Thursday, December 23, 2010

Gravy Train: MJQ Team to open EAV gastropub, Pizza Wars, Sister Louisa's Opens

Posted By on Thu, Dec 23, 2010 at 2:18 PM

Former East Atlanta Arts & Antiques Bazaar to become gastropub
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  • Former East Atlanta Arts & Antiques Bazaar to become gastropub
The old Arts and Antiques Bazaar space on Flat Shoals in East Atlanta Village has been bought by MJQ owner Ben Rhoades, as well as managers Armando Celentano and Donald Durant. The trio, who are also behind the Bookhouse Pub, plan to open a "Brooklyn-inspired gastropub." Rumors in the neighborhood have swirled about a nightclub, probably due to the MJQ connection, but the owners are steadfast that the building is to become a restaurant, not a club. The project is in the very early stages, with a demo team working on the interior to clean it up and make it appropriately hip. They do plan to retain most of the original charm of the building (which was first a grocery store), including showcasing the exposed brick walls and heavy wood beams. Though plans for the cavernous 11,000 square foot space haven’t been finalized, the new owners say they intend to build and operate on the greenest platform possible. It’s a big project and there’s a long way to go, so don’t plan on grabbing a drink here until at least September 2011.

Foodie Buddha reports that chef Bruce Logue of La Pietra Cucina is reportedly moving on to start a new venture. We hear a lot of rumors about chefs looking to move on to their own ventures, but assume that while they are still employed at a current gig it isn't quite polite to let the search slip. We're assuming that's the case here, as Logue hasn't responded to requests for comment. We'll keep you posted as we hear more.

Word on the street says Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room and Ping Pong Emporium is opening tonight (Thursday) at the corner of Edgewood and Boulevard (formerly Danneman’s). Initial opening hours are reported to be 5 p.m. - 3 a.m. (midnight Sundays). Ya can’t lose with ping pong and booze (though one has to imagine the balls will be flying).

A new spot called Grant Park Tavern is under development on Boulevard in the space that was Zocalo (and then had a quick stint as Painted Table). Details as they arrive, an initial peek at the space shows that not much progress has been made and it still looks a lot like Painted Table in there.

Mellow Mushroom founder Rocky Reeves (who left Mellow Mushroom in 2007) is approaching opening day of a new - but not so unfamiliar - restaurant down in Newnan. The 6,000 square foot bar and restaurant is called Rock Back Pizza. It serves up healthy pizza with high quality ingredients, microbrews and a whole, heaping helping of psychedelic, rock-and-roll atmosphere. Sound like another place you know? According the the Rock Back Facebook page, Rocky told business partner Biff Farmer (who ran Mellow Mushroom’s marketing for over a decade), “Biff, let's get into this, let's do a whole new thing. We're going to do the same thing we did at Mellow Mushroom, just kind of take it to the next level." While I’m not so clear on how that’s “a whole new thing,” if you feel so inclined as to make the drive down to Newnan, we’ll let you be the judge in this pizza showdown.

Central City Tavern is on it’s way out - making way for a new pizza and Italian concept in the large Howell Mill location. Sources say the deal is all but inked for the team behind Mona Lisa’s in Johns Creek to open an ITP offering in The District at Howell Mill.

Morelli’s Ice Cream is now offering delivery service. There is a $12 minimum and a possible fee depending on your location. Order online. You know you want to. I think I just gained 10 pounds imaging the possibilities.

A new restaurant called Haas has opened at 4665 Lower Roswell Road in Marietta (no relation to the Haas that was in EAV in the Holy Taco spot). The family-run spot is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and focuses on fresh ingredients at a mega-value. Breakfast and lunch have a down home, Southern feel with meat-and-three style lunches that include belly-filling mains like country fried steak and meatloaf. Dinner offers some standard options like seafood and burgers but also puts a Persian twist on things, borrowing from the owner’s personal recipe collection. Their chef joins Haas from the neighborhood favorite unforgEDIBLES (now closed, read on for details) and brings with her some of the signature dishes, including the popular fish tacos. Haas is located in the spot that has housed a number of different concepts lately including The Catch, Lola’s Cantina, and the long-time resident Provence Restaurant. They currently open from 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. and will extend their hours upon state approval of a liquor license.

Speaking of the shuttered unforgEDIBLES in East Cobb, Curry Curry Thai is now open in that location - also on Lower Roswell Road, just across from Haas. This is the second location for Curry Curry Thai, the original restaurant is in Smyrna and has been open since 2004. They offer both dine-in and delivery.

Downtown’s Der Biergarten recently launched the Stein Club. Member get exclusive access to unique beer specials and events, dining and retail discounts and - sure to become your most prized possession - your very own personalized Stein. They’ll hold it for you at Biergarten so that you don’t have to lug it around - it looks heavy! Membership is $60 for the year, which earns you a wealth of benefits including $8 draft beers all the time. Stop by the restaurant to sign up.

We heard a rumor that the Kirkwood Public House (formerly Vinocity) space is going up for sale. Supposedly it’s a hot property, already drawing multiple offers. No word as of yet if the concept will be revamped, completely overhauled or (doubtfully) remain the same.

Atlanta Magazine caught up with Kevin Gillespie this week and reports that his plans for a new BBQ joint are moving along smoothly. Gillespie also says that he’s continuing his collaboration with Morelli’s Ice Cream and hopes to add a new element to the mix in 2011.

As Cliff reported this week, Mexico City Gourmet - a Decatur staple for 28 years - will be closing it’s doors this week.

Got tips? Opening a new place and ready to get the word out? Send us the goods at

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