ATL Food Chatter: January 19, 2010
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When the Mansion on Peachtree opened in 2008, its restaurant, Neo, was touted as an upscale modern Italian restaurant that would not only serve the guests of the Mansion but also be a destination restaurant. It preceded the opening of Craft and Craftbar, which sits inside the hotel’s courtyard, by several months. Once Craft opened, Neo no longer attracted the interest it initially stirred. The focus of the restaurant initially shifted from high-end to more casual—and now it offers only breakfast and hosts private events. The Mansion’s affable general manager, Luigi Romaniello, says that Neo’s latest change is not related to the recent financial issues facing the property’s developer, but is the result of a management decision.
According to Romaniello, after a significant amount of customer feedback from people seeking private dining rooms for corporate meetings and inquiries from individuals seeking venues for wedding receptions, a decision was made in December to change Neo’s format. He says now the three restaurants don’t “cannibalize” one another’s business and that Neo’s private event business is growing rapidly.
Romaniello stated that the financial issues of the developer have not affected the restaurant’s business; in fact, the hotel is now running ahead of its projected performance measures and he expects Neo to thrive in its new role.
NEWS AND NOTES:
Avondale Estates. Savage Pizza has opened a second store at 115 Laredo Drive.
Buckhead. Georgia Grille is celebrating its twentieth anniversary this month with a host of promotions and events.
Chops was the only Atlanta restaurant listed on Restaurant & Institutions magazine’s annual Top 100 independent Restaurants survey with 2008 sales of $13.5 million.
Decatur. Kessler reported that The German Bakery closed after decades in business.
Downtown. Meehan’s and Sweet Georgia’s Juke Joint, the two restaurants slated to open in the former Macy’s building at 200 Peachtree Street, are now rumored to be opening in either May or June.
Inman Park. Parish Food & Goods is now closed on Mondays.
Question of the Week: What midtown hotspot recently wowed a visiting Food & Wine magazine editor during a visit last month?
PS. The answer to last week’s QOTW—What former Concentrics’ Restaurants chef has left the company and rumored to be opening a restaurant in Florida?—is Gregg McCarthy, formerly of Murphy’s.