Alpharetta Restaurant News – July 2013

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

After a snoozer of a spring and early summer, the restaurant scene is finally heating up. There’s so much to talk about I’ve split this post in two. For retail news, check out my post from last night.

There are four new restaurants coming to Roswell’s Sweet Apple Village shopping center on Ertis Road. They are Marco’s Pizza, Ertis Kitchen and Bar, Sushi Mori and The Peach & The Porkchop. Also making news in Roswell is the new Krispy Kreme doughnut shop being built on Highway 9 and Mansell Road. Looks like it will replace Roswell’s older location.

Heading towards Alpharetta you’ll find recently opened TD Asian Grill and Sushi. They’re in the former Lucky China location on Highway 9 near the hospital.

A country cooking buffet restaurant called AJ’s Home Cooking will open very soon in the Alpharetta Commons shopping center on Haynes Bridge Road. The location will be a challenge for these guys. They will be behind Alpha Soda in a spot invisible from the road.

And there’s a ton to report in Forsyth County. Chicago-style pizza chain Rosati’s Pizza may open a restaurant in Cumming. They’ve signed a franchisee here but a location has not been announced. If it opens this will be the first Georgia location for the growing chain.

Branchwater is now open in the Vickey Village development. Back in April I wrote about how I think these guys could be a game changer for this struggling area. A little up the road will be The Corner Burger Shop. They’re building in the former Construct-a-Burger location. And don’t forget 7 Tequilas Cantina which is building in Smokejack’s old spot around the corner.

You’ll find two new restaurants on Peachtree Parkway in south Forsyth. Cafe Caribe will be a Cuban/Caribbean restaurant opening near Rio Balsas. This shopping center has doomed  several restaurants. Is it cursed? I think years of road construction was the culprit. This stretch of Peachtree Parkway is about to break out.

Quietly opening recently was TPS  Pizza. Didn’t you get the memo? They’re at 1790 Peachtree Parkway in a space that’s seen a few other pizza joints.

In Cumming proper you’ll find Laguna Mexican Grill. They recently opened on the square in downtown Cumming. And Pollo Tropical has begun construction on Marketplace Blvd. Look for them in an out parcel of Wal-Mart.

The small Mediterranean restaurant MAC Meals appears to have closed. And we’re still watching Xian China Bistro. The restaurant remains closed. Rumor was that they are remodeling but there are no signs of that happening.

Restaurants Coming Soon

Salt Factory – They’ll probably open in August. Prepare for a Salt vs Hop Alley faceoff in downtown Alpharetta.
Mama’s Pizza – Reopening soon in new digs on North Point Parkway.
Great Harvest Bread – Sammich chain coming to Windward next to Mambo’s Cafe.
Main Street Kitchen – They were supposed to be interested in 52 North Main. What’s happened to these guys?
Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe – Alabama-based chain coming soon to Windward Parkway.
Casa Del Sol Mexican Bar and Grill – Mexican joint in Forsyth near 141 and highway 9.
7 Tequilas Cantina – Mexican restaurant replacing Smokejack in Forsyth’s Midway community.
Jose’s Mexican Grill – Opening soon next to Zaxby’s on North Point and Webb Bridge.
Hurricane Grill – Wing joint coming to Johns Creek, Medlock Bridge and State Bridge.
First Watch –
Breakfast concept building at Northpoint and Old Milton.
Chipotle, Corner Bakery Cafe, Pollo Tropical, Zoe’s –
Starting to look like real restaurants now.

Thanks to Mike Christensen for his help with this article. It’s a lot to keep track of.

18 Responses to “Alpharetta Restaurant News – July 2013”

  1. Travis Allen July 19, 2013 at 8:45 am #

    Has anyone checked out Hugo’s Oyster Bar in Roswell at the foot of Alpine Drive and Hwy 9?

    Also, after driving by the Salt Factory location several times, I finally drove around the entire building and left with the same bewildermant that caused me to stop by in the first place…WHERE’S THE ENTRANCE TO THE RESTAURANT? They sealed over the former doors with brick and the only entrance I saw was around the back where the drive-thru used to be.

    I have been out of town for a few days, so maybe something has changed, thoughts?

  2. Alpharetta SNOBS July 19, 2013 at 8:54 am #

    Main Street Kitchen has a facebook page now, we are frequently checking for news of the grand opening. They are still listing 52 North Main as their address.

  3. greg July 19, 2013 at 9:11 am #

    Hop Alley has the advantage of brewing their own beer. Salt factory and Hop Alley are targeting two different demographics. At least based on the Salt Factory in History Roswell. People that want great craft beer aren’t going to salt factory. And based on their beer menu, they know that.

  4. Eric July 19, 2013 at 9:13 am #

    Lee, my parents lived in Chicago for a decade and really enjoyed Rosati’s, so when when my mom heard about them opening a location here, it took all of a few hours for her to call them. The answer is that they are indeed opening a location in Cumming that according to the person at their office should be opening in four months or so.

  5. S Lee Guy July 19, 2013 at 9:36 am #

    @Travis – Joan Durbin has a great review of Hugo’s.

    @Greg – I’ve only been to the Canton Street location of Salt once. But what I had that one time was far and away better than anything I’ve eaten at Hop Alley so far. But I agree on the beer. With Hop Alley’s pedigree (Sweetwater), I believe they should have the best local brew around. They’re having trouble keep up with demand right now.

    @Eric – Let me know if you learn of a location for Rosati’s. I couldn’t get it out of them.

  6. greg July 19, 2013 at 11:02 am #

    Ah, you were talking about food competition. Gotcha. I haven’t had the food at SF, but what I had at Hop alley was good. That said, I am not a foodie and care more about the craft beer scene.

  7. greg July 19, 2013 at 11:03 am #

    Also, any word on what happened to Tap on Main? They were open, then closed for reno, but never heard from again.

  8. A July 19, 2013 at 11:52 am #

    @greg, I’ve been wondering about that too. Is that the place that had the Coffee Pot and then previously the great Nantucket sandwich shop? It’s a great location so I hope something finally stays there a while.

  9. S Lee Guy July 19, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

    Tap on Main is a goner. I don’t know of any plans in that space.

  10. Scsa31274 July 19, 2013 at 2:17 pm #

    And don’t forget about Tower Burger coming to the old Sonic location on Hwy 9 south of Alpharetta. Slow progress being made there.

  11. Eric Asberry July 19, 2013 at 2:39 pm #

    I wonder if another restaurant will move into the current Mama’s location. Sad to see them moving as it was close walking distance from my office and now there’s one less choice close by. Subway gets pretty old after awhile!

  12. Jackie July 19, 2013 at 3:33 pm #

    It appears that Rosati’s Pizza may be going into the Buckhead Pizza location on Peachtree Parkway.

  13. S Lee Guy July 19, 2013 at 4:02 pm #

    Nice catch, Jackie! I knew Shumacher was marketing Buckhead Pizza for sale and I had checked their website yesterday ahead of this article. Looks like they just posted the deal today.

  14. Cool Papa Bell July 19, 2013 at 9:44 pm #

    Isn’t Main Street Kitchen from that Bramblett (?) family? Ceviche, Nine, Magnolia Cafe (RIP), etc? If so, eh. I do like the ambiance of 52 Main, but if it’s from that pedigree, nothing to get all that excited about.

  15. Greg (other) July 21, 2013 at 10:55 pm #

    Sorry, I had a meeting with the Bobs.

  16. Kelly and Michael July 24, 2013 at 8:39 am #

    So much for Rio Balsas! This week the Balsas portion of the name is covered and the new name has a LUPE’s in front of it. Kinda cheesy actually, Lupe’s Rio.

    Have not a clue what all this means other than Rio Balsa’s only been open for a couple of months or so, if even. I think you are right about locations opening at this shopping plaza are doomed!

  17. S Lee Guy July 25, 2013 at 10:25 am #

    Thanks Kelly. I thought they might be rebranding but I wasn’t sure of a name yet. The owners of this restaurant had a rather public (on Facebook) falling out with the Cumming location of Rio Balsas. Figured they would try to distance themselves from each other.

  18. Miriam September 1, 2013 at 7:30 pm #

    If I didn’t misunderstand Eileen, the owners of Xian China Bistro have relocated right off of Exit 14 and have opened the Silk Road Asian Kitchen. Apparently, there was too much competition in that area with Asian restaurants and they weren’t allowed to offer sushi as a menu item like they wanted to. Their lease was up, so they decided to not renew and start fresh in a different location. From what we were told, all of the dishes from Xian are still the same, with now the addition of sushi. The sushi we had on our first visit was pretty tasty. Check them out and let us know what you think :)

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