Despite the uncertainty faced by restaurants due to the coronavirus pandemic, the owners of Atlantic Station have announced two new restaurants coming to the development this fall. Azotea Cantina and Envegan, the new restaurants, join Hobnob as the three unopened concepts planned to border the renovated Atlantic Green at the center of the mixed-use property.
“Since the start of Atlantic Station’s transformation, it has been our goal to bring a more diverse restaurant experience to the property,” said Nick Garzia, Director of Leasing at Hines. “With the announcement of these two new concepts, we continue to exceed that goal.”
Azotea Cantina is owned by Diego Velazquez, who also owns Tacos & Tequila. The new restaurant will have what he describes as a focused menu, with food made using locally sourced ingredients.
The Atlantic Station location will be the second for Envegan, a popular Morrow-based vegan restaurant`owned by Hoang Nguyen.
Though the coronavirus pandemic looms large, Garzia is optimistic about the schedule of restaurant openings. “Right now, work continues on the park, and we’re expecting to unveil that on April 19,” he said in a phone conversation with the AJC. “The tenants can take possession of the properties then.”
Without an official shelter-in-place order or similar measure preventing construction, Garzia expects the restaurant buildouts to begin in late April, though he stressed that “flexibility is the optimal word.” While there are unknowns, such as the potential for shortages of labor or materials, the restaurants plan to forge ahead towards the target opening date this fall. Garzia said that all contractors working at Atlantic Station had been encouraged to follow CDC guidelines related to safety from the coronavirus.
“Just recently, we had two really encouraging calls with Hobnob and Azotea,” said Garcia. “We want them to open, but we’re going to work with them... We’re all going to have to make adjustments.”
More dining news:
Sol Catering, the catering division of Atlanta-based taco chain Taqueria del Sol, is providing free meals to fellow service industry employees tomorrow from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m., and the offer will continue the following week, Monday-Friday, with the same hours - just bring a recent pay stub as proof of current or prior industry employment. Sol Catering is located the Woodland Hills neighborhood at 1145 Zonolite Road.
Fifth Group Restaurants has launched a silent auction to raise money for the Fifth Group Family Fund, a fund that will benefit the group’s employees affected by the coronavirus shutdown. The silent auction runs through midnight April 13 and includes a variety of big-ticket items, from a Cinco de Mayo party at Alma Cocina for 75 people to a guitar signed by Jon Bon Jovi. The hospitality group also announced that several of its restaurants will begin offering takeout, including Alma Cocina, La Tavola, South City Kitchen Midtown and the Original El Taco.
Summerhill restaurant Junior’s Pizza closed after customers refused to obey the establishment’s clearly posted safety rules while it operated its takeout business. One customer coughed directly on the cash he was trying to use as payment for his meal, dismissing the dangers of the virus. Governor Brian Kemp shared the story on Twitter, encouraging Georgians to be safe and praising the owners of Junior’s Pizza for their decision.
The AJC has adjusted its dining coverage in response to the coronavirus pandemic and its effect on the restaurant industry. Restaurant reviews have been suspended, and a new column called Atlanta Orders In has been introduced. The column goes behind the scenes at individual Atlanta restaurants to show how each one is facing the unique crisis created by the coronavirus. The first two editions of the column visit Cibo e Beve and the Busy Bee Cafe.
A sophomore at Druid Hills High School has created a charitable platform that helps people donate catered meals from local restaurants to medical workers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. Grey Cohen, 16, started the Meal Bridge over the weekend of March 20 with her family’s help. Donors can visit the organization’s website to sign up for a time slot to feed medical personnel at Emory University Hospital, after which they are directed to place an order with one of several partner restaurants that have been vetted by the hospital chef. As of March 25, the days-old organization had already fed more than 60 Emory personnel and sold out time slots later in the week.
Some metro Atlanta restaurants have transformed into retail shops, providing customers with an alternative to grocery stores where they can buy necessities like toilet paper and cleaning supplies, as well as produce, ready-to-eat meals and dishes from the restaurants’ menus.
Former AJC dining editor John Kessler wrote a blog post this week explaining what he’s doing to assist restaurants during the coronavirus pandemic and how others can follow the same model.
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