Alpharetta Restaurant News – March 2015

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

The rumors seem to be true. Ricco’s Italian & Tapas will not open as planned in the former Zola Bistro space in Milton. Instead a restaurant called Mondo’s Pizza Kitchen is building out in the space along Highway 9.

Senor Fajitas coming soon signA little ways up the street you’ll soon find Senor Fajitas Mexican Grill & Cantina. They’ll open in a rundown little space just above McFarland Parkway. It’s been home to a few Mexican restaurants, most recently Picante Grill.

The scene changes almost daily down near North Point Mall. We reported earlier this week about the drive-thru Starbucks set to start construction next to Taco Bell on Haynes Bridge Road.

Mayuri Indian Restaurant has closed in the former Pizza Hut space close to the mall. The concept will change and become Bawarchi Biryani Point Indian Cuisine. The chain has a smattering of locations across the country including one in Sandy Springs.

Cupcake purveyor CamiCakes announced recently on social media that they will open in the Mansell Crossing shopping center near the new REI. There’s no word on exactly which storefront they will occupy and buildout has not started.

Also making an announcement on social media was Mugs on Milton. Downtown Alpharetta’s little coffee shop will open a second location in Crabapple at the former Scoops Ice Cream store. It would be great to see an independent coffee shop thrive here but it’s proven hard to get people out of Starbucks. Element Coffee Company brewed a very good cup of joe there in Crabapple a few years back yet folded.

And not to be confused with the Sedgwick’s concept, a Mexican joint called Pura Enchilada Taqueria will open at 11550 Jones Bridge Road near Kimball Bridge in Johns Creek. These guys also operate a restaurant at the Pendergrass flea market. Definitely not the Sedgwicks.

anabelles table logoWe’re watching for a French-inspired concept called Anabelle’s Table to re-emerge soon. They pulled back on plans to open last year on Peachtree Parkway in south Forsyth. Recently on Facebook they teased that they may lease space on Windward very close to GA-400.

And finally, let’s take a quick trip through south Forsyth. Jay’s Mexican Grill opened about a month ago on McFarland Parkway. We had high hopes for these guys, but they’re bush league compared to our beloved El Trompo. Jet’s Pizza will open a store on McGinnis Ferry in the shopping center with Sweet Apple Donuts. And Cuoco Italian Table has closed on Peachtree Parkway near Sharon Road.

Restaurants Coming Soon

The Farmhouse – Still waiting on this coffee and crepe shop in Johns Creek.
Cook-Out – Moving along on their buildout on Haynes Bridge. No word on an opening date.
Cafe at Pharr – The sign went up this week at their new location off Windward in the old Pig-n-Chik.
Chad Thai Urban Asian Kitchen - Coming soon to Milton in the old pretzel store near Target.
Ceviche Taqueria & Margarita Bar – Opening on Milton Avenue in downtown Alpharetta next to 2B Whole Bakery.

Special thanks to Mike Christensen for his help scouting restaurants around town.

13 Responses to “Alpharetta Restaurant News – March 2015”

  1. thebob_o March 20, 2015 at 9:10 am #

    I’m hoping the new location of Mugs has expanded hours… I would totally frequent them more often in the evenings and go in to the current location often on Saturday’s… but their hours coincide exactly with the hours I have to be in my office at my job… :(

  2. Jeff March 20, 2015 at 1:40 pm #

    I agree with the Mugs on Milton hours being bad….Don’t do the coffee house tour much but when we do in the evenings they were closed….have yet to try them :(

    I also tried Jay’s this week… hit it right on the nose, not even close to El Trompo.

  3. Glen March 20, 2015 at 2:59 pm #

    Mayuri Indian Restaurant always seemed closed when I was in the area, so not shocked to see it go. How will this new Indian restaurant differ though? I think that a place that does breakfast as well as lunch and diner would do great in that location. Grab people from the nearby hotels as well as the early shoppers. Denny’s or Shoneys(if they are still around)would be a great idea.

  4. Travis Allen March 21, 2015 at 2:35 am #

    Shoney’s has a location at Sugarloaf Mills (formerly Discover Mills)

    Not to step of the toes of all the foodies on here, but I agree with Glen that a Shoney’s or Denny’s would do well in that location.

  5. A March 21, 2015 at 9:12 am #

    I don’t see how Mugs can survive with 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. hours and closed on Sundays. I’ve been once and while the ladies are really nice, the ambiance isn’t great and the coffee/tea wasn’t any better than anywhere else. They need to do something to distinguish themselves, which I haven’t seen yet.

  6. Cool Papa Bell March 23, 2015 at 1:15 pm #

    “Not to step of the toes of all the foodies on here, but I agree with Glen that a Shoney’s or Denny’s would do well in that location.”

    I think most foodies would agree. Adjacent to malls are a haven for horrible food, but it’s no coincidence. It’s a high-rent, high visibility area. Restaurants built on branding are willing to pay the extra money because their signs are a billboard for all locations.

    Restaurants that are built on quality don’t need to pay a king’s ransom for location, location, location. Darden, Denny’s, Panera, etc should be slobbering over getting a locale that appeals to the ITP crowd coming in to shop.

  7. J March 23, 2015 at 8:26 pm #

    Not a comment about restaurants but Lee needs to post about North Point mall. Was there this weekend and there is a lot of empty space. The wife told me today that several other popular stores (Victoria’s secret and express) had the gates down today and it appeared the stores were empty. With Avalon opening along with other shopping centers is North Point turning in to Gwinnett Place Mall? I think it is an interesting topic to explore here since the “local” newspaper and TV won’t touch it.

  8. S Lee Guy March 27, 2015 at 7:43 am #

    @J – I’ve thought about writing that article for a while now. But in short I think the mall is doing pretty well all things considering. They have been put under enormous leasing pressure from Avalon and The Collection (fka The Avenue Forsyth). They also survived multiple anchor store closings over the past few years.

    The Gwinnett Place issue has concerned the city for some time now. But the dynamics of retail here isn’t the same as it was in Gwinnett County ten years ago. That mall was hit with high-end competition (Mall of Georgia) and discount competition (Discover Mills) at almost the same time. It was too much to overcome.

  9. Travis Allen March 27, 2015 at 8:56 am #

    Victoria Secret just moved. They are currently in a corner spot in front of JC Penney.

  10. Mike Christensen March 27, 2015 at 11:42 am #

    Points to CPB for using the word “slobbering”. Well done sir.

  11. Jen March 28, 2015 at 1:53 pm #

    As a newer mom the mall needs to market to us more. I hated the mall until I had a toddler. The train, the carousel etc keep me coming and I shop there in between. Keep targeting family entertainment and we will keep coming. The mall needs to bring back the little interactive dance light/tiles that were in front of H&M. A place for manicures and pedicures would be nice (while kids are on the train or carousel with dad, moms can get a quick pedi). Also, more coffee shops are needed other than Starbucks (especially near the play area). I’d love to see something like the Nordstrom cafe in dillards or von maur.

    Avalon did poach a lot of business from the mall area including Gymboree, Pottery Barn kids, Janie and jack, banana republic, gap, crate and barrel, etc

  12. Parker March 30, 2015 at 8:50 pm #

    @J and @Lee,
    One of my main concerns about Avalon and the Alpharetta city center project is the impact of all of that new retail and restaurant space on the existing space around the area. I just don’t see the huge demand that would keep the old stuff open and supply the new stuff with customers. City center will be really cool and busy, and Avalon will be whatever it is, and empty spaces will be everywhere else.

  13. Travis Allen March 31, 2015 at 12:48 pm #

    Update, Victoria Secret is temporarily located in the corner spot downstairs by JC Penney, however they will be moving back into their previous spot after it has expanded to become the largest VS in Georgia.

    From the looks of it, they’ll be adding the old Banana Republic space.

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