Alpharetta Restaurant News – September 2011

Every Friday Roots in Alpharetta features an article on food and dining in a series called Foodie Friday.

I’ve got a lot of changes to report this month. Let’s get right to it!

The Midway Restaurant Scene

The Midway Community of south Forsyth has never really been known for their food scene. For years it’s been home to Casa Nuova, but nothing else has really stood out. That’s about to change! First there was Good Grub Subs, a small sandwich shop. Next came Scootz Gourmet Grill, which I reviewed two weeks ago. Two new joints are in the works, including…

BW Tavern

The folks behind the dive bar Mulligan’s are changing directions. Yesterday I met Alex King, a partner in this new concept. They will close the old restaurant very soon and start an aggressive buildout, slated to take only about a week. In the words of King, the new BW Tavern will “create comforting and interesting dishes while impressing every guest as if they were guest in our home.”

The kitchen will be under the direction of chef Corbett Walsh. His past assignments have included gigs at Stoney River and high-end burger joint The Counter on Mansell Road.

Look for a soft opening sometime in mid to late September with a grand opening in October. I’ll give them a more detailed review at that time.

Woody’s Meat and Sausage Co

The sausage king of Alpharetta? Step aside Abe Froman.

They’ve been building out a strip mall space real close to Scootz for a few months now. Looks like they’ll be grinding their own sausage in-house. They are on Facebook if you want to keep up with their progress. Put me down for a few pounds of andouille, Woody.

Fire Fly Restaurant – Windward

Oh brave souls! These guys are building out 3070 Windward Plaza Suite P! This is the cursed restaurant space I’ve written about. It’s becoming legendary! I don’t know anything about them at this time. More info hopefully soon!

Burrito Gorilla – Closed

I’m taking Jon Agri off my Christmas card list! This guy has created two absolutely outstanding restaurants only to shut them down! First it was Flippin Out, my favorite burger joint in north Fulton. Next came the Gorilla, arguably the best new restaurant of 2011. He shut it down last week. It seems his Dal Cuore Italian restaurant is being received much better by Johns Creek foodies. The Burrito Gorilla space will be used to support this Italian concept.

Azul Agave – Old Milton

They have finally opened! I was there for lunch this week and was amazed at how beautiful this space truly is. On twitter I compared their menu to Tara Humata, which most folks seemed to take as praise. I didn’t necessarily mean it as such. They are certainly a notch above your typical, Speedy Gonzalez-style Mexican restaurant. However I wouldn’t yet put them in the same league as CANS or Pure Taqueria. The lunch prices are also pretty steep. Their grand opening is Friday September 9th.

Shlok Nightclub – State Bridge Road

Alright, not exactly a restaurant here. But it is noteworthy that Alpharetta now has a nightclub. I’m guessing that the owners and/or clientele of this establishment are Indian. An early review on Yelp suggested a diverse group of folks. It’ll be interesting to see if Shlok can make it. They are located a little off the road, behind the new BB’s Bagels.

Coming Soon

I’ll keep a running list of future restaurants here, updating their status when appropriate.

Smashburger Windward – They have announced an opening date of September 28th. Look for them near Einstein Bagels.

La Casa Italian Grill – Looks like they are stuck in permit purgatory. I expect them to open in the former Cafe Efendi space in downtown Alpharetta sometime in September or October.

Dulce Chocolat – Still no word on this chocolate shop on Old Milton. Their website promises a September opening.

Twisted Taco Express – Coming soon to Windward, next to Wild Flour.


7 Responses to “Alpharetta Restaurant News – September 2011”

  1. Greg September 2, 2011 at 8:44 am #

    Wow – I really liked Burrito Gorilla! I have to admit, though, I only went there once in their short life.

    I’ll offer two bits of unsolicited advice to the BG guys (and other restauranteurs):

    1. Cater to the kids. I agree it’s great to have a grown-up concept, but this is still Alpharetta / Johns Creek. That means crayons, something to color, chicken fingers, and mac and cheese. They don’t have to be “the best chicken fingers EVER” – just good enough to keep the kids happy while Mom and Dad enjoy your awesome creations.

    2. Try sticking it out a little longer. You’ve made me a bit gun shy about visiting your Italian place that may or may not exist six months from now!

    Just sayin.

  2. Cool Papa Bell September 2, 2011 at 11:27 am #

    Bobby Bowden, when talking how important it is to be ahead of the curve not behind it said, “The guy who invented the wishbone offense is in the Hall-of-Fame. The last guy to install it got fired.”

    Jon seems to wait until the market is oversaturated then open a restaurant of that cuisine.

    Burgers are perhaps the most overabundant cuisine in local restaurant history. So he opens up a good, but not as good as others burger joint.

    True, the Mexicali concept of BG may have been a slight niche, but I think most people saw “Mexican” and said the only thing we may need less than another burger place is another Mexican.

    In recent years, Italian restaurants have exploded in the area. One of the best is RosaMia’s right down the street from his new restaurant. Two years too late on that concept. Again.

    Surely in 2012 he will open a froyo place. You heard it here first.

    Let me think a bit about the second best new restaurant in Alpharetta in 2011. But Bite is so far and away the best in years, much less 2011.

    Not sure if BB’s is disqualified as “new” because it’s actually a second location, but that would probably be No. 2.

  3. Lee September 2, 2011 at 8:46 pm #

    Very good comment, Cool Papa. Between Trattoria one 41 and Rosa Mia, Johns Creek is very saturated with nice Italian joints. At the same time, I think the northern burbs have lacked in this category for years. There’s probably room and pent up demand for all three concepts to do well.

    I’m ashamed to admit that I haven’t yet been to Bite. Just can’t work it into my schedule whenever I want to go.

  4. Mike September 3, 2011 at 11:14 am #

    Shlock is in Johns Creek, not Alpharetta.

  5. Travis Allen September 4, 2011 at 4:03 pm #

    Say I have a boring pallet if you like but I haven’t been back to where Mulligan’s is since they closed Buffalo’s.

  6. SCSA September 7, 2011 at 10:24 pm #

    In reference to an earlier foodie friday post about the guys trying to start the beer place across from the Avenue, the place in Roswell that sells growlers is closing. I got an email from them saying that they are having a Going out of business Sale. Sad.

  7. Jon February 8, 2012 at 8:18 am #

    Don’t be gunshy, I had partners in the last two restaurants, now I don’t, and I am making the decisions myself like I used to. I have not only opened Dal Cuore, which I hope will truly please your pallets, the standards are extremely high, and Greg really does a great job, but next door I have a great little market with wine and assorted specialty items for parties etc. I am adding an Olive Oil and Vinegar bar with 25 varieties of Balsamics and Oils to really give your pantries a boost. You can also make your own salad dressings and marinades at the bar, we’ll have recipes, or you can make your own recipe up. Come taste for yourself. Jonathan

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