Alpharetta Restaurant & Retail News – October 2012

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

We’re nearing the end of a busy season of new restaurant openings. Expect a few more before year’s end followed by several closures in December and January. Just a hunch.

Ford Fry – Avalon

The NAP PR machine had this story everywhere so it’s old news by now. Celebrated Atlanta chef Ford Fry will have a yet-to-be-determined concept restaurant in Avalon. With this announcement NAP makes good on a promise to bring Alpharetta a high-end, chef-driven restaurant.

Also announced was Cru Food and Wine Bar. Alpharetta will be their first location in the southeast. And you had to figure an Atlanta-based burger joint would come to Avalon. I secretly hoped it would be Farm Burger. Turns out it will be Yeah! Burger. By the time they open Alpharetta will be smothered with burger concepts.

Marlow’s Tavern and Ted’s Montana Grill were also announced. These chains are already at several of Cousins’ Avenue properties.

Coffee Pot – Closed

Another independent coffee shop has closed – well sorta. The owners of downtown Alpharetta’s little coffee shop on Main Street have decided to change concepts. They will now open as…

Tap on Main

They’re no doubt taking advantage of Alpharetta’s liberalized new rules on beer and open containers in downtown. They’re not quite open at this point but when they do you can expect cured meats and a good selection of craft beer on tap. Their best source of information right now is on Facebook. And speaking of beer…

Cherry Street Brewing Co-operative – Vickery Village

Aldo Nahed with the Forsyth Herald again gets the beer scoop on this story. And give Forsyth County credit for being the most progressive with their beer laws. They were first to allow growlers and now may be the first to allow breweries.

The guys at Cheery Street want to brew their own beer and distribute to growler stores across metro Atlanta. There’s certainly a market for this as most local growler stores stock Atlanta favorites like Red Hare. I expect the county to eventually allow this. When they do, watch for an opening next to Tanner’s in Vickery Village.

Sally’s Gluten Free Bakery

This Sandy Springs-based bakery will open a second location in Alpharetta this fall. Expect a menu of cakes, breads, cookies and cupcakes all made without that pesky protein composite. Look for them in the Kimball Commons Shopping Center on Kimball Bridge just south of Old Milton.

Erwood’s – Closed

This concept from local real estate developer Rob Forest has closed. According to Forest, the rent at this Crabapple location was just too high. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him try another restaurant now that he has a few attempts under his belt.

Yelp OTP Community Manager

The popular online review community Yelp has hired (but not yet named) an OTP Atlanta community manager. This splits the responsibilities of Atlanta’s current CM, Kathleen M. The community manager is responsible for managing the reviewers on Yelp which includes planning cool events for the group. As a former active Yelper, I think this is great news and shows that the website considers the northern burbs worthy of attention. If you’re not active on Yelp, now might be a good time to join.

Other Restaurant News

Bite is expanding their popular Alpharetta restaurant and may close for a few weeks to allow for construction. Also remodeling is Ray’s Killer Creek on Mansell Road.

The bagel eating contest at BB’s on MacFarland is this Thursday at 2:00pm. The odd hours will most certainly make the event lightly attended. The winner, in addition to extreme indigestion, will get a free bagel everyday for a year.

Toscana Trattoria opened October 1st on GA-141 just north of McGinnis Ferry. This is a second concept from the owners of Never Enough Thyme. Tapas joint Noche opened their first north Fulton location on October 3rd in Johns Creek near the Country Club of the South. Mac Meals, a Mediterranean restaurant, quietly opened a few months ago on South Main in Alpharetta.

Another Broken Egg opened on October 8th on Old Milton Parkway where Cuzi Fresh used to be. Haiku Sushi and Steak opened about two weeks ago in Yamato’s old space on North Point. This may be the first time I’ve mentioned them without writing haiku poetry. Blog readers are rejoicing.

Restaurants Coming Soon

Grand Champion BBQ – You know the drill.
OVR Coffee Cafe – A vegan bakery and coffee shop in south Forsyth’s Vickery Village. Look for them in November in the old Mommy Francis space.
Mambo’s Cafe – They have begun construction in their new Windward digs near Lowes.
Tower Burgers - Building in the old Sonic location on South Main Street in Alpharetta.
Chipotle, Corner Bakery Cafe, Pollo Tropical – A trifecta of new restaurants to be built on Haynes Bridge near the mall entrance.
BurgerFI – Fast-casual burger concept coming to Windward next to FedEx.
Campania - To-be-determined restaurant concept coming to North Main Street in Alpharetta.

Retail Coming Soon

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 Parisian’s old space at North Point Mall in late 2013.

11 Responses to “Alpharetta Restaurant & Retail News – October 2012”

  1. Sandy October 12, 2012 at 8:59 am #

    Is Tower Burgers another chain or something original? Not that we need another burger spot, but if it’s something special, I’ll try it. I didn’t realize the opening of the mediterranian restaurant was so quiet, I’ve heard a lot about it from friends and neighbors. (I think there was a groupon.) Everyone has said the lunch buffet is the way to go, so I’m anxious to give it a shot.

    I tried Blu Bay the other day for lunch, they have some real deals for “grand opening” specials.

  2. Greg October 12, 2012 at 10:22 am #

    I work in downtown Atlanta, so I’ve been able to try the various high end burger places. Yeah Burger is my favorite, and where we usually go. Grindhouse Killer Burgers is also good. Farm Burger is a great idea, but in reality, their burgers just aren’t as good as the others. I’m also a huge fan of Ford Fry’s JCT Kitchen. It’s one of the few places I’ll drive back downtown for after hours.

    Here’s what still dumbfounds me, though: If Avalon becomes as utopic as Mark Toro says it will be (and, of course, that’s yet to be seen), why would the Alpharetta City Council lay aside so much of the new downtown project for commercial development? As great as Avalon may be, it won’t be a park-like setting. The park is the one thing the new downtown Alpharetta has going for it, and yet it’s what the City Council decided to make smaller and separate from the commercial area by City Hall. In effect, the City Council thinks it will be able to out-commercial Avalon and get people to drive right past Avalon to come to downtown establishments. That just doesn’t seem likely to me.

  3. Kim October 12, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

    Hope high rent doesn’t drive out GC BBQ…. assuming Milton ever lets them open. Does anyone know what is going on? The owner thought they would be open “any day” back in July/August.

    Greg, I agree. Go figure.

  4. Lee October 12, 2012 at 2:09 pm #

    @Sandy – I wrote about Tower Burgers in this column a month or two back. They are building in the old Sonic location. I don’t know much else. The folks behind it seem to be new to the local restaurant scene.

    As for Mac Meals… maybe they were just new to me! They have no internet presence and almost no reviews.

    @Greg – You make good points about downtown Alpharetta. Folks with the city would say that the park stayed the same size (I guess when you count sidewalks and stuff it does). I’d rather the city exceed expectations on the park space.

  5. Lee October 13, 2012 at 10:36 pm #

    Thanks to an alert blog reader for this one… Luciano’s on State Bridge Road in Johns Creek has closed. Their Sugarloaf location in Duluth is still in business. How many Italian restaurants can Johns Creek support?

  6. Scott October 15, 2012 at 5:52 pm #

    Erwood’s closed…I am surprised they lasted this long. From day one their service, food, and menu were horrible. We went several times hoping they would turn it around, but nothing ever changed.

  7. Julie Hogg October 16, 2012 at 6:18 pm #

    @Greg: methinks there won’t be much park left once all is said and done. Also, thanks for the thoughts/insights on City Center development. Thompson Street development will be key. Avalon will connect to City Center via Thompson Street (aka Alpharetta’s version of Roswell’s Canton Street)
    Anyway, enough of that local politic stuff.
    Hope Coffee Pot becomes something fantastic. I rely on them as an a.m./lunchtime place to meet people! So sorry to see Erwoods go as they are my walking distance go-to place near my house in Crabapple! Hope it’s replaced with something that works this time.

  8. Taylor October 20, 2012 at 11:11 am #

    @Lee – thanks for the mention on Sally’s. We’re really excited to be opening up in Alpharetta later this month!

  9. Joe October 26, 2012 at 12:07 pm #

    Lee, you mentioned the Chipotle/Corner/Pollo trifecta several times, and every time I drive past the mall on Haynes Bridge I try to figure out exactly where these places are allegedly going to be built. Do you have specific info on their proposed location?

  10. Lee October 26, 2012 at 1:16 pm #

    Hi Joe. The three will be on the west side of Haynes Bridge Road between the mall entrance and Rock Mill Road. This is directly across Haynes Bridge from the Best Buy shopping center. Based on the site plans approved by the city, Pollo Tropical will be the southern-most restaurant, right at the mall entrance. They will have a drive thru lane. In the middle should be Chipotle followed by Corner Bakery closest to GA-400.

    Pollo Tropical and Corner Bakery already have their construction plans, elevations and landscaping approved by the city. I have not seen Chipotle do the same so I expect they might be the last to build. Just a hunch. Not sure when construction begins.

  11. Laura October 28, 2012 at 12:51 pm #

    We ate at Tap on Main last night (the first night that they served food) and it was delicious. The atmosphere was perfect and the staff was incredibly attentive. I’m hoping that this place stays a secret for just a wee bit longer so that we can enjoy the hidden gem factor a couple more times. However, they deserve to thrive because it is a quality establishment!

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