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From foreclosed property to flourishing farm: Urban Sprout Farms grows in Lakewood

A few blocks south of the Lakewood amphitheater at the end of a dead-end street, something unexpected is sprouting: rows upon rows of certified organic kale and collards and beets (and, come summer, tomatoes and eggplants and okra).

The burger as fetish

Growing up, I was terrified of my best friend’s grandmother, tiny but fierce with her shellacked black hair, penciled eyebrows, and penchant for telling us girls to “stand up straight.” When I confessed I had never eaten a burger at the Varsity, she declared my situation “un-American, un-Southern, and un-Christian.”

How does the Atlanta BeltLine affect restaurants?

In our car-centric city, the Atlanta BeltLine has been a game changer, and restaurant owners know that more than anyone. On Thursday, chef Kevin Rathbun (Kevin Rathbun Steak, Rathbun’s, Krog Bar, and KR Steakbar), Michael Lennox (Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall), and BeltLine designer Ryan Gravel of Perkins Will will lead a discussion about the impact of urban development on restaurant design at a sold-out event called Dining + Design.

Looking back, a review of 2013

As the saying goes, you win some, and you lose some. This year we saw famed mixologists leave their longtime outposts, award-winning chefs open new “it” spots, and the restaurant community band together to help one of their own. As we welcome in the new year, we pause to take a look back at what happened in 2013.

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.

Rathbun’s re-opens September 23 with a new menu and new kitchen equipment

After being closed for more than two months, Rathbun’s will reopen September 23 at 5 p.m. The restaurant has been “brought back to life,” says owner and chef Kevin Rathbun, after a small kitchen fire broke out on July 4. Rathbun, who also owns Kevin Rathbun Steak, Krog Bar and KR SteakBar, revamped the ten-year-old restaurant’s menu, removing the “second mortgage” section and bringing back classic dishes from past menus. New cocktails are in the works, too.

Rathbun’s announces Nick Anderson as chef de cuisine

When Rathbun’s reopens in late September or early October, it will not only have a new kitchen, but new menu items and a “new” chef. True, chef de cuisine Nick Anderson has been in the role since last December, but chef-owner Kevin Rathbun and his team are taking the remodel as an opportunity to publicize Anderson’s work.

Restaurants on the move

With the development of Krog Street Market and the 280 Elizabeth Street project (rumored apartments and retail), Atlanta restaurants—especially those in Inman Park—are on the move. Read on to see who’s going where, which of your favorite spots are expanding, and more.

In the food news this week

Hugh Acheson to open Mexican restaurant
Five and Ten recently moved from South Lumpkin Street to Milledge Avenue in Athens, and Hugh Acheson isn’t wasting any time filling the old spot. He told the Athens Banner-Herald he plans to open a Mexican restaurant called Cinco y Diez, spearheaded by Farm 255 chef Whitney Otawka.

Krog Street Market names seven tenants
Formerly a manufacturing facility and home to Atlanta Stove Works, Krog Street Market aims to open this winter in Inman Park with a variety of eateries. This week, Paces Properties confirmed seven tenants including: a Mex-Tex restaurant by chefs Ford Fry and Kevin Maxey, an American brasserie and bistro called the Luminary by chef Eli Kirshtein, Grand Champion BBQ, the Spotted Trotter, and Pannus Bakery, which will specialize in hispanic and European pastries.

New executive chef at Ecco
Jonathan Beatty, formerly of Davanti Enoteca in Chicago, has replaced Craig Richards as executive chef at Ecco, according to Eater Atlanta.

Bella Cucina closed Virginia-Highland location
Gourmet food store Bella Cucina closed its Virginia-Highland location last week, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. (Tomorrow's News Today broke the story.) A post on the shop's Facebook page announced that a new retail location will open in the fall, but it did not specify where.

A fractured ankle for Rathbun
In addition to a 4th of July fire at Rathbun’s causing temporary closure of the restaurant, and a power outage at KR SteakBar leading to a 45-minute evacuation on July 5, chef Kevin Rathbun now has a fractured ankle. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Rathbun acquired the injury when he fell through the drop ceiling while assessing fire damage at Rathbun’s.

Roots Juices now open
Hopping on the fresh pressed vegetable and fruit juices trend, Roots—a Texas-based company—is now open in the Shops Around Lenox. Atlanta.com reports that this Dtox competitor offers more than 17 types of juices, infused waters, and cleanses, and each 16-ounce juice is comprised of about two to three pounds of fruit and veggies.

Three Taverns Brewery launches
A new source of craft beers in Atlanta, Three Taverns officially launches at Brick Store Pub in Decatur tonight with the introduction of two new brews: Single Intent, a Belgian-style single, and A Night In Brussels IPA, a Belgian-style American I.P.A.

One Flew South named best airport bar
The crew of the Airport Bars se

A look around KR SteakBar

The first Kevin Rathbun restaurant to open in five years, KR SteakBar is a sleek Italian-inspired spot focused on steaks and sharable plates, located in ADAC in Peachtree Hills. It's the only Rathbun restaurant to be open seven days a week (Rathbun’s, Kevin Rathbun Steak, and Krog Bar are open Monday through Saturday), and the first Rathbun restaurant to explore a craft cocktail menu.

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