Thursday, October 26, 2017

Bits & Bites

Office Depot is actively liquidating their store in Smyrna on Cobb Parkway.  The store, located in Cumberland Square North in the 2400 block of Cobb Parkway, was previously downsized to its current size.  The current store is 8,640 square feet, whereas their previous space next door anchored the center and was 25,600 square feet.  A Goodwill store and donation center today anchors the center.   D. Geller & Son Jewelers, which previously occupied the space to the right of the current Office Depot, left the center last year, and relocated to Akers Mill Square.  Rodney's Jamaican Soul Food opened in the former D. Geller space earlier this year.  Office Depot is due to close next Saturday November 4.  
James Beard award winning Chef/Restaurateur Michael Schwartz’s upcoming pizzeria at Phipps Plaza will be called Genuine Pizza, not Harry's Pizzeria as had been thought.  ToNeTo Atlanta reported plans for the new pizzeria this past June, and at that time hinted that Schwartz might adopt a different name for the restaurant.  The Miami-based restaurant, part of The Genuine Hospitality Group, will open in an approximately 2,500 square foot space most recently home to Yebo.  Genuine Pizza invites guests to experience the attention to detail first hand, at a pizza bar fronting the open kitchen and a glass-faced dough room at the entrance where the recipe is mixed, kneaded and proofed daily.  The restaurant will also feature a patio along Peachtree Road and is expected to open in December.  In addition to the Phipps Plaza location, Genuine Pizza will open at Aventura Mall in Aventura, Florida next month, as well as in the Van Aken District in Cleveland, Ohio, Meridian Center, in the Miami Beach Design District, and Miami Metropica in Sunrise, Florida.  

Atmasphere has sold their Piedmont Road location to BACH, a new fitness facility specializing in High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).  Sources say that Nathan Rogers of BLAST and actor/model Joel Rush partnered to purchase the business from Pavel Stuchlik, a franchisee of Orangetheory Fitness.  Atmasphere opened last April, and BACH is expected to officially debut in the coming weeks.  

Five Below has signed on to open in the former Dress Barn at Providence Square in East Cobb.  The approximately 8,000 square foot store will open to the left of the TJ Maxx/HomeGoods store.  Five Below is a growing retailer that primarily sells merchandise priced at $5 and below, and targets teens and pre-teens with some adult merchandise as well.  The store was started by the former founder of popular kids retailer Zany Brainy.  

Earlier this week, Steve Josovitz of The Shumacher Group, Inc. leased the freestanding approximately 6,000 square foot restaurant space in Medlock Crossing in Duluth/Johns Creek  to The Crab Spot.  The Crab Spot is a popular New Orleans-style seafood eatery with one location on Virginia Avenue in Hapeville.  The Medlock Crossing location, on State Bridge Road, was first built as a Rio Bravo restaurant, but was in recent years been a series of independent eateries.  Medlock Crossing is located at the corner of State Bridge Road and Medlock Bridge Road and is anchored by an 18 screen Regal Cinemas.     

Retailer Empire South opened last week on Highland Avenue in Virginia Highland.  

Moe's Southwest Grill plans to open their new location at East West Commons on the East-West Connector in Austell today, Thursday October 26.  The restaurant, along with a recently opened Panera Bread, The Vitamin Shoppe and the upcoming Kay Jewelers, occupies space where a former Borders bookstore once stood.  

Salata will open their second Atlanta area location next month at Glenridge Point in Sandy Springs.  The new salad joint, like the chain's first Atlanta area location that opened in Atlantic Station in September, replaces a former Moe's Southwest Grill.  The Glenridge Point location will celebrate its grand opening on Thursday November 9.  In advance of their grand opening, the restaurant is offering complimentary "sneak peek" meals that one must register for here.  ToNeTo Atlanta previously reported that Salata has a third location coming to Providence Square in East Cobb, where it will replace an Uncle Maddio's Pizza, and a fourth coming to the new Liberty Park Village development in Alpharetta.  Additional Atlanta area Salata restaurants are in the works in Peachtree Corners, Downtown and Toco Hills, among other areas, according to sources familiar with the chain's local plans.  

A Pottery Barn "warehouse sale" outlet store quietly opened in Morrow at Southlake Festival near Southlake Mall this past July.  The store, which primarily features Pottery Barn and pottery barn kids merchandise, along with occasional Williams-Sonoma and West Elm products, is open only Thursday through Sunday from 10AM until 7PM.  The store is reportedly only temporary and is one of only a handful that the company has opened.  A sales associate at the store said that the pricing and product mix is different than traditional Pottery Barn outlets, like the one at North Georgia Premium Outlets in Dawsonville, but was unable to provide specific examples.  Phone and email messages to Jess Haro, public relations manager for Pottery Barn, seeking comment on the duration of the store and the concept behind it were not immediately returned.  

Gordon Biersch will close their location on Peachtree Street in Midtown Sunday November 12 after nearly 20 years in business. The restaurant's Buckhead location at the corner of Piedmont and Peachtree Roads is expected to stay open. The Buckhead location originally opened as Rock Bottom Brewery, but rebranded to Gordon Biersch in 2009.   Coro Realty Partners, which owns both Atlanta Gordon Biersch properties, is currently marketing the 13,000 square foot Midtown restaurant to prospective tenants.  

Planet Fitness is opening a new gym in an unlikely space: a former Walgreens.  The new Planet Fitness, currently under construction at the corner of Mansell Road and Alpharetta Highway, will open in a former Walgreens pharmacy that closed earlier this year after about 15 years in business.  The prime corner offers the gym tremendous visibility but is slightly smaller than a traditional Planet Fitness location.  A typical Planet Fitness is about 20,000 square feet whereas the former Walgreens space is 16,000 square feet.  A spokesperson for the location told ToNeTo Atlanta that the new location will not offer less equipment than other locations, it just won't have as much "common area" space.    Boston based Alder Partners LLC has the franchise rights for up to 29 Planet Fitness locations in metro Atlanta, of which the new Roswell facility will be the firm's 15th.  Among Alder Partners' locations are nearby gyms on Highway 9 in Milton (about 5 miles away) and on Holcomb Bridge Road (about three miles away).   The new Planet Fitness is expected to open Monday November 6.     
Trade Root, the new Mediterranean eatery that was expected to open in The Ritz-Carlton Buckhead will not open after all.  A restaurant representative indicated that the restaurant will not open, likely due at least in part to the deflagging of the hotel, expected to happen December 1.  As ToNeTo Atlanta has previously reported, The Ritz-Carlton Buckhead will become "The Whitley," an unbranded hotel in Marriott's "The Luxury Collection."  According to a restaurant representative, the restaurant will be called just that: "the restaurant," and feature a menu of wings, burgers, salads and other fare more in line with a sports bar than an upscale eatery.  Guests who have stayed at the hotel and visited the bar and restaurant indicate that the restaurant now resembles a cafeteria, with the bar's character gone.     

Savi Provisions is preparing to open not just one new location, but two.  In addition to the Decatur location planned for the former The Cook's Warehouse/Sherlock's Wine Merchant space at the corner of West Ponce de Leon Avenue and Commerce Drive, Savi is also opening a second Buckhead location at Pharr Road and North Fulton Drive in the newly renovated Shops at Pharr.  Both locations are reportedly "behind schedule," but could still open before the end of the year, according to sources close to the retailer.  The Buckhead location will reportedly measure about 7,700 square feet, while the Decatur store will be about 5,000 square feet.  Savi Provisions currently operates locations in 
Midtown, Chastain Park, Inman Park and Brookhaven.

Mrs. Winner's plans to open a new location in McDonough in the coming months.  The new restaurant will open in place of a former Long John Silvers/A&W restaurant that had more recently been operating as "B&B Pizza."  The restaurant is located at 579 Highway 42 and will be the sixth for the chain in Georgia.  Mrs. Winner's once had nearly 200 locations, but sluggish sales, poor management and heavy competition led to the closure of basically the entire chain a few years ago.  Now, under new ownership, the chain is once again growing, and in addition to the Georgia locations, includes seven locations in North Carolina and one in Tennessee.  This Forbes article is very informative on the history and current status of the chain.  

Faced with a vocal crowd of nearly 100 small business owners, the City of Atlanta opted to send a measure that would have increased the cost of obtaining an alcohol license in the City of Atlanta by 300% "back to committee," meaning that it is dead, at least for now.  

Regional Bits
Chicago-based Potbelly Sandwich Shop is adding a second location to Charlotte, North Carolina.  Franchisee  Shak Patel plans to open a new Potbelly in  Piedmont Town Center, a mixed-use center near SouthPark Mall.   Patel, who opened Charlotte’s first Potbelly in uptown in an old Salsarita’s earlier this year, is to open a total of four Potbelly franchises in Charlotte.  While there have been no formal announcements of a Potbelly franchise opening in metro Atlanta, the fact that the chain has added new restaurants in Greensboro and Raleigh, North Carolina, Knoxville and Nashville, Tennessee and another at Tampa International Airport in recent years, lends credence to the idea that an Atlanta opening may happen sooner rather than later.   

Earlier this month, ToNeTo Atlanta reported that Washington D.C.-based Cava Mezze is also expanding to the Charlotte market.  While the fast casual Mediterranean chain had also not formally announced an expansion into metro Atlanta, it's likely on the horizon.   

College Station, Texas-based Grub Burger Bar plans to open two new restaurants in Florida.  One is expected to open later this December in Jacksonville at the new The Strand at Town Center, a new development near St. Johns Town Center.  The other Grub will open at Butler Town Center, a new expansion of the expansive Butler development.  Grub Gainesville will be located at 3440 SW Archer Road and will be joined by a food hall, a Whole Foods Market and a host of new restaurants and retailers.  The Gainesville location is expected to open in April.  The chain currently operates one location in Florida, in Tallahassee.  There are currently three Grub locations in Georgia" North Druid Hills, Akers Mill and Cumming, with a fourth expected to open in February in Sandy Springs.  


Unknown said...

What's the deal with the Gordon Biersch closing? Always busy, always good.

ImAndy said...

I just drove past this new Planet Fitness yesterday and was shocked at how little exterior renovation was happening. At least enclose the front glass and take down the awnings so it doesn't look like a boarded up Walgreens.

Also, what are they building on an outparcel off North Point Parkway? It's a restaurant of some sort. I believe it was close to the Dicks and Panera or maybe further down.

Atlantan99 said...


The North Point project you seem to be describing is the upcoming Outback.

Thanks for your readership and comments!

Anonymous said...

That old rio bravo space at Medlock Crossing has to be cursed... every concept in that space seems to have failed spectacularly...

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