Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Bits & Bites

Wok Provisions opened August 11 at Walmart-anchored Perimeter Village shopping center (4709 Ashford Dunwoody Road) in a roughly 1,800 square foot space next to Poke Bar.  The new Szechuan Chinese restaurant opened in a space which was most recently home to Pita Mediterranean Street Food. ToNeTo Atlanta exclusively reported on the restaurant this past December.     The new restaurant is similar to, but not an exact replica of, the WOK Provisions on Buford Highway in Duluth which opened last May.  Whereas the Duluth outpost features a primarily Szechuan menu with limited seating, the Dunwoody location features a mix of Szechuan, Cantonese and American Chinese fare.  

The owners of popular Chastain Park quick serve Mediterranean eatery Sahara Cafe will be branching out to Alpharetta for their second location.  Sahara Cafe Alpharetta will be located at 5950 North Point Parkway replacing fellow Mediterranean eatery, House of Hummus.  House of Hummus will stay "in the family," as Sahara owner Hussein Hussein purchased the restaurant from his sister, Samar Hadlow. (Samar's now sole House of Hummus remains in business in Cumming near the Collection at Forsyth.)  Hussein, along with his wife Yusra, plan to renovate the interior and but keep the House of Hummus menu largely intact.  Their first Sahara Cafe opened along Roswell Road in Chastain Park in 2020.    The couple hope to have the new Alpharetta restaurant open by the end of August.  

Watch retailer Invicta has closed its store at Lenox Square in Buckhead.  

TGI Fridays on Barrett Parkway in Kennesaw has closed, paving way for a new First Watch on which ToNeTo Atlanta first reported this past March.  

Icon Buckhead apartments (3372 Peachtree Road) have been re-branded Elora at Buckhead 

Game Stop has closed at Providence Square along Roswell Road in East Cobb.  The retailer's former 1,500 square foot space is currently being marketed for lease.  

Whit's Frozen Custard opened its latest Atlanta area location August 4 in ConneXion in Roswell.  The new shop is located at 1570 Holcomb Bridge Road.  

Spanish fast fashion retailer Mango has opened its first and only Atlanta area location, in Dunwoody.  ToNeTo Atlanta first reported on the planned opening this past May.   Notably, the retailer chose to open in Perimeter Mall (owned by Brookfield Properties Retail) over Lenox Square (owned by Simon Property Group).  The store is located on the mall's second floor, Macy's wing.  

In addition to Mango, Perimeter Mall also recently welcomed funky apparel retailer Psycho Bunny, which opened on the mall's second floor near Fabletics on the Von Maur wing. The new store, on which ToNeTo Atlanta first reported this past April, marks the New York-based company's second in Atlanta, their first having opened at Lenox Square in Buckhead in late 2019.   

In other Perimeter Mall news, Incredible Burger recently opened in the mall's food court, Breakers Korean BBQ at the front of the mall has closed and Doc B's has pushed their planned opening in a new building next to Lazy Dog to "undetermined."  

O'Charley's has closed its restaurants in Villa Rica and Douglasville. The Villa Rica restaurant was located at 921 S Carroll Road while the Douglasville outpost was located at 9320 The Landing Drive, not far from Arbor Place Mall. These closures are the latest in a series of local and regional closures for the Nashville-based chain.  This past June the company shuttered its longstanding restaurant at the corner of Sandy Plains and Shallowford Roads in East Cobb.    In years past, the chain has shuttered several other greater metro Atlanta area locations including those in Buford, Suwanee, Snellville, Kennesaw, Macon, Dalton, Woodstock and Tucker, among others.  

Pachengo’s, the latest concept from Pietro Gianni and Stephen Peterson of popular Italian restaurants YEPPA&co Bar e Ristorante, Storico Fresco, Forza Storico, and newly-opened Dryver Bar, will open on Wednesday, August 16, at 3065 Peachtree Road in the former Storico Vino space at Buckhead Village. The casual Mexican taqueria will eventually offer lunch and dinner service daily but will be open abbreviated hours for the week.  "The restaurant is open for dinner only from 5-10 p.m. on Wednesday, August 16 through Saturday, August 19. The restaurant will be closed Sunday, August 20 and then reopen on Monday, August 21 for lunch and dinner, seven days a week."  

Lobster Banh Mi, a locally owned restaurant which made its debut with a small shop at 3095 Peachtree Industrial Boulevard in Duluth, and was to open a new location at 3432 Clairmont Road in Brookhaven, has seemingly abandoned those plans.  ToNeTo Atlanta was first to report on their planned opening this past December, at which time the restaurant was to open in March.  March came and went as did the following several months before the "coming soon" signage was removed in recent weeks.  The site plan for the center (Skyland Shopping Center) indicates that Sunset Paints (Benjamin Moore) is downsizing slightly and moving from suite 3412 to 3432.  According to the Lobster Banh Mi website, other locations (in addition to the still listed Brookhaven outpost) are "coming soon" to Downtown's Healey Building (57 Forsyth Street) and CODA Tech Square (756 West Peachtree Street) as well as unspecified locations in Chicago's Chinatown, Manhattan's Chinatown, San Francisco's Chinatown and Washington D.C.'s Chinatown.  

Premium denim retailer True Religion is returning to metro Atlanta with a full line store at Cumberland Mall near Smyrna.  The new store, which is opening in a roughly 2,100 square foot space on the mall's first floor not far from Apple, marks the return to area for the retailer which has in years past closed shops at both Lenox Square in Buckhead and Perimeter Mall in Dunwoody.  The company continues to operate an outlet at the North Georgia Premium Outlets in Dawsonville.  

Popular blow dry franchise Drybar will be adding two new locations to metro Atlanta in the coming months.  Already with locations in Buckhead, Midtown and Alpharetta, new locations are slated to open later this fall in Avenue East Cobb in East Cobb and Vinings Jubilee in Vinings.  The East Cobb location is slated to open in November, according to the Drybar website, whereas the Vinings locations is simply "coming soon." 

Slim Chickens plans to take over a former Hardee's and open its second overall outpost in Georgia.  The new Slim Chickens is planned for 612 Northside Drive in Statesboro, in an outparcel of Statesboro Mall.  Hardee's closed its location in May 2022.   The new location is little more than a stone's throw from an existing Chick-fil-A, proving the upstart chain is willing to take on its rival chicken chains head on - even on their home turf.  Slim Chickens, which features a menu focused primarily on chicken tenders, wings, sandwiches, salads, wraps and waffles, entered the Peach State in 2021 in Evans, near Augusta.  The Evans restaurant occupied a converted former PDQ, another chicken-focused chain from Florida, that attempted the Georgia market in 2014 before exiting in 2019.   Established in Fayetteville, Arkansas in 2003, Slim Chickens has today expanded to more than 100 restaurants across nineteen states plus the UK and Kuwait.    

Walk-On's Sports Bistreaux will celebrate its grand opening Monday August 21 at the Avenue West Cobb in Marietta, according to a listing on Google and confirmed by an employee at the Avenue.  ToNeTo Atlanta first reported on the new restaurant this past February.  

Big Sky Buckhead has been rebranded as High Society Buckhead.  The bar and restaurant opened at 3201 Cains Hills Place in Buckhead Village in early 2014 and quickly became a popular late night spot for young people in search of the college bar experience in Buckhead.  

Chef Pat Pascarella quietly opened his latest restaurant, a second outpost of Grana, August 2 at Ashford Lane in Dunwoody.  The new restaurant, which features an Italian-focused menu, is the sibling to the original Grana on Piedmont Avenue in Piedmont Heights which debuted just as the pandemic was hitting in March 2020.  A third Grana is slated to open in 2024 at Southern Post, a new mixed-use development along Alpharetta Highway (Highway 9) in Roswell.   Grana is part of Pascarella's Porchetta Group, which also includes The White Bull in Decatur and Bastone in West Midtown.  

Del Taco has closed its short-lived restaurant along Atlanta Highway in Loganville.  The restaurant, located at 3975 Atlanta Highway, across from North Logan Commons, opened in October 2019 and reportedly closed "about two months ago."   The closure marks at least the fourth in metro Atlanta in recent years for the Lake Forest, California-based chain.  The chain previously shuttered units in Roswell, Milton and East Cobb.  Following the closures, the company continues to operate twenty three restaurants across the state including franchises in Buford, Snellville, Tucker, Woodstock and a pair in Kennesaw.  

The former Del Taco at 850 Mansell Road in Roswell, is slated to reopen soon as "12 Lunar Eatery," a new Asian restaurant.  

Holly Bowls, a new bowls and smoothie concept, opened July 15 in Sandy Springs.  The new bowl business was opened by Holly Morrison, formerly a franchisee of Frutta Bowls, which occupied the space previously.  The new concept is similar but independent, rather than a franchise.   Morrison first opened in the 1,500 square foot space in September 2018.  Holly Bowls is located at 4920 Roswell Road in the Kroger-anchored Fountain Oaks shopping center.  

In related news, Frutta Bowls is returning to metro Atlanta.  A new franchisee of Frutta Bowls opened a new outpost of the bowl and smoothie business in The Collection at Forsyth in Cumming.  The new Frutta Bowls celebrated its grand opening August 12.  Twenty year old Georgia State student  Aahil Lalani is the franchisee of the Cumming location.  Frutta Bowls is owned by multi-concept franchisor WOWorks.   

Rush Bowls has opened in the Kroger-anchored City Walk shopping center, just off Roswell Road in Sandy Springs.  The new bowl joint replaces the short-lived Roll It Up Ice Cream which itself replaced a Baskin-Robbins franchise.  The new Rush Bowls, at 230 Hammond Drive, is just two miles from another Rush Bowls, 1110 Hammond Drive at the Arabelle Perimeter apartments.  

Bar Ti Amo opened August 4 at 3199 Paces Ferry Place in Buckhead.  The new restaurant, which ToNeTo Atlanta first reported on this past February, replaced longtime Buckhead Village favorite Portofino which closed this past September after more than two decades in business. Bar Ti Amo is owned by Marco Betti, restaurateur and owner of Antica Posta Tuscan Restaurant & Bar and Sauce Buckhead Pizza Bar.   The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day but Tuesday.

Royal Spice is the name of the previously un-named new Indian restaurant replacing beloved vegetarian eatery The Loving Hut along Hammond Drive in Sandy Springs.  The Loving Hut closed in the Kroger-anchored City Walk shopping center in July after a decade in business.  The new Royal Spice is the second for the locally owned business following the original in nearby Dunwoody Village.  

GoodFellas Pizza Bar & Grill Cigar Lounge has opened at 2031 Cobb Parkway in Marietta.  The new restaurant replaced Folks Southern Kitchen which closed in the same building in late 2019 after more than 40 years.  ToNeTo Atlanta first announced plans for the new restaurant in November 2020.    The new restaurant is takeout only for now, with plans to open for dine-in service during the third week in August.  The restaurant's menu leans heavily on pizza, burgers and wings, but also features some Greek classics such as spanikopita, mousaka and a gyro platter, among other offerings.  A second former Folks restaurant along LaVista Road in Tucker was also slated to be transformed into a similar concept, but it's unclear what the status of that effort is.  

The owner of upscale Persian & Middle Eastern eatery Yalda plans to open his second location Friday August 18 at the multifamily building Osprey (980 Howell Mill Road) in West Midtown.  The new location is the second from co-owner/chef Ash Famili who debuted Yalda this past December at Aria Village along Abernathy Road in Sandy Springs.      

Snooze an A.M. Eatery plans to debut its newest Atlanta area location Wednesday August 16 at Akers Mill Square near Vinings.  The Denver-based chain which made its metro Atlanta debut in 2021 with a location along Roswell Road in Sandy Springs has since added new locations in West Midtown, Midtown and Alpharetta with outposts coming soon to Buford later this year and Dunwoody early next year.   

A new location of locally owned breakfast & lunch spot J. Christopher's is coming to Alpharetta.  The new J. Christopher's is opening in Brookside Station (4075 Old Milton Parkway) where it is replacing Another Broken Egg Cafe, which closed in the nearly 4,000 square foot endcap space earlier this year.

Dairy Queen has closed at 9859 Highway 92 in Woodstock.  A sign at the restaurant indicates the property has been sold but not what may be opening in its place.  Several quick-serve restaurants have reopened, opened or are opening in the immediate area including Truett's Chick-fil-A (rebuilt former Dwarf House), Whataburger (new) and Raising Cane's (opening).  

Buffalo Luke's abruptly closed its Calhoun restaurant.  The restaurant was located at 273 Highway 53.  The restaurant opened in late 2019 shortly after Cheeseburger Bobby's closed in the space.  Both Cheeseburger Bobby's and Buffalo Luke's are owned by Robert "Bobby" Stoll.  According to the Buffalo Luke's website, locations remain open in Kennesaw, Jasper and Decatur, Alabama with outposts also "coming soon" to Elijay and Dothan, Alabama.  

Hardee's has in recent weeks closed at least two more Georgia locations including one at 701 Highway 53 in Calhoun and another at 323 College Street in Barnesville, about 40 minutes south of McDonough.  ToNeTo Atlanta exclusively reported in April on the closure of more than a dozen Hardee's in Georgia which preceded news of a bankruptcy filing by Summit Restaurant Holdings, owner of the shuttered locations and one of the largest franchisees of Hardee's restaurants nationally.  

Chipotle opened its newest Atlanta area location August 9 in the former Arby's at 8653 Roswell Road in Sandy Springs.  The new restaurant features Chipotle's new "Chipotlane" order-ahead drive thru.  

A new home furnishings store called The Modernist Design Collective is opening at 1218 Old Chattahoochee Avenue and will feature dealers specializing in Mid Century Modern, Vintage Modern, Danish Modern, Modern Home Decor, Vintage clothing and more. The new retail shop is near popular West Midtown attractions The Works, Topgolf and Westside Market.  


Anonymous said...

Sometime ago it was reported here that the two former folks restaurant locations were bought by the family that owns the landmark diner, based on the menu mentioned above, I would assume that plan has continued; at the time it was talked about being a diner as opposed to the themed restaurant, concept describes above. Can you share any more light on this?

Anonymous said...

Yowza! . It only takes a minute to build a Chipotle. I guess they’re that good. Exactly a week ago. It was still an operating Arby’s! I think chipotle would be a good addition to that area. I know that they offered a great penny for that location and made them an offer. They can’t refuse but nevertheless, I’m wondering about the continued lifespan of the other atbys in the area. hammond drive-@ PDR, Peachtree Boulevard @ cdr, etc

Anonymous said...

I want to say there’s also an Arby’s in East Cobb on Johnson ferry Road, that means verification for anybody that knows I’m thinking across from Whole Foods but another location that I know exists is on Roswell Road in East Cobb show me a

Disneypal said...

I am sad to hear that Buffalo Luke’s has closed. Whenever I was in Calhoun, that was my go-to lunch spot.

Disneypal said...

I am sad to hear that Buffalo Luke’s closed. It was my go-to lunch spot whenever I was in Calhoun.

Anonymous said...

Very excited for whits custard in Roswell. They make high quality custard.

Jane said...

any update on the heydey in east cobb?

Anonymous said...

Visited Grana in Dunwoody: Olive Garden quality at La Grotta prices.

Anonymous said...

And the Arby’s beef wheel is still in there too! Guess Chilipote will scrape off the meat and serve it up as tacos.

Anonymous said...

@ anonymous August 16, 2023 at 2:56 AM

Yes East Cobb has 2 Arby's ... The one near whole foods is actually in the same parking lot as Dick's and the new Publix as well as Panda Express and the old Del Taco.

The second one is less than 10 minutes away ... Same road. Near Aldi, Taco Bell, and the new starbucks.

I wish we would get something different in the area like Bonchon Korean chicken, Fazoli's, Jollibee, Martin's, Culver, Whataburger, Hello Hilo, etc ...

Anonymous said...

Also visited Grana. I was going to say Chef Boyardee quality at La Grotta prices. Doesn't the landlord do its due diligence before renting to inferior operations? It won't last long.

Anonymous said...

Eeewww yes! Culver's!

Anonymous said...

Used to go to the Sandy Plains O'Charleys all the time. Sad to see it closed

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