Many major metro Atlanta restaurant groups begin reopening and more dining news from the week

Rina Hummus No. 3 with roasted spiced butternut, dukkah, and harissa, and Hummus No. 2 with Baharat ground beef, pine nuts, and herbs. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.
Rina Hummus No. 3 with roasted spiced butternut, dukkah, and harissa, and Hummus No. 2 with Baharat ground beef, pine nuts, and herbs. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.

Almost three weeks after Governor Brian Kemp announced that restaurants could resume in-person dining, several major metro Atlanta restaurant groups are reopening and adding services. Oliva Restaurants, a group that includes Aziza, Bellina Alimentari, Falafel Nation and Rina, will reopen for takeout with curbside service on May 18. The resumption of service comes the group closed all four restaurants for a full two months.

Rocket Farm Restaurants, chef Ford Fry’s restaurant group, has opened on-premise dining at some of its restaurants. In late March, the group halted all operations for two weeks, resuming takeout service at a few of its restaurants on April 13. This week, No. 246 in Decatur and three Superica locations (Krog Street Market, Avalon and Buckhead) opened their respective patios for on-premise dining. Next week, the group will reopen West Midtown steakhouse Marcel and Inman Park seafood restaurant Beetlecat for dine-in service, followed by several more restaurants opening for takeout service, including JCT Kitchen, the Optimist and Superica’s location at the Battery Atlanta. Little Rey remains closed after an employee tested positive for COVID-19.

Another well-known group, Star Provisions, has also begun adding services. After reopening Star Provisions Cafe & Market and Bacchanalia for takeout service last week, chef Anne Quatrano’s group has reopened W.H. Stiles Fish Camp in Ponce City Market for takeout.

Dubs Fish Camp isn't the only Ponce City Market restaurant reopening; the food hall and shopping destination's rooftop has opened, as well. The Roof at Ponce City Market, which includes the 9 Mile Station, 12 Cocktail Bar and entertainment venue Skyline Park, opened on May 4 with its own guidelines limiting occupancy of the entire rooftop to 50% capacity, along with a host of other safety measures. Another food hall, Marietta Square Market, announced it would reopen with patio service and most of its restaurant vendors operational this week, as well.

These reopenings and service adjustments have come on the heels of the state of Georgia loosening its restrictions on in-person dining. New guidelines increasing occupancy limits at restaurants were released on May 12.

More dining news from the week:

Mega Church is coming to Edgewood. Sister Louisa's Church of the Living Room and Ping Pong Emporium is expanding, taking over the space vacated by Corner Tavern, as reported by What Now Atlanta. With the expansion, Church will expand its menu and could also transform its exterior. The food service will be casual, with counter service for ordering and disposable tableware so that customers can bus their own tables. Grant Henry, the owner of Church, acquired the Corner Tavern space in late April and retained much of the restaurant's staff. The demolition and build-out process is taking place this month, and Henry plans to reopen the bar on June 1.

Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A has surpassed Taco Bell as the second-highest-grossing fast-food chain in the country, now behind only McDonald's. Chick-fil-A earned more than $11 billion in sales in 2019, moving past other behemoths like Burger King and Taco Bell. Outside of McDonald's, the only other chain that outstrips Chick-fil-A is Starbucks, with sales of more than $21 billion. However, both McDonald's and Starbucks have well over 10,000 locations, while Chick-fil-A has less than 2,500. Read more from Restaurant Business Magazine here.

C&S Seafood and Oyster Bar in Roswell has permanently closed due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Opened in 2016, the restaurant was originally called C&S Chowder House but rebranded to match its sister restaurant in 2019. Its two sister restaurants, including the original C&S Seafood and Oyster Bar and Hugo's Oyster Bar, will remain open. Read more here.

Gunter Seeger, the German chef who dominated Atlanta's fine dining scene in the late 1990's and early 2000's, has returned to town and has a new restaurant in the works. Though he is in the early stages of opening his next Atlanta restaurant, he has already moved back to town with his family from New York City. Read our interview with him here.

Midtown Irish Pub Ri Ra has closed after a decade in business. The management team of the popular bar could not come to terms on a lease agreement with their landlord, so the decision to close was made prior to the coronavirus pandemic hitting the city. Read more here.

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