Alon Balshan opened the first Alon’s Bakery & Market in Morningside in 1992. Nearly 30 years—and one Dunwoody location—later, Balshan is bringing his handmade pastries, fresh-baked breads, and gourmet sandwiches to Buckhead. A 5,300-square-foot Alon’s has taken over part of the former Twist restaurant space facing Peachtree Road in Phipps Plaza.
“This is a hybrid between [Morningside] and Dunwoody,” Balshan says. “We tried to imitate the tightness of [Morningside’s] narrow aisles with people rubbing against each other but in a bigger space. It has its charm.”
The Phipps location adds a touch of modern to Balshan’s traditional rustic aesthetic. The front of the space is glass, and some walls are brick, while others feature white subway tile. There are both white quartz-style countertops and recycled pine ones for a mix of new and old worlds. An oven to the right of the entrance allows customers to view bread being proofed and then displayed. There’s even a covered 1,600-square-foot patio.
“We sell an experience that includes the food, music, and service,” Balshan says. “When you walk in, you want to feel great.”
“I’ve always loved markets everywhere I’ve traveled,” he continues. “My mission is to get others to enjoy that experience.”
Alon’s Phipps Plaza offers a similar menu to that at the other locations, including made-to-order sandwiches and salads, prepared entrees served a la carte, croissants, cakes, cookies, breads, chocolates, and cheeses.
There’s a large display case with premade sandwiches and focaccia sold by the slice, all available heated upon request. Sandwich specials—such as sliced lamb, hummus, and harissa—will be sold here, too.
A semi-rounded bar divides the space between a sitting area and the market and serves four draft beers (as opposed to two in Dunwoody), as well as approximately 15 wines by the glass. (Forty wines are sold by the bottles). In addition to cappuccino and espresso, the new location offers Batdorf & Bronson nitro cold brew.
“Because we offer so many different things, we want the customer to experience the space, wander around, grab a bottle of wine and some cheese,” Balshan says.
Those who plan on stopping by for breakfast or coffee needn’t worry about parking, as the mall doesn’t open until 10 a.m. For the lunch rush, Alon’s will have three reserved parking spots out front, allowing customers to run inside and grab food to-go in 15 minutes or less.