Chef Mimmo Alboumeh, fresh off his partnership at Red Pepper Taqueria, is reinventing the former Watershed on Peachtree space (1820 Peachtree Road Northwest) with the January 1 launch of Botica. The Spanish and Mexican restaurant will have a more casual feel than the space’s former tenant, but Alboumeh says he isn’t concerned at all about moving into the former home of such a beloved Atlanta restaurant.
“The space was beautiful but missing energy,” Alboumeh says. “It was cold and there was no sound. I am a chef. I work with big chefs and small chefs. There’s nothing to intimidate me.”
To energize the space, Alboumeh worked with Tony Akly of Restaurant Consulting Group to infuse it with black, gray, white, hot pink, and teal. He added 40 flat-screen TVs, whimsical Mexican art, and accordion doors that open to a 100-seat, heated patio.
The 1,500-square-foot bar will serve 30 wines by the glass—mostly Spanish and Californian with some New Zealand and Italian thrown in. There will be local and Mexican beer, both on tap and by the bottle and can—think Wild Heaven, Pontoon, and StillFire. Cocktails will utilize fresh fruit and herbs, as well as infusions made in-house. Get ready for margaritas, frose, and shots all around.
“We’re creating a Cheers in Buckhead,” Alboumeh says. “There are 220 units above us. I already have plaques with the names of my loyal customers; they can pick their favorite chair to put it on.”
The menu will be more than just tacos. There’s octopus, tuna tartare, grilled chorizo, wings, salads, and burgers. Botica will also serve brunch, starting on New Year’s Day. Expect chilaquiles, steak and eggs, shrimp and grits, and a salmon Benedict.
“I did extensive research on ingredients to make the food very different,” says Alboumeh, who has Lebanese and Spanish roots.