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Published on December 8th, 2013 |

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Plans revealed for 4 new restaurants, 1 relocation

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    Plans for four new Buckhead restaurants and the relocation of a 20-year standard were discussed  last week during two meetings—one of which reviews applications for liquor licenses and the other which reviews new developments to make sure they adhere to the zoning and design restriction of the community’s special public interest districts (SPIs).
    The four new restaurants were True Foods Kitchen, which is going into the former Clubhouse space at Lenox Square mall, Café Erehwon, which plans to open at 3165 Maple Drive, Smokebelly BBQ, which is going into the space formerly occupied by Tavern 99 at 128 Andrews Drive, and Chow Bing, which will open in the Disco Kroger shopping center.

    True Foods Kitchen met Wednesday Dec. 4 with the Development Review Committee for SPI-12 to get approval for an expansion of the outdoor dining patio for the restaurant, which hopes to open in the Spring of 2014.

    The above graphic shows the plans for Smokebelly BBQ on Andrews Dr.
    which will replace the former Tavern 99, second photo from top. 
    Café Erehwon, Smokebelly, Chow Bing and The Cheesecake Factory were four of the eight applicants who appeared before the Public Safety Committee of Neighborhood Planning Unit-B on Tuesday night, Dec. 3.  The other four were seeking to simply change the name of the agent on the liquor licenses.

    Because the representative of True Foods Kitchen showed up with “confusing” graphics of the plans, which lacked detail specifics, the committee could only suggest that one corner of the patio be altered to make more room for pedestrians to pass in a fairly congested area of the mall’s front and that she return with more detailed drawings for the committee to pass on.

    Things went a great deal better for those seeking new liquor licenses and changes of agents at the NPU-B Public Safety Committee meeting.

    Billy Allen, who previously ran Beluga on Piedmont Road, which is now the Rose Bar, will be opening Café Erehwon on Maple Drive, which he said will be a reflection of 1940s Hollywood,  complete with “black bowties, a cigarette girl, a dress code that requires men to wear jackets. The 4,200-square-foot, three-story, which formerly was a day spa, will have each floor designed with its own unique, eclectic theme, Allen said.

    “I’ve been involved with 16 bars in 29 years, mostly in the Buckhead area,” Allen said. “To go along with what’s happening in Buckhead, I think this would be a really great addition.”

    He told committee members the new business would not be crowding Maple Drive with parking. He said there will be dedicated spots in the front and back and he has an agreement with a neighboring hair salon to share some of its parking.

    The committee unanimously approved his liquor license request as well as those for Smoke Belly Barbeque at 128 Andrews Drive and Chow Bing in the disco Kroger shopping center at 3330 Piedmont Road. Smokebelly will open in February or early March. Chow Bing, a Chinese restaurant featuring natural, organic ingredients, plans to open in 2,200 square feet of space in January.

    Smokebelly is owned by three of the owners of Big Ketch seafood restaurant on Roswell Road
    The above rendering shows the plans for the new Cheesecake Factory
    that is planned for the Peachtree Road front of Lenox Square mall.

    and two of the owners from Tin Lizzy’s on Piedmont Road in Buckhead. It will occupy 8,000 square feet of space and has 162 parking spaces. The restaurant plans to offer country/southern music as well as several types of BBQ. For more on Smokebelly, check out an earlier BuckheadView story here.

    The board also unanimously approved change of agents on liquor licenses for four other businesses: H&F Bottle Shop, Courtyard by Marriott Buckhead, Del Frisco’s Grille and The Cheesecake Factory’s present location on Peachtree Road.

    Tim Creedon, area director of operations for The Cheesecake Factory, will be back before the board next year when the restaurant relocates from Peachtree Road to Lenox Square. “We are going to start construction after the first of the year,” he said. “We’re looking at probably 14 to 16 weeks [of construction] depending on the weather. We should be in there late spring.”

    Creedon said the Peachtree Road location opened in 1993 and was the company’s eighth restaurant. “It’s kind of a bittersweet move for us … but we know that we’ll do great things at Lenox,” he said. He said the present location on Peachtree Road is one of the company’s only free-standing restaurants. Most of them are in malls.

    According to NPU-B Chairwoman Andrea Bennett, the board has approved more than 35 alcohol applications during 2013.

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