on my name and it'll succeed. People may use Atlanta's supposed love for chain restaurants as an excuse - I call BS on that. Every city has Applebees, Chilis, etc. Atlanta has plenty of high end successful restaurants at every price point. The reason they succeed is because they do their homework. Could Craft & Emeril's have succeeded in Atlanta? I think they could've, but they relied on one thing - their name. And that won't ever succeed in Atlanta, nor most other cities.

Anonymous said...

Colony Square is 2 blocks from MARTA. Doesn't anyone walk in this city. I went to Colony Square on MARTA and lived to tell about it.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, but then you smelled like urine during dinner.

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