Alpharetta Restaurant & Retail News – April 2013

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

It’s been a busy month of restaurant tracking. Some highly-anticipated restaurants are nearly open, trends continue and an oldie closes. Let’s get right into it.

The name of Boga’s replacement will be Fish House Seafood Kitchen. This will be their second location, the original being in Gwinnett County between the Mall of Georgia and Dacula. The Alpharetta/Milton location will be more upscale than the original and will feature Cajun-style seafood. The owners share a past with Pappadeaux’s founders so perhaps comparisons can begin there. They will have a daily seafood buffet for $12.95 and a Sunday brunch.

Branchwater will be the name of a new restaurant in Vickery by Todd Hogan. You can read more details about Branchwater in this post I wrote last week. This is the most significant restaurant news to hit Forsyth County in a very long time.

The craft beer business continues unabated in this area. Draft Beer Market will open on Jones Bridge Road near Rosa Mia. They will be less than a mile and a half from Crafty Draught’s second location on Old Milton.

Forsyth County is close to allowing samples at growler stores, but there’s a catch – samples must be in a different room. The attempt here is to level the playing field between Alpharetta’s stores and Forsyth. So why burden them with extra construction? I don’t get it.

The Avenue Forsyth has been sold. The new owners are re-branding, calling the outdoor shopping center “The Collection at Forsyth“. The brand will be officially unveiled tomorrow. Aldo Nahed has a great article on this. My favorite quote is… “Our goal is to become a five star collection of dining, shopping and services.” Sounds remarkably similar to what the Avalon developers say. I hope The Collection can improve on their restaurant offerings. While they are all crowded, nothing really stands out as unique to me.

Breakfast chain First Watch announced they will build a new restaurant from the ground up at Old Milton and North Point Parkways. This puts them a short distance from competitor Another Broken Egg. Also in the construction business is Mediterranean sandwich joint Zoe’s Kitchen. These guys slipped under the radar a bit. They will share Corner Bakery’s new building near the mall.

Now OpenGino’s NY Pizza is now open in Johns Creek Walk. They replaced Essex Bagels. The highly-anticipated Campania Pizzeria will open Monday at 800 North Main Street in Alpharetta. Expect a Neapolitan-style pizzeria. And Dickey’s BBQ has opened on Windward Parkway.

Closed – North Point’s Extreme Pita is a goner. There are plenty of alternatives elsewhere. Robin Hood Tavern in Vickery Village closed to make way for Branchwater. A little up the street was Smokejack’s Midway location. It’s now closed. While Smokejack’s franchising attempts are not going well, I hear rumors that competitor ‘Cue may be close to announcing a third location.

And finally, long-time Alpharetta restaurant Dockery’s Cafe has closed. Out with the old and in with the new. This building is being demolished to make way for the city center project. Dockery’s will not reopen.

Restaurants Coming Soon

Chipotle, Corner Bakery Cafe, Pollo Tropical, Zoe’s – The trees are clear-cut and things are moving along.
BurgerFI – I’m told they will open in May on Windward near FedEx.
Salt Factory – Still building out in Tifosi’s old space on South Main Street.
Main Street Kitchen – From the folks behind Roswell’s Nine Street Kitchen. They will be at 52 North Main.
Chill Restaurant and Lounge – The folks behind Rainwater’s replacement are being very tight lipped about their concept. I’ve reached out to them through a third party and they refuse to talk about plans. Boo!
Hop Alley Brew Pub – Brew pub coming to downtown Alpharetta.
Kitchen of Atlanta – Coming to Johns Creek Walk.
Rio Balsas Taqueria - Nearly open Mexican joint on 141 in south Forsyth/Johns Creek.
Casa Del Sol Mexican Bar and Grill – Another Mexican joint in Forsyth near 141 and highway 9.

Thanks to Mike Christensen for his help with this article. An extra pair of eyes on the street always helps!

6 Responses to “Alpharetta Restaurant & Retail News – April 2013”

  1. Eric April 12, 2013 at 10:00 am #

    Lee, I’m not sure what the new ownership group really expects to get out of The Collection, which is a collection of the underwhelming minus a handful of places. They have some expansion slots for new retail/dining, but most of the outparcel space is all grabbed up, and the hotel is currently going through zoning, which is basically the only land slot left. Even if some tenants left and they brought in new retail, the place suffers from some awfully small square footage in these stores. It’s better than having nothing in the area, but pales in comparison to what Cousins did down the road at The Forum.

    While many think the acreage behind the property is future expansion space, it’s actually land that the prior ownership group (Cousins) sold to Children’s Healthcare quite some time ago that will eventually become a Children’s Heathcare hospital and medical facility in addition to the outpatient clinic they opened there.

  2. JB April 12, 2013 at 4:38 pm #

    Another thing that just opened and in keeping with Old Milton’s international presence is a little Hibachi place across from 5 Seasons. Looks Mom and Pop and opened last week I believe. May try it tonight.

  3. mala April 13, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

    Still sad about boga taqueria :( . Why…? Why did they have to close? I never really care to get fish in a city that isn’t close to water. I’m sure the new seafood place will serving farm raised fish from china or chilli like everyone else.

    We left our comfort zone today to venture to The other side of 400 to try Bite. Had the lobster roll. It was “meh”…I lived in rhode island fr a few yrs and its probably unfair for me to compare their roll to one purchased on newport beach. My mum had the curry chicken salad sandwich and I had a taste. We both agreed that it was bland. It needs a little more kick and a better bread…maybe a croissant? As always, I enjoy your your updates

  4. Lee April 14, 2013 at 10:30 pm #

    @Eric – You’re correct about the CHOA property. There’s one vacant restaurant, where Four40 used to be. Otherwise there is nowhere to put a new restaurant. If new ownership is serious about creating a five-star dining experience then they should consider buying out the leases of their lower-end fast-casual tenants (Tin Drum, Which Wich, etc).

  5. A April 18, 2013 at 12:52 pm #

    Lee–an FYI about Breadtime. Their website is down and their FB wasn’t updated to say they reopened today, but I called them and they are indeed open. So good news!

  6. Travis Allen May 6, 2013 at 9:28 am #

    Any word on Burger-Fi?

    Looks like they’re ready to roll!

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