Tuesday, December 6, 2022

[EXCLUSIVE] Restaurant Hawking $96 Wagyu A5 Fried Rice Coming to Atlanta

With Nobu now open in Buckhead, another glitzy restaurant with several locations abroad is looking to open a new restaurant in Atlanta.  Salvaje, a restaurant that got its start in Spain and features a largely Japanese menu, is planning to open just its second American location in "Uptown," the stretch of Peachtree Street between Buckhead and Midtown. 

Permits filed with the City of Atlanta indicate that the new restaurant will open at 1545 Peachtree Street in the street level of the Peachtree Pointe office building.  

Salvaje (pronounced sahl-bah-heh), is a Spanish word that can mean savage or wild.  According to language on the restaurant's website "The new concept in Japanese signature cuisine is an exquisite blend between tradition & design, quality & lifestyle."  

The new restaurant takes over a space that has seen a good bit over turnover.  Chef Shaun Doty's Mid City Cuisine occupied the roughly 6,300 square foot space from 2003 to late 2006, after which the space sat idle until La Pietra Cucina, an Italian eatery from Bob Amick and his Concentrics Restaurants, gave it a go in 2008.  The restaurant pivoted to a more casual concept, "LPC" in September 2012 before closing for good at the end of 2014.   Drew Van Leuvan, then executive chef and owner of Seven Lamps, and restaurateur Billy Streck (then of Cypress Street Pint & Plate and Grain ) opened gastropub Tavernpointe in the space in August 2015.  Tavernpointe closed quietly in 2020.  

In addition to the restaurant turnover and the fact that the space lies not in, but between Buckhead and Midtown, one of Peachtree Pointe's most significant tenants, Invesco, will in early 2023 relocate to the Midtown Union mixed-use project nearby.  Facing all these headwinds, one has to wonder why this group thinks they - as an out-of-town chain restaurant - will find success in a space in which local restaurateurs have struggled.  

According to the Salvaje website, the first location opened in Spain in 2017 and the chain has since expanded to six locations across Spain and six others around the world, with a new location marked as "coming soon" to Mexico.  The group's first American location opened atop Hyde Midtown Miami, a Miami hotel, in January 2021.  According to a source close to the restaurant, additional locations are slated to open later this year in Chicago and Denver, too.   

'Who is Salvaje's target market?' you might ask.  According to the restaurant, Salvaje is "For lovers of haute cuisine and, above all, for the bold ones, those looking to go beyond the limits to enjoy a whole new experience of gastronomy & entertainment that truly raises the bar."  

The menu is crafted by chef & co-owner Fermin Azkue, a native of Venezuela who worked in restaurants in Spain, France, and England, including Michelin-starred Dinner by Heston Blumenthal in London, before joining Salvaje in 2018.

Menu highlights from the Miami menu include Australian Wagyu Tomahawk with wasabi chimichurri ($248), Wagyu beef fried rice with Japanese A5 - Sautéed Wok Rice, Sliced Wagyu A5, Ikura and low-temperature cooked Egg ($96) and Sushi + 1 roll and 9 nigiris ($75).  Vegetable options include:  Grilled avocado - Avocados with ponzu sauce ($15),  Fresh Corn a la robata - Fresh corn with shiso and soy butter ($13) and Robata Mushrooms - Wild mushrooms with ponzu sauce, hollandaise, green onions and yuzu ($16). 

Salvaje Atlanta LLC was registered in Delaware in February 2022, with construction permits filed with the City of Atlanta in November.  According to sources close to the restaurant, plans call for it to open sometime in 2023.

Have you been to Salvaje?  Do you think Salvaje will find success in Atlanta?  All things being equal, are you more likely to patronize a chain or local restaurant?  

Please share your thoughts below. 


Anonymous said...

Given the track record of previous restaurants coupled with the prices, I'll give it 6 months, 8 tops.

Anonymous said...

some shrewd restaurant broker sold them on a fractured site. Atlanta will not support such high prices. This place would have a chance at a different location, but not there. I give it less than a year.

Anonymous said...

That location is very yucky, especially beyond normal business hours. Even the super wealthy wouldn’t patronize, that is how they stay wealthy. Even for business, I cannot imagine a transaction here in Atlanta that would be so dynamic that it could support celebrating with such an dining experience, unless the Chinese government and trades came to Atlanta for lucrative business opportunities - or have they already done so covertly?

Anonymous said...

They should come to arrogant,snooty,snoty,so full of themselves,woke,Peoples Republic of Brookhaven.The city that is not a city but a glorified home owners association.

Anonymous said...

Did they learn nothing from the Shops Buckhead (or whatever the hell it was eventually named) debacle? There's not much wealth in Atlanta, and the people who actually have it don't want to patronize tacky places like this and Nobu.

John A said...

Not a lot of wealth in Atlanta ?

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