Every Friday Roots in Alpharetta features an article on food and dining in a series called Foodie Friday.
I like to read the blog Tomorrow’s News Today – Atlanta. It features articles on commercial real estate and restaurants. While most of the content is Atlanta-based, occasionally OTP eateries are mentioned. I’ll often banter in the comments when that happens.
The controversial part of this blog is the quarterly DeathWatch series. Predictions are made on which restaurants in Atlanta are likely to close. The blog has a history of being fairly accurate. Predictions are based on facts and reasoning that I think are sound. He’s not deliberately trying to be cruel, even if it comes across that way sometimes. And while I think I could do something similar in Alpharetta, I’m not going to. I don’t wish to invite karma over.
What’s the number one contributing factor to getting put on the death watch? It may be location. A poorly chosen location can give a restaurant a tough hurdle to overcome. I’ve given it some thought and have come up with some of Alpharetta’s worst locations for restaurants. Many of these have claimed multiple victims. Some are vacant and some have eateries struggling to hang on. Yet one of my spots is home to a thriving and hip joint. Go figure.
10595 Old Alabama Connector
Past Restaurants: Taco Stand(current), French Quarter Too, numerous others
I don’t get over to this part of town very often. When I do I almost never glance into this strip mall. It’s hard to make out who’s in here between the out parcels that face the road. Currently the Taco Stand is giving this space a go and had a somewhat rocky start. Bonus points if you can name all the past occupants of this space. I surely can’t.
52 North Main Street
Past Restaurants: 52 Bistro(current), Slice Cafe
This is an absolutely adorable converted home. It’s on par with the cute little restaurants that make Roswell so cool. 52 Bistro and Slice both went for that uppity ladies vibe which fits the space. The problem is location of course. The house isn’t visible from Main Street. Even the parking isn’t on Main. They’ve recently added a sign on the street but it’s shared by another business. Perhaps this place will thrive if Alpharetta can transform downtown into a pedestrian utopia. Unfortunately for 52 North Main, I think most of the walkers will be far south of here.
3070 Windward Plaza Suite P
Past Restaurants: Maryland’s Crabhouse, Loafing Leprechaun, Real Food and Horseradish Grill
I call this development on East Windward the double decker strip mall. It has the potential of holding over ten restaurants plus a few more in the little out parcel behind CVS (where Pig-N-Chik lived). Any restaurant that dares open in suite P is tempting fate. It’s a beautiful space with a nice full bar. Real Food and Loafing Leprechaun both had this place built out well yet failed. Of course it isn’t visible from Windward. And while there are a lot of cubicle dwellers in the vicinity, there is almost no business at nights or weekends. Anything opening on the rear portion of the double decker is at risk these days, not just suite P on the end.
11890 Douglas Road
Restaurant: Kozmo Gastropub
Not every poor location is doomed for failure. Douglas Road is a little back road to Windward, my favorite short cut to Johns Creek. Actually the restaurant doesn’t even face Douglas as the strip mall is perpendicular to the road. Nevertheless Kozmo is here, running one of the most successful and trendy restaurants in all of Alpharetta. Proof that exceptional cuisine can overcome the worst of locations.
I can think of a few other poor locations but I’ll leave it at these. What are Alpharetta’s other poor restaurant locations? In this economy, can anyone operate a successful restaurant in these locations?