Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Bits & Bites

Warby Parker has opened its second Atlanta area location. Located in Westside Provisions, the new location makes Atlanta one of the top five markets for the growing chain.   In keeping with their theme, the new Atlanta store is meant to resemble a library.   What I found especially creative was that each location sells an exclusive design, only sold at one location.  At the Westside store, the crystal framed Benchley is the exclusive design.  Originally launched out of a Wharton dorm room in 2010, the chain has grown to about 30 locations with plans to continue to add shops in the months to come.  

A new Captain D's  is planned for Tara Boulevard in Lovejoy.  the  2,800 square foot freestanding restaurant will open in an outparcel of an existing Walmart Supercenter.  

Sugarfina, the Beverly Hills-based gourmet candy shop, will open a second Atlanta area location, this time a shop in Dunwoody. The new Sugarfina will open on the second floor of Nordstrom in Perimeter Mall.  The first Sugarfina in Atlanta opened this past fall in Lenox Square in Buckhead. This is not a first time a designer candy shop has teamed up with a upscale department store.  Dylan Lauren, daughter of Ralph Lauren and owner of Dylan's Candy Bar, had a shop-in-shop location within the Bloomingdale's at the Mall at Millenia in Orlando for a while before closing a few years ago.  Sugarfina products are also sold in Bloomingdale's at Lenox Square, among other retailers.  

Struggling teen apparel retailer AĆ©ropostale plans to close 113 U.S. stores and all 41 Canadian stores as it works to reorganize following its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.  The retailer will close three locations in Georgia:  Georgia Square Mall in Athens, Mall at Stonecrest in Lithonia, and Shoppes at River Crossing in Macon.  AĆ©ropostale stores will remain open in Lenox Square, Perimeter Mall, Cumberland Mall and a "Factory Store" in Gwinnett Place Mall, among others.  

Bena's Hallmark in The Centre on Hugh Howell Road in Tucker is closing.  The cards and gift store occupies a 5400 square foot space in the the Publix-anchored shopping center on Hugh Howell Road. The store is currently offering 20% off almost everything in the store.  Hallmark stores have previously closed in Northlake Mall, North DeKalb Mall, Lenox Square, and Gwinnett Place Mall.  

Englewood, Colorado-based Sports Authority hopes to be able to sell some or all of their remaining 450 stores. Following their Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, the troubled sporting goods retailer is now working several parties to sell off their assets without being forced into Chapter 7 bankruptcy and a "total liquidation." Likely participants in the asset sales and real estate auctions include sporting goods retailers Dick's Sporting Goods, Modell's and Academy Sports + Outdoors.  The CEO of Dick's Sporting Goods said the company would be "very aggressive" in trying to siphon business from Sports Authority.

Following the recent closures of Sports Authority locations in Hiram and Lilburn, nine are still in operation in Georgia:  

7461 N Point Pkwy - Alpharetta  
3221 Peachtree Rd NE  - Buckhead  
2963 Cobb Pkwy -  Atlanta  
850 Cobb Place Blvd NW -  Kennesaw  
1705 Mall of Georgia Blvd - Buford  
3450 Steve Reynolds Blvd - Duluth  
3200 Northlake Pkwy NE - Northlake   
1155 Mount Vernon Hwy - Sandy Springs  
2209 Highway 20 SE - Conyers

Burger 21, a Tampa-based "better burger" chain, will celebrate the opening of its newest Atlanta area location on May 30th in Snellville.  Located at 1575 Scenic Highway, the restaurant joins existing Atlanta area locations in Buckhead, Buford and Johns Creek.

Pollo Tropical recently opened its newest Atlanta area location in Hiram at 4525 Jimmy Lee Smith Parkway. The restaurant will celebrate its Grand Opening this coming Saturday May 7 with free food, live music, family-friendly activities, and giveaways including Free Chicken for a Year and concert tickets to Luke Bryan and Dave Matthews Band. 

Tiff's Treats, an Austin,Texas-based hot cookie and cold milk delivery business, is looking to take a bite out of the Peach state with three locations.  The first location will open in Aspen Station in Alpharetta in June, to be followed by a previously announced location at Square on Fifth, a student housing complex in midtown, in late summer.  Another location, planned for a portion of the former Genghis Grill in Perimeter Square West in Sandy Springs, is slated to open "by the end of the year."  

The Shops Buckhead Atlanta restaurant Thirteen Pies followed up on my March 28th post by closing their restaurant.  In a strange turn of events, the pizza restaurant will be replaced with Taverna, a "Northern Italian" restaurant, owned and operated by another Dallas, Texas restaurant group, Lombardi Family Concepts.   Taverna “will offer Northern Italian delights ranging from simple comforts such as oven-fired pizzas and salads to fabulous risotto" according to a press release announcing the opening.  I'm no genius, but another Italian restaurant would seem to be something Buckhead does not need.  Aside from the fact that Dolce, an Italian restaurant, is already open in The Shops Buckhead Atlanta, Italian cuisine is already offered at over a half dozen other restaurants in Buckhead.  

Ale Yeah! Craft Beer Market, has closed its store in Kennesaw: "It's with heavy hearts that we announce the closing of Ale Yeah! Kennesaw, effective Sunday May 1st. Due to some serious health issues for our business partner Art and to a lesser extent some rather unfortunate mismanagement from the city of Kennesaw we have decided that our last day of business will be Saturday, April 30th." Ale Yeah! stores remain open in Decatur and Roswell.  

Noble Fin, chef Jay Swift's Mediterranean-influenced American cuisine restaurant, will open at 5 p.m. on May 23, the eatery announced on its website.  Swift, the owner of 4th & Swift in Old Fourth Ward, has been working on the Peachtree Corners restaurant for quite a while, having pushed its opening a few times, most recently from a planned fall 2015 debut. It will be located in an outparcel of the Earth Fare-anchored Village at Peachtree Corners shopping center, at 5260 Peachtree Parkway. Noble Fin occupies a newly constructed building erected on the site of the former Dreamland barbecue, which suffered a severe fire in early 2013.   Jeb Aldrich, Swift's son, will move from 4th & Swift to helm the kitchen at Noble Fin, which is described as "contemporary American and Mediterranean-inspired." Its menu will focus on seafood, steaks and pasta.

Engineer's Bookstore on Marietta Street near Georgia Tech will permanently close after over 60 years in business. Management did not publicly state a reason for the closure, but sources at the store cited Amazon and other online sellers as the main reason for the store's closure.  "Kids just aren't buying books like they used to." There is reportedly no firm timetable for closure but the store is currently having a "Going Out of Business Sale" with markdowns throughout the store.  The store's sibling location, Southern Engineers Bookstore on South Marietta Parkway in Marietta, will receive select merchandise and will remain open for now.  

La Fonda Latina's Buckhead location, closed since this past November so that it could be "renovated," will in fact stay closed.  I suspected the restaurant would not reopen and would in fact be reconcepted, and I was half right.  Rather than be reconcepted into a new or existing concept, ownership plans to demolish both it and adjacent Fellini's and rebuild a bigger building which will house only Fellini's. The plans are still fluid with no firm timetable or design.   

Decatur will be one of the first cities in the country to get  a 365 by Whole Foods Market store.  The new concept stores are designed to be more affordable, offering a smaller product assortment, with an emphasis on the grocer's private "365" label.  The new store will help anchor North Decatur Square, a new shopping plaza to be constructed at North Decatur Road and Church Street by Fairburn-based developer S.J. Collins Enterprises.  The shopping center replaces Nalley Nissan and Infiniti dealerships, both of which will soon relocate to a portion of the old GM site in Doraville. The first 365 by Whole Foods will open in Silver Lake, California on May 25, 2016, followed by Lake Oswego, Oregon on July 14th and Bellevue, Washington in "the fall."   After that,  stores are expected to open in California in Santa Monica, San Francisco, Concord, Claremont, Los Alamitos, Long Beach and North Hollywood, plus Houston and  Cedar Park, Texas,   Cincinnati,  Akron, and Toledo, Ohio, Evergreen Park, Illinois, Bloomington, Indiana, and Gainesville, Florida.  North Decatur Square will include approximately 90,000 square feet of commercial space, including the 365 store and additional retail and restaurant tenants. It is expected to open in spring 2018.  Whole Foods Market has two other stores in the pipeline in Kennesaw and Chamblee, both expected to open next year.  The Decatur 365 store will face competition from Sprouts Farmers Market, expected to open late this year in nearby Decatur Crossing.  


Coolio said...

Engineer's Bookstore closing is pretty big. I used to pass by that place growing up, back when Bankhead Avenue (as that part of the road was called back then) stretched all the way across the bridge that is behind the store. Never shopped there, but I guess the writing was on the wall when online sales got hot.

Maybe now instead of a mortgage you can just take out a car loan to buy some of the books!

Anonymous said...

Sports Authority: Are Lilburn and Snellville mentioned (on US 78) the same store?

Burger21 Snellville has taken a long time to open up. Potential diners have been peeking thru the door for the past month.

Atlantan99 said...


I'm sorry, that was a typo and has been corrected. There was just one store on 78, in Lilburn.

Thanks for your comments and readership.

Anonymous said...

Another store closing at Stonecrest? Shockkker.

Anonymous said...

As counter intuitive as it might sound I think a Pollo Tropical would do well on Buford Highway in Brookhaven/Chamblee.

Anonymous said...

I put a hex on both Bina's and Engineer's Bookstore. Bina's took two years to work. Engineer's took 22.

ImAndy said...

There have been many more Hallmarks close. Perimeter closed last month and the other one at Georgetown in Dunwoody closed last year. I'm a label whore when it comes to cards, I hope some of them stick around :(

Ham said...

H&M opening at Stonecrest???

Anonymous said...

Hallmark stores shutting down are not surprising as I and many friends and family have not set foot in one in years - decades. You can get Hallmark cards at Walmart, grocery stores, etc. I would rather do to an independently owned gift or specialty store as well. Not to mention snail mail and the USPS being antiquated.

Anonymous said...

I would rather give and/or receive a dollar store greeting card and a $10 gift card than an overpriced and outdated $5 Hallmark card. ;)

Greenwave said...

Does anybody know what they are building next to Corner Bakery Cafe on Ashford Dunwoody Road in Dunwoody? They have started laying the groundwork. This blog said something about a Sleep Number store but I've heard rumors that Burger 21 wants to open up here too. Anybody???

Anonymous said...

We go to the Burger 21 on Roswell Road in North Buckhead all the time. It is delicious, and I think they have a top-3 burger amongst all the burger restaurants. The chicken tenders are also incredible. Highly recommend. Hope it gets enough business to stick around - never looks that crowded in the corner of the Chastain Publix shopping center.

On another note, really wish Pollo Tropical would find its way into Sandy Springs. Anywhere on (or near) Roswell Road between Weiuca and Abernathy would be nice.

Anonymous said...

Yes, many Italian places, but we keep losing the upscale pizza places in this area. 13 Pies did do a good job in that category. We always enjoyed our pizzas and their salad were great.

Anonymous said...

I spoke to an employee at Bena's and the closing caught them by surprise. I got the impression there was more to the closing than just "not enough business". Maybe the owner of the shopping center has a new direction and could not come to terms with Bena?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what is being developed at these two locations:

Lawrenceville Highway north of McLendon Drive in 30033.

Flowers Road South north of Brandywine Road in 30341.

Anonymous said...

I like Hallmark stores but know they won't last much longer. Always enjoyed the Tucker Hallmark store. I'm a shopper and don't want to have to buy everything on the internet.

Anonymous said...

That is correct Ham. See this link from the AJC.

Anonymous said...

I ate at that Burger21 and was not impressed. I am not surprised that it is always empty. I hope they got a good deal on their rent or I can't see them lasting. I have absolutely no desire to go back there. It's on par with Bobby's cheeseburgers and cookout. And they keep popping up everywhere.

fbenario said...

"Does anyone know what is being developed at these two locations:

Lawrenceville Highway north of McLendon Drive in 30033."

It is going to be Benton House of Decatur, a senior living community.

fbenario said...

"Does anyone know what is being developed at these two locations:

Lawrenceville Highway north of McLendon Drive in 30033."

It will be Benton House of Decatur, a senior living place.

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