Alpharetta Restaurant News – December 2014

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

I’ve never had this many new restaurant stories hit my radar in just a week’s span. It’s been crazy and also difficult to wait until Friday to bring it all to the blog. But here goes.

cropped-Enzas_Pizza_Logo_WHT1Anna and Eddie Siino have opened a pizza joint. These names should ring a bell because they are the founders of BB’s Bagels. That’s right, BB’s is in the pizza business. This week they quietly opened Vincenza’s Pizzeria across McFarland Parkway from their legendary bagel shop.

It was hard for me to get in touch with Anna this week for comment. But during lunch yesterday I asked her, “Why a pizza restaurant?”

“Because I didn’t like any of the pizza around here,” she replied as she moved on to help another customer. Um, alright. And here I was thinking we had plenty of terrific options for New York-style pies in the Alpharetta area. But who am I to question someone who already makes a nationally recognized New York-style product?

The Siino’s pizza joint is in the former Dottie’s Delight location next to the seedy massage parlor. It’s not exactly fancy digs, but neither is BB’s. Right now the menu is just pizza by the slice but that will change. Expect big, foldy, saucy and greasy slices with quality meats. I also spied Sicilian by the slice. And since I know someone will ask, their initial inspection is a 100.

pharrBig story number two is Cafe at Pharr. The growing sandwich chain out of Buckhead is coming to Alpharetta and will open in the former Pig-n-Chik location at 3050 Windward Plaza. Word from their PR folks is that their recent expansion into Dunwoody has been very successful and has bolstered their confidence to move further into the suburbs. Their menu and concept is very similar to the popular Chicken Salad Chick and should go over well here. But they’ll face the enormous headwind of this terrible location that isn’t visible from the road at all and is tough to get to. But maybe they will steal customers from Jason’s Deli.

Over at Avalon, we expect Antico will open near Christmas. We’re also hearing that Oak Steakhouse will open a sister restaurant at the development. It will be an Italian concept called Colletta and will open in February.

More than two years ago the Florida-based chain Burger 21 prematurely announced new locations in our area. Since then they opened one store near the Mall of Georgia and that’s it. But this month we’re hearing more credible rumors that a Johns Creek location is in the works but an address has not been revealed. The franchisee is Alpharetta resident Chris Bastecki who owns several Jimmy Johns stores.

We reported last month that growler store pioneer Crafty Draught closed their original south Forsyth location. Looks like their Alpharetta store is all tapped out too. That leaves us only one growler store in the Alpharetta city limits.

And thanks to several blog readers for bringing Breadtime to my attention. The owners of this quaint little German restaurant announced recently on Facebook that they have sold the business. Apparently this happened some time ago.

Also changing hands is the Italian eatery Dal Cuore in Johns Creek. They’d been listed for sale with a restaurant broker for several months. The new restaurant will be called Mari’s Cucina and Social House.

And speaking of selling restaurants, Fresh Mexicano Grill on the Forsyth side of McGinnis Ferry was sold and will become Sushi Ming Japanese Kitchen.

And while we’re in south Forsyth, we’ll go rapid fire on the changes up there…

Laguna Mexican Grill will open in the Midway community on Highway 9 in the former BluBay/BW Tavern/Mulligans/Buffalo’s space. They’ve got locations in downtown Cumming and Hoschton. Osaka Steak and Sushi at 3630 Peachtree Parkway has become Enzo Sushi. On Old Atlanta Road Cooley’s Pizza will become Quest Pizza. And Keso Mexican Grill has closed on Highway 9 near Bethelview and will soon be Marco’s Pizza. Got all that? There’ll be a quiz later.

Opening since last month is Piece of Cake on North Point near Chicken Salad Chick. The peri peri chain restaurant Boneheads is now open on Windward near Sri Krishna Vilas. And Another Broken Egg‘s location at Johns Creek Walk opens Monday December 15th.

Restaurants Coming Soon

The Farmhouse – Still waiting on this coffee and crepe shop in Johns Creek.
Made Kitchen and Cocktails – Spanish tapas joint from the Sedgwicks. Should be open any day now.
Jay’s Mexican Grill and Taqueria – Little place on McFarland.
JD’s Sports Pub & Pizza – Replacing TPS Pizza on Peachtree Parkway in Forsyth.
Tom and Chee – You’ll have to wait until after the new year to get your grilled cheese and soup on.
Nothing Bundt Cakes - Laying down the bundt at The Collection at Forsyth.
Smallcakes - You’re killing me smalls. Another cake joint at 4055 Old Milton Parkway.
Cook-Out – Cheap fast food burgers coming to Haynes Bridge. Buildout hasn’t started yet.

8 Responses to “Alpharetta Restaurant News – December 2014”

  1. S Lee Guy December 12, 2014 at 7:30 am #

    And a big thanks to my co-blogger Mike Christensen for his help with this article. Had it not been for him I would have glossed over the Vincenza story as just another pizza shop.

  2. David December 12, 2014 at 8:14 am #

    Any word on how Tower Burger is doing? I’ve followed that story since it began years ago and it looks like, judging by the lack of cars I see in the parking lot every day, it’s not going to have a happy ending.

  3. Travis Allen December 12, 2014 at 8:41 am #

    Burger 21 was meh…I’d rather go to Steak & Shake, just wasn’t impressed by their food.

    Their service was outstanding however, even though you order at the counter, they had several folks walking the tables, checking on you…just enough attention without hovering too much.

  4. A December 12, 2014 at 9:59 am #

    Do we know if Breadtime is still open and serving German food? I can’t imagine it will be as good as when they first opened now that they’ve changed hands. I wouldn’t be surprised if the concept changed. That location across from the B of A is pretty terrible unless you’re driving southbound on 9.

  5. Kevin December 12, 2014 at 10:57 am #

    Went to Tower Burger the other day and I give it a resounding “meh.” I’m within walking distance of the place and I certainly wouldn’t make a special trip to go. I went at 12:15 and the place was half empty. Summertime might draw some traffic as they have outdoor seating on the patio and roof and the bar should be a good evening draw.

    Everything is ala carte, so a basic burger and side will set you back $10 – $11. The patty was fairly large (prob 1/3+ lb), but it had a decidedly rubbery texture. No carmelization, no crunch. Service was nothing to rave about, but it wasn’t terrible either.

    If you’re starving and won’t make it to Lucky’s, Smokejack (a remarkably good and inexpensive burger for a barbecue place), or Hop Alley, Tower Burger is serviceable, but just barely.

  6. Mike Christensen December 12, 2014 at 1:12 pm #

    That’s why I’m not super excited to try that new pizza place. The Siinos and the reps of BB’s are pretty rude and don’t take too well to people who criticize their operation. The whole health inspection was met with rude comments. It seems that the arrogance of the whole thing turns me off.
    Sad to see Breadtime having problems. Great little place with a different style of cuisine in a sea of pizza and burgers. The food was always good and the owners were always friendly. See that, BBs?

  7. Stacey Mueller December 18, 2014 at 12:11 pm #

    Don’t hold your breath on Antico opening by Christmas. I was at Avalon last week and took a peek inside and it is FAR from being finished. No floor, no light fixtures, no furniture. Avalon folks won’t commit to a date either, and I know because my friend keeps calling them.

  8. claudia castro December 30, 2014 at 8:18 am #

    Love, love, love Vincenza’s pizza! Brings me back to my JR High School days in Woodside, Queens, NY walking home from school, stopping in at “Rosario’s” for a slice! Thin, crunchy crust, great sauce, just the right amount of cheese. Finally. I’m a purist – if you’re going to try it, just order a cheese pie, eat it there, experiment with other versions later.

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