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The year in review: The top Atlanta dining news of 2015

We saw a record number of openings in 2015 (or maybe we're just thinking of Ford Fry). Highly anticipated restaurants like Staplehouse and Atlas opened their doors, along with big names in Ponce City Market and Krog Street Market. We also saw a number of closings, including two major restaurant groups, which lefts hundreds unemployed. Below, a recap of 2015.

Here to Serve founder Tom Catherall reveals new restaurant plans

When all 11 Here to Serve restaurants abruptly shut down in October (including Twist, Noche, Smash, and Strip), eyes turned to the group's founder, Tom Catherall, who, last year, gave his stake in the company...

Shucks and Common Quarter open, Rathbun’s offers cooking classes, and more

Common Quarter begins serving
The East Cobb restaurant from the Local Three and Muss & Turner's crew kicks off service tonight, offering the likes of crawfish rolls, cauliflower risotto, Low Country bouillabaisse, rabbit stroganoff, fried apple pie, and more. According to UrbanDaddy, Common Quarter embraces its theme to the core, with Savannah-style gas lamps and an oversize map of St. Simons.

New on the Scene

From the Westside to Lilburn, new restaurants, juiceries, and canning spots abound. Here's what's new:

Tom Catherall’s Shucks Oyster & Wine Bar to be a family affair

Here to Serve Restaurants founder Tom Catherall is opening his third restaurant in Town Brookhaven in mid-September. Two doors down from Noche, Shucks Oyster & Wine Bar will be family-run, with Catherall’s sons Ryan and Nick taking the lead in the kitchen, his brother managing, and his daughters waiting tables.

Tom Catherall shares plans for Smash

Tom Catherall, founder of Here To Serve Restaurants (Noche, Prime, Aja, Cantina, Goldfish, Twist, Shout, Coast, and Strip), is turning 64 in May, but he’s not slowing down anytime soon. In fact, he’s celebrating his birthday Memorial Day weekend this year with the opening of another restaurant, Smash. Located in Brookhaven in the space formerly home to Stir Crazy, Smash will be an American chophouse, likely led by former Prime executive chef John McGarry.

Thomas Catherall’s Staying Power

Talking about money is uncouth in some circles. Thomas Catherall—one of the defining forces of the Atlanta dining scene for nearly three decades, with eleven restaurants under his Here to Serve Restaurants umbrella—does it to remind me that there are things that matter more to him than the opinion of the press. During a recent conversation, I couldn’t take my eyes off his colossal watch, which I was promptly told was a Bentley and weighed a full pound. I got to hear about his identical, supercharged Range Rovers; his forty-foot sport fishing boat, the Perseverance; and his philosophy (“I want the masses, not the classes,” a more refined version of his oft-told “an ass in every chair” motto). I tried not to flinch every time he mentioned the word millionaire in rapid-fire tones.

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