Friday, May 26, 2023

[EXCLUSIVE] Tupelo Honey Cafe Has Closed in Sandy Springs, Will "Move" to New City

Tupelo Honey Cafe (aka Tupelo Honey Southern Kitchen & Bar) has closed its lone Atlanta area restaurant.  Located in the newly rechristened "Chastain Market" (originally Gateway Chastain) shopping center along Roswell Road in Sandy Springs, Tupelo Honey opened with the project on June 20, 2016 and this past year completed a light renovation of their space.  The restaurant closed quietly Tuesday and by Friday afternoon was already stripped of all exterior signage.    

Tupelo Honey's original location in downtown Asheville was primarily a breakfast and lunch spot but the chain's franchising efforts led them to lean into adding dinner service as they grew the brand.  

According to several local real estate sources, Tupelo Honey never lived up to expectations in Sandy Springs and much like the earlier closure of Urban Cookhouse, the concept seemed unable to capture the attention of the local market in a significant way. Urban Cookhouse's replacement, Snooze, an A.M. Eatery, debuted in the center in early 2021 and likely pulled would-be Tupelo Honey patrons to their pure-play breakfast/lunch menu.  

The Tupelo Honey website indicates that a new location is "coming soon" to Gainesville (Georgia) which according to signage in Chastain Market is where the restaurant is "moving."  Whole Foods Market "moving" from Briarcliff and LaVista to Midtown Atlanta was comical, this "move" is preposterous.  In reality, one location closed and another opened, it's not a "move."

Real estate sources tell ToNeTo Atlanta that the new Tupelo Honey Cafe will open as part of the new Limestone Marketplace development {Intersection of Limestone Parkway (US Hwy 129/S.R. 11) and New Holland Way} in Gainesville.  Limestone Marketplace is currently under construction and will be anchored by a new roughly 55,000 square foot Publix Super Market.  

For reference, the new location, which is slated to open "in 2024," is more than 50 miles and about an hour away from the former Chastain Park restaurant.  Additionally, whereas the Chastain restaurant spanned nearly 7,000 square feet, it is believed that the new Gainesville restaurant will have a smaller, more compact footprint.    

Back in Chastain Market, new owners Coro Realty and Connolly, who via a joint venture, purchased the center in February 2022, have already made some aesthetic improvements including the addition of more greenspace and a "Pigs Fly Sandy Springs" mural.  Additionally, ownership is reportedly in active discussions for several of the project's vacant spaces including the former Cheeky's/Santorini, Sprouts Farmers Market and Tupelo Honey which reportedly had a lease clause that paved the way for their closure if/when Sprouts "went dark" (closed).  

What would you like to see open in place of Tupelo Honey Cafe in Chastain Market?  Are you pleased by the recent streetscape and greenspace improvements at the center?  Other than Trader Joe's, what do you think would make sense for the former Sprouts Farmers Market? 

Please share your thoughts below.  


Anonymous said...

Not at all surprised by this, the food wasn’t that special and was overpriced. Also, that center just doesn’t have enough parking for multiple restaurants.

Anonymous said...

That Gateway Sandy Springs was doomed when it opened. They tore down tons of affordable housing to bring in upscale apartments and expensive food. No one in Sandy Springs wanted our new border to be exclusive. Nearly every business in the Gateway has closed. I live within a 1/2 mile of it, and I swore that I would never patronize the project. Another wasteland of retail.

Anon said...

I am surprised even though I only went once. (too expensive). I thought the Asheville pedigree would carry them. It would seem to attract a different clientele than Snooze (which I frequent) and similar Buttermilk Kitchen seems to thrive. (another overpriced one and done for me.)

Anonymous said...

It would be awesome to open a brewery/green space area along with these restaurants. Kind of similar to halcyon or downtown alpharetta

Anonymous said...

I love this shopping center. One of my favorites is Big B’s fish joint. I would love to see a Del-Bar in this space, a Antica Pizza, or a local(not chain) authentic Italian restaurant.

Anonymous said...

What is Antica Pizza?

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