Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Bits & Bites

Lobster Banh Mi, an eatery offering Vietnamese sandwiches and coffee, plans to open its second location early next year in Brookhaven.  The original Lobster Banh Mi opened at 3095 Peachtree Industrial Boulevard in Duluth in June 2021.  The new location is situated in a roughly 1,300 square foot space next to Kathleen's Catch in Skyland Shopping Center at Buford Highway and Clairmont Road.  Lobster Banh Mi marks the second new restaurant to join the revamped center following last year's opening of The Greek Pizzeria & Gyros, which just last week celebrated its first anniversary.   

MCT Restaurant & Bar has opened in the former McKinnon's Louisiane at 3209 Maple Drive, just off Peachtree Road in Buckhead.  ToNeTo Atlanta first reported last June that longtime McKinnon's owner Aziz Mehram had sold the business and that it would be converted into an "upscale restaurant, bar & lounge."  The new establishment is 21+ only, open until 2AM on Friday and Saturday, and features a menu focused on tapas and cocktails.  As they tell it: "MCK Restaurant & Bar offers an array of globally inspired dishes to share paired with craft cocktails and a full bar. Our menu has something for everyone from healthy vegetarian options, to classic favorites, and new fusion plates that have never been seen before.  We offer an upscale dining experience concentrated on exceptional service to create a customer centric environment."  Despite the name, concept and ownership change, the new business still promotes itself as being established in 1972.  

Johnny Rockets has closed its longstanding location at Arbor Place Mall in Douglasville.  The restaurant opened with the mall in 1999.    The retro chain once had several Atlanta area locations including those on Cobb Parkway near Akers Mill Square, Roswell Road just south of Abernathy, West Paces Ferry Road just off Peachtree Road, Underground Atlanta, and at North DeKalb Mall, among others.  Currently the chain has just four Atlanta area locations including those at Phipps Plaza in Buckhead, near the Georgia Aquarium Downtown, at the Georgia World Congress Center Downtown, and at Six Flags Over Georgia in Austell.  Established in Los Angeles in 1986, Johnny Rockets is today owned by multi-unit franchisor FAT Brands and is headquartered in Beverly Hills.  

After intense customer feedback, Storico Fresco is again offering grocery items!  Storico fans can once again stock up on favorites such as the four-pound Bolognese lasagna, two-pound turkey lasagna and 16-ounce Bolognese and pomodoro sauces. Also available are the Berkshire pork meatballs and turkey meatballs in pomodoro sauce, mista salad, fresh-cut tagliatelle and linguine. For dessert, offerings include tiramisu and cheesecake. The retail market also stocks olive oil, balsamic vinegar, crackers and condiments. These first-come, first-served offerings are available Monday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

A new Dogtopia franchise will soon open in Brookhaven in the former Peach Pit which relocated to Sandy Springs.  The space,  in Old Five Points shopping center where Righteous Room recently closed, was originally a Blockbuster Video! Phoenix, Arizona-based Dogtopia specializes in dog boarding and daycare and currently has Atlanta area locations in Sandy Springs, West Midtown, Decatur, Roswell and Alpharetta.

A new Crumbl Cookie is planned for 3330 Cobb Parkway in Acworth.  The new cookie shop is opening in the Kroger anchored Butler Creek Plaza where new-to-market breakfast joint Biscuit Belly recently opened.  

"Daytime Cafe" First Watch December 5 opened its newest Atlanta area location.  The new restaurant is located in a former Chili's on Windward Parkway in Alpharetta.  ToNeTo Atlanta first reported on the planned opening this past June.   First Watch (NASDAQ: FWRG) in May opened a new location in Dunwoody and in July opened at Hugh Howell Marketplace, the new Publix-anchored shopping center along Hugh Howell Road in Tucker.  The company is finally making serious headway on its ground-up  new freestanding location along Johnson Ferry Road in East Cobb.  The breakfast and lunch eatery operates about a dozen locations in the greater metro Atlanta area.  

Sid's Pizza has opened its second overall location in Alpharetta Crossing (11770 Haynes Bridge Road) between Alpharetta City Center and Avalon in Alpharetta.  The new restaurant, which reportedly has a "70's basement vibe," "soft opened" this past weekend with a formal ribbon cutting planned in the coming weeks.  A "fusion" restaurant called Vertigo Cafe occupied the 1,750 square foot space in 2020 but it was short lived.  A Mellow Mushroom franchise occupied the space before that, and Sid's is surely looking to fill that void.  Sid's is owned by wife-and-husband team Sharon and Stan Kurnett who opened the original Sid's in Brookwood Marketplace in Suwanee in 2003.  

Clean Eatz has opened its latest Atlanta area location at The Prado shopping center in Sandy Springs.  The new healthy food eatery occupies not one of the many former restaurant spaces in the center but instead, a converted former GameStop.  The Wilmington, North Carolina-based franchise has other Atlanta area locations in Norcross, Roswell and Peachtree City, as well as outposts in Athens and Columbus.  

A new location of Westside Market is opening in Roswell.  The new market is opening in Roswell Town Center (610 Holcomb Bridge Road) where it will occupy a portion of a onetime Kmart that had more recently been a Hobby Lobby before the retailer relocated to North Point Parkway in 2019.   Abe Malla opened the first Westside Market on Ellsworth Industrial Boulevard on Atlanta's Westside in 2013.  Malla added a second location at Toco Hills in early 2018.  The stores feature a mix of new and used household goods and furniture with booths operated by independent sellers.  A new Westside Market opened in Greenville, South Carolina December 1 with reported plans to expand to additional locations in South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee and Florida. 

Snooze an A.M. Eatery will open its third Atlanta area location on Monroe Drive at Midtown Promenade near Piedmont Park.  The restaurant will officially open Wednesday December 14.  The Denver-based chain made its Atlanta area debut last January in Sandy Springs and added a second location on the Westside last September.  2023 is expected to bring at least four more Snooze restaurants to metro Atlanta with locations planned for  Akers Mill Square near Cumberland Mall, Sterling Pointe near Perimeter Mall in Dunwoody, Alpharetta near North Point Mall and at the Exchange at Gwinnett near Mall of Georgia in Buford.  

Whiskey & Water will open a new location at Crabapple Market in Milton.  Anthony and Kelli Battaglia and Andy Jimenez opened the seafood and bourbon restaurant in a converted circa 1937 post office in Blue Ridge in July 2021.  Now, the trio hopes to find the same success in metro Atlanta.  Plans call for work on the space to begin "ASAP" and for the new restaurant to open "Spring-Early Summer."  

99X has returned to Atlanta airwaves after a more than decade long absence.  The new, old station, offers a mix of "classic alternative" hits and is currently without on air talent ahead of a planned January 3 "official debut."  99X occupies the 100.5 signal, recently home to Rock 100.5 which was phased out in the process.  Sibling Cumulus Media station, Q99.7 launched in January 2001 as Q100 and occupied the 100.5 signal before moving to the stronger 99.7 signal in 2008 and rebranding as the more appropriate Q99.7 in 2019.  Longtime 99X/Rock 100.5 on air talent Axel Lowe is slated to be in the mix for the latest iteration of 99x but it's unclear who else may be part of the lineup.  ToNeTo Atlanta was at Sports & Social in 2017 when 99X fans and talent reunited for a 25th anniversary celebration that including cameo appearances from Barnes, Leslie & Jimmy as well as countless others who had been part of the station.   Brian Phillips, who started 99X three decades ago under previous owner Susquehanna Communications, now runs Cumulus as Chief Content Officer.  Prior to Cumulus Philips was President of CMT in Nashville where he recruited Fram to join him as SVP of Music Strategy where she remains today.  

Morty's Meat & Supply, the latest concept from DASH Hospitality Group, will officially open today in Dunwoody Village.  The new restaurant's menu is described as "featuring Southern Barbeque dishes intertwined with a touch of New York flavor."  Morty's joins fellow DASH concept Barn: booze n bites in the "Funwoody" development.  In 2023, DASH plans to add two more concepts to the project, Message In A Bottle, a seafood restaurant, and Yoffi, a Mediterranean eatery.  DASH also operates the Funwoody Food Truck with a menu that changes weekly.  

Kroger will officially close its nearly fifty-year-old "Disco" store at Piedmont Peachtree Crossing shopping center in Buckhead Friday December 9. (The pharmacy will close Thursday December 8.) The store, which is currently liquidating on hand merchandise, is one of the two Atlanta area stores that the Cincinnati-based grocer will close this month.  Last week the grocer closed "baby" Kroger, a small store on Commerce Drive near Downtown Decatur.  ToNeTo Atlanta reported in July 2021 that the "Disco" Kroger would be closing and that a Publix store is expected to replace it.  The disco mural wall will reportedly be salvaged and incorporated into the new structure. 

K-Pot Korean Barbeque & Hot Pot has opened the first of three planned locations in metro Atlanta.  The new location opened in the former Newk's Eatery at Howell Mill Square on Howell Mill Road.  In 2023, the company plans to add other Atlanta area locations to Northlake Tower Festival  in Tucker and Akers Mill Square near Cumberland Mall.  A location previously planned for Buford has seemingly been shelved.  Other Georgia locations are planned for Columbus and Savannah.  

Could ToNeTo Atlanta commenter and reader "vespajet" please email us?  Thank you. 


Anonymous said...

The Greek on Clairmont serves the worst pizza in town. Ordered a pie and it came out burned and dry, and the server said that is how they do it. Manager refused to make a new one. Shocked that they are still open, though rarely see anyone there. So many better places nearby.

BigRedDogATL said...

Sid's Pizza faces stiff competition from nearby Pizza restaurants, Crust Pizza, Mama's Pizza, and Antico Pizza (in Avalon); in addition to all the national chain pizza restaurants in the area. And the Whole Foods Market in Avalon makes a great wood fired pizza as well.

I wish them luck, given all the competition in the area. Unless they have some special hook that I don't know about, I have my doubts if they will last very long.

Anonymous said...

Agree with BigRedDogATL. Not the best location and lots of established competition around.

Anonymous said...

We've tried the new Sid's Pizza several times since opening. The crust on their pizzas, especially the thin crust is well balanced and very crispy but not to the point of overwhelming the toppings. Flavorful toppings and friendly staff make this our new go-to.

Anonymous said...


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