A preview of latter 2010 Atlanta restaurant openings


ATL Food Chatter: June 7, 2010
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Thus far, 2010 has been a rather dull year for new restaurants in Atlanta. But the next six months appear to hold promise for excitement: Here are seven projects that give hope for livelier newcomers to the local dining scene:

Farmstead 303 Opened by Teri Rogers of Feast, the newly opened Decatur restaurant—serving “fresh, simple comfort food”—snagged Ryan Stewart (formerly of the Glenwood and more recently Mac McGee’s Irish Pub) as head chef.
The restaurant at Centennial Olympic Park Slated to open by 4th of July weekend, the retro-designed spot will give Downtown office workers a reason to line up for burgers at lunch. Insiders tell me to be sure and try the peanut butter and jelly shake.
Davio’s Scheduled for an August arrival, this Boston-based upscale Italian steakhouse looks to bring an elegant style to Phipps Plaza. Service, led by longtime Ritz-Carlton Buckhead maitre d’ Claude Guillaume, is sure to be dazzling.
Empire State South Slated to open in August, this updated take on the southern meat-and-three from Athens’ Hugh Acheson (Five and Ten, the National) will feature a bocce court and a selection of great bourbons. It’s safe to say that ESS has become the most anticipated restaurant opening of the year. The addition of Nick Melvin (ex of Parish) as sous chef is a definite plus.
STK This sexed-up steakhouse, coming to the Midtown Mile via a New York group that specializes in creating exclusive hotspots, will feature a bustling bar scene and a separate casual carry out spot—the first in the company’s portfolio. Look for a December opening.
Pano’s Though the reincarnation of Buckhead Life Restaurant Group’s flagship at the St Regis Hotel has been pushed back for nearly a year, it is still slated to open this winter, according to company insiders. The Johnson Studio will design Atlanta’s first truly fine dining spot to open in years.
As for 2011: The troubled Streets of Buckhead project announced last week that it will resume construction in July, with a completion date of November 2011. The high-end complex holds the promise of some nationally known restaurant concepts, including Japonais, as well as a movie theater featuring a restaurant and bar. It sure would be great if the developers sought some local talent to open eateries there, too.  (Read senior editor Thomas Lake’s story on the Streets of Buckhead for more insight.)

Also on the horizon: JCT Kitchen top toque Ford Fry is planning to covert an entire block on Midtown’s 6th Street, from Peachtree to Juniper, into an entertainment complex featuring—among other things—a taco truck with a sit-down space, an Austin, Texas-style Tex-Mex spot, and a tonsorial palace by a well known haberdashery. He plans to start the project in early 2011.

Green Olive Media, the locally based media and public relations group, has garnered some awards recently. They received two gold awards from the International Academy of The Visual Arts/Communicator Awards for their design of the Holeman & Finch and Cakes & Ale websites. They also have won four American Graphic Design awards for their work with local businesses, including Holeman & Finch and Aria. Congrats!

Buckhead. Foodie Buddha is reporting that the Kind Pie has closed their kitchen at 252 East Paces Ferry Road and is looking for new (and larger) digs in Buckhead. (FYI: We tried to call the restaurant’s old number, which no longer has voicemail.)
Decatur. Natalie’s Fish house has closed.
Downtown. Harlem Bar has closed. 
Marietta. The first Pinkberry fro-yo outlet in Georgia, located at 2937 Cobb Parkway in the Akers Mill Shopping Center, will open June 25. 
Midtown. Cliff Bostock is reporting that chef Hopeton Hibbert has left Atmosphere. 
Westside. Thrillist is reporting that the Utopia Lounge at 842 Marietta Street has closed and it has reopened as La Vida, a Latin tapas spot.
Question of the Week: What top Atlanta chef will lead a gastro trek to Peru this fall?
 PS. The answer to last week’s QOTW—What ATL chef recently received an award for Sustainable Fish Advocacy from the Monterey Bay Aquarium?—is Kevin Gillespie.