Sunday, December 20, 2009

Just Loaf'n opens in Buckhead!

With the Mrs. being from New Orleans, I was personally excited to learn that Just Loaf'n is finally up and running in Buckhead. To date, Parish is the only establishment in Atlanta that has come close to emulating the cuisine and atmosphere of the Quarter...although it still can't touch Jacques-Imo's.

Priced right and offering the traditional plates such as po'boys, andouille sausage gumbo, jambalaya, catfish, red beans & rice, and soft shell crab, Just Loaf'n is definitely making a run at bringing Cajun Country to Hot'lanta. Fried gator tails, Zapp's chips, cajun burgers, dirty rice, fried pickles and the N'awlin's famous SnoBall. Bring your appetites...and your antacids, Just Loaf'n is "New Orleans Done Right" (Atlanta Magazine).

Just Loaf'n is located at 3173 Roswell Road, next to Rio Grande and Genki in Buckhead. Cheers!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Raving Brands to sell Boneheads

Raving Brands has entered a deal with BH Acquisition LLC for the purchase of the Boneheads Seafood restaurants name and trademark. The deal was struck Nov. 2 with BH Acquisition LLC, which operates out of Atlanta.

"We are very excited about this deal and for Boneheads," said company spokesperson Argus Wiley. "Raving Brands came up with a great concept, and BH Acquisition LLC is ready to take it to the next level. We have three major things going for us. We have a niche market, a menu full of healthy options and no direct competition. That makes us very desirable as a franchise. I fully expect that our concept will take off in multiple markets in the second half of next year."

Information gathered from:

Monday, December 14, 2009

Concentrics Restaurants brings Bakeshop to Midtown

Jonathan St. Hilaire, one of Atlanta’s foremost pastry chefs, has emerged from behind the scenes at Concentrics Restaurants to open "Bakeshop" in the former Goldstar Cafe & Bakery space at Peachtree Street & 8th Street in Midtown. Positioned on an endcap next to Little Azio and Noodles, the space shares an outside eating area with the other concepts.

Created through a partnership between St. Hilaire, Bob Amick and Todd Rushing, Bakeshop serves an array of pastries, sandwiches, soups, quiches, gourmet coffees, ice cream and sorbets, and salads made with organic and locally sourced ingredients. The space features an open kitchen that will allow customers to observe the chefs and bakers while they work. In addition, Bakeshop plans to provide baked goods to all of Concentrics Restaurants’ ventures, as well as several upscale hotels and restaurants.

St. Hilaire has hired Abigail Swain (Craft) as his sous chef and Susan Rex (H& F Bread Company) to manage the baking operations.
Initially, Bakeshop will operate from 7:00am until 7:00 pm - by 2010 St. Hilaire plans to expand Bakeshop’s menu and hours of operation to include offering a full dessert menu with wine and beer pairings. The dessert bar will be modeled after
Chikalicious, a Manhattan hotspot operated by two former Atlantans whose three-course prix fixe menu solely features creative desserts along with wine pairings.

Information gathered from:

Friday, December 4, 2009

LOLA to soon become "Cantina"

LOLA, Tom Catherall's concept located at Terminus on the corner of Peachtree & Piedmont, will soon be re-concepted. Since opening in 2007, LOLA was recently re-labeled to offer Mediterranean cuisine rather than simply Italian. Unfortunately it still was not enough to save the concept.

Set to open early in the first quarter of 2010, "Cantina" will be a Mexican style restaurant with some elements borrowed from its sister eatery Noche. Similar to what Riccardio Ullio did with the re-concepting of his midtown eatery Cuerno to LUPE Taqueria, the prices at Cantina will be lower and the atmosphere a little more ethnic that LOLA's. Many restaurants have had to go through this exercise with the state of the current economy...fine dining establishments are hurting while the fast-casual and quick-serve concepts seem to be thriving.

Other Here To Serve Restaurants concepts include: Twist, Shout, Strip, Home, aja, Prime, Goldfish, Noche, and Noche Tequila and Tapas Bar.

Information gathered from:

Truva leases former Steak and Ale in Downtown ATL

Newly opened Truva is bringing a taste of the Mediterranean to the hustle and bustle of Downtown Atlanta. Occupying the former Steak & Ale location at the corner of International Boulevard and Peachtree Center Avenue, Truva (meaning "Turkey" in Turkish) is open for lunch and dinner with a continental Mediterranean menu, seafood and steak and a mezza buffet.

Samplings from the dinner menu include a variety of cold and warm mezes such as yaprak sarmasi, vegan stuffed grape leaves with a mixture of rice, pine nuts, and herbs; etli borek, a mixture of lamb, beef and herbs wrapped in phyllo dough; and karides guvee, a Truvian shrimp casserole. The main dish portion of the menu boasts a variety of kabobs as well as gunun baligi, fresh whole fish of the day; kuzu pirzok, roasted young rack of lamb; and tavuk topkapi, chicken breast stuffed with rice, currants and nuts.

The two-level lounge offers a full bar of beer, wine and liquor drinks, and the Ed Seiber-designed décor pleases with comforting blues, shiny silvers and gold and red accents. After 10 p.m., Truva get lively when the belly dancers hit the floor.

Orginally Posted on:

LUPE Taqueria takes over Cuerno in Midtown

LUPE Taquera, Riccardo Ullio's most recent creation, opened its doors on October 20th in the former Cuerno space at 905 Juniper Street. Known for Fritti, Sotto Sotto, and Beleza, Riccardo has opened multiple establishments under the “u restaurants” umbrella. LUPE Taqueria is named for Our Lady of Guadalupe, a religious icon that's practically synonymous with Mexican culture. While Cuerno focused on Spanish-themed tapas and small plates, LUPE is Mexican fare.

LUPE'S queso dip is already making a statement...and their various guacamole dishes are perfect for an appetizer or topping on their taco plates, mixto (ribeye), enchiladas, lengua (beef tongue), quesadillas, or chile relleno. The arugula con mango is a beautiful mixture of jicama, mango, pistachios, lemon, extra-virgin olive oil and honey. For those late-nighters, LUPE serves an array of inventive desserts and offers an extensive tequila selection that is sure to attract its own crowd.

Although the price point ($10-$15 ticket price) isn't reflective of healthy establishments in this economy, the reviews posted to date prove that LUPE is on the road to success.

Information gathered from:

Evos Opening in Midtown Today!

Evos will add their 2nd location in Atlanta today with the opening of their store at Viewpoint, on the corner of Peachtree Street & 7th Street in Midtown.

Positioned directly across from Fresh 2 Order and adjacent to the free-standing Starbucks, this urban location brings Healthy Fast-Food to an area packed with trendy high-rise condos & apartments and one of the highest concentration of office components in the entire state.

Evos prides themselves on serving high-quality food with half the fat. No deep dirty brown grease...everything is AirBaked. Their beef is naturally and humanely raised, hormone and antibiotic free. Evos AirFries are made with real, natural potatoes and complimented by an assortment of unique ketchup flavors. Their milkshakes are made with organic milk and sugar - their Fruitshakes are made with real, whole fruit...not canned.

The Evos stores are built with sustainable building materials and energy efficient lighting and equipment. Guest materials are printed on recycled paper with soy-based inks rather than petroleum-based inks. Additionally, Evos uses biodegradable take-out bags, bleach-free paper, and 100% recycled gift cards.

Jimmy Davis with Colliers Spectrum Cauble exclusively represents Evos in site selection for the Georgia market. Evos is currently open at The Prado in Sandy Springs and plans to open a 3rd location in the Roswell trade area in Spring of 2010.

Information gathered from:

Monday, November 23, 2009

Boardwalk Fresh Burgers & Fries comes to Atlanta

Boardwalk Fresh Burgers & Fries will soon have their 1st location in Atlanta at Hammond Springs shopping center on the southeast corner of Roswell Road and Hammond Drive in Sandy Springs. They will be leasing 2,000+/- square feet on the endcap space across from Jason's Deli and Flying Biscuit. Other restaurant concepts in the center include Chick Fil-A, El Azteca, and The Sunflower Cafe.

As the sister company of Boardwalk Fries - the only national french fry brand in the United States - Boardwalk Fresh Burgers & Fries has nearly 30 years of corporate brand recognition. Brothers, Dave and Fran DiFerdinando created the quick casual concept Boardwalk Fresh Burgers & Fries in 2007. Inspired by the boardwalk in Ocean City, Maryland, the concept provides customers with a fresh, made to order burger and fries experience in a family-friendly, beach-themed environment.

It is also speculated that Boardwalk has signed a lease for space at The Shoppes at Druid Hills at N. Druid Hills Road and Briarcliff Road. The Hammond Springs location is set to open February 1, 2010.

Information gathered from:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hudson Grille now open in Midtown!

Hudson Grille recently look over The Artistry space in Midtown - one block south of the Marta Station at Peachtree Street & 10th Street.

In contrast to being in the bottom of the many mixed-use projects on Peachtree, Hudson has a site to itself...and a pretty prominant patio as well. With plasma TVs facing Peachtree and their Facebook Page with 615 friends already, Russ (General Manager) has planted their roots quickly at this urban location. $2.00 Jager Shorties, $3.00 Herrandura Shorties and $2.75 Sam Adams Pints all day, every day!

Reminiscent of the classic taverns in New York and Chicago, Hudson Grille offers an Old World tavern feel, with very modern appointments. The menu features char grilled steaks, fresh seafood, burgers and desserts from their award-winning Metrotainment Bakery. Revel in 360-degree views of your favorite game or sport on their state-of-the-art sound and plasma screen system. Hudson Grille is the perfect place to catch a game, to meet friends for a great meal or to enjoy drinks at one
of their expansive bars.

Midtown will be their 4th location in Atlanta - others include Alpharetta, Brookhaven, and Perimeter Mall.

Information Gathered from:

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bruegger’s buys Timothy’s World Coffee

Bruegger’s Enterprises Inc., operator or franchisor of the 292-unit Bruegger’s Bakery Café chain, said Friday it has acquired the restaurant holdings of Toronto-based Timothy’s Coffees of the World Inc.

Terms of the deal, which was completed Friday, were not disclosed. Both Bruegger’s and Timothy’s are owned by subsidiaries of private equity firm Sun Capital Partners Inc. Bruegger’s, through a subsidiary called ThreeCaf Brands Canada Inc. will assume ownership of Timothy’s three restaurant brands: Timothy’s World Coffee, mmmuffins and Michel’s Baguette Bakery Cafe.

The restaurants, which are located throughout Canada, are primarily franchised operations. Bruegger’s now serves as the franchisor for the three brands’ 128 stores and corporate owner of 12 company units. In addition, Sun Capital also sold Timothy’s Coffees’ coffee-roasting arm to Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. for about $157 million.

Jim Greco, president and chief executive of Burlington-based Bruegger’s Enterprises, said the company plans to grow all three of Timothy’s restaurant brands. Greco also noted that the deal will be beneficial on a number of levels, including giving Bruegger’s an instant platform in the lucrative specialty coffee segment, something it did not have before.

“This acquisition provides some great opportunities for both companies,” he said. “It is also a great opportunity to share our product expertise. We talk about introducing Bruegger’s at mmmuffins … and Timothy’s Coffee brings to us that expertise on how to make and market espresso-based beverages. This gives us a lot of knowledge we can implement right away.”

Greco said he expects to open the first U.S.-based Timothy’s Coffee unit sometime next year in a northeastern market.
“We do plan to bring the Timothy’s Coffee brand to the U.S., and in Canada intend to expand the Michel’s brand,” he said. “As for the mmmuffins brand, we’re going to explore an introduction to Bruegger’s Bagels, perhaps by co-branding [the two chains].”

“We’ll test that initially at a few stores and see how it goes,” Greco added. “What we’re looking to do is see if we can obtain an average increase in unit volume … and if it doesn’t work, we’ll deal with it at that time.”

Aggregate sales for all three Timothy restaurant brands total about $75 million, Greco noted. He added that Bruegger’s plans to open 15 namesake new stores in the U.S. by the first quarter of 2010. The fast-casual chain reported annual revenue of more than $200 million in 2008. Greco was named Nation’s Restaurant News Operator of the Year at this year’s Multi-unit Foodservice Operators, or MUFSO, conference.

Jimmy Davis with Colliers Spectrum Cauble exclusively represents Bruegger's in site selection for the Georgia market. They currently have one leased signed for a location at Northside Drive and Powers Ferry Road and plan on opening at least three stores in 2010.

Originally posted on:
By: Ellisa Elan

Friday, November 13, 2009

Doc Chey's taking over Stella in Grant Park

Doc Chey's will soon add a 4th location in Georgia when they take over the former Stella space at 563 Memorial Drive. Located in the Oakland Park lofts building (across from Oakland Cemetary), Doc Chey’s Grant Park will feature a large patio, full bar, curbside take-out, and their fresh vanilla-flavored fortune cookies.

When you dive into one of their noodle bowls or stir-fries, you'll be enjoying food prepared from the freshest vegetables and meats, and sauces that are made-from-scratch in Doc's kitchen. The dim sum appetizer consists of a spring roll or dumpling that has been hand-made in Doc's kitchen. Why do they invest so much time and effort in bringing you freshly-prepared Asian food? Because The Doc is confident you will notice and appreciate the quality and freshness of the foods that they proudly serve.

The new location is scheduled to open in February 2010...just in time for Chinese New Year!

Information gathered from:

Thursday, November 12, 2009

BobbyG's coming to Lindbergh City Center

BobbyG's Chicago Eatery will soon be joining Lindbergh City Center in the former "My Panini" space. Located directly across from Taco Mac, the space is 2,406 SF and will have an outdoor patio area fronting Main Street. Firkin Pub recently opened on the opposite endcap from Taco Mac (adjacent to the Marta station) and is starting to grow the night-crowd in the center. With their Chicago-style pizzas and wide selection of wine and beer, BobbyG's will further add to this nightlife and be a great co-tenant with the other concepts at Lindbergh City Center.

BobbyG’s provides an authentic family-friendly Chicago dining experience with their fast-casual North Clark Street sports bar atmosphere. By shipping their products directly from Chicago, BobbyG's strives to provide a truly Authentic Chicago experience. From their Crispy Crust Chicago Style Pizza (Cut in Traditional Squares of course) to their pure beef Vienna Hotdogs, Italian Beef, Italian Sausage, Gyro’s, Polish, and all the traditional Chicago Favorites, BobbyG’s is the only place to experience the Real Taste of Chicago in the Atlanta-Metro area.

Of course there is plenty of variety on their menu to cater to almost any taste... including a selection of Kids Meals, Salads, Burgers and more. For the Chicago Sports fan they carry all da-BEARS Games and have become a haven for all things Chicago. BobbyG’s is not just a restaurant, it's a destination with customers coming from all over the Southeast craving a Taste of REAL Chicago.

Lindbergh City Center will be BobbyG's 2nd location in the Atlanta area. Their original restaurant is located at 13020 Morris Road, on the corner of Morris Road and Webb Road in Alpharetta.

Information gathered from:

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Locos goes free-standing in Sandy Springs

After many years of being inline at the Publix-anchored shopping center at Roswell Road and Trowbridge Road, Locos has moved to a free standing location at 8550 Roswell Road. Formerly occupied by La Strada Italian restaurant, this 4,700 square foot location provides a spacious outdoor patio, large bar, and free WiFi.

In 1988, Jamey Loftin and Hughes Lowrance opened their first Locos Deli and General Store in Athens, Georgia. They sold sandwiches, milk, toilet paper and other basic needs of college students and delivered them to the residents and students around the University of Georgia. Nearly 20 years later Locos is a thriving concept with a new name, Locos Grill & Pub, and has grown to more than twenty locations throughout the Southeast.

In October of 1997, the first franchise store opened in Gainesville, Georgia. Since then, additional franchises have been added in areas such as Macon, Statesboro, Savannah, St. Simons, Valdosta, Auburn and Birmingham, Alabama, and the suburbs in and around Atlanta.

The menu has grown to include appetizers, salads, specialty sandwiches, wings, grilled burgers and entrees, and a variety of delicious desserts. There is truly something for everyone and every occasion on the menu at Locos.

Conveniently located just 0.40 miles north of Northridge Road and Roswell Road, this new location provides excellent visibility in the Sandy Springs market and easy access to residents on either side of GA 400.

Information gathered from:

Sage Woodfire Tavern opening across from Perimeter Mall

After years of being one of Alpharetta's most successful establishments (and one of my family's favorite restaurants), Sage Woodfire Tavern is spreading their wings in Atlanta. They will be taking over the former Houlihan's space at Park Place shopping center, directly across from Perimeter Mall on Ashford Dunwoody Road. The space is 8,413 square feet and will be the 2nd largest restaurant at Park Place behind McKendrick's. Other restaurant concepts in the center include Twisted Taco, Eclipse di Luna, Alon's Bakery and Market, and Cafe Intermezzo.

With daytime populations over 35,000 people in a 1-mile radius and postal counts over 95,000 people in a 3-mile radius, the Perimeter Mall trade area has consistantly been in the top 5 markets for restaurant expansion. Many concepts such as Fleming's and Wildfire have made this area their debut in Atlanta...and I have no doubt that more will follow.

The Sage Woodfire Tavern specializes in new American Cuisine, with global influences, prepared over our live hickory-oak woodfire grill. The menu features an assortment of market fresh fish and seafood, hand-cut steaks, chops, and chicken. Also featured are a wide variety of gourmet salads, unique pastas, hamburgers, and italian panini.

Offering a full bar and live music piped throughout the restaurant, Sage Woodfire Tavern successfully creates a laid-back environment that caters to both the suburbian family and singles looking to socialize.

Information gathered from:

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Bistro Niko Opening at Sovereign in Buckhead

Bistro Niko, the newest addition to the Buckhead Life Restaurant Group, will be an exciting new French bistro. The cuisine will be in keeping with the new lighter version of the classic French cuisine, as is the trend in Paris today. Lunch and dinner will be served seven days a week, with a special brunch menu available on Sunday mornings.

The stunning new décor will have elements of a Parisian yester-year with vintage pieces of art, antique light fixtures from France and a gorgeous red awning covered, sidewalk bistro-style patio that overlooks Peachtree Road.

Bistro Niko is located in the spectacular Sovereign building, located at 3344 Peachtree Road, in the heart Buckhead’s business and shopping district. There are three convenient access points to the Bistro including two traffic-light controlled driveways off of Peachtree Road.

Bistro Niko will provide the perfect venue for business lunches, dinner with friends and family, or for a night on the town. Private dining rooms are available for immediate booking for holiday events, corporate dinners and lunches or parties.

Originally Posted on August 28, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

Uncle Julio's coming to Sandy Springs!

The first Uncle Julio's Fine Mexican Food Restaurant opened in Dallas, Texas in November 1986. Uncle Julio's popularity grew rapidly, and with it came an instant craze for a drink Uncle Julio's named The Swirl, which is a frozen concoction of layered margarita and home-made sangria. Uncle Julio's has grown to fourteen restaurants located in Texas, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Virginia and Florida.

Uncle Julio's is committed to providing only the freshest and highest quality Border Style Mexican Food. With distinctive Hacienda decorating style, we created a unique restaurant concept around original recipes that demand only the freshest ingredients tailored after Uncle Julio's family tastes. Beyond tacos, enchiladas and tamales, Uncle Julio's specializes in marinated and mesquite grilled beef and chicken fajitas, ribs, quail, frog legs, and jumbo shrimp.

Uncle Julio's 15th location will be opening at "Perimeter Town Center" on the corner of Hammond Drive and Peachtree Dunwoody Road in Sandy Springs. Other restaurant concepts in the development include Figo, Dressed, and Rising Roll Gourmet.

Information gathered from:

Monday, October 19, 2009

Wonderful World Burgers & More now open in Emory Village

Often burger joints are blasé and trite, but Steven Chan’s, owner of Tin Drum Asia Café, latest venture, Wonderful World Burgers & More, sit on no such grill.

Across the street from Doc Chey’s Noodle House and a few steps from Rise-N-Dine in Emory Village, Wonderful World revolves around slider-size burgers in addition to daily specials.

“I just want this place to be a very simple neighborhood restaurant where people can enjoy inexpensive food,” Chan said.

The restaurant emulates the Varsity in that you order at the counter and wait for your number to be called. On the other hand, the food here is much more serious.

Chan’s signature Wonderful Burger, the patty never frozen and the bread homemade, is a testament to simplistic excellence. A well-seared hand-patted quarter-pounder, a BBQ pickle just sour enough before being offensive, a grilled buttery bun and a house sauce with just enough punch without masking the meat, gave this burger everything an excellent traditional burger needs without becoming avant-garde.

Wonderful World is no one-dish-wonder either. Chan’s fries, made from Yukon potatoes and finished with sprinkles of dill and cracked salt, took me completely by surprise. The fries themselves were not salty, so the alternating moods between salty and non-salty bites thanks to the cracked salt worked well. The two garnishes of dill and salt gave the fries an almost French-onion dip appeal, making the addition of ketchup completely unnecessary.

Not to be outdone by the fries are the tempura-battered onion rings, which were sweet, peppery, crisp and not nearly as greasy as most are. On the downside, saltiness in general is dangerously close to being Wonderful World’s Achilles’ heel. Chan’s hotdog drizzled with teriyaki sauce and mayonnaise and topped with seaweed best exemplifies the salty flaw. Visually suspicious to say the least, the teri-mayo hotdog was as salty as it was surprisingly tasty, making it difficult to say which trait was more dominant.

Chan’s goal to create a comfortable neighborhood restaurant is clear in the daily specials. Comforting, warm and downright tasty, Thursday’s Chinese braised pork shoulder with a soy-honey sauce reflected well-executed Asian flair despite being a tinge salty. Friday’s curry-battered fried chicken wings with Thai sticky rice and salsa were overall tender and juicy. Beyond my wrestling with a batch of improperly cooked sticky rice, the salsa-rice combination proved fairly uninteresting.

For those looking for healthier alternatives, the verdict is mixed. The chop-chop salad, the only salad on the menu, was a sad story. The ginger-sesame dressing, equally uninspiring and stereotypical as found in many Japanese restaurants, made what could have been a refreshing salad of crisp romaine, boring. But the veggie burger was a remarkable creation and would have pleased even the most carnivorous of appetites. The light avocado spread on the bottom bun pulled spicy punches, while the burger made of mushrooms, carrots, taro roots, green beans, onions and sesame seeds came together so seamlessly it was impossible to identify its makeup, much less be offended.

The décor and atmosphere of the restaurant paid further homage to Wonderful World’s simplicity. Three long, wooden tables accessorized with tall wooden bar stools gave the restaurant comforting communal vibes. Further wood-paneling on the walls, from which no posters or signs hang, grounded the décor in both classy and country roots.

Finally, plain light bulbs dangled from the ceiling to complete a style which could be called country minimalism.

As for service, food was literally hot off the grill and always arrived in a timely manner.

Eight dishes and $24 later, I found myself somehow falling for this burger joint, which has taken everyday items and made them noteworthy. Chan has not reinvented American classics, but has glorified them in their traditional form. And at a restaurant where entrees are $3.75 and below, Wonderful World has great potential to be not

Originally Posted on October 5, 2009
By Evan Mah,

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Thumbs Up Diner opens in Roswell

Thumbs Up Diner has finally joined the Roswell community with the addition of their 5th location in Georgia. Located at 1140 Alpharetta Street, this location will continue to serve breakfast throughout the day with whole wheat biscuits and homemade berry preserves, stone-ground grits and "the Heap" of fried potatoes.

Formerly a long standing institution on W. Ponce de Leon Ave in Decatur (remember the front and back dining rooms?), Thumbs Up Diner relocated to downtown Atlanta on Edgewood Avenue in the Historic Fourth Ward, just three blocks east of Boulevard Ave and adjacent to the Martin Luther King Jr. Historic District. Now almost a decade later with three more locations opened, Thumbs Up continues to set the standards in breakfast and beyond.

Why do people continue to flock to Thumbs Up? Here are a couple of reasons: they feature 100% pure Vermont Maple Syrup; all of their salmon, Italian sausage, turkey and chicken is smoked in-house; all of their orange juice and grapefruit juice is 100% fresh squeezed; their jams, multi-grain buscuits and stone ground grits are all homemade. The omelets are fluffy but with backbone, cooked to order; the heaping slices of French toast will change your view of religion and possibly politics. Lunch is also worthy, whether you opt for eggs and bacon, a stuffed spud or a chopped salad.

Information gathered from:

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Bento Sushi-To-Go opens in One Buckhead Plaza

Bento Sushi-To-Go recently opened next to Nava and Chops on the corner of Peachtree Road and W Paces Ferry. Offering a wide array of sushi rolls, salads, and appetizers, Bento prides itself on providing fresh fish and good service at very reasonable prices (average ticket price of $9.00).

What is "Bento"?
Bento is a single-portion takeout meal common in Japanese cuisine. A traditional bento consists of rice, fish or meat, and one or more pickled or cooked vegetables as a side dish. Most of our meals have all of that rolled into on sushi roll. We have embraced that concept to provide our customers with high quality "sushi to go" at affordable prices. But if you'd rather eat in, you are more than welcome to.

Come In
Our restaurants provide a nice break for those who come in. The contemporary decor, the high energy music, and the quality Asian/fusion cuisine will reinvigorate all your senses.

Our Food
We make our non-traditional Asian/Fusion cuisine fresh every day. We know the importance of fresh seafood, crisp vegetables and food that is prepared with high-end quality in mind. Ranging from sushi rolls to healthy salads and appetizers, our delights are geared for both dine-in and on-the-go clientele.

Originally Posted October 11, 2009

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Burger Club opening in Vinings Jubilee

The Burger Club will soon take over the former Atlanta Bread Company building in Vinings Jubilee. This will be the latest of Chef Paul's restaurants, the existing concepts being Social Vinings and Paul's Restaurant

The Concept:
A fancy burger joint that serves a variety of creative burgers, hot dogs/homemade sausages, salads, and sharing appetizers. This restaurant would be family oriented with a heavy emphasis on children’s activities. At night guests can enjoy a full sleek bar boasting burger friendly martinis.

The Look:
A hip bar with plasma tv’s, booths, draft beer and some lounge seating where one can enjoy smaller versions of our burgers as bar snacks. Artist renditions of the burger would cover most the restaurant, wether abstract, traditional, photographs, or murals. Contemporary lighting and pendants would make the bar and booths glow, while maintaining a level of casual but hip. The patio would contain an outdoor bar plus community type seating for larger parties or families. This all while maintaining the small town neighborhood restaurant feel.

The Menu:
The menu, even though centered around burgers, would be up to the standards of Chef Paul and Great Food Group Inc. We will have full menu of milkshakes including, Rum, pineapple & vanilla ice cream, Creme de Menthe & white chocolate and vodka raspberry. The traditional milkshakes and root beer floats will also be featured for the kids. Our menu would also feature a variety of kosher hot dogs and homemade sausages, with homemade relishes and mustards. We will concentrate heavily on the youth of Vinings with children’s coloring contests, toys with every meal, children’s birthday parties with burger buffets and ice cream cakes, and a tile coloring contest. Children would paint their idea of the perfect burger on construction tiles which would be used to cover the walls in the restaurant. The winner would win a free party and would help place their tile in the restaurant.

Take Out:
As with every great American burger joint, we will have curbside take out.

Hours of Operation:
We will be open 7 days a week, lunch and dinner, including all day Sundays.

Originally posted September 30, 2009
by Great Food Group, Inc.

Publik Social House opening next to The Fox Theatre

Publik Social House sits right at the corner of Peachtree and North Ave. As the restaurant is directly next to the Fox Theatre, across from Gary Mennie’s Livingston, and near quite a number of other eateries, it might seem a less than ideal. Normally, I’m really apprehensive when ownership takes one concept, uproots it, and then comes back with something totally different. On the surface, it would appear that the owners of Publik, who previously operated Bazzaar out of the same space, did just that. However, such isn’t exactly the reality. Open just a handful of weeks, it was high time I had some food there and check out this renovated lounge. Though parking can be somewhat problematic, the location should flourish as a restaurant. With all the foot traffic for shows, eating is much more of a priority than partying on that block.

Originally Posted October 7, 2009

BOCADO opening in Midtown West

Bocado is slated to open “early October” (um, isn’t that like, now?) on the Westside, across the street from Octane. Owner Brian Lewis has hired chef Todd Ginsberg for the eatery’s kitchen, and the digs are sure to be groovy, from the hot design group ai3 (fast taking over the restaurant design realm once dominated by Bill Johnson — Flip, 4th& Swift, Aja and Holeman & Finch are all in the creative group’s repertoire).

Ginsberg is taking the menu in a different direction than I had originally thought: sandwiches and small plates sure to lure the Westside’s lunch crowd out of their offices and into the small space’s dining room. With a name like Bocado (which means “snack” or “mouthful” in Spanish), I was hoping the focus would be on real Spanish tapas.

Still, Ginsberg is a formidable chef, and promises to “blend familiar, fresh ingredients with a distinctive twist,” offering goodies such as sandwiches of roasted Thai cauliflower; local eggplant with cilantro and spicy mayo and roasted leg of lamb with fennel and red onion. Small plates include sautéed Point Judith squid with celery, mint and chili flakes and roasted baby beets with valbreso (yum!), olives, capers and Balsamic vinegar.

Lewis comes to Atlanta from Alabama, having owned now-closed Table in Birmingham. Bocado is located at 887 Howell Mill Road. For more information, call 404-815-1399.

Originally Posted October 7,2009
By blogs.ajc

Fuze Burger opening at Ponce de Leon Ave & Briarcliff Rd

265 Ponce De Leon Ave, Midtown
(404) 685-9988

Bringing different cultures together can be difficult, but when it works, it's a beautiful thing: just look at the Olympics, where athletes from every country come together under the banner of peace, understanding, and having sex with each other, except the shot-putters, who are just gross. Spanning cultures with burgers and bevs, Fuze.

Overtaking the former Thai Palate digs, Fuze mashes Asian and continental flavors to make dominant burgers and cocktails, served on both a small front patio and in a 65-seat dining room with hardwood floors, zigzagging red & white triangles on the ceiling, and a snake-like hanging 30' paper tube light which the staff calls "condomnation", aka, "not Vatican City". The chef's focus on distinctive ingredients and exotic aromas/flavors (curries, shallots, etc) comes from working in his family's NYC Chinese restaurant since age 16; never-frozen angus burgers include the Mexicana (w/ cheddar, guac, sour cream & jalapenos) and Kung Pow, heaped with red & green bell peps, onions, & spicy Asian sauce; non-angus burgers range from ground lamb (w/ ginger wine sauce, tomato tartare, dill) to turkey, wasabi-glazed Kobe, and pulled chicken, who's just glad he wasn't also choked.

For imbibables, you can build your own mojitos, Caipiroskas, and spiked lemonades with standard or flavored vodka, rum, or alternate spirits (Veev, PAMA, Canton); mixologist Jazmin Ho has also created a list of libations repping major ATL streets, such as the grape-Kool-Aid-like "Edgewood Avenue" w/ 3 Olives Grape, orange liqueur, cran & fresh lime juice, and the "Buford Highway", with Herradura, Thatcher's Organic Elderflower, Chambord, sour, and Thai chili slices, which is "violently shaken", as was every Minnesotan's hand on Jesse Ventura's road to governor.

Fuze also brings it with the beer selection, including drafts like PBR, Sweetwater I.P.A., and Rogue Chocolate Stout, plus 11 bottles like Sierra Nevada Kellerweis & Torpedo, Rogue Dead Guy, and McSorely's Irish Black -- a name suggesting two cultures coming together to make you text ex-girlfriends.

Originally Posted October 1, 2009
By Thrillist Atlanta

Friday, October 9, 2009

Bruegger’s Greco named Operator of the Year

James Greco, chief executive of Bruegger’s Bagels, was named Operator of the Year by Nation’s Restaurant News during the publication’s Golden Anniversary Celebration held here Monday.

Hundreds gathered at the Hilton Anatole hotel for the event, which was presented in conjunction with NRN’s 50th annual Multi-Unit Foodservice Operators conference.

Greco was selected for the honor by the readers of Nation’s Restaurant News from among this year’s six Golden Chain award winners. In addition to Greco, they were Chuck Fallon, president of Burger King North America; Phil Friedman, chairman and chief executive of McAlister’s Deli; Jeffrey Harvey, president and chief executive of Burgerville; Randy Kibler, president and chief executive of Bojangles’ Famous Chicken ’n Biscuits; and Cameron Mitchell, president and chief executive of Cameron Mitchell Restaurants.

Greco, who joined the then-struggling Bruegger’s in 2003, has been instrumental in guiding the evolution of the bagel chain. Under his leadership, Bruegger’s has grown to 290 units and now posts annual systemwide sales of $200 million. Greco has also overseen updates to the restaurants’ decor and the expansion of the menu to include house-made breads, sandwiches, and wraps.

“This is not so much a recognition of me, but of the 3,400 members of my team who work to create memorable guest experiences 600,000 times a week,” Greco said when he accepted his Golden Chain award.

When he was announced as Operator of the Year, Greco said he was surprised and noted how moved he was by a tribute to industry legend Norman Brinker earlier that evening.
“I hope some day that I can help others to further their careers in the same way he did,” Greco said.

Also at the event Monday night, Richard Melman, founder and chief executive of Chicago’s Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, was given NRN’s 2009 Pioneer Award. Melman’s trailblazing restaurant company, which has 78 restaurants representing more than 30 brands, has served as a model for numerous other multiconcept operators nationwide.

Originally Posted: October 5, 2000
By Christi Ravneberg

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Lenox Square Grill Announces Opening Date

Lenox Square Grill, the newest addition to the CentraArchy Restaurant Management family, announces its projected opening date of October 15, 2009. CentraArchy manages other popular restaurants in the Atlanta area including Tavern at Phipps, New York Prime, California Dreaming (located in Kennesaw and Duluth) and Joey D's Oak Room. The new restaurant will be located at Lenox Square Mall at the main entrance off Peachtree Road.

Lenox Square Grill will open as a full service restaurant offering breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Expect the atmosphere to be family friendly while also appealing to Atlanta's business diners for casual breakfast or lunch meetings. After work, enjoy the lively atmosphere during happy hour and beyond with signature cocktails at the bar.

Lenox Square Grill's menu will feature imaginative, yet traditional comfort foods. For breakfast, try the giant buttermilk biscuit with country ham, egg and cheese; the Lenox Omelet- a fluffy four egg omelet with turkey, bacon and Swiss; or the Challah French Toast - thick slices of Challah bread dipped in cinnamon batter, grilled golden and topped with powdered sugar. For lunch or dinner, enjoy one of the signature LG's Mac Skillets - Cajun Shrimp, Barbeque Chicken, or Cheeseburger - the creative side of their homemade macaroni and cheese; the Pot Roast Sandwich - tender beef pot roast, and a thin layer of mashed potatoes smothered with mushroom gravy stuffed in grilled French bread, or the Turkey sandwich, roasted daily and sliced off the frame with fresh lettuce, tomato, onion and melted Swiss on Rye. Each day, homemade side dishes will be offered along with fresh Ice Box Pies. From the moment you are greeted until the moment you depart, expect the same exceptional service from their highly trained staff as the other concepts in the restaurant family.

Lenox Square Grill seats over 300 guests, including extensive outdoor patio seating and private dining and meetings rooms. The private rooms can accommodate up to 150 guests, as well as a private bar. The rooms are perfect for an early morning breakfast meeting, afternoon lunch, or dinner meeting. The banquet rooms are also great for holiday parties, wedding receptions, business gatherings and luncheons.
The interior décor and ambiance is similar to that of sister concepts Joey D's Oak Room and Tavern at Phipps. As guests enter through the main entrance they are greeted by an open, spacious bar with high ceilings. There are modern mirrors, classic black and white photos, and dark stained wood throughout, with an open show kitchen. Lenox Square Grill has an inviting bar, and the dining area is furnished with large horseshoe booths and tables draped with white table cloths. Expect it to be classic, casual and comfortable at Lenox Square Grill.

About CentraArchy Restaurant Management
CentraArchy is a multi-concept restaurant company that operates nineteen locations under nine brands: California Dreaming, Joey D's Oak Room, Tavern at Phipps, New York Prime, Gulfstream Café, Carolina Roadhouse, Fiesta del Burro Loco, Frank Manzetti's Tavern, and Chophouse '47. The menus focus on fresh ingredients with a homemade touch in spectacular open kitchens. The restaurants appeal to both casual-dining and fine-dining guests by offering high-quality food and exceptional
service by highly trained staff. For more information, visit

Original Posting: September 16, 2009
Georgia Restaurant Association, by admin

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Teela Taqueria Opens in City Walk of Sandy Springs

Located at City Walk of Sandy Springs, 227 Sandy Springs Place, Sandy Springs 30328, Teela Taqueria features an eclectic menu of international favorites and regionally-inspired creations. The a la carte menu allows patrons to mix and mingle, choosing from the more traditional enchiladas and quesadillas, as well as exotic items like Bang Bang Shrimp tacos, Bacon-Stuffed Chorizo taco and Fried Green Tomato BLT taco. A global influence can also be found at Teela Taqueria's bar, which boasts a list of wine and cocktails from around the world. Teela Taqueria will be open seven days a week, serving lunch and dinner Sunday through Thursday from 11am to 10pm, and Friday and Saturday from 11am to 11:30pm.

Teela Taqueria is the brainchild of brother and sister team Nik Panagopoulos and Artemis “Arte” Antoniades. The two originally founded Atlanta favorite Fishmonger Seafood Grill together in 1999 and have since moved on from Fishmonger to create the more wallet-friendly Teela Taqueria.

“We are thrilled to be back in Sandy Springs. The locals are great and we look forward to serving the neighborhood that gave us our previous success. Our guests can expect the same outstanding service they came to know and love at Fishmonger,” said Panagopoulos.

Raised in Zimbabwe with a Greek heritage, Panagopoulos' appetite to become a restaurateur was inspired at an early age, as he observed his mother's techniques in the kitchen while studying his father's successes in opening themed hotels and restaurants around the world. He developed his palate for international cuisine early, traveling extensively and living in South Africa, Greece and the United Kingdom.

Arte Antoniades is an accomplished businesswoman with a background in finance and nearly a decade of ownership and management experience in the restaurant industry. She opened her first restaurant in 1995, after relocating to Atlanta from South Africa, and has since owned several successful businesses in the area, including co-owning Fishmonger with Nik from August 1999 – March 2008.

For more information on Teela Taqueria, please call (404) 459-0477.

Original posting: May 1, 2009
Atlanta Daybook, by Lilian M Raji

Ri Ra Authentic Irish Pub To Open In Midtown

Restauranteurs and Irish natives David Kelly and Ciaran Sheehan are bringing their latest masterpiece, an authentic Irish pub called Ri Ra, to Midtown.

Ri Ra is an Irish phrase that translates as "Celebration and Good Fun", and that's exactly what Kelly and Sheehan are seeking to provide for Atlantans. The new pub, built from the remains of Irish pubs that have been restored, disassembled, shipped to Atlanta and re-constructed under Sheehan's watchful eye, will offer various nightly specials and live events, including Tuesday Pub Quiz trivia nights, Wednesday "jam sessions", where locals will be invited to play Irish music, live acoustic music on Thursday nights and live bands on Fridays and Saturdays at 10 pm. Ri Ra will also have a private party room, called Ri Ra Beag (literally "Small Ri Ra") that will be designed as a mini Irish pub of its own.

The staff of Ri Ra is particularly excited about their menu, which will be a step above traditional pub fare and will feature traditional Irish and regional favorites with contemporary twists. Highlights include Irish soda bread baked fresh in-house daily, Pan Seared Potato Cakes served with balsamic reduction and sour cream, the Guinness BBQ Burger with the restaurant's signature Guinness BBQ sauce, melted cheddar cheese, and onion rings, and Ri Ra's signature Reuben sandwich with Boar's Head corned beef or turkey, crisp sauerkraut, melted Swiss cheese and Marie Rose sauce on grilled rye. The menu will also please those looking for dishes with unchanged traditional Irish flavor with Fish and Chips, Shepherd's Pie, Corned Beef and Cabbage, Irish Boxty (a scallion and potato pancake available with smoked salmon, capers, mushrooms, red onion, and traditional parsley sauce), Beef and Guinness Stew, and the Traditional Irish Breakfast of eggs, bangers (sausages), rashers (bacon), pudding, grilled tomato, and Ri Ra beans.

Ri Ra plans to make its debut in Mid-July at 1080 Peachtree Street at the intersection of 12th Street and Crescent Avenue. The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. Lunch will run from 11 am-4 pm, and dinner will be served Sunday through Thursday from 4 - 10 pm, Friday and Saturday from 4 until 11 pm. Ri Ra's bar will be open until 12 am Monday through Wednesday, until 1 am on Thursday, until 2:30 am on Friday and Saturday, and until 11 pm on Sundays. The restaurant will also offer a special "Happy Hour" menu Monday through Friday from 4 until 7 pm, and Brunch on weekends from 11 am - 4 pm on Saturday and 10 am - 4 pm on Sunday.

For more information, please visit

Original Posting: June 10, 2009
Atlanta Intown Blog

Healthy Fast Food Chain, Evos, Opening Restaurants in Atlanta

Tampa, FL-based Evos is a quick service restaurant chain established in 1994 that bills itself as the "healthy" fast food chain. Serving burgers, french fries (known as "Airfries" at Evos), sandwiches, salads, shakes, and kids foods, Evos uses organic and low-fat ingredients. It now has four locations in the Tampa area, one in California, one in North Carolina, and one in Atlanta.

The Atlanta restaurant, located in Sembler Company's Prado lifestyle center in Sandy Springs, opened in June. A second is scheduled to open this August in the Viewpoint mixed-use project in Atlanta's Midtown. Jimmy Davis at Colliers Spectrum Cable represented Evos in selecting the sites for these stores and the company plans to open two more restaurants later this year.

Healthy Fast Food Inc. is the designated EVOS franchisor for AZ, CA, CO, KS, NV, NM, OH, OK, OR, TX, UT and WA. The company opened its second Las Vegas area restaurant in Summerlin, NV in December 2008. The other Las Vegas area location is in Henderson, NV.

At the end of 2008, EVOS said it had signed area rep and franchise agreements in 15 states to open more than 200 stores over 10 years.

Evos offsets one-third of its restaurant energy usage with renewable wind energy. Additionally, the company purchases Energy Star qualified commercial equipment and uses highly-efficient lighting with an automatic light switch system. To build its stores, Evos incorporates environmentally sustainable materials including zero VOC paints and adhesives; recycled wood panels made of pressed sorghum plant stalks; and eco-friendly flooring materials made from renewable natural raw materials like wood flour, linseed oil, rosin, jute fiber and limestone.

Original Posting: July 7, 2009
CoStar Group By Sasha M Pardy