Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Harry's Pizzeria Plots Phipps Plaza Premiere

Miami Florida based Harry's Pizzeria plans to open its first Atlanta area location at Phipps Plaza in Buckhead.  The restaurant, which according to permits filed with the City of Atlanta will be 2,531 square feet, will occupy suite 1096B. 

According to the Phipps Plaza site plan, suite 1096B is the space previously occupied by Yebo Restaurant & Bar. Before Yebo, Latitude Food & Drink occupied the space and before that, it was The Grape, a wine bar.  The space is quite small, but provides great visibility from Peachtree Road and also the possibility of offering outdoor dining, which Harry's plans to do.  

Harry's, which calls themselves a "Neighborhood American Pizzeria," features Neapolitan style pizza, served in six slice, eleven inch pies.   

 A special pie at Harry's: Radicchio with caramelized onion, dates & mozzarella

Created by Chef Michael Schwartz, Harry’s Pizzeria is named for Schwartz's son Harry and is part of Miami-based The Genuine Hospitality Group. Schwartz, who was named best chef in the South by the James Beard Foundation in 2010, opened the first Harry's in 2011 in Miami's Design District.  A second location followed in Coconut Grove, also in Miami, in 2015.  Last month, a third location opened in Downtown Dadeland, another Miami area development.  

The Phipps Plaza location, while small at 2,531 square feet, is actually considerably bigger than the full-service restaurant's Coconut Grove (1,800 square feet) restaurant and Downtown Dadeland  (2,100 square feet) locations.   The Phipps Plaza location will also feature additional seating via a rebuilt patio area. 

Pizzas at Harry's range in price from $13 (Margherita) to $17 (short rib) with gluten free crust available for $2 more.  The restaurant also offers additional side, salad and entree options as well as panna cotta for dessert.

A report in Miami's Community Newspapers last month at the time of the Downtown Dadeland opening, hinted at the Georgia expansion but did not give a location or timeline.  

“Opening in Downtown Dadeland is not only exciting in enabling us to reach more people with the better pizza they crave, but it’s a milestone for our Company as well as we embark on a multi-year expansion project,” says Sunil Bhatt, CEO Harry’s Holdings, LLC. “Starting that process with multiple South Florida locations will provide us with the foundation we need as we move north in Florida, in to Georgia and beyond over the coming years”.

Sources say the restaurant is exploring the possibility of a different name under which to open the Phipps Plaza and perhaps other locations.  While calls to The Genuine Group were met with "no comment," it's not a bad idea to create a more identifiable and  "brandable" name for the restaurant as it plots its growth outside of south Florida. 

In Atlanta for instance, Harry's Pizza & Subs has been in business on Powers Ferry Road near SunTrust Park since 2004. Owner Rich Oxman named the restaurant after his father when he dropped the Mellow Mushroom franchise he had operated under since originally opening in 1989.  Earlier this week I spoke to Oxman who said he was aware of the new Harry's coming  to Phipps and said he welcomes them to town, but has no plans to change his name.  

This past November, Harry's revealed plans to enter the Cleveland, Ohio market with a restaurant in Cleveland's upscale Shaker Heights community.  The restaurant, planned for the Van Aken district of historic Shaker Heights,  is expected to open in 2018.  

Earlier this year, it was revealed that another Harry's Pizzeria is planned for Aventura Mall, also in the Miami area.  The restaurant would open as part of the mall's massive  three-level, 315,000 square-foot expansion wing designed by renowned architect Carlos Zapata.  Aventura Mall, tied for the sixth most productive mall in America in 2016 according to CNBC, raked in a whopping $1,595 per square foot.  While Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza both do very well, neither is in the top ten nationally.  Simon Property Group, owner of Phipps and Lenox, is also part owner of Aventura, and handles the Florida mall's leasing, which could explain why both malls are getting a Harry's.

Harry's at Phipps Plaza will be joined by Savannah's Daniel Reed's Public House which is currently under construction and expects to open late this fall.  Daniel Reed's occupies about half of the former Twist space.  Twist, part of the Here to Serve restaurant group, closed along with the entire group in late 2015.  The other half of the Twist space is actively being marketed to other restaurant concepts.  

In addition to Harry's and Daniel Reed's, Phipps Plaza is expected to welcome a new Grand Lux Cafe restaurant next year as well as a freestanding Ecco restaurant.  

As ToNeTo Atlanta reported in April, Grand Lux plans to open on the second floor of Phipps Plaza in place of Frontgate, in a space occupied for many year by The Peasant Uptown.  Grand Lux, which is owned by The Cheesecake Factory, is essentially an upscale version of its corporate parent.  

Ecco, described on their website as a "Seasonal European Mediterranean Restaurant," continues to operate their original and popular restaurant on 7th Street in midtown, but also has a location in the international terminal of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.  The Phipps Plaza location should open by next summer.  

Over the past couple of years, pizza has been a popular food at nearby Lenox Square too.  In late 2015, California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) reopened in the mall after a multi-month renovation that saw basically every part of the restaurant upgraded and modernized.  In April 2016, Rise Pies, a quick serve pizza offering, opened in the mall's "fashion cafe," aka, the food court.  Struggling fast food pizza operator Sbarro previously operated locations in both the Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza food courts, but each has since closed.  

Sources say Harry's (or whatever it ends up being called) expects to open in late 2017 or early 2018.  

Have you been to Harry's Pizzeria?  Are you excited abut the new dining options coming to Phipps Plaza?  What other restaurant or cuisine would you like to see open in the remaining portion of the former Twist at Phipps Plaza?

Please share your thoughts below


Anonymous said...

Never been to Harry's but excited for Grand Lux. That place is gooood.

Anonymous said...

I think they could open with a promotion: "Buy a large deluxe pie plus one adult beverage, get a free My Pillow"

S. Norrim Lackey said...

I'm in Dallas a lot. I don't REALLY get that distinguishes Lux from CCF.

Anonymous said...

Harry's is a great addition, been to one in Miami. Gran Lux, yuck! C'mon, Simon. You can come up with something better than that?

SoGo said...

With Grand Lux, Simon gets a tenant that will pay its rent and will draw a crowd. With the local restaurants, it's more of a gamble. For every Tavern @ Phipps there's a Yebo or Latitude.

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