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Friday, October 18, 2013

Quick Bites: T. MAC opens, STG closes, and more

Taco Mac Decatur reopened on October 15 after renovations, rebranding
  • Courtesy ai3
  • Taco Mac Decatur reopened on October 15 after renovations, rebranding

Taco Mac Decatur reopened on October 15 following extensive renovations by ai3. Along with renovations, the sports bar was rebranded and is now called T. MAC Sports Grill. It now boasts a street-front patio, reclaimed gym floors, a game room, spinning booth, and 64 LED flat-screen TVs. The beer list has also expanded, offering 100 on-tap options and an additional 75 in bottles, and a few new food items are offered, as well.

In case you missed it: Brian Lewis' pizza-centric Buckhead restaurant STG Trattoria closed unexpectedly on Saturday, October 12. A sign on the door indicates that the restaurant has only closed for renovations and will reopen October 27, but posts directly from chef Sean Telo suggest otherwise. Telo's updates reveal that the owners have decided to sell, amid speculation that Antico's forthcoming Buckhead outpost will soon take over the space. No word yet on where Telo will land.

Rumor has it Angus Brown and Nhan Lee, the inventive chefs behind East Atlanta's Octopus Bar, have a new restaurant in the works for 2014. Details as they arise.

Here To Serve Restaurants' Shucks Oyster & Wine Bar is now open at 705 Town Blvd. in Brookhaven. The oysters are sourced from a diverse array of waters both Stateside and across the pond, while additional menu items range from French onion soup sandwiches to a jumbo lump crab cocktail.

Variety Playhouse-adjacent Little Five Points dive Elmyr will open a new restaurant in Kirkwood called El Mariachi this winter. More information on this new eatery is spotty, but one can presume that it will offer an iteration of Mexican cuisine similar to the irreverent cantina at 1091 Euclid Ave.

Suite Food Lounge has finally opened Downtown at 375 Luckie St. The three-level dining and entertainment venue serves Southern-influenced New American cuisine in a lounge-style atmosphere complete with a VIP lounge, dance floor, private dining spaces and an upstairs VIP section with a "sky deck."

North Carolina's Cook-Out has announced the second in its upcoming Atlanta locations, this one on Northside Drive. The first will open at 403 Moreland Ave. in East Atlanta, and the next will take over a shuttered Wachovia at 1112 Northside Drive. This marks the fifth Georgia location (others reside in Statesboro, Augusta, and Athens) of the "outdoor-style" burger chain, which also serves hot dogs, chicken, North Carolina barbecue, french fries, and 35 varieties of seasonal milk shakes.

Come early 2014, a new "gourmet comfort food" spot (think fried chicken and Champagne) called MAX's Wine Dive will open in Midtown at 77 12th St. (H/T Eater Atlanta.) The Texas-based concept already has outposts in Austin, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, and Fort Worth. This will be the first location outside of Texas and, as the name suggests, will offer a lengthy list of wines.

MAR, the coastal Mexican-themed seafood restaurant that opened last May at 314 E. Howard Ave., has lost chef Joey Zelinka after less than five months. No word yet on where this Sound Table and 4th & Swift alum is headed from here - or who will replace Zelinka at the Decatur restaurant.

Veteran sushi chef Taka Moriuchi has joined Atlanta's unofficial ramen showdown, introducing his own version of Tonkotsu ramen (a rich and flavorful soup made with the fat and marrow of pork feet as well as chicken) at his 375 Pharr Road restaurant, Taka Sushi. He addressed the dish back in April with musings on his blog, Sushi and Passion. In related news, Moriuchi's cookbook by the same name is finally available for pre-order at It hits shelves this December.

Following a recent design overhaul by ai3, Ray's on the Creek (1700 Mansell Road) has received another upgrade with the hire of Matt Albertario as executive chef. The former Chicagoan has lived in Atlanta for six years, where he moved for the role of executive chef at Dunwoody's Wildfire before becoming sous chef at Sandy Springs' Ray's on the River.

Salt Factory Pub's Alpharetta opening (at 102 S. Main St.) has been postponed once again - due to architectural delays, the AJC reports. An update today from a publicist for the restaurant reveals that it will likely now open in late October or early November.

New in Chamblee, Union Hill Kitchen opened for lunch earlier this month at 5336 Peachtree Road but, after receiving its liquor license on October 12, we can expect later operating hours in the very near future. For now, patrons can stop by between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. to try the New American fare by executive chef Alexis Hernandez, best known for his appearances on the Food Network on CNN.

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