A look ahead to restaurant openings in 2011

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The recent spate of closings (Dynamic Dish, Shaun’s, and, just announced today, Vickery’s in Midtown) and the modest pace of openings made 2010 one of the bleaker years for Atlanta’s recent dining scene history. So let’s look to the future with a brief roundup of the restaurants announced for 2011:

Top Chef All Star contestant Richard Blais’s next project, slated to open in the former San Francisco Coffee location in Poncey-Highland, is still coming into focus. It was first reported to be a hot dog concept, but Blais has said publicly that it won’t be a hot dog version of his Flip Burger Boutiques.

JCT Kitchen chef-owner Ford Fry is planning a casual Italian restaurant, similar supposedly in style to San Francisco’s A16, for early spring in the former Eurasia space in downtown Decatur. Bill Addison today reported on Twitter that Drew Belline, the longtime chef at Floataway Cafe, will leave that post to helm the kitchen. The name of the restaurant hasn’t yet been finalized.
 
The peripatetic Sichuan master Peter Chang is on track to open an eponymous restaurant at 6450 Powers Ferry Road in January.
 
Sweet Georgia’s Juke Joint—a restaurant and bar featuring live music from the owners of One Flew South and H. Harper Station—is slated to open at 200 Peachtree in Downtown this January.

Ohio-based Ocean Prime, an upscale seafood-and-steak chain, will open an Atlanta location next fall, rumored to be the current Sambuca location in Buckhead.
 
Local European coffeehouse group Cafe Intermezzo is slated to open its fourth location in the under-renovation Courtyard by Marriot at 133 Carnegie Way in Downtown as early as January.
 
Genki Sushi & Noodles is expanding its empire to Virginia-Highland with a store slated to open by March at 1040 North Highland Avenue—in the location that was formerly Everybody’s Pizza.

In addition to those projects, the team behind Top Flr and the Sound Table is reportedly looking at Midtown locations for their Dinner Club concept (which will not include chef Julia LeRoy, as previously reported), though they definitely have at least one event planned in a temporary space early in the year; Kevin Gillespie continues to consider locations in Reynoldstown for his barbecue and ice cream concept, and Eli Kirshtein is still scouting locations for his solo project. Here’s to more eventful openings and less unfortunate closings in 2011.

NEWS AND NOTES:

Bob Campbell—President of Tappen Street Restaurant Group, the parent company of Taco Mac—was named Restaurateur of the Year by the Georgia Restaurant Association.

One Flew South and Paschal’s were named to Food & Wine magazine’s Best Airport Dining Spots for 2010.

Alpharetta
. Chicago’s famed Italian beef sandwich chain, Al’s Beef, has targeted Alpharetta as for one of their first Georgia stores.

Buckhead. What Now Atlanta reported that California-based chain Yogurtland is scouting locations on West Paces Ferry Road for their first Georgia store.

Downtown. The AJC is reporting that a new (terribly named) restaurant, TASTE!, serving breakfast and lunch, has opened in the Georgia-Pacific Tower.

Duluth. Thrillist notes that Purple Rain Restaurant & Lounge has opened at 3550 Mall Boulevard.

Midtown. Edouard Fenouil, most recently of Davio’s and Joël, is now executive pastry chef at The Woodruff Arts Center/Table 1280.

What Now Atlanta is reporting that New York-based 5 Napkin Burger will be taking the former Nickiemoto’s space.

Poncey-Highland. Thrillist reports that Cafe di Sol’s chef, Andy Long, has set up a Belgian-style street fries stand outside the resto at 640 North Highland that operates every Saturday and Sunday beginning at 12:30 pm.

Sandy Springs. The AJC first reported that Prado location of 5 Seasons Brewery has changed its name to Lucky Devil Brewing.

Question of the Week: What nationally renowned ATL burger spot is up for sale, with a starting price of $450,000?

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