ATL Food Chatter: January 11, 2010
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In his inaugural speech, new mayor Kasim Reed pledged to revive Atlanta’s flagging recreation centers, and announced that Turner Broadcasting would donate $1 per CNN tour to aid that effort. Build-it-yourself stir-fry restaurant The Real Chow Baby is also jumping in to help: The original Howell Mill location will donate five cents from every stir-fry bowl sale in 2010 toward the recreation center fund. The restaurant expects the donation to exceed $10,000.
Owner-partner Chip Joyner, who met Reed in college, shares the mayor’s strong belief in community service and social responsibility. Joyner says he intends to lobby Atlanta’s hospitality industry to become more involved with efforts such as the recreation center restoration. Atlanta’s restaurant community is nationally recognized for its community service, from its involvement with the Atlanta Community Food Bank and Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation event to the Atlanta chapter of the American Liver Foundation’s annual Flavors of Atlanta campaign against liver disease. The Real Chow Baby’s approach is not only another example of the civic minded spirit of Atlanta’s restaurant community but could also serve as a new paradigm for community involvement as well.
NEWS AND NOTES:
Nation’s Restaurant News has named Roland Smith, the CEO of Atlanta-based Wendy/Arby’s Group, Inc., one of their ten restaurant executives to watch in 2010.
Decatur. Bhojan Market, an offshoot of the popular Bhojanic restaurant, opened on December 17 two doors down from Bhojanic. The market features prepared meals, quick catering solutions and made-to-order chai.
Mac McGee, an Irish pub, has opened on Decatur Square. Ryan Stewart, who made a splash as chef at the Glenwood in East Atlanta, is cooking retooled versions of Irish stew, sticky toffee pudding, and Brit-style chicken curry. 111 Sycamore Street, Decatur, 404-377-8050.
Downtown. Cafe Circa celebrated their 2nd anniversary last week with Todd Richards (One Flew South/Rolling Bones) serving as guest chef for one evening.
The Avenue has closed after a 6 year run at 303 Peachtree Center Avenue in SunTrust Plaza.
Dunwoody. Tomorrow’s News Today is reporting that Five Guys Burgers and Fries is opening a store in Perimeter Place shopping center in the former Caribou Coffee spot this winter.
Grant Park. Dulce Vegan Bakery plans on opening by the end of January at 575 Boulevard.
Midtown/Buckhead. Twirling Toques in the Hear to Serve Restaurant Group outposts: Phillip Strange is moving this month to Shout from Lola, which is now Cantina Taqueria & Tequila Bar. His first order of business will be to re-do the menu. (Current Shout chef, Julio Castillo is moving to head up the kitchen at Cantina.)
Roswell. Barberito’s Southwestern Grille, an Athens-based franchise, has launched their first Atlanta-area location at 10779 Alpharetta Highway.
Westside. Flip will no longer be closed between 3-5 pm on weekdays beginning today; it will be open in that time slot for late lunches/early dinners.
Question of the Week: What former Concentrics’ chef has left the company and is rumored to be opening a restaurant in Florida?
PS. The answer to last week’s QOTW—What local salad bar chain has recently closed two of its three locations—is Dressed. (Thanks for the comments; we’ll try to make the QOTWs more challenging.)