Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Bits & Bites

Fire of Brazil, a traditional churrascaria (steakhouse) and Jalapeño Charlie's, which served "Latin-Mexican fusion," have both closed on Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta. The two restaurants, which shared space at the corner of Peachtree Street and Andrew Young International Boulevard, reportedly closed at the end of the year.  All told, the 23,000+ square foot space has a total of four levels and is currently being marketed for lease by Coro Realty Advisors as "restaurant/retail."  Coro purchased the property last year for just north of $20 million.  Diplomat Companies, a local hotel operator, paid $11.3 million in 2006 for the property, to which it planned to add a boutique.   The property, 218 Peachtree, was for many years a Lane Bryant retail store and then Planet Hollywood from the mid 90s until 2001.  Level 3, a short-lived club, operated in the space before Fire of Brazil & Jalapeño Charlie's opening in 2007. Fire of Brazil previously operated locations in Dunwoody and Alpharetta, among other cities.

Grand China, the popular Buckhead Chinese restaurant that was forced to relocate due to its property being purchased for more premium apartments, has finally reopened.  After 25 years at 2975 Peachtree Road, the restaurant quietly reopened a few weeks ago after a longer than expected renovation and permit process.  The restaurant closed during the summer of 2015 and had hoped to be open by the end of 2015.   The new Grand China is located across the street from "The Peach" shopping center and adjacent to the original Moe's Southwest Grill.  

Wildleaf Salads, the new quick-serve eatery from chef Randy Lewis, soft opened this past weekend at Terminus in Buckhead.  I first wrote about the concept last spring and of course, its opening was delayed (like anything in the City of Atlanta).  Early word is that the restaurant has seen robust sales, a good indication given the struggles of other restaurants in Terminus.   

The Halal Guys plans to open their highly anticipated first Atlanta area restaurant on Saturday January 28th on Buford Highway in Chamblee.  The Halal Guys was born as a food cart in New York over 25 years ago, but recently began franchising with metro Atlanta among the first locations to open outside of New York.  For those eager enough to wait in line for free swag, the restaurant is rewarding its first 50 customers with a free entree and drink and the next 200 customers with a free The Halal Guys t-shirt.  Having visited their original New York City cart, I can't wait to get my hands on their famous chicken and rice platter!

Metro Diner, the Jacksonville, FL based eatery which entered the Atlanta market last year with a restaurant in Roswell, is adding two more locations to the Peach state.  In the coming months Metro Diner locations are expected to open on E. Broad Street in Athens and at the Tanger Outlets in Pooler (Savannah).  The Athens space will be familiar to those who attended UGA as the former home of the once popular East West Bistro.     

Fuego Mundo at the Prado in Sandy Springs, which I previously reported was for sale, has been sold, and will be kept largely the same and will remain kosher.  

The new Chuy's at Akers Mill Square near Cumberland Mall is actively hiring for their new restaurant.  Expected to open in late February, and joining existing locations in Dunwoody and Kennesaw, the company is looking to hire as many as 165 employees for their new restaurant. 

The Shell gas station at Powers Ferry and Roswell Roads in north Buckhead has begun its demolition work as it prepares to rebuild as a much  bigger complex in the future.  

The Burger King restaurant at 2425 Peachtree Road near the Peachtree Battle shopping center has closed.  The closure, which I previously detailed last year, is part of an expected mixed-use complex being planned, much to the chagrin of local residents.  

After weeks of industry rumors, Punch Bowl Social officially announced it will be joining the lineup at The Battery Atlanta at SunTrust Park later this fall.  The concept, similar to Atlanta's own The Painted Pin (and upcoming The Painted Duck) will feature a gastropub (featuring a menu crafted by Chef Hugh Acheson) along with traditional table games, arcade, karaoke, and bowling.  The Denver based company opened their first location in 2012 and has since grown to eight locations.  Last week, in an interview with Nation's Restaurant News (NRN), company founder Robert Thompson revealed plans for Punch Bowl to open an additional six units this year.   Thompson referred to an opportunity in which developers give favorable deals entertainment and restaurant concepts like his in an effort to generate traffic.  With only 81 home games scheduled to be played at SunTrust Park in 2017, the Braves and their real estate partner, Fuqua Development, are banking on attractions like Punch Bowl Social and the reincarnated Coca-Cola Roxy theater to drive traffic to the complex.  Kings Bowl, the upscale retro bowling and entertainment complex, which announced last year plans to open at The Battery, is no longer involved in the project.  Sources indicate that based on the results of their location at The Battery, Punch Bowl may look into opening a second Atlanta area location at Fuqua's upcoming Leggett & Platt project on Memorial Drive in Reynoldstown.

"The Founder", a movie that tells the story of Ray Kroc and his acquisition of the McDonald's fast food chain, opens nationwide this Friday.  The movie was filmed in Canton, Douglasville and Newnan, among other local spots, and was directed by John Lee Hancock.  


Anonymous said...

Does Burger King have any plans to open a new unit in the immediate vicinity

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know where things will be within the Battery yet? I can figure some things based on old renderings by where all this stuff slots in is driving me insane since Fuqua doesn't have any sort of leasing plan on its website anywhere...

Anonymous said...

I hope not! Who even eats at Burger King? Seriously.

I am a "local resident" and no chagrin here. Been hoping this suburban crap would fall ASAP and glad to see it happening!

Anonymous said...

In the late '70's there was a single apartment building with about 7 units, right behind the BK on Peachtree. 25 Terrace Drive. I lived there about 5 years. I managed bar/restaurants, so I kept odd, late hours. I would walk sometimes to BK. But if the dining room was closed, I walked up to the drive thru window and knocked on the glass. The apartment did not have central AC - often the windows were open. The drive up speaker was frequently loud enough for us to overhear the orders. Peachtree Battle with Jalisco Mexican and perpetual Rocky Horror, was right beside the building, a 2 minute walk. Also Oxford Books and Richards.Those were good ole days for sure.

Anonymous said...

i'm confused--why is there a pic of trader joe's at the top of the post? i don't see any mention of it or the hilton in the story.

TheJohnP said...

@Anon - 10:38am

That's not Trader Joe's, that's a digital billboard ad for Trader Vic's.
The tiki bar/restaurant is within walking distance and advertise to people out and about in the area.

The pic is of the spots described in the post that happen to have the digital billboards on them.

Unknown said...

The Founder filmed a scene in the old Petite Auberge location.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for info on The Founder movie. I may have overlooked the movie otherwise. Will definitely look out for the Petite Auberge seen too.

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