Atlanta Restaurant Scene

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The metro Atlanta restaurants we can’t wait to see open in 2019

New year, new batch of metro Atlanta restaurants waiting to open their doors. We’ve counted at least 150 food and drink concepts planning to open sometime in the next 12 months (including the second or third locations of some restaurants and some chains that will enter the metro area for the first time). 

Here are some to keep a close eye on: 

The restaurants of Summerhill -- The south Atlanta neighborhood is overflowing with so many exciting upcoming restaurants that we couldn’t pick just one. Pop-up kings Parnass Savang of Talat Market and Jarrett Stieber of Eat Me Speak Me are each planning brick-and-mortar locations (Savang’s restaurant name will remain the same while Stieber’s eatery will be called Little Bear). Also look for pop-up Junior’s Pizza to get a permanent home; Todd Ginsberg and the team behind The General Muir to open Woods Chapel BBQHodgepodge Coffee’s new location; own premise brewery Halfway Crooks Brewing and Blending; and  Big Softie from Little Tart Bakeshop owner Sarah O’Brien, which will also open another locationOpenings throughout the year

The restaurants of the Eastside Beltline -- The same is the case on the always hopping Eastside Beltline, where Gunshow chef Kevin Gillespie is set to open small plate and cocktail-focused spot Cold Beer; coffee company Revelator will open Hazel Jane’s Wine and Coffee; and Shake Shack will open its fourth metro Atlanta location. Down the road in the Studioplex complex, look for long-awaited cocktail spots The James Room and Hawkers Asian Street Fare in addition to an Atlanta location of Asheville’s Pour TaphouseOpenings throughout the year

Large chunks of lobster are immediately apparent in the classic Maine lobster roll at Cousins Maine Lobster in Lenox Square mall. CONTRIBUTED BY HENRI HOLLIS (For the AJC)

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The restaurants of Marietta Square Market -- The long-delayed food hall is set to have -- count ‘em -- 17 different dining concepts when it opens, including second locations of eateries such as Cousins Maine Lobster, Grand Champion BBQ and BullGogi as well as new spots including Meat in the Middle and Tandoori Square. Come hungry. Slated to open in early 2019

Big Game -- The team behind Bantam Pub in Old Fourth Ward plans to open this new spot in the same ‘hood, with sustainable herd and trophy fish including bison, buffalo, elk and New Zealand reindeer on the menu. Owners 

Tim Lance and Richard Baum are also working on sandwich shop-dive bar combo Motorboat on Ponce de Leon Ave., set to open later this year. Slated to open by March 2019

El Burro Pollo Burrito Kitchen -- Chef Hector Santiago’s popular former pop-up will return as a brick and mortar serving border town-style burritos with Mexican sauces, tacos, ceviches and other seasonal specials. The concept will join a second location of Poke Burri and another location of Atlanta salad eatery Wildleaf at mixed-use development Coda at Tech Square. Slated to open in spring 2019

Georgia Boy and Southern Belle -- Gunshow chef Joey Ward is leaving the acclaimed restaurant early this year to work on these two new concepts in Plaza on Ponce. Southern Belle, named for Ward’s wife, a former beauty queen, will offer a small plates menu along with cocktails, beer and wine. The adjoining Georgia Boy will feature a 16-seat chef’s counter serving a 10 course tasting menu, including a vegan option. Plaza on Ponce is also set to get new locations of local ice cream purveyor Queen of Cream and California-based ramen spot Jinya Ramen Bar. 
Slated to open in 2019

Lapeer Seafood Market -- The fine dining seafood restaurant, which will be owner Louis Soon’s third concept in downtown Alpharetta (he also owns Butcher & Brew and South Main Kitchen), will join several other new concepts at Alpharetta City Center including the Shade Street Food, Holmes, Citizen Soul and Chiringa. Slated to open in early 2019

Team behind (Lazy Betty) (Lazy Betty)

Lazy Betty -- Look for “seasonal fare using modern culinary techniques” from former Le Bernardin chefs Ronald Hsu and Aaron Phillips, who will take over the space previously occupied by Radial Cafe.  Slated to open in early 2019

Little Rey -- Prolific Atlanta restaurateur Ford Fry’s newest spot in Morningside will feature a menu with wood-roasted “chicken al carbon” at its core, with dishes “encouraging a healthy lifestyle.” Slated to open in 2019

Pancake Social -- This all-day breakfast spot at Ponce City Market comes in with a hot pedigree -- owners include Bacchanalia’s Anne Quatrano and Tony Riffel, co-founder of Octane Coffee Company and Elevator Factory. Vogue named it one of the country’s most anticipated restaurant openings of 2019, and a second location at Pinewood Forest in Fayetteville has already been announced.  Slated to open in early 2019

Redbird -- Former Watershed chef Zeb Stevenson is returning -- along with Watershed co-owner Ross Jones -- with a new concept in the former Bacchanalia space in the Westside Provisions District. Expect “free spirited cuisine” with a frequently changing menu. Slated to open in the first half of 2019

Ruby Chow’s -- We don’t know much about restaurateur Guy Wong’s newest project other than its name, planned Old Fourth Ward location and focus on Asian fusion, but we’re always excited to see what Wong -- who also owns Miso Ko and Ton Ton in Ponce City Market and Le Fat in West Midtown and was the force behind the beloved and now-shuttered Miso Izakaya -- comes up with. Slated to open in 2019

Sceptre Brewing Arts -- The team behind Argosy in East Atlanta took over Oak Brewpub in Oakhurst to create a concept offering a menu of “beer friendly pairings, elevated comfort food, and refined pub classics.” Slated to open in early 2019

Unnamed Todd Richards/Jackmont Hospitality barbecue restaurant -- The “Soul” cookbook author is developing a barbecue concept in the Westview neighborhood that will serve some of the dishes Richards perfected when he worked at now-shuttered Rolling Bones barbecue restaurant in Old Fourth Ward. Slated to open in the first half of 2019

Chains set to open their first Atlanta locations: Nashville-based Slim & Husky’s to open two locations of its hip hop pizzeria in Atlanta; California-based Curry Up Now Indian chain set to open three metro Atlanta locations; New York-based Mamoun’s Falafel will open six locations in metro Atlanta and Athens; Japanese cream puff shop Beard Papa’s will open its first Georgia location in Peachtree Corners; also in Peachtree Corners, California-based Lazy Dog Restaurant will open its first metro Atlanta location; and Orlando, Florida-based chicken finger eatery Huey Magoo’s will bring its food to metro Atlanta.

Metro Atlanta locations set to open more locations: NaanStop, HOBNOB and Pho24 will open at Atlantic Station; Alma Cocina will open a second restaurant in Buckhead; Atlanta institution Busy Bee will open a second location in downtown Atlanta; Souper Jenny will open in Roswell; Kafenio will open in Avondale Estates; Cafe Lucia will open in Midtown’ Bell Street Burritos will open in Tucker; Greater Good BBQ will open in West Midtown; Woody’s Cheesesteaks will open in Buckhead. 

What restaurant are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments. 

Read the 2018 AJC Fall Dining Guide: Dining on Buford Highway 

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