Illy coffee shop opens its first Georgia location and more restaurant news

Barista Sanni Mohammed works on getting ready for Thursday's grand opening of Illy Coffee Shop at the Atlantic Station on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2023.   (Steve Schaefer/

Credit: Steve Schaefer

Credit: Steve Schaefer

Barista Sanni Mohammed works on getting ready for Thursday's grand opening of Illy Coffee Shop at the Atlantic Station on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2023. (Steve Schaefer/

Italian coffee shop Illy has opened its first Georgia location — and its first full-service location in the U.S. — in Atlanta mixed-use development Atlantic Station.

Located at 264 19th Street NW, Illy serves a variety of Italian coffee drinks, full-service breakfast, lunch and dinner and pastries made by 2022 James Beard Award finalist and Miller Union and Café Claudia pastry chef Claudia Martínez.

The beverage menu features coffee, espresso and tea options, including seasonal caffé lattes, drip coffee, cappuccino and Nitro cold brew.

Breakfast options include Italian pastries like white chocolate bomboloni and croissants, and breakfast plates such as smoked salmon avocado toast, prosciutto and mushroom frittatas and eggs benedict.

A full-service menu is offered for lunch and dinner, featuring Italian-style sandwiches such as prosciutto and mozzarella on focaccia, flatbreads and pasta, like cacio e pepe and fusili al pesto.

Sweets include tiramisu made with illy espresso, macarons, lemon bars, fudge brownies and fruit tarts. An adult beverage program and aperitivo menu will follow in 2024. The storefront will also offer retail items for purchase, such as illy’s espresso machines, whole-bean coffee and additional coffee accessories.

Founded in Trieste in 1933 by Francesco Illy, Illy is primarily located in airports, museums and shopping destinations. The chain has more than 160 venues across 34 countries, including 17 in the United States.

The Atlanta franchise is operated by Asad Babwari and Aamir Ali, who have owned other food and beverage concepts in metro Atlanta.

The shop’s hours are 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Mondays-Wednesdays, 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays and 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays.

Illy joins several other food and beverage concepts at Atlantic Station including the recently-opened Angry Crab Shack, as well as more established concepts including Gyu-Kaku, Azotea Cantina, Pho 24 and SriThai Kitchen.


The Wurst Beer Hall has closed in Poncey-Highland after less than a year. Co-owner Shaun Doty, who confirmed the closure to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, first made the announcement in a post on social media.

“The bottom line is that it wasn’t meeting expectation of sales,” Doty told the AJC. “It was probably a little too niche in hindsight.”

He said he’s taking a look at “what the neighborhood wants” in deciding what to open in the space, noting that “it might take months.”

Sister concept Best Sandwich Shop, located next door, will remain open.

“The irony is that we opened the sandwich as a side business to the beer hall, but it ended up propelling all of our sales.”

Doty has served as a chef and restaurateur in metro Atlanta for more than 25 years. The early protégé of acclaimed chef Guenter Seeger has cooked at or owned restaurants including Mumbo Jumbo, MidCity Cuisine, Shaun’s, Table 1280, The Federal and Yeah Burger, as well as currently at Federal Burger and Bantam + Biddy.


Pullman Yards in Kirkwood is launching a new and permanent extension of its Chefs Market series. Starting this February, Chefs Market will take place every weekend in the Railpark on Friday nights and Saturday afternoons. The farmers market-meets-bazaar will highlight small businesses and local artisans representing different cultures and cuisines.

Chefs, artists, farmers, and creators can apply here.


Plant-based restaurant Planta Queen is set to open Dec. 22 in the Buckhead Village development at 3035 Peachtree Road NE. The eatery joins sister concept Planta, which opened in Krog Street Market earlier this year.

The pan-Asian menu includes items like sushi burritos with chick’n fried mushrooms, ahi waterlemon, avocado, baby gem, cucumber and ginger; poke bowls with chick’n fried mushrooms, pickled cucumber, mushroom bacon, gomae, avocado, ahi watermelon, spicy mayo and unagi; and scallion pancake egg wraps with kimchi, scallion pancake and hoisin.

Offerings also include several items from the Planta menu including unagi eggplant nigiri and bang bang broccoli.


All locations of local ice cream chain Four Fat Cows have closed, Tomorrow’s News Today reports and the business confirmed in a statement on its website:

“It is with a sad heart that we share this update with you. While we have cherished the incredible journey of establishing and operating seven locations, as well as providing catering and wholesale products, we have recently had to make the difficult decision to close some of our retail outlets.

The persistent impact of the ongoing COVID-19 situation, including ever-increasing, seemingly limitless operating costs, and the unfortunate closure of one of our primary suppliers, has compelled us to reevaluate our business strategy.

We want to express our deep commitment and gratitude for the opportunity to serve the communities in and around Atlanta over the past eight years. Your support has been invaluable to us, and we are sincerely thankful for the trust you’ve placed in our brand.

Thank you for being part of our story, and we look forward to the opportunity to continue serving you in innovative and exciting ways in the future.”

Four Fat Cows was owned by Robyn Thompson and her son Brenden Higbee, and at one point had more than five locations. This week, the four remaining locationg in Marietta, Buckhead, Alpharetta and Reynoldstown closed.


Several new concepts have been announced for Buckhead Landing, the shopping center previously known as Peachtree Piedmont Crossing, Tomorrow’s News Today reports. The complex is set to reopen in 2024 with a location of local Middle Eastern restaurant Aviva by Kameel and Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream, along with several other retail businesses.

More restaurant news

A new food hall is coming to Roswell

Six restaurants, bars set for Signia hotel in downtown Atlanta

A non-profit restaurant employing justice-involved youth is coming to Atlanta

Biltong Bar closing at Ponce CIty Market, Hector Santiago to open tapas restaurant

Biggerstaff Brewing Company closing in Old Fourth Ward

Velvet Hippo opens in Avondale Estates

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