By Eric Harvison
Dining Atlanta spotlights what is opening and closing around the city. Check in at the beginning of each week to find out what is changing in your neighborhood.
A chaser with that Venti Vanilla Soy Caramel Macchiato? STARBUCKS announced last week that they will introduce their “evening day-part” concept in four to six Atlanta locations, offering new premium food as well as wine and beer. The concept was first introduced in one of their Seattle locations in late 2010 and has been slowly expanded to select stores in Washington, Oregon, and the Chicago area. Though the locations have not been named, its been reported (Decatur Metro blog as I recall) that employees at the downtown Decatur store have shared that they will be closing for several weeks of ‘refurbishments’ in the near future.
Former BARONI space has quickly reopened as FIG JAM KITCHEN & BAR. The new concept, still under ownership of the BARAONDA/PUBLIK crew, has an Italian-esque menu of pastas, grilled meats and the seemingly obligatory meatball sliders (lamb in this case).
HOUSTON’S on Peachtree is getting rebranded as HILLSTONE, a “flagship” location of their parent company, Beverly Hills based Hillstone Restaurant Group who operate upscale/casual dining establishments under a dozen or so different names across the nation.
Open for a couple months now in the longtime FINA space on Main and John Wesley Avenue, THE CORNER GRILL is serving American and Cajun/Creole cuisine. Open for breakfast and lunch.
And opening soon a few doors further up Main Street, REAL PIT BBQ.
Recently opened, HODGEPODGE COFFEE HOUSE AND GALLERY. 720 Moreland.
Two “former educators” have turned in their chalk and are opening ENDULGE CUPCAKES (I infer that they weren’t teaching spelling) in the former LITTLE CAFÉ PARIS spot sometime in the next month or so. As evidence that they’ve done their homework, they will offer a drive-through cupcake window.
And in the same cluster of shops, the MORELLI’S ICE CREAM that has been closed since before Christmas reopened last week.
Opened in 1970, the CHICK-FIL-A at South DeKalb Mall closed last week.
Road trip! Owner Kamal Grant is tweeting that SUBLIME DOUGHNUTS is opening another branch of the popular bakery, this one in Bangkok, Thailand.
Eric Harvison’s Dining Notes began a few years ago as a sporadic e-mail exchange with a friend, sharing restaurant openings and trying to satisfy that vague urge to dine “somewhere new.” That friend started forwarding Eric’s messages to some of her friends, several of them food industry professionals. They in turn began passing along bits of restaurant news and gossip that they would come across. These exchanges became more frequent and took on a viral life of their own that has evolved into what you read today.
Aside from the occasional editorial comment, Eric won’t attempt to review these restaurants. There’s plenty of others better qualified, with much more refined palates — probably you. Rather, this is an attempt to help you keep up with the constantly changing Atlanta dining scene, for better or worse.