Sunday, June 11, 2017

Mandolin to Open in Place of Maya in Sandy Springs

New restaurant to replace Maya in Sandy Springs. 

Restaurateur Okan Ozyurteri plans to open Mandolin Mediterranean Kitchen in place of the freestanding former Maya Steaks & Seafood in Sandy Springs.  Maya, which closed this past weekend, opened  in January 2015.  

Maya Steaks owner Mimmo Alboumeh reportedly did not plan to sell the business, but with worsening  traffic on Roswell Road and a buy out offer, he opted to focus on his successful pair of Red Pepper Taqueria restaurants in Buckhead and near Emory University.  (Alboumeh is also planning to bring his Red Pepper concept to Sandy Springs.)

Alboumeh and his ME Restaurant Group also previously operated Coldbrew's Sports Bar & Grill in Roswell.  

Mandolin Mediterranean Kitchen will feature a variety of Turkish and Mediterranean fare, similar in some ways to nearby Rumi's Kitchen.  

When Maya opened, it replaced the short-lived SeaBass Kitchen, which itself replaced Rumi's Kitchen. Rumi's relocated to a larger, more accessible location just north of their previous location.  

Ozyurteri tells me that his restaurant will feature only organic meat and seafood and that he will feature Dorade and Branzino, both popular Mediterranean fish.  

Mandolin, which gets its name from the stringed musical instrument by the same name, will be an "upscale, full service restaurant" that will feature live music on weekends.  

The menu at Mandolin will include classic Mediterranean dishes such as gyro and falafel plates, as well as many hot and cold mezze (tapas) options.  

Ozyurteri is an established restaurateur having previously held ownership stakes in Buckhead's Istanblue (now known simply as Blue) at the Eclipse condo building on Pharr Road, as well as Lavash Mediterranean Grill and Cabo Cantina, both also on Pharr Road in Buckhead.  

While it seems Roswell Road can only handle one steakhouse, Maya opened shortly after Ruth's Chris Steakhouse "moved" to Alpharetta, and now Maya has closed soon after Kaiser's Chophouse opened, the area seems to be able to sustain multiple Mediterranean eateries.  

Within a few miles of Mandolin are the aforementioned Rumi's, as well as Persepolis Persian Cuisine, Aladdin's Mediterranean Grill and Samad Mediterranean Grill & Market.  

Ozyurteri is targeting an August 1st opening for Mandolin, with plans to add a patio to the restaurant later.  In addition to Mandolin, Ozyurteri also plans to open a Mandolin-like upscale Mediterranean eatery in an as yet undisclosed Buckhead location later this year.   

Are you excited for the opening of Mandolin Mediterranean Kitchen in Sandy Springs?  What is your favorite Sandy Springs restaurant? What type of restaurant would you like to see open in Sandy Springs?  

Please share your thoughts below.  

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