Chef Mihoko Obunai and Concentrics Restaurants have announced a new ramen concept called NEXTO, slated to open at 822 Ralph McGill Blvd. N.E. in Atlanta's Old Fourth Ward in spring 2016. Known as the "Ramen Freak" for her popular series of ramen pop-ups, Obunai is a graduate of the French Culinary Institute in New York City and was chef co-owner of the French/Japanese-influenced restaurant, Repast, which closed in 2010. Since then, she's launched ramen pop-ups in other cities and states, and was one of five ramen masters featured in the first annual Ramen Battle at the 10th annual StarChefs International Chefs Congress in Brooklyn. nextoatl.com.
American Food and Beverage closed
American Food and Beverage, which opened in mid-January 2015 in the ritzy Shops Buckhead Atlanta mixed-use development, officially closed Jan. 14. It was the second location of the Fort Worth, Texas-based restaurant from Raised Palate Restaurants group, which also manages Thirteen Pies locations in Fort Worth and Shops Buckhead Atlanta. According to a press release, Raised Palate has decided to "discontinue the American Food & Beverage brand nationwide." raisedpalaterestaurants.com.
Second Helping IPA returns
For the third year in a row, SweetWater Brewing has partnered with the Giving Kitchen to serve up Second Helping IPA, with all profits from SweetWater and United Distributors donated to the Atlanta nonprofit. Originally brewed by the late chef Ryan Hidinger of Staplehouse and the team at SweetWater, Second Helping's two earlier incarnations raised $100,000 to directly support grants the Giving Kitchen offers to assist restaurant industry workers with emergencies. The 2016 donation is expected to exceed $50,000. http://thegivingkitchen.org.