Thursday, October 7, 2021

[EXCLUSIVE] Popular Italian Eatery Bambinelli's is on the Move in Tucker

Local Italian favorite Bambinelli's will soon expand and relocate their popular Tucker area restaurant.  Currently situated in the Northlake Village shopping center behind Northlake Mall on Northlake Parkway, Bambinelli's plans to move to the former O'Charley's restaurant, 2039 Crescent Centre Boulevard, about two miles miles away.  O'Charley's closed their Northlake location in June 2019 with the freestanding building having sat vacant since then.  A Kennesaw O'Charley's which closed "temporarily" in 2020 is expected to become home to metro Atlanta's first Whataburger in 2022.) While some ToNeTo Atlanta readers had hoped that the Galaxy Diner (which closed on Henderson Mill Road in late 2019) might relocate to the former O'Charley's, and others too had hoped Cracker Barrel might open, the relocation of Bambinelli's, a locally owned, family run restaurant, should be welcome news to all.  

Bonnie Bambinelli, with her first husband, opened the original Bambinelli's just outside Tucker in 1980.  A second location was added in Lilburn in 2005, then Roswell in 2017.  Sadly, Bonnie passed away in late 2019 at the age of 64.  Today, with her son Joey at the helm, the business is again growing with a new Bambinelli's on Plasamour Drive, near Armour Yards in Midtown opening earlier this summer.

The current Bambinelli's Tucker is located in a center that has been "under renovation" for what feels like an eternity as former anchor Sports Authority closed, was to be replaced by Aspire Fitness, which later backed out and is now under renovation to become DEFY Extreme Air Sports, a trampoline park.  It's a bit puzzling that the restaurant will be moving now, just as Defy seems close to opening and Northlake Mall has landed Emory Healthcare to help anchor the currently "Dead Mall" (eventually) bringing hundreds of hungry employees to within a stone's throw of the restaurant's front door.    

Neither Bambinelli's current nor upcoming locations offer superior visibility, but the new outpost will be more than double the size of the existing restaurant.  Whereas Bambinelli's corner space in Northlake Village is 3,100 square feet, the former O'Charley's is more than 6,700 square feet with dedicated parking to boot!  

Bambinelli's has made no official comment regarding their move (or of their recent Plasamour Drive opening) on their Facebook page, but a restaurant employee indicated the move is expected to take place "in 2022." 

Are you excited to hear that Bambinelli's is opening in the old O'Charley's?  What other types of restaurants would you like to see open in Tucker?  What is your favorite current or past restaurant Tucker area restaurant?

Please share your thoughts below.  

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

kind of surprising, especially in this era where restaurants can barely get enough staffers to do the cooking and serving. I think the current location is considerably better--closer to the Emory offices moving in, closer to the Northlake residential areas. But hopefully it will all work out for them. We got takeout a while back, and they were irritatingly late with our pickup time--but the food was really hot and good, nice bang for the buck all things considered.

Joe said...

Unfortunately, the food just isn’t very good

Anonymous said...

This is good news. Bambinellis probably needs that additional space. Only time will tell if the new spot will be better than staying right by Northlake but they have put up with that aging shopping center for so long. I wish them the best!!

Anonymous said...

Well, I drove by that empty location recently and thought it needed to be filled. I agree with you though, with 1600 employees coming into Northlake soon, seems like the current location might be better for them. Possibly they think they need the extra space though.

Jackie Goodman said...

Everyone LOVES Bambinelli's! Hope they will continue to flourish.

RichKnobSales said...

No puzzle to me! Their current location is cramped and they have plenty of business to fill the much larger space over at the old O'Charley's!!! My group ate at O'Charley's once a month for 15 years, and Bonnie invited us to come to Bambinelli's when they closed. We tried to squeeze in but it never really worked well for us to have a meeting in the restaurant except on the patio, which was not possible in the summer. Then Covid hit...

Great food, great service, just not enough room for us at the present place - looking forward to a bigger space!

Anonymous said...

Are you serious? They are so good they put an Olive Garden out of business!

Anonymous said...

The new location will not only be convenient to office workers at Northlake Mall but also the large office buildings on Northlake parkway. The new space also has a larger kitchen. Very strategic move.

ChaCha said...

Why has this area lost SO MANY restaurants from the past? Mother Tucker; Bobby Rubino's; Steak and Ale; Olive Garden.....the list goes on.
The IDEAL restaurant for our area would be CHEDDAR's, under the umbrella of LongHorn's, Bahama Breeze, Olive Garden, Etc. They have a variety of excellent food, reasonable prices, and a lovely ambience.

We were lucky to find one in Johnson City, TN and enjoy going back.

Unknown said...

Joe is a troll

Anonymous said...

When my wife and I moved to Tucker years ago we were excited to have a neighborhood Italian restaurant nearby. Alas, after several tries, we had to give up on the place. The people are very nice, but the food is not that good. Especially compared to the real thing, like Alfredo's (rest in peace) and Nino's, Bambinelli's was a disappointment.

Disneypal said...

Bambinelli's is a great restaurant..wonderful staff and food. The entire community was saddened when Bonnie passed away. I'm not sure what she would think about this move.

I think everyone is so familiar with the location and with the changes going on in the area, it would make more sense to stay in the current location.

I know that the area near O'Charley's just doesn't seem to do well. Several restaurants along that road (Olive Garden, Chili's, Twisted Taco, and of course O'Charley's) all closed. I am sure their loyal customers will continue to go to their new location. I wish them lots of success.

Anonymous said...

Seems like a good move to add space and be more visible. The current space is cramped and dark with no other traffic passing by. That shopping center is also contributing nothing else to the community, except maybe employing some postal workers and the occasional drywaller to do some occasional work on the fa├žade.

I think they'll do well and we'll look forward to seeing them in the new space. On food quality, I would compare them more closely with Provino's in Snellville but not quite to that level.

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