AI3 goes from Westside to the West Coast

ATL Food Chatter: October 11, 2011
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Westside design firm AI3 is opening an office in San Francisco, headed by Joe Remling, one its founding principals, to expand its national presence and explore business opportunities on the West Coast. The award winning design firm was founded seven years ago on the then-edgy Westside by four young architects—Remling, Patrick Johnson, Lucy Aiken-Johnson, and Dan Maas—who left local firm TVS Design to develop a boutique practice that focused on a creative approach to client collaboration in the design process. AI3 caught attention with its work for the Globe at Georgia Tech and began landing star clients such as Richard Blais (Flip Burger Boutique), Linton Hopkins (Holeman & Finch) and Steven Satterfield (Miller Union). Its current high-profile gigs include Fifth Group’s two upcoming restaurants, Mexican-themed Alma Cucina opening Downtown in late fall, and Lure, specializing in seafood, coming to Midtown next year.

Armed with its local successes, AI3 is taking advantage of some business opportunities to expand the firm’s footprint. Remling (pictured), who moved to San Francisco in September, is the managing partner of AI3’s West Coast studio. Remling says San Francisco was chosen as the firm’s second office location because an Atlanta-based restaurant client, whom Remling declined to name, wants AI3 to design its San Francisco project. Also, Intercontinental Hotel Group, one of AI3’s biggest clients, has several West Coast projects in the works. Remling says that the firm will continue to operate a boutique type of practice but they are also looking to develop more of a national presence—and San Francisco provides an ideal location because of its culinary reputation. AI3’s West Coast studio is slated to open by the end of the year in San Francisco’s Financial District.

Congrats to Creative Loafing food and drink editor Besha Rodell for her first place award in the 2011 Association of Food Journalists award in the “Best Food Essay” category for her awesome account of sitting in a Waffle House for twenty-four hours.

Atlanta Beer Week, an eight-day tour of some of Atlanta’s finest craft beer offerings, will run from October 8 through October 16.

Eatocracy listed star chef Hugh Acheson’s five overlooked Southern ingredients in its 5@5 feature last week.
Buckhead. Southern Art and Bourbon Bar opens on Wednesday, October 12, in the Intercontinental Buckhead Atlanta.

College Park. Lunch on Main has closed

Decatur. Urban Daddy is reporting that Harbor Bar & Fish House has opened at 129 Church Street.

Druid Hills. Tomorrow’s News Today notes that Johns Creek-based Romero’s New York Pizza is opening its second location in Emory Village.

Inman Park. Kevin Rathbun’s Krog Bar is celebrating its sixth anniversary with a Pig and Paella party on Saturday, October 15.

Midtown. Creative Loafing is reporting that Umma’s House Restaurant and Cafe, featuring Korean and Japanese take out, has opened at 75 5th Street in Tech Square.

Creative Loafing also notes that former Next Food Network Star Season Six contestant, Brianna Jenkins, is planning on opening two bakeries in Midtown. The first, La Mongerie Bakery & Bistro, is slated for the former Agnes & Muriel’s spot on Monroe and the second, La Mongerie Bakery Deux, is pegged for 265 Ponce de Leon, next to MF Sushi.

Roswell. The AJC reported that Roswell Provisions—featuring an array of wines, cheeses, deli meats and sausages as well as baskets filled with locally grown produce—has opened at 955 Canton Street.

Virginia Highland. At the Battle of the Burgers last week, Deckard’s American Tavern won first place for the best classic burger, Atkins Park Tavern won for best veggie burger and The Nook won for best “contemporary burger” (Southern Comfort Burger). The People’s choice award went to Farm Burger.

Westside. Tomorrow’s News Today is reporting that Bell Street Burrito’s long-awaited second location will be in the former Social House spot at 1663 Howell Mill Road. Matt Hinton, owner of the concept modeled after the late and lamented Tortillas, is quoted as having recently signed a lease and with having an opening planned “in the coming months”.

Question of the Week. What renowned former ATL chef was in town last week to lecture on Southern cuisine at a local university?

PS . The answer to last week’s QOTW- What ATL chef will compete against star chef Marcus Samuelsson in the Cadillac Culinary Challenge Test Drive to be held at Lenox Mall November 5-6?—is Kenneth Bills of Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Winebar.

Do you have restaurant openings, closings, or other news to share? Email James Oxendine at