Tio Lucho’s opening in Poncey-Highland and more Atlanta restaurant news

Arnaldo Castillo, the chef behind Peruvian pop-up La Chingana, is partnering with Atlanta restaurateur Howard Hsu, (Sweet Auburn BBQ, Lazy Betty, Juniper Cafe), on a new Poncey-Highland eatery.

Tio Lucho’s is set to open this summer at 675 N. Highland Ave. NE, Atlanta, in the space previously occupied by Co, an Asian fusion restaurant that closed earlier this year.

Inspired by Castillo’s time growing up in Lima and Piura, Peru, the Tio Lucho’s menu will focus on shareable seafood, meats and side dishes, made using seasonal ingredients sourced locally, and from Peru.

Dishes will include ceviches tossed in leche de tigre and wok-fired lomo saltados, as well as regional dishes from Northern Peru, such as arroz con pato, which features Carolina gold rice cooked in a cilantro, ajis and squash puree, and served with duck confit and seared duck breast.

Castillo will lead the kitchen, along with Manuel Lara, former chef de cuisine at Serpas True Food, while Sonny Howell and Dillon Slay, formerly of Sweet Auburn BBQ and Kimball House, will help run the bar program, featuring Latin-inspired craft cocktails and drinks, such as pisco sours, chilcanos and frozen cocktails.

The restaurant is named for Castillo’s father, Luis, a chef in Peru and Atlanta known as Tio Lucho (“Uncle Luis”). It will have decor influenced by Peruvian beaches, as well as Southern destinations, including Savannah. Design elements will include wood and metal tones, and stone and brick masonry.

Tio Lucho’s will be open 4-10 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays.

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Drew Van Leuvan has been named culinary director of Atlanta chain Farm Burger, known for its grass-fed burgers. Van Leuvan, who has spent more than 27 years in the food and beverage industry, is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. He previously served as executive chef and operating partner at Buckhead’s Seven Lamps, and most recently was executive chef at Atlanta’s Ecco Buckhead.

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Chicago-based chain Aloha Poke Co. is set to open its first location in metro Atlanta at 3348 Cobb Parkway in Acworth.

The restaurant will be owned and operated by local entrepreneur Randy Elias, who has worked in fast-casual restaurant franchising for more than 20 years. His portfolio includes several Moe’s Southwest Grills in the Acworth and Cartersville areas.

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Summerhill restaurant Junior’s Pizza is opening a second location at 397 North Central Ave. in Hapeville, according to an Instagram post:

Alex and Jennifer Aton turned their pizza pop-up into a brick-and-mortar on Georgia Avenue in Summerhill in August 2019. The restaurant serves salads, whole pizzas, calzones and pizza by the slice.

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Atlanta institution Henri’s Bakery is expanding again with a new location at 2163 Johnson Ferry Road in Brookhaven, Reporter Newspapers reports. The bakery, which offers sandwiches, cakes and pastries, has existing locations in Buckhead, Sandy Springs, West Midtown and at the Marietta Square Market.

More restaurant news from the week

NoriFish opens in Sandy Springs

Spina Pizza, Small Fry opening at Atlanta Dairies

Papi Ali’s to close in Tucker