Saturday, December 15, 2018

[CLOSURE ALERT] Maki Fresh Quietly Shutters in Peachtree Battle

Fledgling quick-serve sushi eatery Maki Fresh has closed its lone Atlanta area restaurant.  The roughly 3,400 square foot restaurant opened in Peachtree Battle Shopping Center in Buckhead in June 2011, and quietly closed last month, according to sources familiar with the restaurant.  Boneheads, a failed Raving Brands concept, had previously occupied the space.   Maki Fresh featured a number of sushi options, as well as curry bowls, rice bowls, salads and sliders, among other offerings.  One of the restaurant's most unique but underutilized features was a room in the back where they would occasionally offer sushi making classes for groups and date nights.  
Entrepreneur John Cassimus, famous for growing his parents' eatery Zo√ęs Kitchen into a regional chain with hundreds of locations, started the Maki Fresh chain in Birmingham in 2008.  The first restaurant opened at the Whole Foods Market anchored Cahaba Village.  The Atlanta location was his second, and was followed by outposts in Montgomery, Tuscaloosa, downtown Birmingham, and Huntsville, in The Shops at Merchants Walk, another Whole Foods anchored development.

ToNeTo Atlanta reported this past June that Cassimus had sold all of his restaurant holdings, including his stake in then publicly traded Zoes Kitchen, Maki Fresh, Jinsei (upscale sushi - 2 locations) and Miss Dots (southern chicken - 2 locations.)  Rather than open a new restaurant, Cassimus opted to enter the discount retail industry and opened a franchise of Mike's Merchandise in Pelham, a suburb of Birmingham, this past summer.  When asked why he was getting out of the restaurant business, Cassimus told "It was just time to move on."

Mike's Merchandise, similar to Bargain Hunt, specializes in deeply discounted goods, including construction products, hardware, appliances, homewares, baby products, clothing and more.

Today, only the Birmingham and Huntsville locations of Maki Fresh remain open.

ToNeTo Atlanta has thus far been unable to confirm an exact date of the Atlanta restaurant's closure.  An undated sign on the restaurant's front door reads in part:

"Maki Fresh would like to sincerely thank you for your patronage over the past several years. We regret to inform you that this location is now closed." 

A local patron of the restaurant lamented the closure on Facebook, tagging the restaurant in her post to which it replied by alluding to the new location.  
"Thanks for your loyalty, Allegra! We're growing up and can't wait to show you what we have in store for not only our new location opening soon up north, but also our current Birmingham, and Huntsville, Alabama restaurants as well. (Be sure to stop by if you're in the area!) We'll see you soon :)"
A December 5 post on the restaurant's official Facebook page reads: 
"Though we're sad to see our time in Buckhead come to an end, there are big things coming to ATL soon with a brand new location!"
There are definitely plenty of mixed use, lifestyle and shopping centers in the pipeline around Atlanta, especially "up north," but we have thus far been unable to confirm a store is in the works for Atlanta.  

Maki Fresh is still listed as the occupant of Suite 9 on the online siteplan for Peachtree Battle Shopping Center suggesting there is no tenant lined up to replace it.  

What would you like to see open in place of Maki Fresh in Peachtree Battle?  Are you surprised that Maki Fresh closed?  If Maki Fresh does return to metro Atlanta, where would you like for them to open?

Please share your thoughts below  


Anonymous said...

The kadoma tuna was amazing there!

Jenna said...

I will miss Maki Fresh! We need it to come back! How about the fledgling Roaster's plaza on Lenox Rd? Sidney Marcus plaza? Lindbergh station? Brighton Park?

ecmelick said...

Totally agree!

Anonymous said...

Just bring it back!!! I miss my salmon bowl.....��

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