Atlanta restaurant-grocery store hybrid is here to stay

With a selection of wines, locally grown produce, charcuterie, cheese and pantry products, Kathleen’s Catch is a one-stop shop for finer dining at home. Ligaya Figueras/ligaya.figueras@ajc.com
With a selection of wines, locally grown produce, charcuterie, cheese and pantry products, Kathleen’s Catch is a one-stop shop for finer dining at home. Ligaya Figueras/ligaya.figueras@ajc.com

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

Restaurants that also have markets aren’t new, but they’ve recently become a much bigger thing.

Popular examples in Atlanta include Bellina Alimentari (675 Ponce de Leon Ave., Atlanta; 404-330-9933, bellina-alimentari.com) and Storico Fresco Alimentari (3167 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta; 404-500-2181, storico.com/fresco). Each offers an array of eating, drinking and shopping options, with fresh pastas, sauces and grab-and-go dishes.

During the pandemic, chef Ryan Smith and his wife, Kara Hidinger, bought Staplehouse (541 Edgewood Ave. SE, Atlanta; 404-524-5005, staplehouse.com). Soon after, they turned the fine-dining restaurant into a neighborhood market, offering prepared foods to go, including smoked and cured meats; vegetable dishes; cheese; and beer, wine and cocktails.

“We wanted to create a business where we could have personal flexibility with time, and that was sustainable,” Smith said. “But, we have the space, so that if we ever want to do little dinners upstairs once a week, then we can do that. It’s still Staplehouse. And the name Staplehouse makes so much sense for a marketplace. It’s staples for your house.”

The Buttery's charcuterie and cheese department is full of wonderful things to nosh. The kitchen also makes country-ham biscuits to go. Wendell Brock for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
The Buttery's charcuterie and cheese department is full of wonderful things to nosh. The kitchen also makes country-ham biscuits to go. Wendell Brock for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Wendell Brock

Credit: Wendell Brock

Last year, chef Linton Hopkins opened the Buttery (2137 Manchester St. NE, Atlanta; 678-235-2654, butteryatl.com), first offering pickup and delivery meals as an extension of his Resurgens Hospitality Group’s commissary kitchen and bakery. Now, Hopkins is inviting shoppers to browse shelves stocked with whole chickens, steaks and chops, prepared sides and beverages. Another section offers Southern bacon, sausage and ham, plus cheese, charcuterie and a bakery and dessert case.

“We just wanted to keep cooking,” is how Hopkins described the impetus for the Buttery. “We love this little space. We’re having a lot of fun with it, and it’s here for good. But, it’s still fluid on what it will be. I’ve been designing a food truck that will be an extension of the shop and go right in front of the building.”

Nearby, chef Archna Becker opened Bhojanic Market (739 Lambert Drive NE, Atlanta; 404-841-8472, bhojanic.com) after closing her Buckhead Bojanic restaurant during the pandemic. Becker also opened a ghost-kitchen restaurant, Tandoori Pizza & Wing Co., and is continuing with her food truck and catering businesses.

Archna Becker is the chef and owner of Bhojanic and its sister restaurant, Tandoori Pizza & Wing Co. Courtesy of Archna Becker
Archna Becker is the chef and owner of Bhojanic and its sister restaurant, Tandoori Pizza & Wing Co. Courtesy of Archna Becker

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Bhojanic Market is located in a building that houses the Bhojanic catering and commissary kitchen. The menu includes a paneer tikka masala family feast for four. You can order from the pizza and wings side, too, with six different pizzas, masala fries and tandoori wings. And, while you wait, you can browse spices, pickles, chutney, snacks, desserts and cookbooks.

With stores in Johns Creek, Milton, and a new location near Buford Highway in Brookhaven, fish monger Kathleen Hulsey’s Kathleen’s Catch (3436 Clairmont Road, Brookhaven; 678-705-3761, kathleenscatch.com) displays cases of wild and sustainable seafood, including fresh fish, oysters, clams, shrimp, crab and lobster.

Prepared items and sandwiches have proved very popular, too, with a lobster roll, a “knuckle sandwich” made with crab knuckle meat, chowder and smoked trout dip on offer. The Brookhaven location has its own wine shop, and sells cheese, Spotted Trotter charcuterie and produce from local farms.

Lobster rolls, a popular seasonal item at Kathleen's Catch.
Lobster rolls, a popular seasonal item at Kathleen's Catch.

Credit: handout

Credit: handout

“When I first opened my little store in Johns Creek, I wasn’t selling much fish, but the lobster roll took off like crazy,” Hulsey said. “After that, I started doing things like shrimp cakes and crabcakes. But, it all started with that lobster roll, and it really saved the day for me.”

At Taka Sushi and Passion (4600 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs; 404-851-1500, takasushiatlanta.com), chef-owner Taka Moriuchi offers traditional and contemporary omakase experiences, along with nigiri, crudo and hot dishes.

However, since the pandemic, dine-in customers mostly have opted to sit outside, leaving the restaurant relatively empty. With the extra space, Moriuchi opted to open a shop in the restaurant, with beer, wine, sake and more carryout options, including bento boxes.

Looking ahead, Kinship Butcher Sundry is set to open this month in the Virginia-Highland neighborhood. The owners, chef Myles Moody and sommelier Rachael Pack, have worked in fine-dining restaurants in Atlanta and New York City, and are creating a marketplace that will feature whole-animal butchery. In addition, there will be grocery staples, produce from local farms, cheese, charcuterie, wine, Academy Coffee, pastries from Root Bakery, and simple breakfast sandwiches, including bacon, egg and cheese.

“We want this to kind of operate like a farmers market-driven grocery store,” Pack said.

The Buttery is a swell spot for picking up picnic fixings, such as chicken salad, cheese straws, buttermilk crackers, a Caesar with chicken and a deviled egg kit. Wendell Brock for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
The Buttery is a swell spot for picking up picnic fixings, such as chicken salad, cheese straws, buttermilk crackers, a Caesar with chicken and a deviled egg kit. Wendell Brock for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Wendell Brock

Credit: Wendell Brock

During the pandemic, Amalfi Pizza in downtown Atlanta opened a fresh market in the restaurant, in addition to doing takeout and curbside pickup. It proved to be so successful that an even bigger market will be part of the new Buckhead Amalfi, expected to open in early July. Located in the former Gordon Biersch location on Peachtree Road, the market will offer meals to go for two or four, pizza kits, fresh pasta, cheese, aged meats, a wine shop and more.

“We tweaked the name slightly, to Amalfi Cucina and Mercado, because we are going to have all the fresh pastas and cheeses and meats,” operating partner Stephen de Haan said. “We’re not expanding the menu that much, but we are expanding the market concept, and we’re going to update the downtown location, as well.”

Kathleen Hulsey founded Kathleen's Catch in 2011, with the goal of bringing high-quality fish and seafood to the public. Ligaya Figueras/ligaya.figueras@ajc.com
Kathleen Hulsey founded Kathleen's Catch in 2011, with the goal of bringing high-quality fish and seafood to the public. Ligaya Figueras/ligaya.figueras@ajc.com

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

Longtime Atlanta chef Ian Winslade, of Mission + Market in Buckhead, is set to open a yet-to-be-named Italian restaurant and market in Sandy Springs. Winslade and his partners took over the former Three Sheets location, and hope to have it ready by the end of July.

The market will include a coffee shop, with fresh pastries in the morning. It will be open all day, with Italian products and Italian-focused wines for sale, plus dishes and desserts to go.

“I think there’s been a permanent shift in the way people eat and dine,” Winslade said. “The pandemic has created this new secondary market, where people are looking for restaurant-quality food that they can take home.”

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