Monday, April 18, 2022

[UPDATE] Cheesecake Factory-Backed Italian Concept Sets Opening Dates For Atlanta Restaurants

North Italia, a sibling restaurant of Flower Child, plans to open both of its planned Atlanta area locations later this summer.  The Buckhead outpost at the front of Lenox Square replaces former sibling Fox Restaurant Concepts brand Zinburger, while the Dunwoody outpost replaces California Pizza Kitchen (CPK).  Both Zinburger and CPK closed in 2020.  

According to the North Italia website, the new North Italia in Buckhead, which measures approximately 5,500 square feet, is slated to open June 22, followed by the brand's roughly 5,800 square foot Dunwoody restaurant on July 20 August.  

The menu at North is centered on fresh-made pizza and pastas but also includes assorted small plates and salads, as well as entrĂ©e dishes like braised short rib, chicken parmesan and roasted salmon, among other options, with some items either seasonal or location specific.  North is open for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, with offerings such as glazed Italian doughnut French toast and short rib hash, among other options. 

Sam Fox, creator not only of North Italia, but also True Food Kitchen, Zinburger, Flower Child, and more than a half dozen other concepts, sold his Fox Restaurant Concepts company to Calabasas, California-based The Cheesecake Factory (NASDAQ: CAKE) in 2019.  (True Food Kitchen was not included in the sale as it was majority sold to P.F. Chang's in 2012.)

In Buckhead, North joins a crowded market for Italian fare that already includes Maggiano's, Davio's, Pricci, Portofino and Storico Fresco, among others.  In Dunwoody, too, there is already a Maggiano's as well as area favorite Novo Cucina, with Chef Pat Pascarella slated to open a second outpost of his popular Grana restaurant late this year at Ashford Lane (fka Perimeter Place.)  

First introduced in Fox's home market of Phoenix in 2002, North has today expanded to 29 locations across twelve states plus the District of Columbia.  North opened in Birmingham's The Summit development early last year, and also operates locations in Nashville and Franklin, Tennessee, as well as Charlotte, North Carolina.

Culinary Dropout, another Fox Restaurants Concept, which features lunch, dinner and weekend brunch along with live music, is also expected to enter the Atlanta market, but according to its website, not until 2023, when it opens in a roughly 12,000 square foot space at the Brickworks development in West Midtown.  

As with so much these days, the aforementioned dates are subject to change, but given the specificity provided publicly, one must deduce that the company is rather sure they can open as planned.  

Are you excited for the opening of North Italia?  What is your favorite Fox Restaurants Concept? What other types of restaurants would you like to see open in Buckhead or Dunwoody?

Please share your thoughts below.   


bomister said...

Can't have too many Italian restaurant choices Too bad it's at Lenox Square.

dal787 said...

I love Novo Cucina.

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