Alpharetta Restaurant & Retail News – June 2012

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

Self-serve frozen yogurt was the fad of 2010 and 2011. Will beer growlers become the fad of 2012? We’re about to see a flurry of them open in the northern burbs. Will they all survive? How will lovers of brew decide who’s best? Will first to market play a factor? Location? Price? Service? We’ll have to figure it out I guess. To me, anything located near a froyo joint may get my business! The kids can eat trendy frozen treats while I get 64 ounces of frothy goodness.

Blind Murphy Craft Beer Market will be the first growler store to open in Alpharetta at 53 South Main Street. Look for a soft opening next week. Shortly following Murphy and not that far away will be “The Growler Store.” This franchise shop will open near La Parilla on North Main Street. The same franchise will open another store in Johns Creek in the Kroger shopping center at Haynes Bridge and Old Alabama.

OVR Coffee Cafe – Vickery Village

Coming late summer to Vickery Village. OVR will feature a vegan bakery and locally-sourced organic ingredients put together by a Le Cordon Bleu-trained pastry chef. It’s a completely new concept that ought to work well in Vickery.

The Velvet Note

This intimate (read “small”) food and music venue opens TODAY on Old Milton Parkway. They will host a free opening tonight and Saturday. From there expect weekend shows featuring live jazz. Velvet Note is an interesting concept that I hope is successful here.

Fresh Mexicano Grill – McGinnis Ferry

I don’t know much about this restaurant. They are coming soon to the strip mall where Legend’s Deli used to be. I have serious doubts that any restaurant can survive in this strip mall for several reasons. 1) It has poor visibility from the road. 2) Nearby schools and churches makes obtaining liquor licenses a challenge and 3) I’ve heard that the landlord is difficult to work with. So with that in mind, buena suerte Fresh Mexicano.

Pretzel prayer couldn't save these guys

Pretzel Company – Closed

This small pretzel shop in Milton near Target has closed. Not that long ago they ditched their franchise arrangement in a controversial move and went independent. Unfortunately the move didn’t seem to work out. Even their Tebow pretzel (which went viral) couldn’t save the store.

Dickey’s BBQ Pit – Avenue Forsyth

A new Dickey’s franchise is coming to the old Hangry’s space across the street from the Avenue Forsyth. This location hasn’t been kind of past tenants so we’ll see how marginal barbecue does in the space. Jim-N-Nicks is nearby and doing all kinds of business.

Burger 21

This fast casual burger restaurant started in my hometown of Tampa. They are about to rapidly expand and have chosen the Atlanta burbs for their first destination outside of the sunshine state. No specific locations have been announced but I’m told they are looking in Milton and the Mall of Georgia area in Buford. Check out this article for more about the concept and their expansion plans.

Dottie’s Delight/Bad Wolf BBQ- Closed

This hole-in-the-wall breakfast and barbecue shop on McFarland Parkway impressed me two years ago with their Q. I’m sad to report that they’ve closed.

FIGO Pasta – Renovating

This chain of fast casual pasta restaurants will begin a phase of renovations. Alpharetta’s location on North Point is the first in the chain to get a new look. They are now closed but will reopen in about a week. If you check their Facebook page you can sign up for a ticket to their grand re-opening.


North American Properties announced several new tenants for their Avalon project. The list included Yard House, a restaurant featuring American food and lots of beer. Retailers announced included Orvis, Arhaus, Athleta, Anthropologie and Paper Source. Orvis will be interesting to watch as downtown’s Alpharetta Outfitters already carries a large selection of their products. Will a company store at Avalon hurt this downtown retailer?

Romeo’s NY Pizza – Crabapple

They opened June 1st in the old Vito’s Pizza location in Crabapple. Other locations include Johns Creek, Lawrenceville and Canton.

Cuzi Fresh Cafe – Old Milton

They are moving their cutely-named restaurant a few blocks down the street. Look for them in new digs at 4160 Old Milton Pkwy. This is a free-standing restaurant that used to be the home of Stix Sushi and Donatos Pizza.

Restaurants Coming Soon

Meat and Potatoes Kitchen & Bar - Johns Creek in the old Rio Bravo/Star Diner space.
Joe’s NY Pizzeria - Buildout has started for their location at 1605 Mansell Road.
Pollo Tropical - It is very doubtful that Alpharetta will approve their drive-thru restaurant near the mall. Knowing that, Pollo delayed their application to the city. I hope they can find another location nearby. In the meantime, the next closest store will be in Johns Creek.
Uncle Madio’s Pizza - The coming soon banner is up in their new location. Look for them on Windward in K Cafe’s old space.
Tassa Carribean Express - From the folks behind Tassa Roti Shop in Marietta. Buildout is underway for their Old Milton location.
Chipotle - No word on when they will break ground on this new Haynes Bridge location near the mall.
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.
Grand Champion BBQ – A highly-anticipated second location is coming in July to Crabapple.
Grecian Gyro – A franchise gyro shop coming to Johns Creek Walk.
Haiku Sushi Steakhouse – The same folks behind the Etris Road restaurant in Roswell are looking at Yamato’s old space on North Point Parkway.

Retail Coming Soon

Walmart Neighborhood Market - A new grocery-only version of Walmart to open at 11770 Haynes Bridge Road behind Alpha Soda.
Walmart -A third Forsyth County location is being planned on GA-141 and Mathis Airport Parkway near Target.
Regal Theaters - Moving from North Point Parkway to the new Avalon project.
AMC Theaters – Coming to North Point Mall in late 2013. The Revue & News reported that the theater may include IMAX screens.

One Response to “Alpharetta Restaurant & Retail News – June 2012”

  1. Billy June 8, 2012 at 11:42 am #

    Sad to see the Pretzel Company close. Its hard to find a good soft pretzel in the south.

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