Alpharetta Restaurant & Retail News – June 2013 redux

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

We’ve got a couple of new items in the last few weeks. Felt the news was worthy of publishing a second restaurant news column this month.

Hop Alley has finally opened in downtown Alpharetta and is generating a lot of buzz. The buildout is beautiful and the location perfect to take advantage of the food truck crowds. I’ve only been once but enjoyed the burger and onion rings I tried. This place has got a tremendous amount of potential.

Great Harvest Bread will open a location on Windward Parkway next to the new Mambo’s Cafe. This will be only the third metro Atlanta location, the next closest being Johns Creek. They’ve closed all their ITP locations. Will Great Harvest steal business from Panera on Windward?

And speaking of Windward… It appears that Xian China Bistro may have temporarily closed. No additional details are available.

Mama’s Pizza will close their Old Milton Parkway location at the end of June to re-open near the mall. Look for them to open in August on North Point next to Figo Pasta where Mango’s Cuban used to be. This is an interesting move for Mama’s. The Brookside office parks have provided a brisk lunchtime business for these guys for years. Will they do as well on North Point? Either way it’s a boost to the mall restaurant scene. Mama’s makes a pretty good New York style pie.

I’m hearing rumors from a reputable source that a new “artisan” pizza restaurant may be coming to the former Luciano’s space in Johns Creek. The concept will be from the restaurant group behind Luciano’s and Pampas Steakhouse. Will the success of Campania encourage competition?

I’ve confirmed that the folks behind Jose’s Mexican Grill (coming soon to North Point and Webb Bridge) are the same guys that ran Rio Nuevo on North Point. Let’s hope they make a better go of things this time.

A new Hungry Howies franchise is opening in south Forsyth on Bethelview Road. While their pizza is nothing to get excited about, this location it noteworthy because it is the first in the northern burbs of Atlanta.

In retail news – we’ve been watching the former Dolce Vita space in Johns Creek for a few months now as someone’s been renovating the space. We now know who. This will be the new home for Alpharetta’s Muse Salon and Spa. They will leave their current digs on Kimball Bridge when the construction is complete. Muse is perhaps Alpharetta’s most trendy salon. A scene from the movie The Joneses was filmed here.

And finally, Alpharetta antique lovers will soon have another store. Cumming antique shop The Green Bean Exchange will open a new location on South Main Street behind the Bank of America.

13 comments on this post.
  1. A:

    Can’t wait to try Hop Alley. And those of us who were burned at Rio Nuevo (terrible service, refusing to accept Groupons, etc.) should probably stay far, far away from Jose’s.

  2. Travis Allen:

    Seriously, a Hungry Howies? Ah…the memories of $20 for 3 pizzas and 20 wings and making that last 2 meals a day for 4 days in college. I’ll probably like it better than Marco’s at a minimum.

    Looking forward to trying out Hop Alley.

    It will also be nice to have the Great Harvest Bread within walking distance of my home, I’ve been missing Atlanta Bread Company since they left a few years ago.

  3. John:

    Love Mama’s lunch specials, and new location is closer to my office! Can’t wait to try Hop Alley too. I will stay away from Jose’s. Rio Nuevo was the worst mexican dining experience I have ever had!

  4. J:

    Lee any idea what is being built out next to Your Serve tennis shop off Haynes Bridge? It looks to be a restaurant or bar being out in.

  5. Katie:

    Hop Alley is great! Burgers were unlike any other Ive had in the area. Siason and ESB home brews were just as good. Cool atmosphere, Alpharetta needs more of this. One drawback- the service is like waiting for Christmas to come. i can look past that when I have nowhere to be, but taking more than 10 minutes to get a drink makes me irritable, and all I ordered at first was a Coke.

  6. SCSA31274:

    J: It looks to be a place called AJ Home Cooking and from what I can see it looks like a buffet possibly Chinese. The applicants have Asian names and there was an Asian guy in there working when I peeked in. Will have more news as I can get it.

  7. Kelly & Michael:

    We just finished one of the best lunches we’ve had in a while at Hop Alley! Michael got the pimento cheese burger and I got the 50/50 angus beef with the bacon already INSIDE the burger meat! I got it medium and it was fantastic! ! The brews are good, but still need some tweaking. Cool guest drafts and bottled beer selections. Saw the list of infused vodkas and next time will try a bloody mary with the bacon infused one. (notice a theme going on here??) Anyway, great place, atmosphere, friendliness, and good food. Will definitely be back!

  8. Cool Papa Bell:

    As somebody underwhelmed by the overpriced Tex-Mex at Rio Nuevo, add me to the list of those who will act as if Jose’s on vacation far away.

  9. Lee:

    @J – Thanks for the heads up. Mike is right, it’ll be called AJ’s Home Cooking and will be a county cooking buffet.

  10. Chefmoss:

    Sad is XIAN is gone. I really liked that place!

  11. chefmoss:

    Update on XIAN…
    They are not gone. Just doing remodel after 12 years in business. New news, kitchen work and not sure what else. Should be reopened in about 2 weeks.

  12. Travis Allen:

    I wasn’t blown away by Hop Alley…service was “meh” and the Onion Rings were AWFUL!.

    Oh, they looked like they would be great, but just ended up being overly breaded and without any flavor to speak of.

    The 50/50 burger wasn’t bad, but a little on the small side as it easily fit in my palm, and the sweet potato fries were not something I’d try again. Oh well.

  13. Scsa31274:

    Krispie Kreme is going in Mansell Rd at Hwy 9 and work is finally being started on the Tower Burger at the old Sonic location on Hwy 9 near Upper Hembree Rd

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