Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Bits & Bites

At perhaps exactly the right time given the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on restaurant operations and the availability of staff, Twisted Taco is launching a scaled down "Express" format.  The first Twisted Taco Express is opening at Sandy Plains Centre in East Cobb where it replaces a one time Barberitos. The restaurant will serve the same tacos, burritos and other Tex-Mex menu items found at the full service restaurant, but in a more compact space.  The smaller footprint restaurant will seat 40 inside and 16 outside, and offer online ordering, curbside pick-up, delivery, and catering. The Atlanta-based restaurant operator is wrapping up renovations on the 1,800 square foot space and hopes to open in the coming days.  Twisted Taco has in recent years closed all but one of its full-service restaurants (Fayetteville) with a focus instead on growing smaller college units.  According to the company's website, there are currently twelve Twisted Taco "university locations" in eight states.  In Georgia, Twisted Taco operates university locations at Spelman College, Emory University, Georgia Tech and University of North Georgia.

A new Cajun seafood chain is entering the metro Atlanta market with a pair of new locations coming soon.  Hook & Reel, based in Lanham, Maryland, will soon open new locations in Snellville and Lawrenceville.  Both upcoming locations - 2049 Scenic Highway and 830 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road - are replacing former O'Charley's restaurants which, as ToNeTo Atlanta previously reported, closed last February.  This past June the company opened their first location in Georgia on Atlanta Highway in Athens where a new Hook & Reel replaced a former On The Border.  Restaurateur Tony Wang opened the original Hook & Reel in 2013 and through franchising now has more than 50 units open and nearly 40 more coming soon.  Hook & Reel joins a growing list of local and regional Cajun seafood joints popping up across metro Atlanta including The Juicy Crab, The Krab Hut, The Pirate's Boil, Crab404 and The Boiler, among others.  

Athens favorite Cheeky Peach has opened a new Buckhead storefront!  Started in 2010 by Katie Jacobs, the popular West Clayton Street women's clothing boutique is now open at 22B East Andrews Drive in the Buckhead Village.  The original Athens outpost was a mere 850 square feet, but with its success has grown into a 6,000 square foot space.  The Buckhead outpost is similar in size to the original Athens space, but plans call for a bigger location in the coming months based on the store's local reception.  

A new location of Savi Provisions is planned for Emory Village.  The new market will open in place of Slice & Pint, which closed at the end of 2017 after five years in business.  Many locals will recall fondly that the new Savi space was for more than four decades home to the popular Everybody's Pizza restaurant before its 2013 closure.  The new Savi will be 5,500 square feet and be a franchise of the Atlanta-based business that Paul Nair started in October 2009 with the company's first store on Elizabeth Street in Inman Park.  In the years since its launch, additional Savi locations have opened in Brookhaven, Midtown and Decatur, along with three locations in Buckhead: on Roswell Road, Pharr Road and the company's newest at the AMLI Lenox apartment complex just off East Paces Ferry Road on Lakeside Drive.  In addition to the new Emory Village outpost, Savi has locations planned to open soon at the aloft hotel at The Battery Atlanta, at the M Street apartments on Marietta Street in West Midtown, and in place of Verde Taqueria on Collier Road near Underwood Hills.  

Intown Golf Club (IGC) last week soft opened their flagship location at Buckhead Plaza in Buckhead.  ToNeTo Atlanta exclusively reported on plans for IGC February 25, 2020.   The private social club promises to bring the best of golf to a more compact space.  IGC features ten "best-in-class" Trackman golf simulators, food and beverage options, steam and shower and co-working space, among other amenities.  Membership to the private club is several thousand dollars annually and is reportedly sold out with a growing waiting list.  According to the IGC website, there is another Atlanta outpost planned for Midtown, as well as additional locations planned for Nashville, Austin, Charlotte, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia.  

KARV Kitchen opened Tuesday April 20 at The Keswick Chamblee (fka Solis Carraway) apartment community as part of phase 2 of the Parkview on Peachtree development.  The fast casual Mediterranean restaurant was opened by husband-and-wife team Sandy and Niki Papadopoulos who have operated the popular Athens Pizza on Clairmont Road near Decatur for many years.  KARV will serve rotisserie chicken, pork, and lamb off the spit with house-made sauces like peri peri, roasted red pepper feta, and caper chimichurri.   KARV is open for lunch only until Thursday when it plans to begin serving dinner.  Menu options include four signature wrap or build-your-own bowls filled with rice, spiced potatoes or fries, plus meat, and sauce.  Surprisingly, there is no falafel on the menu although there are other vegan and vegetarian options.  A "Grand Opening" is planned for May 15.  

Flower Child will open its third Atlanta area location in May at Westside Provisions District.  ToNeTo Atlanta was first to report on the restaurant's Westside plans way back in April 2019.  The opening, originally planned for 2020, was no doubt delayed in part due to COVID-19.  The new restaurant replaces retailer J. Crew, which closed at the development in 2018. According to sources familiar with the restaurant's plans, the new location will open May 11.  The new Westside Flower Child joins existing area outposts in Buckhead at The Shops Around Lenox and Sandy Springs at City Springs. 

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