Wednesday, May 29, 2019

[CLOSURE ALERT] Addio Amore Cucina TOWN Brookhaven

Amore Cucina in Town Brookhaven closed this past Sunday after 14 months in business.  The pizza restaurant was an off-shoot of the Stamford, Connecticut-based restaurant by the same name.  Full service Amore opened in place of PizzaFire, a quick-serve pizza restaurant that itself replaced Treza, another quick-serve pizza restaurant.  The 3,000 square foot space is not yet listed as available on the property website, but surely will be soon. 

Signage posted to the restaurant's front door read in part:
"It is with a heavy heart that we have now closed.  Thank you to all that have supported us through-out our time here in Town Brookhaven."  

"Six-time World Pizza Champion" Bruno DiFabio opened the original Amore in Stamford with the Atlanta location reportedly operated in partnership by DiFabio and Daniyar Bekenov, former franchisee of PizzaFire. 

ToNeTo Atlanta reader Morgan Maclellan commented previously that she and her husband considered opening an additional Your Pie pizza franchise in place of Treza, but decided not to due to the "expensive rent" and "poor parking." [The Maclellans currently operate Your Pie locations in Dunwoody and Grant Park.] 

Amore is the second pizza restaurant to close in metro Atlanta in just the past five days following Monday's closure of Gino's East in Poncey-Highland.  

TOWN Brookhaven, developed by Sembler, opened in late 2011 and is anchored by Publix, Marshalls, CMX CineBistro Costco and LA Fitness.  Its anchors have remained unchanged and in place since inception.  Small shop space - space occupied by restaurants, retailers and service providers - has seen some of the highest turnover of any center developed in metro Atlanta in the past ten plus years.  

There have been nearly twenty closures in the center over the years, including restaurants like Stir Crazy, Olive Bistro and Boneheads, along with service providers like Fantastic Sams.  Most recently, local boutique Sugarboo & Co. announced it plans to close what it refers to as its "flagship" store at TOWN Brookhaven, as of Friday May 31.  

Despite its location in a high income area, TOWN Brookhaven has struggled to keep tenants.  Multiple current and former tenants in the project blame high rent and parking challenges for the closures.  

Germany-based GLL Real Estate Partners purchased 460,000 square foot TOWN Brookhaven in 2015 for a reported $162 million.  The real estate firm later enlisted a local team at Colliers International to lease the project.  

Current tenants also indicate that both ownership and onsite property management are less than helpful or accommodating when it comes to rent relief or concessions which, if given, might stave off closures.  

One bright spot in the development in terms of restaurants has been Red Pepper Taqueria, which last March opened in place of Jefe's, which itself replaced Noche.  While all three restaurants serve similar Mexican fare, Red Pepper Brookhaven was the third location to open - joining existing locations near Toco Hills and in Buckhead - and has an awareness and attraction that other chain restaurants do not have.  

It's anyone's guess what will replace Amore, but we are fairly confident it won't be Uncle Maddio's Pizza.  

What would you like to see open in place of Amore at TOWN Brookhaven?  Are you surprised that Amore closed in TOWN Brookhaven?  Do you think more should be done to assist tenants to stay in business there?

Please share your thoughts below.


drummerpop said...

WAY overpriced! I'm surprised it lasted as long as it did.

Anonymous said...

This place will continue to struggle, not because of the surrounding area demographics or the majority of the tenants, which many have been quite good, but because of the design of this place.

If the owners want to save this then it needs an overhaul. Put money into redeveloping / reprogramming as much of it as possible to make it more friendly to pedestrians, increase ease of access, etc. The format it is in now is not sustainable.

Anonymous said...

Drinking establishments allow for more time spent and higher margin checks.. .. There are hundreds of people living in Town but
they do not want to spend on high dollar meals like Amore every day but would be open to a place to hang out and have a few drinks.
The residents don't care or need parking. Blind Dog, There and now Hobnob and Red Pepper allow for hanging out for a few drinks .. . ie high margin to cover the slow food sales. Amore was a special
occasion place not suited for " let's go get drinks"
residents will support a " let's get drinks" type of place.

Anonymous said...

Its very apparent that it’s not an ideal place for a Pizza joint

Anonymous said...

I really liked Amore but there was never more than a few tables with customers the times I went. Not surprised.

Anonymous said...

I really continue to be baffled at why everyone thinks the parking is such a nightmare at TB. I find it to be plentiful and relatively easy to figure out. Do yall need an easy surface lot to survive?

Anonymous said...

This had nothing to do with parking. This was solely due to an over priced menu for underwhelming food. The center is pedestrian friendly, so that's not it. I think that the rents are too high, however the concepts themselves that are struggling are the ones that aren't catering to the local residents, they are trying to cash in on the money aspect. I don't blame business owners for trying to get top dollar, everyone does, but if you product is vague, bad and overpriced, it's no surprise that they fail. Curiosity will bring people in initially, but won't keep you in business.

Anonymous said...

We walked by there yesterday. Sugarboo (store) also just closed a couple doors down, and the Which Wich had a sign saying they were closed for the immediate future as well. Kind of weird. Hob Nob was packed at least.

Anonymous said...

The Which Wich location there is terrible! I can't believe they have lasted. I've done orders on their website, even given extra time like half and hour to go there, shouldn't take that long anyway to make a sandwich, and it is never ready, and they act clueless about your order. Not surprised Amore closed, they were overpriced and the place was always empty. Would be cool to see a Willys or Pita By Beirut open, those would do well there!

Anonymous said...

Sorry to see it go. The $8 lunch menu was great value for the buck. The biggest problem there is the parking. The Towne Center isn't built to accommodate all the restaurants and shops it carries.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to see Amore close, they really never had a fair chance. As a commercial realtor, I stopped showing clients any space in TB, the management group simply does not have the tenants best interest in mind.
Clearly the large anchor tenants provide enough cash flow to sustain the complex, perhaps the owners should consider a major marketing campaign to promote the poorly located "campus".

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