Monday, April 10, 2023

Bits & Bites

Funky clothing retailer Psycho Bunny is opening a second Atlanta area outpost.  Following the brand's Atlanta area debut in late 2019 at Lenox Square in Buckhead, a new Psycho Bunny is coming to Perimeter Mall in Dunwoody.  The new Psycho Bunny is replacing current Francesca's on the second floor of the suburban mall.  For its part, Francesca's is slated to reopen in a smaller space elsewhere in the mall.  Sources close to the mall tell ToNeTo Atlanta that the new Psycho Bunny is slated to start construction in about a week and open in "late summer."   

Also at Perimeter Mall, Buffalo Wild Wings is finally slated to open Saturday April 22 in an outparcel of the mall at the corner of Hammond Drive and Ashford Dunwoody Road.  The new restaurant is expected to serve as a "flagship" location for the brand which is owned by Sandy Springs-based Inspire Brands, itself an affiliate of Atlanta-based private equity firm Roark Capital Group.   The new 7,400 square foot restaurant has been in the works since at least 2019 and has been under construction for what feels like two years.  It's unclear what delayed its progress and company representatives have never responded to our multiple phone, email and facebook inquiries over the past year.  

In related news, sibling Inspire Brands concept Sonic is also nearly completion on a new concept restaurant in nearby Sandy Springs.  The new Sonic is opening at 5903 Roswell Road, just north of I-285 where its newly built restaurant replaced a shuttered Boston Market.  Sonic reps have been similarly unhelpful in confirming an expected opening, but the restaurant seems to be fully built and actively training new employees, so an opening seems imminent with an opening reportedly planned for April 17.  

Crunch Fitness is opening several new clubs in metro Atlanta.  In the coming months new Crunch Fitness facilities are planned for Buford, East Cobb, Tucker and Kennesaw.  Notably, the Tucker location will open in place of the former Publix at Hugh Howell Centre, and in East Cobb will open in place of the former Marshalls in Eastlake Plaza (formerly Marshalls at East Lake shopping center).  In both instances the former anchor tenants of the respective centers relocated to other centers nearby.  The New York-based fitness franchise, which in 2009 filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and exited the Atlanta market, currently has more than 400 locations worldwide including 13 across Georgia.  The company this past September opened in a former Office Depot in Highland Plaza, also in East Cobb.  

In other Eastlake Plaza shopping center news, instant delivery service goPuff, which opened in the center in early 2022, has closed.  The Philadelphia-based business opened in the center alongside San Francisco-based rival Doordash, which opened a similar fulfillment facility in the center in 2022.  It's unclear when exactly the business ended operations in the center, but its 4,500 square space is actively being marketed for lease by property owner Brixmor.  

A local franchise of 1000 Degrees Pizza has closed on Cobb Parkway in Marietta.  The quick-serve pizza joint occupied a 2,500 square foot space in a multi-tenant outparcel of the Walmart-anchored Marietta Trade Center project, not far from The Big Chicken.  Following the restaurant's closure, the New Jersey-based franchise will operate just one location in Georgia: Chastain Road in Kennesaw.  The twenty-something unit chain was acquired by real estate investor Amandeep Judge this past October, who this past month also acquired My Pie Pizza, a Phoenix-based franchise with one Georgia location in Albany.  Even combined, 1000 Degrees Pizza is dwarfed in size by industry titans Blaze Pizza (330+ locations) and MOD Pizza (500+ locations).   

Cava, which entered the Atlanta market in 2021 with its first batch of Zoes Kitchen conversions and today operates eighteen restaurants throughout the state, has inked its first deal in the market unrelated to Zoes.  A new Cava will open alongside Tropical Smoothie Cafe and Rusty Taco in the upcoming  Publix-anchored Summerhill Station along Hank Aaron Drive near the former Turner Field in Summerhill.  In addition to the existing eighteen Atlanta area locations, new Cava restaurants are currently under construction in Emory Village, Snellville, and Peachtree City, where conversions of the final Atlanta area Zoes Kinchen restaurants are taking place.    

A franchise of Atlanta-based Scoville Hot Chicken has closed in East Cobb.  The restaurant, the first franchise to open and fourth location overall, debuted in October 2021 and closed recently.  Local real estate brokerage The Shumacher Group and its Senior Vice-President-Associate Broker Steve Josovitz are marketing the business for sale.  According to the sales offering, the roughly 1,500 square foot, "fully equipped, turnkey" restaurant, and its nearly $6,000 a month "all in rent" can be yours for only $100,000.  The restaurant is located in the Kroger-anchored Sandy Plains Centre at the corner of Shallowford and Sandy Plains Roads.  Scoville and its tech-heavy, labor-light model expanded quickly during the pandemic, but the East Cobb location is now the third closure for the eight-unit fledgling chain.  An Athens location closed in 2022 as did an outlier outpost in New York.  

Burger King has closed its restaurant at 1190 Ernest Barrett Parkway in Kennesaw.  Records indicate that the roughly 3,500 square foot restaurant was built in 1989 and was operated by Atlanta-based GPS Hospitality.  One of the nation's largest Burger King franchisees, GPS Hospitality still operates several Burger Kings in metro Atlanta including three others in Kennesaw on Barrett Lakes Boulevard, Wade Green Road and Bells Ferry Road.  


Anonymous said...

Happy about Crunch opening in Tucker and glad it is taking that space in the Hugh Howell Centre.

Anonymous said...

Mmmmm......Sonic. NOT!

Anonymous said...

what's wrong with sonic? I've never actually eaten any of their food. The one near N. Dekalb Mall was not too far from me, but it closed long ago.

Anonymous said...

Bummer about Scoville. I had it a few times and liked it, but I would forget it was there half the time.

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