Old names, new restaurants; and pop-ups going permanent—those are the major themes of 2022’s most anticipated restaurants. After two years of the Covid-19 pandemic, many restaurateurs are still struggling. But the industry is a resiliant one, and others have capitalized on vacancies and industry shifts to proceed with new ideas.
From Pat Pascarella, Tal Baum, and Deborah Van Trece—who each have multiple restaurants in the works—to Mia Orino (Kamayan ATL) and Sophia Marchese (Happy Seed)—who are taking their start-ups brick-and-mortar, here are the names—and restaurants—to watch this year:
Acapulco cuisine from the El Tesoro team
Mezcal and Mexican food are the theme at this upcoming Oakhurst restaurant from the El Tesoro team. Expect family recipes from El Tesoro kitchen manager Hugo Suastegui and other coastal dishes from his hometown of Acapulco. The yet-unnamed spot should open early this year.
Chef Pat Pascarella (the White Bull, Grana) is bringing this oyster bar to the Midtown Promenade near Piedmont Park this summer. Inspired by the Amalfi Coast, Alici will serve handmade pasta and risotto, as well as seafood.
Replacing Brezza Cucina in the corner of Ponce City Market’s Central Food Hall, Atrium is restaurateur Tal Baum’s (Aziza, Rina, Bellina Alimentari) largest eatery yet. Expect a total revamp of the space with a feminine feel and a vegetable- and seafood-forward menu. Atrium is slated to open in early 2022.
Also from Pascarella, Bastone is a full-service mozzarella bar with a focus on wine and cocktails. Look for it to open in the former Bocado space on the Westside this month.
The Atlanta BeltLine Eastside Trail is getting a new al fresco bar in Reynoldstown. The dual-level spot from the Grindhouse Killer Burgers team will serve hand-held food, such as fish sandwiches and tacos, plus rotisserie chicken dinners, frozen drinks, beer, and wine.
Bryan Furman BBQ
His first eponymous restaurant, Bryan Furman BBQ is opening across the street from the old B’s Cracklin’ space in Riverside, where the 2019 James Beard semifinalist led the pit before the restaurant burned down. Go for smoked North Carolina pork, plus brisket, ribs, chicken, and more.
After Atrium starts service, Tal Baum plans to take her talents to Buckhead Village, where she’ll launch coastal cuisine spot Carmel in late 2022. Designed by Smith Hanes Studio, Carmel will feature a 72-inch hearth and spotlight food cooked on the fire.
Get ready for pupusas and tamales in Roswell this spring. From Ryan Pernice and the team behind Table & Main and Osteria Mattone, Casa Robles will serve these Latin-American items and tacos and small plates.
Dear Friend, Bagels
What launched as a pop-up based out of Spiller Park Coffee, Dear Friend, Bagels is opening as a brick-and-mortar shop Downtown this year. Head honcho Dale Donchey says his boiled-and-baked sumac, sesame, everything, salt, and plain rounds will be served as sandwiches or with schmear—however you like it.
Deborah Van Trece’s Cascade Heights restaurants
The Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours owner and chef is working on three new eateries at the Point at Cascade. Oreatha’s at the Point pays tribute to Van Trece’s mother and will showcase favorite family recipes from around the world. Serenidad will focus on Latin soul food, while the direction for Dulcet Down Under has not been shared yet.
Fogon and Lions
Minnie Olivia Pizzeria founder, chef Julio Delgado, formerly of JP Atlanta, is opening this modern Spanish restaurant in Alpharetta, serving Latin-inspired cheeses and cured meats, steaks and seafood, alongside Spanish and South American wines.
Ford Fry’s JCT Kitchen replacement
Restaurateur Ford Fry has big shoes to fill with the closing of his Southern favorite JCT Kitchen on the Westside. He’s promised a novel concept but is staying mum on the details—for now.
From the Lazy Betty and Juniper Cafe team comes a restaurant as American as apple pie (hence the name). Expect natural wine, burgers, pot pie, cauliflower steak, and pizza with unusual toppings such as Cajun shrimp.
Chef Todd Richards is bringing Japanese soul food to the Old Fourth Ward. Replacing the short-lived Hazel Jane’s wine bar, Kuro will serve seafood, sushi, and collard green ramen. Kuro will be Richards’ third intown restaurant, after Lake & Oak barbecue and Soul: Food & Culture.
A vegan restaurant from the founders of the Happy Seed pop-up, La Semilla will bring plant-based Latin food to Reynoldstown. Slated to debut in the spring, it will serve Happy Seed customer favorites, such as seitan “beef” crunch wraps and seitan asada sopes.
Another pop-up-turned-brick-and-mortar, Kamayan ATL serves Filipano fare, including lumpia, pork adobo, halo-halo, and ube piaya. The restaurant will be located in the Asian Square complex on Buford Highway in Doraville.
The long-term Cooks & Soldiers omakase pop-up becomes permanent this year with a dine-in location on the Westside. The spot, previously known for its high-end Edomae sushi and elaborate takeout packaging, will serve sushi and small plates with ingredients sourced fresh from Japan.
Painted Park and Painted Pickle
Eater-tainment entrepreneurs Justin Amick and William Stallworth, founders of the Painted Pin and the Painted Duck, are opening a new concept in the former Parish space in Inman Park, focused on drinking, dining, and lawn games. The duo is also working on Painted Pickle, an indoor/outdoor pickleball-focused concept.
Atop the Interlock on the corner of Howell Mill Road and 14th Street sits an urban poolside escape complete with a modern restaurant and bar. This is L.O.A., or Leave of Absence, a concept from Slater Hospitality, the rooftop gurus behind Nine Mile Station and Skyline Park at Ponce City Market. Look for it to open in March.
Seabird Oyster Bar
Oysters and cocktails will headline at this BeltLine-adjacent bar created by Ladybird and Muchacho founder Michael Lennox. Slated to open in the spring, Seabird will be an intimate spot inspired by the Pacific Northweast, Maine, and Paris.
Southern fare in Summerhill
Former One Flew South chef Duane Nutter is opening a thus far-unnamed Southern restaurant in Summerhill with business partner Reggie Washington this summer. Although not much information has been released, we know there will be a focus on cocktails.
Chef Nick Leahy of Nick’s Westside and David Abes of Bar(n): Booze N Bites are launcning a neighborhood bar and grill in Brookwood Hills. Slated to open in the first quarter of the year, the Usual will feature a concise dinner menu with options for children, too.
Thirteenth Floor and Pizza Clementine
Mandy and Kelvin Slater are opening a casual takeout pizza joint—Pizza Clementine—and an intimate basement cocktail bar—Thirteenth Floor—at 219 Mitchell Street in South Downtown. The Slaters hope to debut the concepts before the end of the year.
This year, Holeman & Finch Public House is scheduled to complete its long-awaited move to Colony Square, Muchacho will open a much larger location in Decatur, and Sushi Hayakawa will relocate from Buford Highway to the new Star Metals development on the Westside.