Tuesday, March 9, 2021

[EXCLUSIVE] Familiar Name Returning to Atlanta with Kid Cashew in Sandy Springs

A new Charlotte-based restaurant is expanding to Atlanta and it may be one of the most ironic openings we have ever reported on.  Kid Cashew Wood Fire Grill is slated to open later this year along Roswell Road in Sandy Springs.  The restaurant will occupy a onetime Moe's Southwest Grill at 6090 Roswell Road, a few blocks north of I-285.  The full-service restaurant describes itself as a “wood-fire grill inspired by farmers, butchers and the Mediterranean.” The amazing part, something we discovered in our research for this post, is that one of the owners is Martin Sprock!

The name Martin Sprock should be familiar to any longtime ToNeTo Atlanta reader, as he was the co-founder of Moe's Southwest Grill along with several other themed fast casual chains in the mid to late 2000s.  Moe's, easily his most successful, was launched in late 2000, before being sold in 2007 when it had 360 units across 34 states, to Atlanta-based FOCUS Brands, an affiliate of private equity firm Roark Capital Group.  Sprock's other Atlanta-born concepts, collectively known as Raving Brands, included Mama Fu's, Doc Green's, Boneheads, and Monkey Joe's, among others.  

Shortly after changing his group's name from Raving Brands to Big Game Brands about ten years ago, Sprock relocated to Charlotte, where he launched several new restaurant and service businesses.  At least two of them - IOS Greek Kitchen, a full-service Greek restaurant (launched in collaboration with Concentrics Hospitality) and SmartPhone MD, a smartphone and tablet fixing franchise - no longer exist.  

Sprock, a native of Greensboro, North Carolina, while perhaps most well known as a restaurateur, also now runs a film production company - Sprockefeller Pictures - which has been involved in several feature films including Honest Thief, starring Liam Neeson, and Fatman, starring Mel Gibson in which "Santa Claus must contend with a hitman sent from a disappointed child."  In addition, Sprock has also invested in Palm Beach and Greensboro real estate, among other entrepreneurial endeavors. 

Over the years, Sprock has also faced several lawsuits related to his restaurant franchising, most notably perhaps was an eight year suit decided in his favor in 2015.  

The first Kid Cashew was opened in the Charlotte neighborhood of Dilworth by Sprock and partners in early 2016, with its menu created by Giorgio Bakatsias of Giorgios Hospitality & Lifestyle Group, a multi-restaurant group operator in Charlotte.  A second Kid Cashew opened in the Charleston suburb of Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, in late 2018.  

The restaurant gets its name from Giorgio, who grew up on a farm in Greece and owned a goat named Cashew, and a butcher Sprock frequented with the nickname “Kid.”

The Atlanta Kid Cashew replaces a Moe's Southwest Grill that first opened in 2011, then reopened in late 2018 as a new-look Moe's called "The Oasis," but closed permanently in late 2019.  

The menu at Kid Cashew relies heavily on Mediterranean classics such as lamb gyros, tzatziki, hummus and Greek salads, but also introduces new options such as a seared rib-eye and Italian sausage platter, 48-hour brined rotisserie chicken, and the "Big Mac Daddy," two wood fired all beef patties, special sauce, shredded lettuce, white cheddar cheese, pickles all on a local toasted sesame seed bun.  

Kid Cashew also offers several vegan options including a quinoa stuffed avocado, wood-fired Portobello gyro and "butterless" brussels sprouts, among other options.   

Along Roswell Road in Sandy Springs, Kid Cashew joins several existing Mediterranean and Persian eateries such as Mandolin, Persepolis, Zafron and Samad Mediterranean Grill, among others. That said, the stretch of Roswell Road between Piedmont Road and I-285 is home to an amazing number of Latin and Mexican restaurants, all of which have remained open and operational despite the pandemic.  

Sources tell ToNeTo Atlanta that Kid Cashew Atlanta (Sandy Springs) should be open later this year.  

Have you been to either of the existing Kid Cashew restaurants?  Are you excited for the opening of Kid Cashew in Atlanta?  What is your favorite Mediterranean dish?  

Please share your thoughts below.

1 comment:

Billy2121 said...

You are correct...that stretch of Roswell Road OTP has some really amazing restaurants...I've not tried them all but they are on my bucket list.

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