Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Bits & Bites

Taste of Atlanta will celebrate its 16th year, this time in a new home: Historic Fourth Ward Park.  The popular restaurant festival will include "tastes" from many established Atlanta area restaurants, as well as a number of new or upcoming restaurants such as Bulla, CO, Donetto, Golden Eagle, Hawkers, Hattie B's Hot Chicken, Muchacho, Ponko Chicken, Todd English Tavern, Wade's and more! General admission tickets are $25 and can be purchased here
Mattress Firm and Massage Envy have joined the tenant mix at the new Sprouts Farmers Market-anchored Tucker Meridian shopping center in Tucker.  

Kroger plans to open a bar in their popular Brookhaven store after getting approval to do so from the City of Brookhaven.  The bar, referred to by some as some "KroBar,"  can already be found in Kroger stores in Cartersville, Glenwood, Lindbergh and North Decatur.   The Brookhaven KroBar will be located in the grocer's current Cherokee Plaza location and is expected to open early next year. 

Washington D.C.-based Mediterranean restaurant chain CAVA is expanding, this time into three new markets: Boston, Charlotte, and Austin, Texas, all expected to debut in early 2018.  The Charlotte area locations are planned for Park Road and University Place.  The chain, which I have tried in D.C., is like a mashup of Zo√ęs Kitchen, Great Wraps and Chipotle Mexican Grill.  No plans for Atlanta have been announced thus far, but surely they are in the works.  

Cellairis is now open in the Fashion Cafe at Lenox Square. The cellular device retailer opens in place of what had most recently been Freshii, a local franchise of a healthy quick serve eatery.  

Firehouse Subs has closed its location at The Shops of Buckhead on Peachtree Road in south Buckhead.  The 1,453 square foot restaurant which was located on the north endcap of the multi-tenant center next to CamiCakes, quietly closed last week, according to sources close to the restaurant.  Following the closure, the Jacksonville, Florida-based franchise has but four ITP locations in Cumberland, Downtown, Midtown and Sandy Springs near Northside Hospital.  

North Carolina-based Cook Out has plans to add a fourth location to the Macon/Warner Robins area. Already with locations at 113 Russell Pkwy and 3061 Watson Blvd. in Warner Robins, and 5001 Brookhaven Rd in Macon, another Cook Out is planned for 155 Tom Hill Sr. Boulevard in Macon.  A Steak 'n Shake restaurant occupied the Tom Hill property until this past June, when it abruptly closed.  The chain currently operates 33 locations in Georgia with a 34th coming soon to West Oglethorpe Parkway in Hinesville.  

BurgerFi and Aspen Dental plan to open in a newly constructed outparcel of Peachtree Corners Marketplace on Peachtree Parkway in Peachtree Corners.  BurgerFi will occupy 2,700 square feet, while Aspen Dental will occupy 3,500 square feet of the two suite building.  A new Aldi opened in the center earlier this year, with an LA Fitness expected to open in the center early next year.  BurgerFi has existing Atlanta area locations in Downtown (in CNN Center), Midtown, Alpharetta, Kennesaw and Lawrenceville.  A location in Emory Point closed earlier this year. Cheeseburger Bobby's, another quick serve burger joint,
is already open in the Dick's Sporting Goods center across the street, with Atlanta favorite, Farm Burger coming next year to the new Peachtree Corners Town Center project across from The Forum.  Aspen Dental has been popping up in projects across metro Atlanta including the new Willy's / Starbucks development on LaVista Road in Tucker.  

Speaking of Farm Burger, earlier this week, Atlanta-based Farm Burger opened their newest location, this one in Birmingham near the campus of UAB.  The Birmingham restaurant is Farm Burger's 11th overall, joining a newly opened restaurant in Memphis which opened this past August.  In the months to come, Farm Burger will add two new locations to metro Atlanta, one in The George on Memorial Drive in Grant Park, the other in Peachtree Corners Town Center in Peachtree Corners.  

Westplan Investors has sold their 310 unit Accent North Druid Hills "luxury" apartment complex to Atlanta-based cortland partners.  The transaction, for which the purchase price was not disclosed, reportedly occurred late last month.  Westplan completed the property on Executive Park Drive last year.  Cortland, which has a history of doing business with Westplan and already owns more than 20 communities in metro Atlanta, has renamed the Druid Hills property "SEVEN by cortland."  Westplan also completed their Accent Waterworks property near gay strip club Swinging Richards last year, and is likely actively marketing it.  Other active Westplan projects include two new apartment communities on Cheshire Bridge Road, as well as a large scale development on Spring Road in Smyrna.   
The second Atlanta area location of MOD Pizza opened earlier this month at the Sprouts Farmers Market anchored Decatur Crossing shopping center.  The create-your-own-pizza concept opened on the Scott Boulevard side of the project near City Barbecue and Tropical Smoothie Cafe.  The Decatur location is the second unit that Southern Pie, LLC, the local franchise group for the Seattle-based chain, has opened.  The group's first Atlanta area location opened earlier this spring in the Kennesaw Marketplace, where anchor Whole Foods Market just opened last week.  A third MOD is planned for The Plaza at City Springs, a new restaurant-heavy center on Roswell Road in Sandy Springs, while a fourth unit is planned for the new Dawson Marketplace shopping center in Dawsonville.  

In other quick serve pizza news, Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors has become an investor in Pieology, a Rancho Santa Margarita-based pizza shop similar to MOD.  Durant's move follows that of fellow NBA star LeBron James, who became an investor and franchisee in Blaze Pizza in 2012.  In metro Atlanta, Blaze has opened one location with at least two more in the works, while MOD has opened two locations with two more in the works.  Pieology opened one location in Alpharetta last fall, but closed it earlier this year citing poor parking as the leading cause of the closure.  

Teen apparel retailer Forever 21  is entering the beauty industry with Riley Rose, a beauty boutique that's being rolled out at 13 General Growth Properties (GGP) shopping centers across the U.S.  The first Riley Rose store opened at Los Angeles' Glendale Galleria mall last week.  The Riley Rose moniker was coined by Linda and Esther Chang, the daughters of Forever 21's founders.  While the two have been involved in marketing and visual merchandising at Forever 21, they've long wanted to tap into beauty.  Riley Rose has plans to launch its own website this November.  The new entrant will target millennials and face competition from such specialty retailers as Ulta, Sephora and Bluemercury (a division of Macy's).  ToNeTo Atlanta obtained the list of the initial 13 Riley Rose locations, of which none are located in metro Atlanta.  Florida will be the chain's largest market to start, with plans for three locations: Altamonte Mall in Altamonte Springs, Pembrooke Lakes Mall in Pembrooke Pines and Governor's Square in Tallahassee.  

Luxury retailer Coach announced earlier today that they are changing their corporate name to Tapestry.   Founded in Manhattan in 1941, Coach has grown into a multi-billion dollar company that today includes three primary brands.  Coach bought smaller rival Kate Spade for $2.4 billion earlier this year and shoemaker Stuart Weitzman in 2015, broadening its portfolio and transforming into an upscale fashion house more able to compete with the likes of LVMH and KKR.   Kate Spade runs not only its namesake womenswear division but also a male component, Jack Spade.   Coach said the name change will go into effect on October 31 and will start trading under the ticker symbol “TPR” on the New York Stock Exchange.  

The Amoco moniker is returning to U.S.  fuel stations after a more than ten year absence from the market.  BP, which owns the Amoco name, said the move is being made to allow for fuel operators to broaden their reach and offer both brands in a single market.  Amoco was founded in 1889 as the Standard Oil Company, and its first service station opened in Minneapolis in 1912. Amoco branded stations began to disappear in the years following the company’s 1998 merger with British Petroleum (BP).  Many of those locations were re-branded with the BP moniker. 

Aldi has introduced a newly redesigned logo.
Aldi's new logo on right, old logo on left 
It has come to my attention that some readers have taken advantage of  my open commenting policy.  Commenting is a privilege and not a right.  If you choose to leave comments on this post or any other on this site, please be respectful and responsible.  


Anonymous said...

I have been curious about what is coming to Peachtree Corners, thanks for that!

Any idea what is going in next to Ravinia, where the Pollo Tropical was set to be at one point? They have torn down the police precinct and it is surrounded by fencing.

Anonymous said...

Like the new Aldi logo. Speaking of, any idea on the status for the once proposed Roswell location at Eaves & Holcomb Bridge Road?

Anonymous said...

I was wondering about that Peachtree Corners outparcel as well. Not very exciting in that Cheeseburger Bobby's is right across the street and is decent enough. I've never been to BurgerFi but am guessing it has a higher price point than CB's.

I'm seriously wondering if Peachtree Corners can support all the restaurants planned for the new development.

Very interested to see how a bar works in a grocery store.

Anonymous said...

Pretty rare to see a company go from a simplistic flat/clean logo to a more complex one with depth and gradient. Usually it's the reverse. New logo looks like a foreign bank from the 90s.

Anonymous said...

I've eaten at the Burgerfi in Kennesaw, which is wonderful. They have great tasting burgers and fries. They also have an amazing outside deck. Can't compare them to a Cheeseburger Bobbys which is just ok. The burgers at Bobby's taste like frozen pucks from the supermarket.

J Leeds said...

Site prep is going on for the Aldi in East Roswell. It's actually at the corner of Holcomb Bridge and Old Scott Rd, at the other end of the Kroger shopping center from Eves Rd. Once all the trees were taken down, you can see how hilly the lot was, so they're still in the process of flattening it out.

I'll be glad to have the Aldi in the area, but would much prefer that they'd put it in one of the many vacant spaces on this side of 400....

Anonymous said...

Another vote for the current, not new, Aldi logo. The current one is bright, clean, easy on the eyes. Why the need for gradient and shadow?!?

Only ate at Burgerfi once (by Emory), but it was solid. It fell victim to the glut of burger joints. They have good concretes, too. Bobby's burger is pretty average, but is pretty good if you load it up with toppings and sauce.

Anonymous said...

Did you count the ITP location of Jimmy John's in Vinings? If not, that would make 5.

ImAndy said...

Peachtree Corners can definately support all the restaurants for now. It has to be one of the largest lunch office markets OTP. Tens of thousands of people work in Peachtree Corners. Cheeseburger bobbys does not have enough seating at lunch so I see the need but we'll see how long Burger Fi lasts at their quality and price point. I'm a bobbys fan!

Anonymous said...

The Bobby's name is more recognizable, but for the same price you can get a better tasting burger at Burgerfi. They make everything fresh. It is so good. I don't like the topping bar at Bobby's, sort of grosses me out. The tongs being handled by so many people and end up in the food. Feels like a Fuddruckers.

Anonymous said...

I have never been in an Aldi's. i will have to try one. I don't understand the talk about the newer logo. I think it looks good.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 8:11am: So Burger-Fi and Bobby's burger cost is similar? That surprises me but I will certainly give it a try.

Has anyone eaten at Bull Gogi yet at 141 and Spalding?

Anonymous said...

@Anon 5:35pm, yes, I have eaten at Bull Gogi several times and really enjoy it. I prefer the noodles over the rice bowl.

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