Thursday, December 23, 2021

Mega Bits & Bites

The Baskin Robbins at City Walk Sandy Springs has closed and is being converted into a franchise of Atlanta-based rolled ice cream shop Roll It Up Ice Cream.  The shop, located along Hammond Drive a few doors down from vegan eatery Loving Hut, soft opened a few days ago ahead of planned official opening in January. The first Roll It Up opened at Asian Square shopping center on Buford Highway in Doraville.  Later, locations in Snellville and Hoover, a suburb of Birmingham, Alabama were added.  
Boot brand Tecovas has opened its Atlanta outpost at The Shops Around Lenox in Buckhead.  The new boutique, which ToNeTo Atlanta first reported on this past July, quietly opened in September between lululemon and Roots juices in the popular Lenox Square-adjacent center.  Austin, Tex.-based Tecovas started as an online business in 2015 and now offers its men's and women's boots, bags, wallets and apparel at seventeen stores nationwide. 

Slope's BBQ recently closed its outpost in Cumming.  The restaurant, located at 444 Canton Highway in an outparcel of the Ingles-anchored North Cumming Corners shopping center, will reportedly be replaced by a car wash.  The closure leaves the Atlanta-based franchise with just three locations: Alpharetta, Roswell and Sandy Springs.  Suburban grubber, gambler, and all-around great guy Joe Duffy recently reported to his more than 1,000 Twitter followers that the Slope's in Roswell was recently sold, but provided no information on a potential renovation or re-brand.  

Ralph Lauren has returned to Lenox Square.  After exiting the Buckhead (and Atlanta) market in late 2018 with the closure of their two-level store in Lenox Square's Luxury Wing, the upscale retailer returned to the to the mall in late November, not far from where they began.  You see, before relocating to the Luxury Wing in 2007, Ralph Lauren had operated in the main mall corridor, a few doors away from where they will soon open.  Their new space closed earlier this summer as Club Monaco, previously a division of Ralph Lauren, but one that was sold in May to private equity firm Regent LP.  Retail Dive reported November 2 that Ralph Lauren plans to open 90 stores this year.  

Breakfast concept Biscuit Belly, which currently has locations in Louisville, Kentucky and southern Indiana, is expanding to Georgia.  The fast-casual restaurant will open five franchised units in the state, with the first slated to open in March 2022 at Butler Creek, a Kroger-anchored shopping center at 3330 Cobb Parkway in Acworth.  The new restaurant will open in a 2,700 square foot space adjacent to an upcoming McAlister's Deli in a new outparcel of the center.  Openings are also planned next year for Marietta and Woodstock, as well as Newnan and Columbus.  Missy Moon and Robert Estapa with Fresh Development One LLC will operate the Georgia Biscuit Belly locations. The pair previously operated several franchise restaurant concepts including Newk’s Eatery and Quiznos.  Biscuit Belly’s menu offers a variety of biscuits and gravy, biscuit sandwiches and other breakfast items, as well as breakfast cocktails. Biscuit Belly joins a crowded breakfast market with Atlanta-born Flying Biscuit Cafe with several locations around town as well as units from regional and national operators First Watch, Snooze an A.M. Eatery, Another Broken Egg Cafe, and Egg Harbor Cafe, among others.  

Garrett Popcorn recently reopened at Lenox Square after being closed for more than a year.  

Nobi Cha, a Thailand-based bubble tea franchise has "soft opened" its first US location.  The eatery is situated in a roughly 1,000 square foot space in Chastain Square in Chastain Park and opened a few days ago.  Nobi Cha is offering  select menu items free each day until December 27 as a way to both introduce its products to the neighborhood and train its staff. An official "grand opening" is planned for December.  ToNeTo Atlanta first reported on this planned opening in 2020.  

House of Hummus, a popular Mediterranean restaurant currently with one location in Alpharetta, will next year open a sibling location at The Shops at Brannon Crossing across from The Collection at Forsyth in Cumming.  The new eatery will open in a 1,200 square foot space and should open during the first half of 2022, pending permitting.  Owner Samar Hadlow opened the original House of Hummus at Steinway Promenade on North Point Parkway, not far from North Point Mall, in early 2014. 

Oven Treatz, a local bakery specializing in brownies, cakes and cupcakes, is slated to open its fourth location when it debuts in downtown Decatur next year.  The bakery is to open at 760 Commerce Drive where it will replace what was most recently a freestanding dry cleaner.  The 1,152 square foot building is currently being renovated to suit the needs of the bakery with a local artist having recently completed a mural on the side of the building featuring many hands reaching for a cupcake.  Oven Treatz operates existing bakeries in Morrow, Ellenwood and Stockbridge.  

Great American Cookies has closed at Cumberland Mall.  The cookie shop, located on the mall's first floor, was located just outside the former Sears, now Round1 bowling and arcade wing.  Sources close to the mall indicate that work is underway to replace the business which could include a completely new tenant or the possibility of a new franchisee taking over the cookie business.  The cookie company also closed in Town Center at Cobb in Kennesaw.  

Several mall-based Starbucks locations remain "temporarily closed" with their future uncertain. ToNeTo Atlanta has observed Starbucks locations in Lenox Square, Phipps Plaza, Town Center at Cobb, and North Point Mall all closed with some seemingly more cleared out than others.  A Starbucks location on the first floor of Cumberland Mall had been closed but reopened in recent weeks.

Sliding Prices in Roswell closed this past weekend.  The store, which opened this past February, started as a liquidation bin store like Crazy Cazboy's and Gimme A $5, but it devolved into just another junk store selling odds and ends products with random pricing.  

Andy's Frozen Custard wants to open a new location at Toco Hills.  The Springfield, Missouri-based custard franchise has applied for a SLUP (special land use permit) to operate a drive-thru eatery from the .85 acre parcel at 3033 North Druid Hills Road.  The custard company would demolish the existing 3,484 square foot structure and build a new 2,170 square foot eatery with a 665 square foot covered patio.  The existing building was constructed in 1976 as a Hardee's restaurant but had more recently operated as Reggie's Hair Styling.  Closed a few years ago, a July 2021 fire significantly damaged the salon building.    

A new location of Buff City Soap opened in November in Halcyon in Alpharetta.  The new franchise, a sibling location of the newish outpost in Buckhead's Tuxedo Festival, was opened by serial entrepreneur Alex Royter.  In addition to his soap business, Royter is a partner in the three-unit BURN Studios and a Solar Dimensions tanning salon in Alpharetta.  Royter tells ToNeTo Atlanta that he is in talks for at least two other Buff City Soap locations in metro Atlanta, one of which is slated for Chamblee and should open in 2022.  The Buckhead and Alpharetta locations are in addition to existing Buff City Soap franchises in Roswell and Peachtree Corners which are operated by other franchisees.    

A permit recently filed in Cobb County indicates that The Varsity plans to spend $150,000 renovating its Kennesaw restaurant located behind Macy's at Town Center at Cobb.  The popular Atlanta fast food joint also plans to open a new restaurant in Rome.  The Rome News-Tribune reports that The Varsity plans to open at 879 Spider Webb Drive, where it will build a new 4,358 square foot restaurant in place of an existing Dairy Queen.  The iconic restaurant currently has six locations: Atlanta, Kennesaw, Norcross, Dawsonville and two at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.  This past June, the Varsity closed its landmark location in Athens but a few weeks later revealed that it will return to the area with not one, but two new locations.  One of the locations will be on Parkway Boulevard, which is just over the Oconee County border.  The second location will be in Bethlehem Georgia at Gateway at University Parkway, a new mixed-use project in Barrow County.

Menchie's Frozen Yogurt has closed its outpost at Peachtree Station in Chamblee.  The froyo shop reportedly closed within the past few weeks and is at least the second Atlanta area Menchie's to close in the past year or so following the closure of the Kennesaw location, also in a Whole Foods-anchored center, Kennesaw Marketplace.  The former Kennesaw shop recently reopened as a new Crumbl cookie franchise.  Other Menchie's franchises remain open elsewhere in metro Atlanta including those in Toco Hills Promenade near Emory University, Tuxedo Festival near Chastain Park and at The Avenue East Cobb in East Cobb. [The Tuxedo Festival location is currently "temporarily closed" following a recent reduction in size and planned renovation.] The 1,200 square foot former Chamblee Menchie's is actively being marketed for lease.  

Grits & Eggs Breakfast Kitchen has opened at 3205 Cumberland Boulevard in place of the former Highland Bakery & Kitchen at Vinings Lofts & Apartments.  The new restaurant is reportedly under different ownership than the former Highland Bakery franchise and while still breakfast-centric, features a more diverse menu with offerings such as a fried catfish & grits and a Maryland crab cake Benedict.  The Cumberland Highland Bakery is at least the second franchise of the popular Atlanta eatery to close recently following the July 2020 closure of the Decatur outpost at 319 West Ponce de Leon Avenue.  

My Urban Wings is now open at 2065 Defoors Ferry Road in an old Papa John's Pizza in Underwood Hills in northwest Atlanta.  The eatery, which has been in the works for several months, features wings from Springer Mountain Farms chicken with two dozen sauce options.  

The Juicy Crab plans to open at least two more Atlanta area locations.  According to The Juicy Crab website, new locations are "coming soon" to Stonecrest and Hiram.  In Stonecrest, where The Juicy Crab is opening at 3010 Panola Road, the seafood eatery replaces a former 4,781 square foot Ruby Tuesday restaurant.   The new Hiran Juicy Crab will set anchor at 5096 Jimmy Lee Smith Parkway.  Here, in an outparcel of Hiram Pavilion, The Juicy Crab will replace a former Folk's restaurant in its 5,000 square foot building.   

Longtime Cheshire Bridge bakery Rhodes Bakery will close Friday December 24 after 68 years in business.  The shop will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday and 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Friday.  A location on Holcomb Bridge Road in Roswell that has been operating for 25 years will remain open.  Tom Rhodes, 70, who runs the Atlanta location with his brother, George Rhodes, 75, said the pair had been considering shutting down for about a year.  Both brothers live OTP and decided with all that's going on in the world, not to mention the fact that Cheshire Bridge continues to have detours due to bridge work, now was the time to close.  

BAR{n} booze {n} bites opened November 11 in a 1,900 square foot space in Dunwoody Village.  BAR{n} is the first of owner David Abes' five planned restaurants in the development over the coming twelve months or so.  Later this year, the project, also home to The Fresh Market and Walgreens, will welcome Cuco's Cantina, a Mexican eatery, and Morty's Meat Supply, a BBQ restaurant, both of which are currently being offered from an onsite food truck, with plans for spring/summer debuts in their own spaces. Yoffi, a Mediterranean restaurant, should open around late 2022, followed Message in a Bottle, a seafood restaurant, a short time later.  All of the concepts are meant to enliven David's vision for the area, which is to make Dunwoody, Funwoody.  

The former Walgreens at 4621 N. Shallowford Road in Dunwoody is expected to reopen in the coming months as Strong Water Liquor store.  The Dunwoody outpost will be the second for the locally owned liquor store which has operated their freestanding, new-build Lilburn shop on Lawrenceville Highway since January 2020.  

Huey Magoo's on November 10 opened its newest Georgia location in Oakwood.  The restaurant, located at 3525 Thurmon Tanner Parkway, opened in a converted former Steak 'n Shake and is the fourth unit in Georgia for the Florida-based franchise.  Overall, the Oakwood restaurant is the 20th systemwide joining other Georgia locations in Loganville, Milledgeville and Valdosta.  A fifth Georgia outpost is planned for 765 Dacula Road in Dacula, according to the Huey Magoo's website.  

The Merchant at Buckhead Market Place has closed after about two years in business.  The gift and stationery shop is owned by entrepreneur Dan Collier who continues to operate an Atlanta area outpost at Krog Street Market.  The Merchant in Buckhead is being replaced by LaserAway, a "leading provider"' of aesthetic dermatology.  "Founded in 2006 by brothers Scott, Todd and Brock Heckmann and Dr. Roy Winston in West Hollywood, California, the company offers laser hair removal, laser tattoo removal, laser skin rejuvenation, body contouring, skin tightening, and injectables across 74 clinics nationwide."  This past October LaserAway announced a strategic investment made by private equity group Ares Management Corporation that will aid them in their continued expansion.  The Buckhead clinic is slated to open January 26.  
Crumbl Cookies has leased a 2,400 square foot space in Mall of Georgia Crossing in Buford for their latest Atlanta area location.  The Logan, Utah-based franchise is expanding like crazy and now has 325 locations nationwide with six in metro Atlanta including outposts in Brookhaven, Alpharetta and Lawrenceville.  Real estate sources tell ToNeTo Atlanta that several additional Crumbl Cookies are likely in metro Atlanta in the years to come.  

Huff Harrington has relocated to The Galleries of Peachtree Hills at 425 Peachtree Hills Avenue, adjacent to ADAC, in Peachtree Hills.  The popular locally owned home furnishings retailer combined its existing store at Buckhead Court in Chastain Park and its art store on Rickenbacker Drive, also in Chastain Park, to the new space.  Huff Harrington previously relocated from 102 West Paces Ferry Road to Buckhead Court in 2016.  

Buckhead Thriftique on Miami Circle in Buckhead has closed.  The thrift store, which first opened on Piedmont Road in 2004 before moving to Miami Circle in 2010, benefited the Buckhead Christian Ministry and closed as of November 13.   

Carter's & OshKosh at Peachtree Battle shopping center in Buckhead recently closed.  The twin closures follow the closure of the Carter's at North Point Marketcenter in Alpharetta earlier this year.  The roughly 8,500 square foot space was once an outpost of the beloved Oxford Books bookstore and later Chapter 11 Books but had been home to the kids' clothing store in recent years.  

Two new Chipotle locations are in the works for Cobb County.  One is coming to 2675 Windy Hill Road in Marietta where it will replace a former Wells Fargo bank between Chick-fil-A and Popeyes.  The new Chipotle is expected to have the company's new order-ahead "Chipotlane," and given its proximity to Truist Park and I-75, could prove quite popular.  Plans call for the burrito business to convert the existing building.  A second new Chipotle is planned as part of a two tenant development in the shadow of the Big Chicken, in place of Big Chicken Pawn at 40 Cobb Parkway.  This new location, which will reportedly be paired with a new car wash business, should open sometime in 2022.  

Secondhand clothing retailer Uptown Cheapskate opened December 16th at Parkaire Landing in East Cobb.  The more than 7,000 square foot store carries gently used clothing, shoes and accessories for men and women.  Brother and sister Scott and Chelsea Sloan opened the first Uptown Cheapskate in Salt Lake City in 2009 and via franchising have expanded the business to more than 80 locations including twelve in Georgia.  

Atlanta-based Floor & Decor has at least two new stores in their pipeline for metro Atlanta.  One store is coming soon to 1090 Buford Road in Cumming where it will replace a former Ingles Market.  This store is expected to open in the spring of 2022.  A second "new" store will open at 1690 Northeast Expressway, where the first ever Floor & Decor, a newly opened Mavis Tire (former NTB) and a Cooper's Lowrey Organ Center were all recently demolished to make way for a new, bigger, Floor & Decor.  The new store is expected to open in summer 2022.   

John “Johnny” Gianoulidis, the man behind Greek restaurant Kafenio in Avondale Estates and coffee shop ParkGrounds in Reynoldstown, opened The Greek Pizzeria and Gyros December 1.  The restaurant, located in the Skyland Shopping Center on Clairmont Road at Buford Highway, occupied a roughly 2,000 square foot endcap space.  ToNeTo Atlanta first reported on Johnny's plans last October.  Expect Greek-style pizzas, including vegan and gluten-free options, calzones, and gyros on the menu.

Cajun restaurant Adele’s closed November 14 after a decade on Canton Street in historic downtown Roswell. Owners Marc Wegman and Ruth Carr-Wegman made the announcement on Facebook, followed by a statement posted to the restaurant’s website. A native of New Orleans, Wegman worked as a chef in restaurants there before moving to Roswell to open Adele’s in 2011. The restaurant’s name references Carr-Wegman’s middle name.   Adele’s was known in Roswell for serving dishes influenced by New Orleans and Cajun cuisine, like lump crab cakes, mussels, crawfish etouffee, and fried oyster po’boys.  Chef Wegman will in 2022 reopen the business as Wegman's Bayou Louisiana Kitchen.  

Franchisee Chad Lariscy will in 2022 open a Frutta Bowls & Saladworks co-branded location in Blairsville.  Kelly Roddy, CEO of  WOWorks, the parent company of both concepts, made the announcement on his LinkedIn but did not disclose a specific location.  In other WOWorks news, the lone Atlanta area Saladworks at Brighten Park in Brookhaven remains temporarily closed and it's unclear when or if it will reopen.   

Local Vine, an upstart liquor store that launched in Atlanta in 2018, is adding a second metro store.  With a roughly 18,000 square foot store open near Smyrna/Vinings, the new 31,000 square foot store is coming soon to Johns Creek.  Whereas the original store replaced an Old Navy, the new store will backfill an Office Depot.  The new location is part of the large Johns Creek Town Center development at the corner of McGinnis Ferry Road and Medlock Bridge Road in Johns Creek/Suwanee.  The new store is expected to offer a similar but larger variety of items than the original Vinings area location.  Local Vine Johns Creek is expected to open late in the first quarter of 2022.  

A new restaurant called Cajun Blues is coming soon to the old location of The Mad Italian just off I-285 at 2197 Savoy Drive in Chamblee.  The Mad Italian relocated to 2089 Savoy Drive in late 2018 and its owner had planned to open a burger joint in the former location, but those plans seemingly failed to materialize.  
Le Bon Nosh has opened at The Irby in Buckhead Village. Chef Forough Vakili fuses her Persian roots with French cooking at her all-day cafe, market, and wine bar, which officially opened November 17.  ToNeTo Atlanta first reported on the planned cafe in 2019.   

Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers opened its latest Atlanta area location Sunday, December 5, at 4218 US-78 in Loganville.  The 2,958 square-foot, freestanding restaurant is the 17th in Georgia for the Wichita, Kansas-based chain.  An 18th Georgia location is expected to open next year in LaGrange.  

Delia's Chicken Sausage Stand reopened its Westside restaurant December 1 after a more than yearlong closure.  The restaurant, located at the corner of Marietta Street and Northside Drive, is the sibling location of the original stand on Moreland Avenue, which itself reopened this past August, also after a more than yearlong closure. 

Lilly Pulitzer will next year open its second overall Atlanta area location.  Already with a boutique in Phipps Plaza in Buckhead which opened in 2012, the new Lilly Pulitzer will open at Avalon in Alpharetta.  An announcement in 2014 indicated that Avalon owner North American Properties had a lease executed with Lilly Pulitzer to open in the project's second phase in 2017, but that never happened.  Instead, Lilly will now backfill what was once Lou & Grey, an Ann Inc. brand that previously closed in the center.  The new Lilly space is 2,560 square feet and is situated between west elm and J. Jill and was most recently operating as a pop-up store for menswear retailer Elk Head Clothing.    

A new Dairy Queen restaurant is coming to 3520 Keith Bridge Road in Cumming.  The 3,336 square foot restaurant will be built from the ground up on the just over one acre parcel. 

CVS Health announced in late November that it plans to close about 900 stores over the next three years.  The closures, which are expected to start this coming spring, will likely affect not only freestanding CVS stores but also CVS pharmacies located within Target stores.  Dollar General's pOpshelf, its Five Below-like concept store that is being targeted for "hyper growth" with plans for 1000 new stores by 2025 could be one of several retailers to benefit from the closures as the pharmacy's freestanding locations are often well-located, and in most cases, well maintained.  

ToNeTo Atlanta reported December 21 that Harbor Freight Tools plans to open a new location in East Lake Shopping Center in East Cobb.  New information confirms that in addition to the East Cobb outpost, the Calabasas, California-based discount tool retailer will also open new locations in Lithia Springs and Calhoun where they will replace former Office Depot stores.  Harbor Freight already operates two dozen stores in Georgia but the majority of them are what you might call "way OTP."   The company recently opened a Cumming store and also operates stores in Dunwoody, Kennesaw, Lilburn, Lawrenceville and Buford, among other communities.  

Twin Peaks will soon open its fourth location in Georgia when it debuts in Columbus.  The Addison, Texas-based chain currently operates restaurants in Buckhead, Kennesaw and Augusta and is expected to open in the coming week at 3116 Adams Farm Drive in Columbus where the "breastaurant" will backfill a former TGI Fridays.  Beverly Hills-based FAT Brands, which already controlled Johnny Rockets, Far Burger, Great American Cookies and Marble Slab Creamery, among others, acquired Twin Peaks this past September for $300 million.  

After 20 years in business, Banana Republic at The Avenue Peachtree City is closing.  The store is currently winding down operations with a liquidation sale ahead of its planned January 24th closure.    Banana Republic has previously closed at North Point Mall, The Shoppes Webb Gin (formerly The Avenue Webb Gin), and Gwinnett Place Mall, among others.  

Southern Art at the InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta has closed.  Chef Art Smith opened the southern-inspired restaurant in October 2011, replacing original restaurant Au Pied de Cochon.  A new steakhouse called "The Americana" is slated to open as the hotel's new restaurant in early 2022.  The Bourbon Bar remains open.  


Anonymous said...

During a recent trip to Tampa, I also noticed a mall based Starbucks location closed at International Plaza. This location was always slammed with the line to order dozens deep. An inline location (no drive thru) opened across the street from the mall earlier this year, so maybe it is serving as a replacement? It'll be interesting to see if several Atlanta area mall locations end up reopening, especially as foot traffic continues to pick up.

Jodyml813 said...

International Mall has always been kind of an interesting location. They had high hopes for that mall when it opened and it really hasn't done much. The turnover in that mall is pretty high it's almost like the shops of Buckhead.

I know the North point location of Starbucks is permanently closed. All the signage and fixtures are out of that mall. It looks like Google finally caught up and has it marked as permanently closed.

Anonymous said...

The former Hardees/Reggies in the Toco Hills area is already demolished and has been for some time. They still need to do a scrape of the concrete slab and landscaping but the building was demolished shortly after it burned. As far as mall Starbucks locations go….replace them with Barnie’s Coffee and Tea. They have a great product and their remaining location in Winter Park is unique and quite busy all the time, no drive thru required. Let’s get them back in the ATL mall scene.

Anonymous said...

Banana Rep in Atlantic Station is still open

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