Monday, May 13, 2019

[EXCLUSIVE] Marc Taft Shutters Brine at Avalon, Halcyon and Huntsville Projects Moving Forward

Brine Seafood Shack at Avalon in Alpharetta has closed, effective yesterday, Sunday May 12.  Sunday's lunch service was the restaurant's last, as it closed for good at 6 PM.   Chef-owner Marc Taft, who opened Brine in 2017, was reportedly forced make the difficult decision to close the restaurant as part of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing necessitated by the December 2018 closure of its sister restaurant, FEED Fried Chicken and Such, at The Battery Atlanta at SunTrust Park.  Both restaurants were part of Taft's MTF Restaurant Group. 
Chef Marc Taft cuts the ribbon at Brine in 2017 
ToNeTo Atlanta reported April 9 that Giovanni Di Palma plans to open a new outpost of Gio's Chicken Amalfitano in place of FEED at The Battery.  

Located in Alpharetta's Avalon, Brine's menu was described as featuring a "Cape Cod-meets-Santa Monica menu inspired by Chef Marc Taft’s time spent on the west coast." 
Chef Taft's other Atlanta area restaurant Chicken and the Egg, located not far from the Marietta Square, is reportedly not part of MTF Restaurant Group, and remains open.

Taft spoke exclusively with ToNeTo Atlanta about Brine's closure and his plans for the future.  
 “While it was a very tough decision to close Brine, I am very excited about some of our 2019 projects, including Halcyon Forsyth. We’ll be bringing two concepts to this highly anticipated development, FEED Fried Chicken and Best Burger. Due to 2018 being the wettest year on record, the developers pushed the project opening to summer/fall 2019, but we’re really excited about those projects in metro Atlanta." 
"I am also really excited about our new projects at the CityCentre and at MidCity developments in Huntsville. At CityCentre, we are launching two concepts: The Gemini Kitchen + Cocktails, which is located adjacent to the new AC Marriott Hotel. The Gemini is a polished casual restaurant that will focus on modern American fare and locally-sourced food from farmers, ranchers and artisans in the Huntsville area. We’re also operating The Veranda, a second-story terrace bar at the AC Marriott Hotel overlooking Big Spring Park. The Camp at Mid City is an amazing outdoor music, events and dining development. We are operating four concepts there, including FEED Fried Chicken, Mucha Lucha Tacos, The Camp Bar and Miss Fluff’s Wine & Cupcakes."  
"So outside of having to close Brine at The Avalon, we’re poised for some big things on the horizon.”
A FEED Fried Chicken planned for Peachtree Corners Town Center in Peachtree Corners is apparently no longer in the works.  

Brine is the latest in a string of restaurant moves at Avalon.  King Barbecue closed late last year in the former Bantam + Biddy, while ToNeTo Atlanta exclusively reported this past November that True Food Kitchen would replace Road Runner Sports in Avalon.  The restaurant was originally planned to open this fall but the True Food website now indicates it's slated for a spring 2020 debut.  

Struggling chain restaurant Kona Grill, which operates its lone Atlanta area location at Avalon, should be watched closely, too.  The Scottsdale, Arizona-based chain filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection April 30, closed a number of units in advance of the filing, and indicated that more closures are likely.  

What would you like to see open in place of Brine at Avalon? What is your favorite restaurant at Avalon?  What restaurants at Halycon are you most looking forward to?

Please share your thoughts below.


Anonymous said...

I hope he figures something out if he opens another Feed. The one at the Battery was awful.

CloseOTP said...

@Anon @ 1:02 - I was going to write the same thing. Mr. Taft may blame foot traffic, but the reality is, the food and service were sub-par. When the fried chicken is better at Popeyes & Bojangles, why bother with Feed! That being said, Chicken & The Egg is a great restaurant, so he clearly has the chops to open a quality restaurant, he just needs to do it.

Anonymous said...

Made reservations two weeks ago for a birthday dinner (for 5) for May15 at 7pm. Called 15 minutes ahead of time to let them know we'd be about 10 minutes late (the 470-226-2190 number listed on the site). Lady answered, told us that was fine and thanked us for calling. We arrive ONLY TO FIND OUT THAT THE RESTAURANT IS PERMANTENTLY CLOSED. Chairs and tables stacked up on the side. No notification on the door. So, we called the number again. This time it gives the “Mailbox is full” message. We checked the website. It's still operational. No indication of a problem. We were speechless. They had our contact information. They could have called us, emailed us, etc.. but choose not to do so. Instead, they choose to ruin a birthday dinner. Fast forward to this morning (the 16th). See an article in the AJC that Brine declared bankruptcy on May 12th. I understand that “things” happen, however, in my mind, this makes it even worse. They knew THREE DAYS AHEAD OF TIME and purposely chose not to inform their customers. Brine is owned by MTF Restaurant Group (Marc Taft), which also owns Feed Fried Chicken, Best Burger and Chicken and the Egg (Marietta). Clearly, Marc Taft does not care about his customers. I would be extra cautious prior to eating at one of his restaurants.

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