Feet, chicken, apartments and downtown

What do feet, chicken, apartments and downtown Alpharetta have in common? They will all be considered, in some strange way, at tonight’s City Council meeting in Alpharetta.  Here are some brief thoughts…

Healthy Massage – North Main

Alpharetta’s code is carefully worded when it comes to massage parlors. It’s a good safeguard to prevent a certain kind of undesirable massage parlor from cropping up (as has happened in south Forsyth). Thankfully the proposed Healthy Massage at 875 North Main Street (in the Taco Mac stripmall) is not one of these joints. The folks behind Healthy Massage also own Royal Foot Spa in Doraville. Check out their reviews on Yelp for a better idea what to expect. Maybe a foot massage review is in order here on Roots?

Pollo Tropical – North Point

The master plan around the mall does not allow for drive-thru restaurants (even though three exist very close by). This seems to be the main sticking point for Pollo Tropical. The Planning Commission suggested denial of the idea and I expect the City Council to vote it down as well. That’s a shame as I’d like to see Pollo Tropical in Alpharetta. Perhaps they should consider another location. The former Tifosi Gastropub space comes to mind.

AMLI Webb Bridge Apartments

AMLI wants to build 300 garden-style apartments at Webb Bridge and Westside Parkway, almost across the street from Avalon. I don’t expect any Councilmen to vote for this, especially those next up for re-election in 2013.

And speaking of AMLI… rumor has it that they had a stenographer taking notes at the Avalon hearing a few months back.

Highway 9 LCI Study

I’ve not a big fan of these “Livable Centers Initiatives”. That being said, the highway 9 plan, most of which is in Milton, is not terribly bad. Thankfully the consultant resisted the urge to slam maximum density into the space. However there are still areas of concern with the plan. I expect to see discussion and debate tonight followed by a divided vote to approve.


The council will likely approve an incentive zoning plan that will encourage, among other things, “chef-driven” restaurants (which are not defined), microbrew beer stores, specialty food stores, and boutiques. If you can define “chef-driven restaurant” in a way that would work in city code, leave me a comment. If they use your definition, I’ll buy you lunch at one of these restaurants!

Council will also consider a change that would require outdoor dining furniture to be metal or black in color. I kinda feel bad for the Siegel family at The Corner Deli as this new ordinance takes direct aim at their popular little restaurant. Unless they are grandfathered in (which I don’t see a clause for), they would be forced to remove their existing outdoor furniture and replace.

While I like the idea of fancy outdoor furniture downtown, I don’t know that now is the right time to be requiring it. The city should be incentivizing to attract business, not placing new restrictions.

17 comments on this post.
  1. Craig:

    Chef driven = lets try to make another Canton st/historic Roswell, but in Alpharetta.

  2. J:

    Requiring black furniture for restaurants? Will the next thing be requiring the Mayors favorite meal on the menu of every restaurant? Let restaurants want to come to your city and don’t make rules that force them all to areas all around your city.

  3. Kim:

    I liked “destination” restaurant. Isn’t anyplace I go a destination?

  4. Travis Allen:

    “The master plan around the mall does not allow for drive-thru restaurants…”

    But instead of allowing a new restaurant to fill a vacant space, let’s just be happy with vacant spaces!

    Typical of Alpharetta’s thought process, reminds me of when then councilman, now 44% Mayor didn’t want to allow AT&T to open in a “restaurant/entertainment” building because it would set a precedent…completely forgetting that the Verizon store across the street was an O’Charleys previously.

  5. JP:

    Regarding “no drive throughs”…I’m all for this. Drive through windows are a scourge. Typically low end establishments that encourage laziness and wastefulness. Not the sort of places I want to see coming into this city.

    The typical drive through customer uses the car window to throw out their garbage, leaving the rest of us to pick up their mess.

  6. Glen:

    “But instead of allowing a new restaurant to fill a vacant space, let’s just be happy with vacant spaces!”
    There is no vacant space here. It is a corner lot that has never been built on,nothing but trees! There are tons of vacant spaces near by. Heck there is even a brand new shopping center across the street that has NEVER been occupied by even 1 tenant. Alpharetta needs to be careful about building so many new projects in the area or they will end up repeating what happened at Gwinnett place Mall and the surrounding area.
    Thankfully Northpoint has added some new blood lately(or at least announced it), but there are still many open spots in the Mall. 3 in the food court alone. Also a whole section on the upper level by Von Maur that has been empty for at least 5 years.

  7. Travis Allen:

    JP…by what manner of logic have you reached these conclusions?

    I lived on a “country” road for years (my parents still do, Bethany Road in Milton), and by far the majority of trash thrown from vehicles was NOT of the fast food variety. Most of it came from people on their way to work, before passing any drive-thrus.

    Are you even from this area? Not to go NIMBY on you, but maybe people from this area welcomed this change initially as there were only 2 drive-thru establishments in Alpharetta until the early 90′s. Maybe we want more affordable spots, not excess like Avalon may become. Many locals didn’t want development at all, or any of these places or people coming into this city.

    I’ll continue to disagree with you on your opinion that these places encourage laziness and wastefulness. While I do enjoy the occasional fast food fair, it’s not something I eat even on a weekly basis…these places don’t encourage laziness, the state of the world and people encourage these places and it’s because those people who are pressed for time.

  8. Lee:

    Pollo Tropical is not a typical fast food restaurant. I’d call them fast casual. Check out this article in the Johns Creek Herald about their plans…


    And by the way, Pollo Tropical deferred their application.

    @Glen – I tend to agree. It is amazing to me that some new restaurants are choosing new construction over filling vacant spaces. I’ve written about this before.

  9. JP:


    I don’t live on a “country road” but I am out walking or running regularly. The majority of the trash on the side of the road is fast food bags and paper drink cups.

    And yes, I do live in the area. What does that have to do with anything?

    And no, I don’t want fast food and their ilk where I live. That’s my prerogative. I’ll take an Avalon style development over a bunch of drive through fast food restaurants any day of the week.

    You call Avalon “excess”, I call it a huge win for Alpharetta.

    You’re free to have your opinion, I’m free to have mine.

  10. B:

    Leave the Corner Deli folks alone. They run a great small business and seem to do a good amount of business. The color of the furniture doesn’t matter.

    JP – I see the most laziness at nicer establishments where the patrons feel entitled. Rules don’t apply to the folks at the nicer places, don’t you know that?

  11. JP:

    Obviously, I haven’t expressed myself eloquently enough. My point about drive throughs is simply this: I personally don’t want Alpharetta overpopulated with fast food style establishments.

    Someone on this board mentioned “destination” style restaurants/bars and locale resembling Canton Street in Roswell. Isn’t that a loftier goal than fast food eateries?

  12. Kim:

    Snort. There is that word again. JP – Can you tell me what in the world a “destination” restaurant is? Anyplace one goes is a “destination,” is it not? Sometimes my destination is Chick-fil-A when I am in the mood for that. Who came up with that name? It makes no sense.

    But I agree that I’d rather not have a bunch of fast-food restaurants. As long as I have at least one nearby Moes (or Chipotle), Zaxbys, and Chick-fil-A, I’m good….. though I would not complain if an In-and-Out Burger appeared.

  13. mala:

    I actually don’t go to the corner deli because it looks dirty to me. We ate inside once and were annoyed by black flies. The plastic patio furniture and syrofoam plates does look super cheap and dirty too. I agree that otdoor patio furniture should be more appealing downtown. Black looking metal furniture is not that expensive at garden ridge and I think if the corner deli made the investment they would attract more business. I’ll never go back because of the flies even if it was a one time incident.

  14. Kim:

    @Mala – We had a similar experience at Corner Deli. That whole building is unattractive. Not sure how much black furniture would help there.

  15. B:

    Mala – you’re missing out. Super nice folks and good food. Have never had a problem with bugs.

  16. Kim:

    I think I found the answer for Corner Deli! I wonder if this would meet Council’s approval? Hey, it might even earn ‘em some “green” points! LOL!


  17. Kelly S. Moore:

    We need to add some class to this area. when my husband and I first moved to this area 16 years ago, I thought we moved into Mayberry(Andy Griffin show). I like the idea of decorating the front of the restaurants with black and metal. It gives the area a little more sophistication. It should look a little like Columbus Avenue and Fifth Avenue in New York City(I am from New York and lived in Manhattan for many years). Drive through Holcomb Bridge and end up in Gwinnett. It looks terrible. How embarrassing. Would you want to reside in that area and invite family and friends to eat at any of those restaurants? We have to have high standards especially with Avalon coming to this area. Trust me, we will be thankful in the future. Home values will rise above our expectations.

Leave a comment