Monday, November 23, 2015

"Club King" Taking Over Former Mykonos Taverna in Chamblee

For months I've seen constant work on the former Mykonos Taverna off Clairmont Road and I finally have answers! 

"Club King" Michael Gidewon plans to open a new "restaurant & lounge" this coming spring in Chamblee. The new, as yet unnamed concept will occupy the former Mykonos Taverna in the outparcel of Sam's Club off Clairmont Road.  An extensive renovation of the building is already underway with essentially all of the interior gone. Plans reportedly call for the footprint of the building to remain the same, but with the addition of at least one patio to the building.   
The newly constructed patio to the left of the building 
The building was  originally constructed around 1999/2000 as a Roadhouse Grill.  Roadhouse Grill closed in 2008 amidst financial troubles at the corporate level.  Mykonos Taverna opened in the space in 2009, remaining there until its closure last May.  

The property has great visibility from I-85 and vehicular acessibility from both the I-85 South access road as well as via Clairmont Road.

The fact that the business is being described thus far as a "restaurant & lounge" sounds an awful lot like the ill-fated Scenario in Buckhead.  Tucked into the Publix-anchored Chastain Square shopping center on Roswell Road, Scenario also billed itself as a "restaurant & lounge" but was more a nightclub than anything else.  Scenario eventually closed and is now a franchised location of Tampa-based Burger 21.  

Michael Gidewon, along with his older brother Alex, both immigrants of Eritrea, have a long history of club ownership/management in Atlanta.  Currently the Gidewons are involved in Compound Nightclub and SOHO Lounge & Gardens, both at 1008 Brady Avenue on the westside, Prive Atlanta on Spring Street in midtown, and the Gold Room at Lindbergh.  

Alex Gidewon's popular and powerful AG Entertainment is the premier promoter of the clubs and their events.  

This year the Gidewons closed a number of their more high profile clubs. Vanquish and Reign which had opened in 2011 in midtown, and "the world famous" Velvet Room on Chamblee Tucker Road (which was reborn in 2007), both closed early this year.  

There is reportedly a rift between Alex and Michael, possibly related to a romantic incident, and it's believed that Michael is the only Gidewon brother with a significant stake in the new business.  

The new Clairmont "restaurant & lounge" is less than a mile from Williamsburg Village shopping center where Pure Nightclub previously operated.  Pure, located in what was originally an A&P supermarket, was not well received by the neighborhood, and was eventually forced to close. Interestingly, the reason for its closure was that it was found to be operating a club in a space it was allowed to open in as a restaurant.  (For more on this story, see this AJC article.) 

Interestingly, the youngest Gidewon, Simon, is a partner in Aroma Lounge, a hookah lounge in Williamsburg Village shopping center.  Simon also represents that he is "THE BOSS HOG of Hookah Boyz, LLC," whatever that is, and whatever that means.  

The Mansion Elan, located in a converted former movie theater in Plaza Fiesta on Clairmont Road, also operates nearby, but clearly identifies itself as a nightclub.   

What are your thoughts on this planned business?  Do you buy the notion that this new enteprise will be a "restaurant & lounge?"  What food would you like to see this new business serve?

Please share your thoughts below. 


AJ said...

Wow. What a waste of space. First, these "restaurant & lounge" concepts are ridiculous. Be a restaurant or be a bar/club. Obviously, it's for permitting purposes that they go the "restaurant & lounge" route because it's easier to open a restaurant than a club that will have young drunk people leaving at 2AM. This space has visibility from 85 and shares a shopping center with Sam's Club. Clearly, this space is perfect for a chain. Yes, we all say "oh, another chain." But chains serve a purpose. I used to live less than a mile from that location and any decent chain should do just fine there. Roadhouse did seemingly good business and per this article closed due to corporate issues. From a quick google search, it looks like the company is only in CA & OR now. So if Roadhouse did well, how about Texas Roadhouse? Or even a Mexican chain like On The Border would probably do well. A Cracker Barrel would be another great option. Obviously, it's too late (for the next year or so until this new place goes under). Sometimes, simple is the way to go. Not every new business needs to be a trendy locally owned business.

Anonymous said...

Per Dekalb county records, Michael Gidewon owned this foreclosed house in Oak Grove:

I don't think these guys are into creating long-lasting, quality businesses, rather they just like making clubs and 'lounges' that are of interest to 'gang bangers' and criminal (or criminal wannabe) types.

Just my opinion but they don't really bring much to the Atlanta scene.

I say this just for your own intel, no need to post...


Anonymous said...

Interesting that they are setting this up in Chamblee. Chamblee does have pretty late pour hours, but they also have a very active police department. You also have the added fun of that area being the meeting point of three police departments - Chamblee covers that lot and the southbound access road above Clairmont, Brookhaven covers both sides of Clairmont plus the southbound access road below Clairmont, and DeKalb covers Clairmont on the other side of the interstate. I foresee a lot of safety checkpoints operating in that area very soon.

Anonymous said...

When I hear "restaurant / lounge" I immediately think of establishments such as "Room Service Lounge" they use the "restaurant" tag to ease any licensing / zoning requests and when they open they are more like a bar. In he city of Atlanta, it seems once you get licensing approved to open, it doesn't really matter what kind of business you operate... the city doesn't take these businesses to task...

Anonymous said...

Just freaking wonderful! Thank you Marc Johnson and the Chamblee City Council. Just the kind of "diversity" needed by this area and the city. There aren't enough of these joints surrounding us now?!

Anonymous said...

All of those sub 200k property owners that live on Warwick Circle are going to be plenty pissed about this. It really is too bad that Brookhaven did not annex in this property so it could be their problem to deal with without the whining from the clueless Warwick immigrant hater club.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, those poor Warwick immigrant haters. You know, the ones that have
to deal with break-ins in their homes and cars on a weekly basis by those lovely illegals. Gosh, maybe they should just leave all their doors open
all the time to avoid having to pay for the repairs from the damage
inflicted by these law abiding upstanding (non)citizens..

Anonymous said...

Nothing like going clubbing in front of a Sams Club

Anonymous said...

When I tell my Taxi I'm going to "the club" on Claremont before 10 they will drop me at Sam's Club and after 10 they will drop me at Michaels club i'm going to the club hey maybe they can have two-for-one membership at the club before 10 I can get my food samples on and after 10 I cross the parking lot to get my shake shake on

Anonymous said...

Any of you old timers remember Peoples Restaurant that was on the other side of the parking lot back when Sam's Club used to be a K-Mart? I used to love going to Peoples growing up.

Anonymous said...

Oh wow it used to be a Kmart. Now it makes sense. The grade is on such an angle my doors are always getting dinged in that darn Sam's club parking lot I once drove all the way to Gwinnett just so my doors don't get dinged

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine that Sam's Club is going to put up with the massive amount of trash and partially empty liquor bottles it will find in its parking lot every morning from this place. In fact, I can't imagine that Sam's Club even knows this is going to be a nightclub. I feel sorry for the neighbors. People are finding drug bags and used condoms on residential streets near those godawful clubs in Williamsburg Village.

BTW, any idea what's going in where the Dollar General is vacating in Vista Grove? I hear the 10k square foot space is already leased to a new tenant.

Disneypal said...

I'm a little disappointed. As someone who works nearby, we were really hoping for a good place to go for lunch but this sounds more like a night spot than a lunch spot. Too bad. Not sure how well it will do.

As someone else mentioned, I really liked Roadhouse Grill a lot and ate there often.

As someone else mentioned, I enjoyed Peoples too (when there was a K-Mart there instead of Sam's Club). Peoples had the best chocolate mousse!

Anonymous said...

I remember when the Kmart opened. There was a grocery attached at the time.
In the 70's there was a gas station in the front of parking lot. I worked
there for a bit as a teen. I do not for the life of me remember a
restaurant called Peoples. I lived in Drew Valley growing up. How odd that
I would not recall that.

Anonymous said...

This is a horrible idea. I work near Compund, which they own and every event night there surrounding area is trashed, people are getting in fights and the only thing you see around are hoochie mama's and wanna be thugs. I live near Sams, you would think Chamblee would want to go along the line of Brookhaven and clean up and improve the city, not make it ghetto. Chamblee already has a not so great image.

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