Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Bits & Bites

Inside the new Design Within Reach store at Westside Provisons District
Design Within Reach opened their new "flagship" location on Howell Mill at Huff Roads on the Westside this past Saturday.  The store replaces Figo, which previously relocated to Marietta Street.    The designer furniture store relocated from their former home on Peachtree Road, just north of Peachtree Battle shopping center. The new store is about triple the size of the former store. The Peachtree Road Design Within Reach store has been converted to "Design Within Reach Contract," which deals exclusively with corporate accounts.  Plans call for the Peachtree store and recently demolished former Burger King restaurant to be joined as a single parcel and redeveloped as a high rise condo building.    

Yard House, Antico Pizza Napoletana and the Terrapin Taproom and Fox Bros. BBQ are among the recent openings at The Battery Atlanta at SunTrust Park.  The complex will host its first regular season Braves game this coming Friday April 14th when the Atlanta Braves play the San Diego Padres at 7:35PM.   

Harken Health plans to open what will be its seventh Atlanta area facility later this year in Midtown.  The new office will open in place of the former Gatsby's Social Club & Dessert Lounge beside Tuesday Morning in the Midtown  Promenade  shopping center on Monroe Drive. Other Atlanta area Harken Health offices are located in Austell, Brookhaven,  Decatur, Duluth, East Cobb and Roswell.  Harken Health, an independent subsidiary of Minnetonka, Minnesota based UnitedHealth, was launched last January, and currently operates exclusively in the Atlanta and Chicago markets.  For more about Harken Health, read this

A new independent restaurant called The Diner at Webb Gin plans to open in former Romano's Macaroni Grill at The Shoppes at Webb Gin on Scenic Highway in Snellville.  The 6,665 square foot Romano's Macaroni Grill closed last year.

Willy's Mexicana Grill plans to open their new Smyrna location in the new Publix anchored Jonquil development at Spring & Atlanta Roads on Wednesday April 19th.  On opening day, the first 50 guests will receive a free burrito and drink.  In addition to the Smyrna restaurant, Willy's plans to open a new location in Tucker later this July.  The Atlanta based chain, started by Willy Bitter in 1995, and now with 30 restaurants, has been on a growth spurt of late, and continues to scout metro Atlanta for additional locations.  

Stockyard Burgers & Bones has leased the former Double Zero Napoletana restaurant on Roswell Road. Restaurant sources tell me that Stockyard plans to open by mid-June.  There are existing Stockyard Burgers & Bones locations in downtown Marietta and Vinings Jubilee.    

A new location of Harbor Freight Tools is planned for South Cobb Drive in Smyrna.  The approximately 20,000 square foot store will open in place of a former clothing store in a center also home to an Aaron's, NAPA Auto Parts and a freestanding Smoothie King.   

Burlington Coat Factory plans to open later this year in the former Best Buy at Turner Hill Marketplace near the Mall at Stonecrest in Lithonia.  Best Buy closed their Lithonia store last year and "moved" to Conyers Crossroads in Conyers for what a company spokesperson said was "a better retail mix."  

Nectar, a "healthy lifestyle cafe," plans to celebrate the grand opening of its Georgia Tech location next Wednesday, April 19th.  The eatery replaced "The Coffee Snobs" in The Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience building at 315 Ferst Drive.  Owners Naruna Rangel and Gaurav Malhotra started Nectar nine years ago with their first location in Decatur. In addition to their Decatur and Georgia Tech outposts, Nectar also operates a location at Piedmont Park, as well as two food trucks.  

The owners of Tin Lizzy's Cantina plan to open a new concept, Beni's Cubano, adjacent to their new Tin Lizzy's at the Avenue East Cobb.  "Beni’s Cubano pairs authentic Cuban cuisine with fast and friendly service," and is expected to open "in May."   There is no word yet on whether the concept will be expanded beyond the East Cobb location.  

Preserving Place is closing at the Westside Provisions District. The store's owner, Martha McMillin, sent out the following release regarding the decision to close: "For over three and a half years, it has been my passion project to share my love of Southern cooking, entertaining, and preserving with you. However, it's time for a new adventure. I have decided to close the door on this excellent chapter and go back to my first love, practicing law in-house. I am so proud of our team and what we've accomplished at Preserving Place, and we could not have done it without the love from our city. We have you, the most amazing customers, and you have all given us so much energy and inspiration.  Thank you, Atlanta, for supporting us.  Our last day will be Sunday, April 30 so do come see us before then!"

Chick-fil-A will open their newest Atlanta area location tomorrow, April 13th, at Avalon in Alpharetta.  The new restaurant is located at 2720 Old Milton Parkway and is part of Avalon's second phase.  The restaurant will be operated by John and Cristina Crays, who most recently operated the Chick-fil-A in downtown Decatur, although they have residents of Alpharetta since 2005.  Later this month, Chick-fil-A will open another new restaurant, this one on Cascade Road in southwest Atlanta.  The new restaurant replaced a former Rite Aid  and is expected to open Thursday April 27th. A new, larger Chick-fil-A is expected to open next month at Akers Mill Square shopping center on Cobb Parkway not far from Cumberland Mall. 

Thanks to my friends at The Carrollton Menu, I have made a number of trips not only to Carrollton, but also to Birmingham.  That said, I have become somewhat familiar with the Birmingham market and bring you this Birmingham Bit.  

Jacksonville, Florida based Metro Diner plans to open a new location later this year in the Birmingham suburb of Hoover.  The new restaurant will open in Inverness Plaza, at the corner of Valleydale Road and US Highway 280.  The restaurant will open in place of a shuttered Steak & Shake. Steak & Shake opened in the plaza in June 2014, and closed this past December.  Metro Diner entered the Atlanta market last year with a location in Roswell and most recently opened a new restaurant in Pooler (Savannah) at the new Tanger Outlets complex.  Another Metro Diner is planned for Macon in May and in Augusta later this year. The chain currently has open or "coming soon" locations in nine states as far west as Nevada. 

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Anonymous said...

Atlanta's transient nature as a city shows up in its small business culture as well. The coolest places seemingly always close because the owners just don't want to do it anymore. Don't latch on to anything here because chances are, it's not going to last.

Anonymous said...

Drove by Fellini's in Buckhead yesterday, it appears to be in deconstruction mode. What's going on with that?

Anonymous said...

the closures of boutique or niche small business that anonymous 1108 refers to symptomatic of aging trust fund babies who bored to death and then received a shot of reality when trying to manage a real world business

Anonymous said...

Tucker really needs another Mexican Restaurant --- Not.

Anonymous said...

You are right - there are a lot of Mexican Restaurants but I am looking forward to Willy's opening. I hope it does well.

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