Wednesday, September 25, 2019

[EXCLUSIVE] Break Bread at Alon's Buckhead in 2020

Alon Balshan, the man who has been baking up delicious breads, macarons, pastries and other delicacies in Atlanta for three decades, is finally bringing his treats to Buckhead!  Alon shared the exciting news with the Concierge Society of Atlanta at an event held Tuesday at his Dunwoody location across from Perimeter Mall.  The new Alon's Bakery & Market, which Balshan hopes to have open by late summer 2020, will open in the remaining portion of the former Twist restaurant along Peachtree Road at Phipps Plaza.  Alon's will be situated between Agency Socialthèque (fka Daniel Deed's Public Kitchen & Bar) and Nordstrom.  
Alon's in Dunwoody at Park Place 

Balshan called news of the Buckhead expansion "fresh from the oven," as he relayed that the lease that put him there was literally finalized earlier that day.  According to Balshan, the new bakery and market will be just over 5,000 square feet, including a "good sized patio."  

A native of Israel, Balshan immigrated to the US in 1986, arriving first in New York City before finding a home in Atlanta, where he secured a position as a pastry chef with Engelman’s Bakery, a wholesale bakery making "old world" bread and pastries.  He subsequently moved on to Murphy’s in Virginia Highland as a pastry chef. 

After working at Murphy's for three years, Balshan took the plunge into entrepreneurship and opened his original Alon's on North Highland Avenue in Morningside in 1992.  The original shop was a mere 1,300 square feet, but after finding success in the community, Balshan expanded the shop, first in 2000, and again in 2004.  Today, the Morningside location is over 6,500 square feet, with a significant portion dedicated to back-of-house production.  

Following the closures of the beloved EatZi's in late 2006, their former spaces in Buckhead and Dunwoody became available.  Balshan took advantage of the vacant Dunwoody EatZi's to open his second location in 2008. (The former Buckhead EatZi's became a CVS Pharmacy.)  Few could have anticipated that 2008 would be as bad of a year for business as it was with Alon and his 11,000 square foot expansion "barely making it," as he put it. 

It was Balshan's robust catering and wholesale business that helped keep the business going.  To that end, and with more than sixty wholesale clients today, Balshan recently leased a 20,000 square foot facility on Peachtree Industrial Boulevard in Doraville to supplement his production capabilities.  The new commissary is expected to open early next year.  

Alon's will be located below the BOSS and Bottega signage 
Balshan, who lived in the Buckhead area for many years, but now lives in nearby Brookhaven, has long been interested in the Buckhead area, but had not found the ideal location.  In Phipps, Balshan feels as though he's on the edge of Buckhead - perfectly located for visits from Brookhaven, Buckhead and elsewhere - but not in the thick of congestion that one would have at The Shops Buckhead Atlanta, he said.  

The new Alon's will offer a similar menu and market to that of the existing two locations, with fresh breads, pastries, coffee, sandwiches and other gourmet fare for eating onsite and or taking it home.  Balshan is also exploring the notion of a small bar.  

Additionally, Balshan also shared that parking, streetscape and access improvements are in the works along the Peachtree Road portion of Phipps Plaza.  The work, which should be completed by the time he opens, is expected to bring upfront parking near his space and an overall improved look to the area.  A dozen or so parking spaces will be added but it's unclear if they will be marked by time limits or by signage exclusive to Alon's, or shared amongst the nearby tenants of the mall.  

Although perhaps the most exciting of the recent new additions announced for the popular mall, Alon's is far from alone.  Over the next few months, Tom Ford and Dolce & Gabbana will both open stores as Phipps Plaza.  Later, on towards the end of 2020 and into 2021, a new Nobu Hotel and restaurant, Pinstripes bowling venue, and new Life Time Fitness will also open as part of the mall's redevelopment of the former Belk department store.  

Are you excited for the opening of Alon's in Buckhead?  What is your favorite baked good?  What other retailer or restaurant would you like to see open at Phipps Plaza?

Please share your thoughts below  


Anonymous said...

Loved Alon's when we lived there. This should be a great addition to the area.

Unknown said...

Yes I'm very excited about this. I love Alon's and frequent there for lunch often. Mostly the one in Dunwoody but I go to both. I live nearby in Buckhead so this is great news!

Anonymous said...

What a terrible location. He would've been better served opening up closer to Peachtree Battle where he will have more of a 7-day a week client base.

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