New/Closed Restaurants – April 2011

Every Friday, Roots in Alpharetta features an article on food and dining in a series I like to call Foodie Friday.

There’s a lot happening in Alpharetta’s restaurant scene. Let’s get right into it.

The Spot – Closed

I thought this mom and pop dive burger joint was underrated. Looks like they are gone. Can we officially declare Alpharetta’s burger craze over?

Mr. Taco – North Point

That’s MISTER to you, bucko! They are looking at a space in the Caribbean Fiesta shopping center, 4000 North Point Pkwy at the Old Milton intersection. That’s already a very crowded shopping center at lunch. I would imagine they are part of this metro Atlanta chain. Looks like lower end ubiquitous Mexican food.

Spice Brick Oven – North Point

Back in February I hinted at this restaurant. More is known now thanks to a post at 285foodies.com by chefmoss. This will be a tapas joint run by the same restaurant group behind Sage Woodfire Grill and North Point Diner. I was excited to hear that news. It’ll be a welcomed addition to Alpharetta’s culinary wasteland that is North Point by the mall. Will it have that swanky cougar bar feel that Sage has?

Sen Vietnamese – Closed

This was a small but beautiful restaurant near the Target on GA-141 in south Forsyth. Now follow along, this gets a bit crazy… They have closed and may soon be replaced by…

The Crab Trap – South Forsyth

Thanks to my wife for spotting this one. Looks like they will be taking up shop in Sen’s old place. I know nothing about them but have a sneaking suspicion they are the folks that were behind…

Shrimp Basket – Closed

No surprise about this place. They never even bothered making a real sign to hang on their restaurant. This little Milton eatery is gone. Nothing in this strip mall will do well. These guys have a history of opening little seafood joints that never last long. Just got a hunch that The Crab Trap is their next gig.

Zola Italian Bistro – Moving

Zola will move down the road a bit. They will take over the old River Tavern space at GA-9 and Bethany Bend. This spot has killed a lot of restaurants but I think Zola will thrive here. They have a operated in Milton (in a poor location) for many years and have a loyal following. I’ve only been there once. If I want Italian and I’m in this part of town, I’m hitting Casa Nuova. But Zola’s new digs might be worth another try.

Uncle Louie G’s Italian Ices – Johns Creek

I usually don’t talk about new froyo joints because I simply can’t keep up. I mention this place because it isn’t froyo. That fact alone excites me. They are in the small strip mall with Rosa Mia on Jones Bridge in Johns Creek. Looks like a franchise out of New York. All the Italian ice and ice cream is shipped in. They seem to tout that. I’m not sure why they can’t make it in house, but that’s fine. Flavored ice isn’t my thing so I tried the ice cream. Pretty good stuff! Very dense. They are worth a shot, especially if you’re a displaced and reloed New Yorker.

7 Responses to “New/Closed Restaurants – April 2011”

  1. Larkemon April 15, 2011 at 2:11 pm #

    If it’s the same Mr. Taco as the one over on Holcomb Bridge west of 400, it’s a very welcome addition IMO. My favorite Mexican in the area. Very good carnitas with excellent salsa bar. In fact, just got back from there and their carnita torta is still one of the best sandwiches in the area!

  2. jimgilvin April 15, 2011 at 4:43 pm #

    I hate that I never made it by the Spot. Seems a lot of good places close before I ever get around to trying them.

    BTW, Shiraz on McGinnis Ferry next to Cinco’s has a help wanted sign today so they must be planning to open soon.

  3. Travis Allen April 18, 2011 at 9:55 am #

    I’m really going to miss The Spot, I thought their burgers were great and made it a point to go as often as I could.

    As for Zola moving, I don’t think the location had anything to do with the first few tenants that were located there.

    1. Foster’s Grille – Owner had two locations, with tough franchise restrictions, which certainly limited his menu. Once out from under them, his new idea just didn’t catch on.

    2. Mikes 57, believe he had some financial issues, including but not limited to an employee stealing a lot of money.

    3. River Tavern, great idea, but I never really see these types of restaurants catching on around here unless the food is excellent and the location a little nicer.

    That said, I think only River Tavern might have suffered due to the location itself. I’d consider it a high visibility spot given the Starbucks and the huge crowds that drive through to Publix and El Azteca.

  4. Lee April 18, 2011 at 3:55 pm #

    @Jimmy – I mentioned Shiraz in this column a month or so back. Do you think they are the same folks behind the Persian restaurant on Jones Bridge?

    @Travis – I thought Foster’s made a pretty decent burger back in the day, and their fries were good. River Tavern was pretty good but I agree… folks around here can’t seem to grasp the gastropub concept. RT’s chef (McFarland I think was his name) has talent. I’d imagine we’ll see him again.

    And don’t forget that O’Keefe’s Gastropub was here for a short time. So Zola will make the 5th restaurant to open here. And while this location does have visibility, it is somewhat hard to get to, having to navigate a lot of parking lot.

    And thanks to Gene Lee (no relation) from the AJC for linking to this article!

  5. Bob Strader April 20, 2011 at 5:05 pm #

    I’m so frustrated with Zola. At my first visit, years ago, I loved them. The owners and staff are great. But they haven’t changed there menu at all and it’s getting a little tired. I want to still love these guys….The new location will be the death of them – that spot stinks.

  6. Tyrone Biggums May 9, 2011 at 6:09 pm #

    Is Anna’s Kitchen out of business? They are supposed to have great Jamaican food. I went to eat lunch there a few weeks ago and the woman said they were closed for a family emergency. I’ve called many times since then and there is never any answer. Also, their website seems down.

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