Wednesday, May 10, 2023

[OPENING ALERT] New Mediterranean Eatery Approaching Atlanta Area Arrival

A casual Mediterranean restaurant called Hummus Republic is preparing to open its first Atlanta area location.  The new quick serve eatery will open at the Village at Druid Hills, a restaurant-heavy shopping center at the corner of Briarcliff and North Druid Hills Roads in Brookhaven. 

Hummus Republic will open in a roughly 1,500 square foot space originally home to Penn Station East Coast Subs, a Milford, Ohio-based franchise that previously closed.  

According to Hummus Republic, Mureed Sultan and Rahila Naheed via their Naheed Foods Ltd., Co. are the franchisees of the Brookhaven restaurant.  Both Sultan and Naheed appear new to restaurant ownership.  

The first Hummus Republic opened in 2013.  In the decade since, the Woodland Hills, California-based chain has expanded to 19 locations with twelve more listed as "under construction," including the Atlanta (Brookhaven) outpost.  

The Hummus Republic menu is centered on customizable wraps, pitas, and bowls, as well as "extras" like sweet potato fries, dolmades, and an "earth burger," a vegan falafel burger.  The restaurant also features a variety of lemonades, packaged desserts from "Sweet Street," and a tahini shake.  

Quick-serve Mediterranean restaurants have in recent years had mixed results when opening in metro Atlanta.  

A franchise of New York-based The Hummus & Pita Co. opened in Dunwoody's Ashford Lane in late 2020 but closed less than a year later.  

In West Midtown, a franchise of Mamoun's Falafel, another New York-based concept, opened in early 2020 but is currently being marketed for sale including expansion rights to metro Atlanta.  The listing, which indicates $600,000 was spent opening the restaurant, further says the seller paid $80,000 to acquire the rights for an additional four units.  The business, which reportedly tallied $885,000 in gross sales in 2022, is priced at $395,000.  

Naf Naf Middle Eastern Grill, a Chicago-based fast casual concept, opened its first Atlanta area location this past summer at Sugarloaf Mills in Lawrenceville.  The fledgling franchise was from 2015 to 2021 a portfolio holding of Atlanta's Roark Capital Group.  The private equity firm sold their minority interest in the concept in early 2021.  The Sugarloaf Mills location is to be the first of several units in Atlanta.  

Denver-based Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh operates one location in metro Atlanta but it's a licensed location at Concourse D at Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport.  

Sahara Cafe, a quick-serve concept based on the popular full- service Sahara Cafe in Tallahassee, opened in Chastain Park in 2020 and has developed a significant following with active plans to open a second Atlanta area location.  

Washington D.C.-based Cava entered the Atlanta market in 2021 when it converted the first of ultimately 15 Zoes Kitchen restaurants locally.  The chain has been plagued by frequent food outages, staffing challenges and constant comments from those who blame Cava for "killing off" the Zoes brand. 

Hummus Republic's Brookhaven location is situated across the street from Brighten Park, home to one of the Cava converted former Zoes Kitchen restaurants.  It's unclear how soon the restaurant will open, but it looks like it could be soon, and a recently updated Google listing suggests it will open in "May."  

Have you ever eaten at Hummus Republic?  What is your favorite quick-serve Mediterranean restaurant?  Do you think Hummus Republic will do well in Brookhaven?

Please share your thoughts below.  


Anonymous said...

I’ll give a try, I like Mediterranean food, but we have a lot of delicious independent Mediterranean options, so not sure if a franchise will make it. This spot also has terrible parking at lunch time.

Anonymous said...

Mamoun's on Northside Dr is very substandard, which explains why it is for sale. The so-called meat in the gyro tastes like a mix of grain and unflavored sawdust. I really expected more. No way that place does over $500k per year in sales. Its never crowded and only has a few tables inside at which to eat.

Anonymous said...

too many mediocre places opening

Alex said...

These strip mall Mediterranean places are just not that good.

Anonymous said...

Menu appears to have much healthier options than most restaurants in the area. I’m sure the business will make a killing during lunch hours in that location.

Anonymous said...

Cava, much like Zoe’s before it, has good enough food. Their service is awful, slow and their restaurants are so disorganized.

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