David Abes, founder of DASH Hospitality Group, wanted a central meeting place to hang out with his neighborhood friends in Dunwoody. Alpharetta had Avalon. Roswell had its historic downtown, and Sandy Springs had the new City Springs. Dunwoody didn’t have such a development, but did have a 1970s-era strip mall, Dunwoody Village, that seemed like a prime location.
With a resume that includes director of operations at Here To Serve Restaurants and chief operating officer of Buckhead Life Restaurant Group, Abes had the experience and know-how to make it happen. Three years ago, he pitched his idea to Dunwoody Village owner Regency Centers, and a plan was created for four restaurants, a bar, and a central communal space.
The 30,000-square-foot center courtyard will feature multiple seating options, from picnic tables to patio furniture. The full-service restaurants will all have garage doors or French doors that open to the courtyard, so patrons can enjoy music, movies, and open air. Every quarter, Abes hopes to host different festivals and activities in the area, including tailgates and wine or beer fests. Every weekend, there will be live music, sports game viewings, and/or yoga classes.
The courtyard will also be home to tent called Sam’s Club, named after Abes’s father-in-law. There, elderly people will offer free advice on any number of topics. Sound strange? Google Old Coots at the Margate Farmers Market in New Jersey.
Here’s what else you can expect at the new Village at Dunwoody:
Come October, the first part of Abes’s vision will launch: Bar(n), a rustic wine and whiskey bar with charcuterie and small plates. Designed to look like a modern barn, it will feature a square indoor/outdoor bar as well as a living room area with a large TV. Food will be served on boards, tapas-style.
“You’re not going there for a full meal—it’s where you’ll start or finish your night,” Abes says.
It will feature 12 to 15 wines that change monthly, “fun” and rare whiskeys, craft beer, and select seasonal cocktails. On weekends, it will open in the morning for coffee, espresso, and pastries a la the Chastain.
Morty’s Meat & Supply
Named for Abes’s grandfather, Morty’s Meat & Supply will open late spring 2022 with barbecued meats and vegetable sides. Served cafeteria-style, Morty’s will offer brisket, chicken, pork, broccoli salad, and cucumber salad, as well as traditional macaroni and cheese, and Abes’s Bubby’s corn pudding.
A full-service Tex-Mex spot, Cuco’s Cantina will serve lunch and dinner in a casual environment similar to that of now-defunct Here To Serve restaurant Noche. Serving tacos made with hand-pressed tortillas, plus margaritas and cocktails, Cuco’s is named after the donkey who carries tequila barrels at the Casa Herradura distillery in Mexico. Though the brick-and-mortar restaurant won’t open until late spring 2022, Cuco’s and Morty’s will share a food truck parked in the Village starting early October.
Meaning “way to go” in Hebrew, Yoffi will be a counter-service Mediterranean spot inspired by Abes’s Israeli family. Served build-your-own-style (think Chipotle), the falafel and shawarma bowls and pitas will be “fresh and clean-tasting,” according to Abes. Enjoy tahini milkshakes for dessert. It’s scheduled to open in fall 2022.
Message in a Bottle
A Jimmy Buffett-style seafood spot, Message in a Bottle will serve buckets of steamed shrimp, crabs, and oysters, as well as composed fish dishes such as grilled grouper. With blue and white decor and license plates on the wall, Message in a Bottle is designed to make diners feel like they’re at the beach.