Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Bits & Bites

Raising Cane's will open their first metro Atlanta location tomorrow, March 16.  The restaurant, located at 3485 Braselton Highway in Dacula is located between Arby's and Starbucks and was built on the site of a demolished former BB&T bank.  The Baton Rouge-born chain has plans for at least ten locations in metro Atlanta in years to come.  ToNeTo Atlanta has previously reported on two other confirmed locations including those coming to Buford and Woodstock

Out of the Closet has closed its Atlanta area thrift store and pharmacy.  The facility, located at 1858 Cheshire Bridge Road, closed as of December 31, reportedly due to a significant rent increase.   The shop was run in partnership with the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.  The Atlanta location first opened in late 2017.  A great alternative for donors looking to support the LGBTQ community in Atlanta is Lost & Found Youth, another organization that runs a thrift store on Chantilly Drive, about a mile and a half away.  

An Athleta outlet is coming to The Outlet Shoppes at Atlanta in Woodstock.  The new store, the first of its kind in the state, will occupy suite E-530, a roughly 4,100 square foot space currently occupied by Talbots.  

Crumbl cookies made its long awaited debut in Sandy Springs Friday February 24!  The new cookie shop, which ToNeTo Atlanta first reported on this past April and had been oft asked for updates and it's unclear what slowed its progress.   Another new Crumbl location is slated to open Friday March 17 at Toco Hills Promenade in Atlanta.  

Roll It Up Ice Cream, a trendy "rolled ice cream" franchise which opened at the Kroger-anchored City Walk shopping center in Sandy Springs in late 2021, has closed.  The local ice cream shop replaced a franchised location of national chain Baskin-Robbins but seemed never to have found a following.  The roughly 1,600 square foot space is not yet marked "available" on the shopping center's website but the Sandy Springs location has been removed from the Roll It Up website.  Following the closure, Roll It Up continues to operate units in Snellville, Doraville and Athens.  

Chipotle Mexican Grill, already with more than 90 locations in Georgia, has at least five additional units in the works.  At Lindbergh Plaza, Chipotle plans to backfill the former Il Bacio pizza restaurant near Tin Drum along Sidney Marcus Boulevard.  Il Bacio closed in early 2022 after about 15 years in business.  The Lindbergh restaurant will be about 2,200 square feet but without a drive-thru.  In Lilburn, a new Chipotle will open as part of a new multi-unit outparcel building at Indian Trail shopping center (4805 Lawrenceville Highway).  The new Chipotle will have a "Chipotlane" and will be about 2,400 square feet.  The company will also bring their "Chipotlane" to South Fulton in an outparcel of the new Sandtown Crossing shopping center.  ToNeTo Atlanta reported this past November on another new Chipotle coming to Duluth.  

A new First Watch is planned for Gainesville.  The new restaurant is slated to open at 944 Dawsonville Highway where it will backfill a recently shuttered outpost of Atlanta Bread.  First Watch has been especially active in their metro Atlanta expansion.  Over the past year, the company has added new outposts in Dunwoody and Tucker as well as the aforementioned opening in Alpharetta.  First Watch has an existing Kennesaw area location at Jiles Road and Cherokee Street.  Overall, the company operates fourteen locations in metro Atlanta as well as a single unit in Columbus.  ToNeTo Atlanta reported March 2 that the company plans to open a second Kennesaw area location on Barrett Parkway, not far from Town Center at Cobb.  

Cluck -N- Mooh, a restaurant that opened in August 2020 in Buckhead Crossing shopping center is for sale.  The listing, by local brokerage The Shumacher Group, offers the space as a "keep or convert" opportunity.  

A new location of Veterinary Emergency Group is opening soon in the short-lived Toyko Valentino  along Johnson Ferry Road in East Cobb.  The standalone building at 1290 Johnson Ferry Road was before Tokyo Valentino, a Mattress Firm.  

Permits filed with the City of Atlanta suggest that Phipps Plaza is getting an outpost of Canada Goose.  Representatives for the posh Buckhead mall have for months denied that the retailer was opening a store in Phipps Plaza but the retailer continues to pull permits for what has been described as a roughly 3,500 square foot space.  

Cotton On, an Australian fast fashion brand is entering the Atlanta market with a shop at Lenox Square in Buckhead.  The retailer has filed permits with the City of Atlanta to spend about $200,000 to renovate suite 4002A, a roughly 8,300 square foot space on the mall's second floor.  The space was for many years home to Williams-Sonoma, but since the kitchenware retailer's closure in early 2022, the space has been occupied by Stone Age Natural Rocks and Crystals.  According to its website, Cotton On operates two existing stores in Georgia, one in Macon and the other in Augusta.  

Lidl has officially cancelled their plans for a new store along Lawrenceville Highway near Decatur.  The store, which ToNeTo Atlanta first reported on in October 2021, would have come to 1788 Lawrenceville Highway, in place of Vol Repair II, a Volvo repair business.  According to a source close to the grocer, there were several challenges related to the site, not the least of which is an existing bridge, that became too much to overcome, causing the grocer to walk away from the deal. Germany-based Lidl closed a store in Dunwoody this past February and another in Sandy Springs in early 2021.  That said, the grocer continues to operate 17 stores across the state and has several more - including those planned for Cumming, Woodstock, Marietta, Ponce de Leon Avenue near Ponce City Market, and Norcross, among others.

Yeppa & Co. opened February 27 at Buckhead Village District.  The restaurant, described as a "Bar-Centric Concept," is owned by Stephen Peterson and Pietro Gianni of the Storico Group.  The new eatery is the partners' third in Buckhead, joining existing concepts Storico Fresco on Peachtree Road at Buckhead Exchange and Storico Vino, at Buckhead Village District.  The group also operates Forza Storico at Westside Provisions District in West Midtown.  

A Poke Bar franchise at Fountain Oaks shopping center in Sandy Springs has been evicted and forced to close, according to a document  taped to the restaurant's front window.  The roughly 1,400 square foot restaurant opened in 2018 and was one of the first few of the California-based chain to open locally.  The document indicates the restaurant's owner owes $90,000 in back rent to center owner Edens.  The Poke Bar website has not yet been updated to reflect the closure.  According to the website, the chain still has thirteen locations in Georgia.  

The Daily, the popular breakfast and lunch cafe which made its Atlanta debut last January in West Midtown, on March 13 opened its second Atlanta area outpost, this in Inman Park.  The new eatery replaced Proof Bakeshop, a local bakery which closed at the end of 2021 after six years in business.  A third Atlanta area outpost of The Daily is planned for Northside Parkway where it will be joined by a second outpost of Ford Fry's Little Rey in a new food complex at the Northcreek Office Park.   

A new AutoZone is coming to Roswell Market Center (1580 Holcomb Bridge Road) in Roswell.  The auto parts retailer is backfilling a former Office Depot in a 28,809 square foot space.  

Luxury resale platform The RealReal announced February 16 it was making several changes to its business.  The company intends to lay off 230 employees and close four stores this year.  The layoffs will affect 7 percent of its workforce. The RealReal closed its San Francisco and Chicago flagships, as well stores in Atlanta and Austin. The company debuted their Atlanta store June 2021 at 3073 Peachtree Road, adjacent to Buckhead Village DistrIct.  

Bojangles has closed their restaurant at 2015 Battlefield Parkway in Fort Oglethorpe near Chattanooga.  

Corner Bakery, once seen as a would-be rival to Panera and previously owned by Atlanta-based Roark Capital Group, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in late February.  The chain, purchased by Pandya Group in 2020, has in recent years closed several Atlanta area locations leaving today just three in business: Buckhead, Downtown and Peachtree Corners.  

Starbucks this past weekend opened its new standalone outpost in an outparcel of the East Lake Shopping Center (2135 Roswell Road) in East Cobb.  

Jennifer Balcos Gallery has officially made the move back to Buckhead.  Balcos, who started her gallery in what was then a temporary space near The Big Ketch on Roswell Road, and later moved to Westside Provisions District in West Midtown, officially opened her new Chastain Park gallery earlier this month.  The new Jennifer Balcos Gallery anchors Buckhead Court where it occupies the 5,000 square foot former home of Huff Harrington.  Huff Harrington Home, Huff Harrington Fine Art and Huff Harrington Design all consolidated their then separate locations to a single outpost at the Galleries of Peachtree Hills, next to ADAC, in late 2021.  

McAlister's Deli has closed its location at 1030 Old Peachtree Road in Lawrenceville.  The restaurant, marked "temporarily closed," is reportedly permanently closed according to local sources in the area.  The chain continues to operate 26 restaurants in Georgia including those in Atlanta, Acworth, Kennesaw and Roswell, among others.  

Hopdoddy in February completed the conversion of its fourth and final former Grub Burger Bar in metro Atlanta.  The most recent conversion, a restaurant in The Collection Forsyth in Alpharetta, followed earlier conversions in Akers Mill Square near Cumberland Mall, Peachtree Dunwoody Road in Sandy Springs and at Brighten Park in Brookhaven.  Sources close to the restaurant tell ToNeTo Atlanta that the Texas-based chain plans to added "a few more" locations to metro Atlanta in the comIng years.   

Williamson Bros. BBQ  has opened in place of the former Fox Bros. BBQ at Mercedes Benz Stadium. Fox Bros closed at the stadium this past October.     

Skincare and facial boutique Heyday has inked a deal for its latest Atlanta area franchise.  On the heels of openings in Krog Street Market, Midtown Promenade and Ashford Lane and an upcoming outpost in Buckhead comes news that Heyday is going OTP again with an outpost planned for East Cobb.  The new studio will open in Pine Straw Place, a Trader Joe's anchored center where the skincare shop will occupy a  roughly 2,000 square foot space left from California Pizza Kitchen's closure. 

Grand Lux Cafe at Phipps Plaza in Buckhead has closed.  The Cheesecake Factory sibling concept opened on the mall's second floor in 2018, closed briefly in 2020, and reopened in 2021 before closing for good as of February 28.  The restaurant's closure, and its failure to successfully distinguish itself from its parent company reminds us of Abercrombie and their failed "upscale" concept Ruehl No. 925.  Ruehl never made it way to Atlanta, but the brand was marketed as a higher end concept from its parent company but with such similar offerings just distinguished by a high price, failed to property differentiate itself from the main brand.  Today there are just eight Grand Lux Cafe restaurants still open.  

Journeys is returning to Lenox Square, according to a permit filed with the City of Atlanta.  The footwear and streetwear apparel retailer plans to spend about $300,000 renovating their roughly 2,300 square foot space on the mall's second floor.  The Nashville-based retailer currently operates 40 stores in Georgia across its Journeys, Journeys Kidz, and Underground banners.   

A new restaurant called Yakitori Kona is coming to the former Callie's Hot Little Biscuit at the corner of Virginia and Highland Avenues in Virginia Highland.  

REI in February opened a new store in Athens.  The store, located in Beechwood shopping center on Alps Road, marks the sixth in Georgia for the Kent, Washington-based outdoors retailer.  REI operates five stores in metro Atlanta: Brookhaven (Atlanta), Sandy Springs, Alpharetta, Buford and Kennesaw.  

According to a Google listing, Atlanta-based franchise Ponko Chicken expects to see a new location debut April 7 in Duluth.  The restaurant, first revealed in early 2022, will be located at 6600 Sugarloaf Parkway, Suite 300 (Day Centre). The new opening comes at a time when the fledgling chain is going through some growing pains.  A franchise in Chastain Park closed this past year while separate franchises in Decatur and Alpharetta are currently listed for sale by local brokerage The Shumacher Group.  

QuikTrip (QT) opened its newest Atlanta area location Thursday March 2 at Perimeter Marketplace in Dunwoody.  The new location joins existing tenants in the Publix-anchored center including First Watch, Panda Express, Chicken Salad Chick, and Chopt, among others.  

Howlin' Willy's, a new hot chicken concept from Willy's Mexicana Grill founder Willy Bitter, recently debuted its latest location.  The new Howlin' Willy's like the other two already open, is located within an existing Willy', this one at Briarcliff and North Druid Hills Roads, not far from Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.  Willy launched the sibling brand in Midtown near Piedmont Park in 2021 and subsequently added a second location in Hapeville.  A fourth location, and first to be a "stand alone," is reportedly in the works for East Cobb.  

A new location of Outback Steakhouse is planned for Dawsonville.    The new restaurant would come to a nearly two acre parcel behind an existing Olive Garden and across from the upcoming Whataburger on Wallace Boulevard.  Dawson County records indicate the restaurant would be located at 3862 Dawson Forest Road East.  According to its website, Tampa-based Outback Steakhouse currently operates 25 restaurants in Georgia including those in Alpharetta, Toco Hills, Kennesaw and Snellville, among others.  

Halal Guys will celebrate the "grand opening" of its latest Atlanta area outpost Saturday, March 18 in Dunwoody.  The new restaurant is opening as part of phase two of Park Center, the sprawling State Farm campus along Hammond Drive near Perimeter Mall in Dunwoody.  The new restaurant joins the recently opened Louisiana Bistreaux as well as Yao Atlanta and Sankranti - Indian Kitchen, among others, in the mixed-use development.  The new Dunwoody Halal Guys joins existing local franchises of the New York-based concept in Chamblee, Duluth, Midtown and Buford.  

Crab 404, which opened in late 2019 in place of Food 101 on Roswell Road in Sandy Springs has itself changed names.  Now known as 404 Restaurant + Bar, the restaurant still features a Cajun-inspired menu complete with crabs, lobsters, oysters, mussels and more.  

Concord, North Carolina-based Shoe Show, Inc. announced earlier this month it had acquired Charleston, South Carolina-based Half-Moon Outfitters.   Founded in 1993, Half-Moon Outfitters celebrated its 30th anniversary in February.  The outdoor retailer is known to carry footwear and apparel from such brands as Patagonia, On, HOKA, Free Fly, Rainbow Reef and more.  There are currently eight brick and mortar locations with a ninth slated to open later this year in Summerville, South Carolina.  Following the closure of the chain's Virginia Highland store in early 2017, it is without a metro Atlanta outpost but does have Georgia stores in Athens, Augusta and Savannah.  Terms of the deal, which reportedly quietly closed in November, were not disclosed.  Shoe Show Inc., which also owns Shoe Dept., Burlington Shoes and more, operates approximately 1,100 stores in 47 states across all of its brands, according to its website.  

It appears KARV Kitchen may be on its way out in Chamblee.  The restaurant, from Sandy Papadopoulos of Athens Pizza and Shan Holler (formerly of Eclipse di Luna), opened in April 2021 at phase 2 of the Parkview on Peachtree project but is being marketed for lease by its landlord, SJC Ventures.  A listing for the 2,864 square foot space refers to it a "newly built out former restaurant space" despite the fact that KARV is very much still open.    

Harry Potter The Exhibition has been extended again, this time with availability though April 16.  The experiential exhibit, located in the lower level of the former Davison's/Macy's at 200 Peachtree Street Downtown, includes assorted props and interactive elements plus a themed cafe and gift shop.  In addition to the Atlanta outpost, the exhibition is also currently in Vienna and Paris and is coming soon to New York City. 

Zama Mexican Cuisine & Margarita Bar officially celebrated its "grand opening" March 9 in Kennesaw.  The new restaurant, which ToNeTo Atlanta first reported on in August 2021, replaced the old Rafferty's in Barrett Pavilion.  The age and condition of the building led to a myriad of issues which ultimately delayed the restaurant's opening more than a year.    The new restaurant marks the third for owner Juan Carlos Velasquez who operates existing locations in Smyrna and Marietta.  

The owners of Mediterranean eatery Hot Chickpeas have closed their restaurant at PREP off Presidential Parkway near Spaghetti Junction.  Hot Chickpeas opened in 2020 but as with many restaurant's at the hub, it failed to draw enough business for remaining open in their existing location to make sense.  Plans call for the restaurant to resurface in a more visible location in the coming months.  

Guitar Center has made the move in Brookhaven.  The musical instrument retailer was forced to move from their longtime home along the I-85 access road to make for the continued expansion of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.  The new Guitar Center, which we exclusively reported on this past December, is located in nearby Brighten Park.  

Whataburger will open its latest Atlanta area location Monday Wednesday, March 20 23 at 2925 Buford Drive in Buford.  The new restaurant, the Texas-based chain's third in metro Atlanta, joins existing locations in Kennesaw and Woodstock.  The chain has more than a dozen additional units planned for metro Atlanta in the next year or so including those planned for Cumming, Monroe, Covington, Athens, Snellville, and Dawsonville, among others.  

Henri's Bakery & Deli, which opened in the Marietta Square Market in late 2020, has closed.  The restaurant, which served sandwiches and salads as well as an array of baked goods, announced the closure of its Marietta location with a note attached to the entrance of the store Monday, March 13.  "We were unable to come to terms on a new lease renewal and for that reason have chosen to close our operations at the Marietta Square Market," the note said.  Henri's thanked its customers in the announcement and said it is "actively looking for other locations in the area." When Henri's opened it replaced Bread & Butter, another bakery cafe which had originally opened in the market.    Henri Fiscus opened the first Henri's at the corner of 10th and Peachtree Streets in Atlanta in 1929, according to the company's website, and moved its location several times.  Today there are a total of four Henri's: Buckhead, Sandy Springs, Upper Westside and Brookhaven.  


Jim said...

Always the inside scoop, Eli. Great job!

Anonymous said...

Crumbl cookies seems to be growing a bit too quickly. Is there that much of an appetite for 6 dollar cookies?

Anonymous said...

Not surprised at Grand Lux. Even without the pandemic I just didn't see the idea taking off at all. Phipps remains in an interesting place overall.

Anonymous said...

KARV was horrible the 2 times we ate there. Figured they wouldn’t last long.

BigRedDogATL said...

You missed posting about the opening of the Bombay BBQ Company on Windward Parkway in Alpharetta.

Anonymous said...

wow a lot to unpack here; impressive amount of content, well done

Grand Lux Cafe has operated in Houston for 15+ years in a strip mall anchored by HomeGoods and TJ Maxx so this is more an indictment on Atlanta's restaurant scene than on the chain. Atlantans are always fickle and along with Buckhead's devolution into an area of crime, people probably quit going. Also Cotton On is a very urban concept so no surprise they're seeking success in Lenox Mall along with yet another sneaker store.

for as many people that move here and as much success as there is here, this city does have trouble keeping decent establishments open for long

Anonymous said...

The ITP restaurant scene is the worst of any major U.S. city. Maybe Hugh Atcheson will open another mediocre restaurant.

Anonymous said...

Tbh, Grand Lux ain’t even that great. And the location was horrible. They needed better signage and street presence. I don’t think it has anything to do with “crime” or “fickle Atlantans”because we all know Grand Lux and we have enough visitors and transplants to support it. I think The days of those tear restaurants being exciting have passed.

scgirl said...

Will miss HotChickPeas -their food was really good but they only had 5 tables inside and 2 0r 3 outside. Hope they locate close to Chamblee.

fsg said...

Love Karv; their family meals have been a great bring home deal, and the sides are really good. Hope they are just looking for a location with more visibility; suddenly lots of new retail location possibilities along PTree here in Chamblee.

RayAtL said...

We really enjoy Karv and thought it was doing ok.
That’s an odd location for restaurants, I don’t see how 5 guys and “Bad Daddy’s” hang on there but Daddy’s is much more of a bar according to some of the barflies I associate with.

Anonymous said...

That's what's so funny about all the ITP elitists on here, many of which of transplants. The majority of ITP restaurants are nothing special. Of course, there are exceptions.

Unknown said...

Wonder what the real reason is for Lidl to bail on Decatur? There isnt a bridge on L'ville Hwy at that address...I drive by it all the time so that isnt the reason. They could easily move right into the old baby Kroger that just closed in the heart of Decatur.

Anonymous said...

There's a bridge on the property. You can see it on the satellite photo.

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