Thursday, March 7, 2024

[EXCLUSIVE] Owner of Atlanta-Based Multi-Unit Taqueria Looking to Exit the Biz

Several real estate listings and multiple sources close to the situation tell ToNeTo Atlanta that all four locations of Red Pepper Taqueria are being shopped with the possibility that some or all could close in the near future.  The restaurants all opened between 2012 and 2021.  

Red Pepper Taqueria currently operates these four locations:

2149 Briarcliff Road - Toco Hills (2012) 

3135 Piedmont Rd NE - Buckhead (2013)

705 Town Blvd Q310 - Brookhaven (2018)

4555 Ashford Dunwoody Road - Dunwoody (2021)

All but the Buckhead restaurant have active "asset sale" listings on BizBuySell, a business brokerage website.  

Justin Karam is the restaurant's primary owner and when reached by ToNeTo Atlanta for comment on the status of the restaurants indicated that he had nothing to share.  

Karam and his family have been involved in assorted businesses in metro Atlanta for decades with their interests including the six-unit D&K Suit City chain of discount suiting and accessories stores.  The Karams also own Kabob Land, located next door to Red Pepper in Buckhead, and more recently opened Chelo, an upscale Mediterranean eatery on Alpharetta Street in Roswell.  

The Dunwoody location of Red Pepper Taqueria is the only unit to occupy its own freestanding building.  Karam operates the restaurant through Karam Culinary LLC (dba Red Pepper Taqueria) and owns the former Zinburger building through Karam Enterprises LLC.  

The sales offering suggests that Karam is not looking to sell the building, but instead is looking to liquidate the business and sign a new lease with a new restaurant.  

The Toco Hills restaurant, which occupies the 3,200 square foot corner space of the short-lived Artuzzi's in Briar Vista Plaza (the corner of LaVista & Briarcliff Roads), is priced at $200,000.  Monthly rent for the space is $8,900.  Driss Senhaji of Atlanta Business Brokers, LLC, the broker offering the businesses, describes the Briarcliff restaurant as "featuring a modern design, strategically situated in a vibrant Class A shopping center."   

The Brookhaven restaurant occupies a 4,113 square foot corner space in TOWN Brookhaven originally home to Noche and later Jefe's before becoming the third Red Pepper in 2018.  (The listing incorrectly states that the restaurant was established in 2015) The Brookhaven restaurant is priced at $400,000 with gross monthly rent of $17,750 and a lease term that runs through 2036.  Of the Brookhaven restaurant, Senhaji says "This dynamic locale is home to thousands of high-end apartments, numerous national and international retailers, and multiple big-box stores." 

In Dunwoody, where Red Pepper is located in a freestanding 5,595 square foot building, Senhaji again misstates the opening indicating it was established in 2022 when in fact it opened in 2021.  The Dunwoody restaurant is priced at $300,000 with gross monthly rent of $28,907 and landlord [ Karam's] willingness to extend a long-term lease to a "credit-worthy" tenant.  Would-be interested parties are invited to "seize the opportunity to own or expand your footprint with this thriving establishment in the heart of Dunwoody."  

It is believed that the Buckhead location, which shares a wall with Kabob Land, will be absorbed into the Mediterranean eatery until the completion of the restaurant's current lease which is reportedly only a few months away. 

Are you surprised to see Karam selling Red Pepper Taqueria?  What would you like to see open in place of the existing Red Pepper locations?  What is your favorite taqueria in town? 

Please share your thoughts below   


Anonymous said...

This makes me really sad. I love Red Pepper!! I mainly go to the Toco Hills location. Great food and drinks and lots of memories there!!

Anonymous said...

Not surprising to hear. Over-priced fare in that market. Rent is way too high in Dunwoody- no way any operator can survive paying that much. Its a doomed location. Much better alternatives for Mexican food throughout Dunwoody.

Anonymous said...

Sad but not surprised. They weren’t able to keep up with new trends and competition. The current Director of Operations was the biggest nail on the coffin!! Made many changes without doing his homework first causing a lot of great staff to leave. Regulars like myself stopped going!!

Anonymous said...

Unless I got it wrong, I think this article mentions that under another company name, he actually owns the building and dunwoody. That would explain the high rent, in that he’s draining one food operation to ensure the profitability of another being the real estate operation. Would be interesting to know for how long the dunwoody restaurant was paying the real estate entity at that high rate. All of that said, I do recognize that dunwoody is costly, but then again, so is Buckhead.

Anonymous said...

Stopped going a few years back when a server at the Piedmont location added a significant amount to the already generous tip and the manager didn't seem to care.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...