Published on May 12th, 2016 |1
Host of openings to offset recent closings at Shops Buckhead Atlanta
And the closings have continued. Helmet Lang closed its European clothing store earlier this week and now Scoop is liquidating its inventory and closing.
All four of those closings have been on Buckhead Avenue, the main street running through The Shops Buckhead Atlanta, on the block between Bolling Way and North Fulton Drive.
The two restaurant slots already have new tenants and Michael Diamantides, OliverMcMillan’s general manager for the Buckhead Atlanta development, told BuckheadView, Helmet Lang and Scoop have everything to do with the brands and not The Shops Buckhead Atlanta.
“Helmet Lang has pulled back the brand to only four remaining U.S. stores concentrating on the New York and Los Angeles markets,” Diamantides explained. “Scoop just announced in the media it is closing all of its stores nationwide.”
But there’s more. A BuckheadView source who lives adjacent to the OliverMcMillan Buckhead Atlanta development and frequents it almost daily, said, “The word on the street is that Theory will close soon.” Theory is across Bolling Way from La Bilboquet restaurant.
Diamantides told BuckheadView he has heard “absolutely nothing” about Theory closing its store. “I prefer not to deal with rumors,” he added.
BuckheadView asked Diamantides, for an interview to discuss what is going on. We wanted to ask the question on many Buckhead residents’ minds: “One and a half years after the Shops opened, why are there so many closings happening since Jan. 1?”
Diamantides, who is a veteran general manager of major retail centers, said it is not unusual at all for stores to come and go within a year or two at centers such as this and he added it is rarely due to the location.
The good news is that OM was able to fill the Thirteen Pies vacancy nearly overnight with an eatery named Taverna Atlanta. Taverna is a Northern Italian pizzas, salads and risotto style concept of Dallas-based Lombardi Family Concepts. (For that story, click here.)
And the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported Thursday that a North Carolina restaurant group specializing in Greek concepts will enter the Atlanta market with its Kipos Hellenic Kitchen in the space formerly occupied by American Food and Beverage.
The Giorgios Group, headed by Giorgios Bakatsias, will open Kipos in September. Lombardi Family Concepts plans to open Taverna Atlanta in October. That turns the lights back on in two vacated spaces. More on Kipos Hellenic Kitchen below in the article.
Diamantides told BuckheadView 2016 is starting out strong with seven new retail openings to date and another 11 under construction and slated to open in the next five months. He said they expect to announce three more major tenants in the next 30 days.
Among those that have opened so far this year are COS, an upper-end offering of H&M; Lindbergh, a Dutch popular-priced menswear line; Urbana Wellness Spa; Kit and Ace technical cashmeres, and NARS cosmetics.
The ones under construction and expected to open in the next five months are Dior, Flywheel, Grooms men’s barbershop, Savant Salon for men, women and children, Joie casual clothing, Venetian Nail Salon, Attom intermix clothing and accessories for men, and Taverna Italian restaurant, Kipos Hellenic Kitchen and American Cut restaurant.
According to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, which made the Kipos announcement Thursday afternoon, Kipos, which is Greek for “garden,” is a reflection of restaurateur Giorgios Bakatsias’ childhood: fresh and robust Greek village foods cooked in rotisserie wood-burning ovens, honoring old and modern recipes.
The dining room will serve upscale Greek cuisine including lamb youvetsi, moussaka, grilled octopus, and souvlaki. The restaurant will be open for
dinner Tuesday through Sunday, lunch Tuesday through Saturday, and brunch on Sundays, according to the ABC article.
The Kipos’ bakery is open each day offering fresh loaves of bread, authentic desserts, and Greek coffee and espresso. Bottles of olive oil, wine, and other treats from Greece will also be available for purchase the ABC reported.
The Giorgios Group has 14 other restaurants in Durham, Chapel Hill, Charlotte, Wake Forest and Asheville, N.C.
“It is important to remember that The Shops Buckhead Atlanta is not just a luxury center,” Diamantides said.
The general manager said that much of the focus has been on leasing the locations on the core and spine of the property, which he said is Bolling Way.
“We are dealing with some tenants that have few stores even internationally,” Diamantides explained. “We first have to get them to understand Buckhead Atlanta and then have to get into their queue. Once they sign the lease, it can take two years to get them into the space.”
Once the space is leased to a retailer or restaurant, OM does not control the build-out of the space or the opening dates. But it seems to BuckheadView that the build-outs have slowed or come to a stop and the opening dates keep getting pushed back time and again.
Two big examples would be the Dior store and American Cut restaurant, the third restaurant product of New York-based LDV Hospitality to be located at The Shops Buckhead Atlanta. There have been periods when construction was moving forward on those two sites and then seemingly again came to a halt.
Dior originally was to have opened in March of this year. American Cut originally was to have opened in November 2015, then June and the latest projection now is sometime between July and September. There is still a lot of work to be done on American Cut, but work has started again, according to one observer.
One of the prime anchor locations at The Shops Buckhead Atlanta—the northeast corner of Peachtree Road and Buckhead Avenue—has never been leased. Asked about why that is, Diamantides told BuckheadView he didn’t really know. “I will have to talk to our leasing people about that and get back to you,” he added.
OliverMcMillan has had some success recently with street events designed to attract the community to the retail area during the weekends, including a new street market on Sundays from 10 a.m.
to 4 p.m. It is just one of a series of events reportedly being planned.