Alpharetta Restaurant News – January 2013

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

Doughnut wars are upon us in south Forsyth. The amazing success of Dutch Monkey Doughnuts has finally invited a competitor. Opening this week is Sweet Apple Donut and Coffee. You’ll find them in the old Legend’s Deli space at 5430 McGinnis Ferry Road. Can they match the quality product that DMD puts out everyday? Or will they compete on price?

And while not in the same league, Dunkin’ Donuts has plans to build a new location on the corner of McFarland Parkway and Highway 9. Another location is in the works in extreme southeast Forsyth on McGinnis Ferry near Old Atlanta Road.

Also in south Forsyth are two new concepts opening on Peachtree Parkway/141. Green China Cafe will open at 3105 Peachtree Parkway near Five Guys. Golden Key European Food and Deli will open near the Brookwood Target. Expect Russian and eastern European goods.

It appears that Tap on Main in downtown Alpharetta is all tapped out. I’m told they will not reopen. Another concept is planned under a different name. Stay tuned.

Also coming soon to Alpharetta will be Teriyaki House at 3710 Old Milton Parkway. Look for them where My Friends Place used to be.

Now Open

Last month I reported on the sale of Izumi Asian Bistro on North Main Street. The buyer is Thai Star Cafe from Sandy Springs. They’ve already changed the concept around and are open. Can these guys compete in a saturated Thai market that includes Lime Juice, Nahm, Satay House and Thai Squared?

Sushi Mania in Johns Creek is now open. This is another case of an ITP joint coming to the burbs. They are relocating from Brookhaven to the fancy side of town in Johns Creek. Look for them near Marlow’s at Old Alabama and Jones Bridge.

And finally, Bite has reopened after a long renovation. They expanded into the adjacent space in their shopping center.


Lee Garden (no relation) is a goner. These guys had been around forever. Makes you wonder if the rent is too high in the Alpharetta Commons shopping center. Mambo’s Cafe recently ditched this place as well.

Also closing at the new year was Firefly on Windward Parkway. They made a great attempt here and had some decent live music. If you’re keeping score at home, that makes five closures in this cursed location.

Rio Nuevo on North Point appears to be closed. The restaurant was dark last night and their phone number has been disconnected. I suspect they may be re-branding the joint as Jose’s Mexican Grill.

And while they are still open for now, Dockery’s on Main Street is in a bind. Their lease in this city-owned shopping center expires in a few months. The building will be demolished to make way for the City Center project. The restaurant is still considering their options.

Restaurants Coming Soon

Mambo’s Cafe – I expect by this time next month they will be open at their new digs at Windward and Main.
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.
Mayuri - Indian joint coming soon to the former Woody’s/Pizza Hut near Northpoint Mall.
Osaka Steak & Sushi – Small hibachi joint coming to Johns Creek/south Forsyth near Michael’s.
Campania Pizzeria – Their sign is up at 800 North Main Street. Expect an opening in March.
Salt Factory – Highly-anticipated Roswell restaurant coming to Main Street Alpharetta.
Nine Street Kitchen - Reportedly planning to open at 52 North Main.
First Watch Cafe - Breakfast joint taking over the J Christopher’s in Johns Creek.

9 Responses to “Alpharetta Restaurant News – January 2013”

  1. AlphaJ January 11, 2013 at 10:33 am #

    I will be first in line when Mambo’s reopens; gosh, I have missed that place!

    Went to Fancy Pantry (Old Alabama Rd. Connector) for lunch yesterday and noticed The Taco Stand has closed. There was a banner over the marquee (I can’t remember the name), but I do remember it was divided and one side said “The Oak Room” and the other said “The Tap Room”. Good luck to them; that strip mall is very quiet after the lunch crowd leaves.

  2. A January 11, 2013 at 12:44 pm #

    Great roundup, Lee. I for one am not sad to see Rio Nuevo go. We went several times using Groupons/Half Off Depot certificates, and while the food was OK (not nearly as good as Tara Humata or Boga Taqueria), service was always spotty and on our last visit (thankfully with a Half Off voucher) there was a big sign plastered on the door saying they were no longer accepting Groupons and Groupon owes them money! We almost didn’t even bother to go in, but did to use up the coupon and service was terrible again. Even if they reopen under another name, I think they caused a lot of ill will towards their customers that I don’t know how many will return. We certainly will not.

  3. A January 11, 2013 at 12:46 pm #

    And on another note, great to hear about more specialty bakeries, but wish there were more in the heart of Alpharetta/Milton rather than just up in Forsyth or McGinnis Ferry, which is practically in Forsyth. Would love to see a niche doughnut shop or bakery on Windward/Highway 9. Jilly’s Cupcakery is OK but not good enough to frequent regularly.

  4. J January 11, 2013 at 8:32 pm #

    Thai Star Cafe is fantastic and should do well in Alpharetta.

  5. JAH January 12, 2013 at 8:03 am #

    Lee, thank you for the heads up on Sweet Apple Donut and Coffee! We bought a selection this morning, and my wife and kids give them their highest recommendation! We’ll definitely be back.

  6. J January 13, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

    Anyone know if Lee Garden is moving to another location? They used to be our Chinese takeout place.

  7. PhatNate January 13, 2013 at 2:53 pm #

    Update on The Taco Stand.
    (The re-open is Jan. 14th). Lee Chadwick is Trent’s mother, and President & Owner of The Metropolitan Club on Windward Parkway.

    The Taco Stand Reopening as Chadwick’s
    Alpharetta’s popular Taco Stand restaurant is closed and will reopen as Chadwick’s on New Year’s Day. Chadwick’s will be home to The Tap Room, a bar and grill open for lunch and dinner, and The Oak Room. The Oak Room is a 4,000-sqaure-foot space for on-site catering and is ideal for wedding and rehearsal dinners, birthday parties, meetings, events and other celebrations. Trent Chadwick will continue to be the personality at the front and Chef Marcus Small will run the kitchen.

    10595 Old Alabama Road Connector Road
    Alpharetta, GA 30022

  8. Heidi January 13, 2013 at 11:41 pm #

    When my husband & I went to J. Christopher’s in John’s Creek this am, we were told First Watch will be opening on Tuesday. Also, Osaka appears to already be opened as well as Green China Cafe.

  9. Lee January 14, 2013 at 7:14 am #

    You guys are awesome! Interesting comments about Taco Stand. If my memory serves me, I think the guys behind Firefly were close to Lee Chadwick of the Metropolitan Club. Maybe with that gone they will focus on the former Taco Stand location.

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