•Atlanta restaurateur Giovanni DiPalma will bring Westside Little Italia to Philips Arena. Located on the west main concourse, the area will include four concepts:
Antico Pizza, Gio's Chicken Italiano & Maccheroni, Caffe Antico and Gio's Italian Grill, a collaborative grill concept making burgers using Pat LaFrieda meats.
DiPalma operates several Atlanta restaurants, including Antico, Gio's, Caffe Antico and Bar Amalfi in West Midtown and Antico locations at Avalon in Alpharetta; The Battery at SunTrust Park; and Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
•Country star Zac Brown of Zac Brown Band is slated to open Zac Brown's Social Club under the Southern Ground family of brands. The restaurant, which will be run by Southern Ground executive chef Rusty Hamlin, who has been cooking alongside Brown for over a decade, will offer a menu of Southern classics.
•Local chain J.R. Crickets, which opened its first location in 1982, will open its newest location in Philips Arena featuring its popular "lemon pepper wet" wings.
•B's Cracklin' BBQ, which made its Atlanta debut in the Riverside neighborhood in 2016, will expand with a second metro location (the original location is located in Savannah) offering a variety of classic barbecue dishes.
•Italian ice chain Rita's Italian Ice will bring its sweet treats to Philips.
All concepts will be counter service restaurants, with seating throughout the Philips concourse and access given to all Philips event ticketholders.
Joe Schafer, who previously served as the executive chef at Bacchanalia, accepted the executive chef position in 2017. He curates special event-specific menus for Hawks games and concerts in the Courtside Club and signature Hawks Bar, as well as concession stands.
Read more stories like this by liking Atlanta Restaurant Scene on Facebook, following @ATLDiningNews on Twitter and @ajcdining on Instagram.