Alpharetta Restaurant & Retail News – May 2012

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

I don’t have a lot of restaurants to report on this month, but what I have to talk about is a potential game changer in the Alpharetta/Milton restaurant scene.

Grand Champion BBQ – Crabapple

This strip mall barbecue joint in east Cobb (with a Roswell address) has managed to catch a lot of attention in the short time they’ve been open. Many put them among the best barbecue in all of metro Atlanta. And based on the few times I’ve made the trek down to Shallowford Road, I’m not going to argue. These guys are selling barbecue that is almost competition caliber.

Grand Champion will open their second location at 12635 Crabapple Road, in the same shopping center as Sip and Erwoods. Their arrival will rock the Milton/Alpharetta barbecue scene. If you think ‘Cue, Swallow at the Hollow or Smokejack are good then you really need to try these new kids. Look for an opening this summer. Follow them on Twitter (@GCBBQ) or their webpage

Kabab & Wraps – Milton

It didn’t take these guys long! They officially opened on May 9th in a strip mall at the corner of Webb and Morris Roads in Milton. Look for cheap Indian/Pakistani food in a buffet setting.

Alfresco – Alpharetta

This family-operated pizzeria has finally opened. Look for them on the corner of Main Street and Old Milton Parkway near downtown Alpharetta. Seems like some nice folks running the shop here. I’ve only been once and need to return to sample the rest of the menu. If you’ve tried Alfresco, leave me a comment and let me know what you thought!

AMC Theater – North Point Mall

AMC Theaters will be moving their North Point Parkway theater to the vacant Parisian space in the mall. I’d heard rumors that it would be them but it became official this week.

It will be interesting to watch the south end of North Point Parkway over the next few years. AMC’s departure will leave a big hole. There is vacant restaurant space where Champps used to be and Regal is moving to Avalon.

Harry’s Farmers Market – Upper Hembree

With Avalon’s approval it seems that Alpharetta will get a new Whole Foods at the development. The company plans to close their Harry’s Farmers Market location on Upper Hembree Road and convert it to offices and a distribution facility.

Update: I was incorrect with this update about Harry’s and I regret the mistake. Whole Foods does not have plans to close the store but want to keep their options open. However, it is true that they have asked the city for a conditional use permit to allow for office and distribution uses at the Upper Hembree Road location.

Grecian Gyro – Johns Creek

This will be the first franchise location for this small chain of gyro shops. They’ve got stores in Hapeville, Tucker, Forest Park and soon this location in the mixed-use development of Johns Creek Walk. Check out their decent little blog with updates on the buildout.

Haiku Sushi Steakhouse – North Point

Haiku from Roswell
where Yamato used to be,
but is this space cursed?

Restaurants Coming Soon

Meat and Potatoes Kitchen & Bar - Johns Creek in the old Rio Bravo/Star Diner space.
The Velvet Note - Tiny food and music venue coming soon to Old Milton.
Joe’s NY Pizzeria - Buildout has started for their location at 1605 Mansell Road.
Pollo Tropical - Alpharetta’s Planning Commission recommended denial of their proposed drive-thru restaurant at Haynes Bridge and the mall entrance. The city council will ultimately decide, but it isn’t looking good for these guys. However a Johns Creek location is still in the works.
Uncle Madio’s Pizza - I’m moving this to “rumor” status. Someone close to the restaurant chain told me they were looking at the old K-Cafe location on Windward. But I’ve seen no other activity with this new restaurant.
Tassa Carribean Express - Old Milton Parkway in the Brookside area.
Chipotle - Coming soon to Haynes Bridge between the mall and GA400, next to the proposed Pollo Tropical.
Blind Murphy’s Beer - Growler store coming to Main Street in downtown Alpharetta.
Romeo’s NY Pizza - Opening in the old Pizza Vito location in Crabapple.
Mirko Pasta - Opening in Johns Creek, State Bridge and Medlock Bridge.
Carrabbas - Construction has started on their new location at the Avenue Forsyth. Look for them on an outparcel between Chick-Fil-A and Red Robin.

Retail Coming Soon

Cutters Cigar Emporium - Coming soon to Windward next to Qdoba.
Walmart Neighborhood Market - A new grocery-only version of Walmart to open at 11770 Haynes Bridge Road behind Alpha Soda.
Regal Theaters - Moving from North Point Parkway to the new Avalon project.

13 Responses to “Alpharetta Restaurant & Retail News – May 2012”

  1. Cool Papa Bell May 18, 2012 at 2:10 pm #

    Smokejack should never be said in the same breath with SATH, ‘Cue, or Grand Champion.

    Love the ORIGINAL Grecian Gyro, though the franchises are getting lukewarm reviews. Oh I’ve seen that movie before.

  2. J May 18, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

    Wife and I went to Alfresco. Good food and very good servers/management. For an Italian restaurant I think they need to include salad with a dinner. We will definitely be back to try some additional items on the menu.

  3. Kim May 18, 2012 at 9:32 pm #

    Excited about GCBBQ for the mac-n-cheese as much as the BBQ!

  4. Lori May 18, 2012 at 10:15 pm #

    Thx for these great updates! I am thrilled to see a Whole Foods come to Alpharetta and the Walmart food only store will be interesting to check out as well. I also cannot wait to try the BBQ place, I live near Swallow in the Hollow and was hoping there was another fantastic BBQ spot.

  5. Ananth May 19, 2012 at 9:18 am #

    Lee – What did you think of Alfresco? I am hoping to try them soon. Do they have a website or menu online?

  6. Atlbrvmom May 19, 2012 at 10:00 pm #

    Great site, thanks for your hard work. Gotta change all the places you typed “Chiptole” instead of “Chipotle” though. ;)

  7. Lee May 21, 2012 at 10:07 am #

    Yikes, thanks for the correction!

    @Ananth – I tried a pasta dish for lunch that was just ok. Need to try a pizza before passing judgement.

    I’m not aware that they have a website or social media presence. If you google “Alfresco Alpharetta” you’re more likely to find IT jobs :-)

  8. Juan May 21, 2012 at 11:01 pm #

    I would rather have Trader Joe’s instead of Whole Foods. There’s already a Trader Joe’s a few minutes south of Avalon.

  9. JB May 22, 2012 at 8:22 am #

    Got another pizza from Al Fresco last night. They make a good pie.

  10. Stephen May 26, 2012 at 5:05 pm #

    I saw Uncle Maddio’s coming soon sign up today on Windward where you described.

  11. Lee May 30, 2012 at 2:36 pm #

    Thanks Stephen. I also saw the sign today. Uncle Maddio’s is officially off the rumor list!

  12. Gloria June 23, 2012 at 5:22 pm #

    We have been to Alfrescos 3 times already. We had pizza twice. The pizza is very, very good. Thin crust, not too much tomato sauce and fresh ingredients where you can actually see and taste the garlic, mushrooms, etc. On the 3rd trip we tried pasta. The lasagna was very good, the chicken marsala was just ok. The alfredo fetuccini was good. As appetizer we have had the frito misto a couple of times, and that was very good.
    Overall a very nice place, and good service where you may just find the best pizza in Alpharetta/Milton.

  13. Amir April 1, 2013 at 10:44 pm #

    There is a new TIN DRUM also opening on alpharetta hwy near intersection of mansell road. Right infront of goodwill.

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