Monday, January 9, 2023

[EXCLUSIVE] So Long Subway, New Bowl Business Coming to Town

A new year and new bowl concept is coming to metro Atlanta.  Mahana Fresh, a bowl-centered restaurant based in Sarasota, Florida, is opening at least two locations in metro Atlanta.  The concept, which founder and CEO Dave Wood launched in 2019, offers assorted bases, veggies and proteins which are then topped with add-ons and/or sauces.  

In Sandy Springs, Mahana Fresh will open in Glenridge Point (860 Johnson Ferry Road), where it is backfilling a 1,752 square foot space most recently home to a Subway franchise.  The center, a popular destination for workers of nearby Northside Hospital, is also home to Salata and Gruby's NY Deli, among other tenants.  

Another Mahana Fresh is coming soon to West Midtown.  Here, however, the restaurant will be located at 800 Forrest Street where it will be part of "Forrest Eatery," a ghost kitchen offering meals exclusively for pickup and delivery.  

According to his LinkedIn page, Wood was a Domino's Pizza franchisee for nearly 28 years before first starting Firenza Pizza ["Pizza like never before"] in 2015, and Mahana Poke in 2018, which according to online research seems to be the predecessor of Mahana Fresh.  Mahana means warmth in Polynesian or Hawaiian.

Firenza, which functioned like a Your Pie, had one location at Sugarloaf Marketplace in Duluth that opened in April 2018, but closed by the end of 2020.  

For its part, Mahana Fresh seems very much like Bolay, which is also based in Florida, but had a head start, having started in early 2016.  Bolay entered the Atlanta market this past August with a location near North Point Mall in Alpharetta.  

It's worth noting, too, that Fresh One Kitchen, another similar bowl concept, recently opened in Sandy Springs where it, too, occupies a former Subway.  Fresh One Kitchen, led by The Juicy Crab founder Richard Chen, is located in Parkside Shops (5920 Roswell Road), about two and half miles from where Mahana Fresh is opening.  

According to its website as well as online research, there are currently five Mahana Fresh locations open: Charlotte (Ballantyne), NC, Brandon, FL, Idaho Falls, ID, Toms River, NJ and Fargo, ND.  Additionally, locations in New Tampa and Boca Raton, FL are marked "temporarily closed," while other locations in Arlington and Charlottesville, VA have permanently closed.  

In addition to the two Atlanta area locations, other Mahana Fresh units are reportedly "coming soon" to Georgetown and Houston, TX as well as Stuart, FL.   

Have you ever been to Mahana Fresh?  Do you think there are too many similar bowl concepts?  If you have been to several, what is your favorite bowl concept?

Please share your thoughts below. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

the best bowl in the shopping center oh Johnson Ferry will be the bowl of matzoh ball soup at Gruby's.
why would manhana want to be next to Salata. Makes no sense.
the subway there was actually pretty good and pretty busy, but Subway corporate has made it impossible for small time franchisees to make any money.

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