First Look: Ansley Park’s Hobnob becomes Lazy Llama and turns to takeout, delivery

From top left: Cantina Bowl, Grilled Street Corn, Quesadillas (bottom left) Carne Asada, Al Pastor, Grilled Chicken, Fried Catfish and Fried Shrimp Tacos. CONTRIBUTED BY CHRIS HUNT PHOTOGRAPHY

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From top left: Cantina Bowl, Grilled Street Corn, Quesadillas (bottom left) Carne Asada, Al Pastor, Grilled Chicken, Fried Catfish and Fried Shrimp Tacos. CONTRIBUTED BY CHRIS HUNT PHOTOGRAPHY

Concerns about the coronavirus have resulted in officials limiting public gatherings, which can affect what kind of service restaurants can offer. The AJC will monitor these announcements and keep you informed, but it’s best to check with the restaurant before making plans to go there.

Lazy Llama Cantina opened in late February, replacing the 10-year-old Hobnob Neighborhood Tavern on Piedmont Avenue in Ansley Park.

But in addition to changing concepts, after just 10 days, owner Sean Yeremyan had to switch from full service to curbside and to-go service only, due to COVID-19 concerns.

Yeremyan said that anticipating opening a Hobnob location at nearby Atlantic Station, and responding to regular customers’ cravings for Mexican food, both initially figured in the changes.

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Lazy Llama Cantina on Piedmont Avenue replaces Hobnob Neighborhood Tavern. CONTRIBUTED BY CHRIS HUNT PHOTOGRAPHY

Lazy Llama Cantina on Piedmont Avenue replaces Hobnob Neighborhood Tavern. CONTRIBUTED BY CHRIS HUNT PHOTOGRAPHY

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Lazy Llama Cantina on Piedmont Avenue replaces Hobnob Neighborhood Tavern. CONTRIBUTED BY CHRIS HUNT PHOTOGRAPHY

Yeremyan also owns Hobnob locations in Dunwoody and Brookhaven, and has plans to open Cattle Shed Wine & Steak Bar and another Hobnob in Forsyth’s Halcyon mixed-use development in 2020.

At Lazy Llama, the full menu is still on offer, featuring some eight different tacos, including Carne Asada with grilled steak and smoked red chile sauce, Al Pastor with roasted pork and pineapple salsa, Grilled Chicken with creamy queso, and Fried Catfish or Fried Shrimp with chipotle mayo.

Other specialties range from Grilled Street Corn with chipotle mayo and cotija cheese, to Grilled Chicken Quesadillas with guacamole and pico de gallo, and a Cantina Bowl with rice and beans, charred corn, romaine, salsa, guacamole, and cotija cheese, plus a choice of adding veggies, meat or seafood. And there are some not-so-Mexican items like wings, and a cheeseburger with tots, as well.

In addition to regular-price cocktails, you can get 50% off on beer and wine prices for to-go orders. And you can bring your own growlers in for a fill-up from the draft beer lines and get 50% off, too. The family meal to go includes 12 chicken or pork tacos, queso, salsa, guacamole and chips, and four beers.

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Looking into bar and dining area from the outdoor patio at Lazy Llama Cantina. CONTRIBUTED BY CHRIS HUNT PHOTOGRAPHY.

Looking into bar and dining area from the outdoor patio at Lazy Llama Cantina. CONTRIBUTED BY CHRIS HUNT PHOTOGRAPHY.

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Looking into bar and dining area from the outdoor patio at Lazy Llama Cantina. CONTRIBUTED BY CHRIS HUNT PHOTOGRAPHY.

Last week, Yeremyan — who was born and raised in Turkey with Greek and Armenian heritage, and settled in Atlanta in 1997 — talked about the evolution of Lazy Llama and the future of his other businesses.

“We opened Hobnob in 2010, so it’s been about 10 years,” he said. “We started opening new locations of Hobnob, and we signed a lease with Atlantic Station, so in my mind, I was going to turn this into a Mexican restaurant. I couldn’t wait to do that, but it took about a year to get to that point, and it was about getting a new lease from the landlords, and making the change.”

As for the name, Yeremyan laughed and said it came to him after sharing a bottle of wine with his wife and business partner, Becky Yeremyan.

“Lazy was the word we wanted to play with, because it’s about being laid-back,” he said. “And then we tried different names, but we decided on Llama, because we have a friend who has llamas on his farm, and they’re so cute. But it did get a little bit of backlash, because people say llamas are not Mexican. But we say this is the one that immigrated to Mexico.”

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Llama art in the dining area at Lazy Llama Cantina. CONTRIBUTED BY CHRIS HUNT PHOTOGRAPHY

Llama art in the dining area at Lazy Llama Cantina. CONTRIBUTED BY CHRIS HUNT PHOTOGRAPHY

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Llama art in the dining area at Lazy Llama Cantina. CONTRIBUTED BY CHRIS HUNT PHOTOGRAPHY

If llamas are South American, the menu was designed to hit all the favorites of a Mexican-American cantina.

“Jeffrey Gardner, my director of culinary, revamped the Hobnob menus about six months ago, and then he did the Lazy Llama menu, as well,” Yeremyan said. “He’s also doing the menu for our new concept coming up, Cattle Shed in Halcyon.

“For Lazy Llama, we wanted it to be a small menu, and quality driven, and I told him don’t hesitate to use the best ingredients you can use. Also, don’t put anything on the menu that cannot be executed 100% in a small kitchen, which is what we have.”

Asked how things were going with the new concept, and to-go and curbside service, Yeremyan was surprisingly upbeat.

“It’s going very well,” he said. “We doubled sales over the last month of Hobnob. We did a soft opening for the first five or six days. And then we were ready to get a crowd, and the feedback was pretty good, actually. We’re still serving the full menu, which is also online. We’re doing DoorDash, Grubhub and Uber Eats. And I have my executive chef and my general manager working there on salary, and they’re able to pull it off.

“I’m working off a date for reopening the restaurants, and that date in my mind is June 1. But that’s a moving target, obviously. It was May 1 a few days ago. It’s June 1 now. We are in this for the long haul. We have three restaurants under construction right now. And we are not going to close, because we want to keep our top management, and pay them, and keep them happy, so they can help us grow.”

1551 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta. 404-968-2288, lazyllamacantina.com.

Scroll down for more images from a First Look at Lazy Llama in Ansley Park

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L-R: Llama-Rita, Sangria Roja, Dolly Llama's Texas Margarita Fish Bowl Size, Dos XX Lager. CONTRIBUTED BY CHRIS HUNT PHOTOGRAPHY

L-R: Llama-Rita, Sangria Roja, Dolly Llama's Texas Margarita Fish Bowl Size, Dos XX Lager. CONTRIBUTED BY CHRIS HUNT PHOTOGRAPHY

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L-R: Llama-Rita, Sangria Roja, Dolly Llama's Texas Margarita Fish Bowl Size, Dos XX Lager. CONTRIBUTED BY CHRIS HUNT PHOTOGRAPHY

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Grilled Street Corn with chipotle mayo, cotija cheese and cilantro. CONTRIBUTED BY CHRIS HUNT PHOTOGRAPHY

Grilled Street Corn with chipotle mayo, cotija cheese and cilantro. CONTRIBUTED BY CHRIS HUNT PHOTOGRAPHY

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Grilled Street Corn with chipotle mayo, cotija cheese and cilantro. CONTRIBUTED BY CHRIS HUNT PHOTOGRAPHY

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Carne Asada, Al Pastor, Grilled Chicken, Fried Catfish, and Fried Shrimp tacos at Lazy Llama Cantina. CONTRIBUTED BY CHRIS HUNT PHOTOGRAPHY

Carne Asada, Al Pastor, Grilled Chicken, Fried Catfish, and Fried Shrimp tacos at Lazy Llama Cantina. CONTRIBUTED BY CHRIS HUNT PHOTOGRAPHY

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Carne Asada, Al Pastor, Grilled Chicken, Fried Catfish, and Fried Shrimp tacos at Lazy Llama Cantina. CONTRIBUTED BY CHRIS HUNT PHOTOGRAPHY

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Chicken Quesadillas, served with rice and beans, guacamole and pico de gallo. CONTRIBUTED BY CHRIS HUNT PHOTOGRAPHY

Chicken Quesadillas, served with rice and beans, guacamole and pico de gallo. CONTRIBUTED BY CHRIS HUNT PHOTOGRAPHY

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Chicken Quesadillas, served with rice and beans, guacamole and pico de gallo. CONTRIBUTED BY CHRIS HUNT PHOTOGRAPHY

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Cantina Bowl, with rice and beans, charred corn, romaine, salsa, guacamole, cotija cheese, and chicken. CONTRIBUTED BY CHRIS HUNT PHOTOGRAPHY

Cantina Bowl, with rice and beans, charred corn, romaine, salsa, guacamole, cotija cheese, and chicken. CONTRIBUTED BY CHRIS HUNT PHOTOGRAPHY

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Cantina Bowl, with rice and beans, charred corn, romaine, salsa, guacamole, cotija cheese, and chicken. CONTRIBUTED BY CHRIS HUNT PHOTOGRAPHY

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