January & February 2005 
Alessio's Restaurant...
Bob's Kabobs...
Gibney's Pub...
Higher Grounds
Coffee House & Eatery...

McCray's 6th Street Tavern...
Sean Patrick's Bar & Grille...
Sidelines Grill..
Underground Atlanta's 'Entertainment District...

MARCH 2005
Loafing Leprechaun...
Joey's Mexican Grill...

APRIL 2005
Mambo Italiano...
Doc Green's Gourmet Salads...
City Cafe Diner...

MAY 2005
The Urban Tea Party...
Masada Bakery...
Showcase Comedy Lounge...
Olde Alabama Grill...

JUNE 2005
Zyng Asian Grill...
Wild Noodles...
Crossroads Grille...
Sam's Burgers...

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Neighborhood Italian niche heads to Suwanee

Alessio's Restaurant... No. 3 opens in Suwanee/Johns Creek area
Bob's Kabobs... Kabob concept enters Kennesaw market
Higher Grounds Coffee House & Eatery... An escape from the daily 'grind'
McCray's 6th Street Tavern... Renovates infamous BackStreet location
Chopaati... Featuring cuisine from North & South India
Underground Atlanta's 'Entertainment District... Adds 6 clubs and 2 restaurants

hud report staff &
contributions by toni m. lublin

Attributing his success to his "good staff," owner Brian Miller's business units have grown rapidly. The first Alessio's Restaurant opened in Alpharetta in 2000, a Roswell location in 2002 and the most recent has opened in Suwanee/Johns Creek.

Alessio's fills the neighborhood Italian restaurant niche, with a fast casual dining environment. "Our customers eat here two times a week, or take out. We get to know our customers by name and have a very relaxed atmosphere," says Miller.

The interior's stained wood decor, pizza showcase and open kitchen add to the traditional Italian atmosphere. With 2,400 square feet of space to seat up to 100 people there is plenty of room to have large parties. There's also the option to catch a little TV or just enjoy the pies while listening to '80s music.

Menu items are consistent from location to location, as the 'pizza guys' rotate to different stores, creating consistent dough. Using the finest cheeses and a special marinara recipe, New York-style pizza and deep-dish pizza ranges from $8.95 to $13.95. There is also a big selection of specialty pizzas such as Manhattan Meat, which is topped with meatball, sausage, pepperoni, ham and bacon ($13.95 - $18.95). Pasta dishes, using the same cheeses and special marinara recipe, are also a good value from lasagna ($7.95) to eggplant Parmigiana ($7.95).

With his appreciation for Italian food, Miller remembers fondly his native New York upbringing. It gave him inspiration to open his first restaurant, Positino's, in Orlando, FL. Miller operated Positino's for 14 years with his Italian partners who were originally from the Mediterranean village of Positino, Italy. Miller now has his sights set on expanding the Alessio's concept further and franchising the business.

Alessio's newest Restaurant is located at 7754 McGinnis Ferry Road in the Publix at Shakerag Shopping Center, 770.622.4884. Hours are Monday - Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday & Saturday 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. and Sunday 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. For more information on all the Alessio's locations visit www.alessiosrestaurant.com

Bob's Kabobs in Kennesaw market

"Kabobs are fun to eat and perfect for those on a low carb, high protein diet," says owner Christian Gainnes. He recently opened Bob's Kabobs in late November, a fast casual restaurant, where the main event is Kabobs.

The restaurant seats 40 patrons, who select their Kabob at the counter from a variety of choices. Beef, chicken, turkey, tuna and swordfish are the most popular, served with Bob's homemade dipping sauce. Also served as sides are pita bread, lentils and Greek potatoes. The average ticket is $7 - $8.50. Salads and heroes are also on the menu.

Gainnes has been in the restaurant business for 25 years. "I was curious as to how people would except the concept and have discovered that it has a broad appeal," Gainnes is planning a second location in Vinings next year.

Bob's Kabobs is located at 1200 Ernest Barrett Parkway, NW in Kennesaw, 770.422.4362. Hours are Monday - Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Higher Grounds takes you away from the daily 'grind'

Placed prominently in the heart of the Northern Suburbs of Atlanta, owner Dan Knutson's Higher Grounds Coffee House & Eatery provides an escape from the daily "grind."

Offering a new approach to the traditional Coffee House, the interior radiates with the rustic feel of a mountain lodge. Featuring live family-oriented entertainment Wednesdays through Saturday &emdash; A venue for local and up-and-coming artists to perform &emdash; And free high-speed wireless internet access allowing the business professional, student or anyone interested in surfing the web a cozy environment with hot java, cool sounds and food.

"The Cabin" at Higher Grounds is a space accommodating groups from 6 to 40 for community, business or private parties. "The Cabin" is equipped with designer garage doors that raise and lower to allow for privacy as needed and the space is available at no charge but you must call ahead to reserve.

Higher Grounds is also the first retailer in the southeast to offer "Teaosophy" (tm) (loose-leaf hot tea). Teaosophy offers leaf tea in a silken mesh pyramid tea pod. Leaf tea allows you to brew your tea exactly the way you like it - light, medium or dark. You can see the tea leaves, spices and ingredients of the loose-leaf triangular shaped pouch as it steeps in your cup

Higher Grounds roaster, Ian Goodman, makes sure the coffee meets all the criteria for the best coffee: the bean, the roast and the freshness. Specialty coffees from around the globe, teas, rich creamy espresso based drinks, blended ice coffees and blended tea blasts are abundant. In addition to pastries and breakfast sandwiches, the menu is completed with soups & salads, and a variety of deli and wrap sandwiches and desserts.

Higher Grounds is located at 10900 Medlock Bridge Road, Medlock Promenade Shopping Center, Duluth, 770.418.1884. For more information visit www.highergroundscoffee.com.

McCray's occupies former BackStreet

Scott McCray has been in the business long enough to know what ingredients make a successful business. His latest venture, McCray's 6th Street Tavern opened in midtown (in the former BackStreet location) not far from his other current ventures, Cosmopolitan and Lava Lounge. "We are the type of tavern that the neighborhood folks come to at least a couple times a week," says McCray.

Before Cosmo and Lava McCray was with Fratelli's di Napoli, Antonio's and LaRocco's Italian Restaurant in Destin, Florida.

With McCray's 6th Street Tavern, the concept of good food and service will be the focus. "This is the type of place that you would likely fine in New York or Chicago, with a good mixed crowd and great food," says McCray.

The neighborhood bar & grill features some Italian classics such as linguine & meatballs ($8), chicken parmigiana & linguine marinara ($9), and rigatoni vodka sauce ($9). Starters include calamari fritti ($8) and homemade potato chips and Gorgonzola Cheese ($6).

On tap are a selection of 45 beers and a broad variety of bottled beer and wine round out the choices.

The interior features lots of dark wood and brick. McCray is also in the process of enlarging the existing footprint inside and out. The additional seating will accommodate up to 300 inside and a patio expansion is in the works.

McCray's 6th Street Tavern is located at 98 6th Street in Midtown, 404.249.1506. Hours are 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. Monday - Sunday.

Chopaati opens in Decatur

The locals refer to Decatur as a great little "Mayberry" town. It is very pedestrian friendly and has really unique boutiques and a range of interesting restaurants. Chopaati is the latest restaurant addition to the area offering Indian Cuisine and is strictly vegetarian.

Dilip Patel is the owner of Chopaati. He opened in October taking over the space that was formally another Indian restaurant. "We opened under a different name, new menu and improved the décor," says Patel.

On the menu are over 80 different varieties of food from north and south India. The entrees are made fresh to order and the value is incredible, with the average entrée only $4.50. Entrees include various types of Masala, including Masala Vadai, made with chickpeas and spices, Samosa, Dosais, a thin crepe made of rice and lentil and various bread baskets of poori, pulka and naan.

Chopaati is located at 1707 Church Street, in the Scott Village Shopping Center, 404.296.2965. Hours are 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday - Sunday.

Entertainment district...

Hoping to add to the resurgence of downtown, Underground Atlanta has added 'entertainment district' to its resume with the announcement of openings of six new clubs and two newly renovated restaurants that coincided with the 16th Annual Peach Drop on New Year's Eve.

Underground's additions include more than 38,000 square feet of new clubs, bars and restaurants: the high-energy dance clubs The Future and the Latin Quarter occupying 10,000 square feet, the tropical Jimmy Buffet-style club and show bar of Island Oasis, a rock and roll-meets-jukebox atmosphere of The Alley Cat and an upbeat, adult karaoke and dance club serving food and drinks at Koco's. Re-opening in its new location will be the drag-queen talents of Charlie Brown's Cabaret and the newly renovated restaurants Irish Bred and Jamaica Jamaica.

Four other clubs were inticed earlier in the year to join Kenny's Alley but have since pulled out: Loca Luna, Tongue & Groove, Black Bear Ravern and Mako's.

Kenny's Alley offers live music entertainment, dancing and spirits as well as menu items. This is the only entertainment district in the city where the drinks are poured until 4 a.m. and you can walk from club to club throughout Kenny's Alley while carrying an open container. For more information visit www.underground-atlanta.com.



The invasion of the Sports Bars

Sean Patrick's Bar & Grille... Sports concept opens in Dunwoody
Sidelines Grill.. New unit opens in Suwanee
Gibney's Pub... Charlie & Barney's gets a makeover

hud report staff &
contributions by toni m. lublin

If you consider yourself a billiards or dart enthusiast, Sean Patrick's Bar & Grille provides a hotspot for players of all skill levels. The grille, which opened in October, has developed a loyal following of both pro and amateur players.

In addition to six top-of-the-line 9-foot Gandy pool tables, finished with Simons felt (which makes them fast) and imperial crown stand balls, the bar & grille has a pro-shop that offers for sale billiard and dart accessories. The dart area has six lanes and active tournaments.

Edward Smith, who is an all-round sports aficionado, is the manager at Sean Patrick's. His passion for golf, pool and darts has helped to organize the APA pool week and the ATA tournaments at the bar.

For the serious gamers there are also four Tornado Foosball tables. "We have people come to visit us, just to play Foosball. Last month the #1 ranked female Foosball player in the world drove from Alabama to play at our place," says Smith.

In addition to all the gaming there is also a strong nightlife at Sean Patrick's which is open until 4 a.m. (except Saturday) and offers a full menu until 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, including chicken tenders, wings, steaks, salads, pasta and New York and Chicago-style pizza. The dining area seats 70 patrons.

Video games are also a big focus, with the latest and most popular, including two Mega Touch games, PTA Tournament, Head to Head car racing California Speed and Head to Head Motorcycle Road Burners. Whether you are into Thursday trivia or just want to watch some projection screen TV, Sean Patrick's Bar & Grille is an interactive place.

Sean Patrick's Bar & Grille is located at 8610 Roswell Road in Dunwoody, 770.650.5723. Hours are 11:30 a.m. to 4 a.m. Sunday - Friday and 11:30 a.m. to 3 a.m. on Saturday. Map to Sean Patrick's.

Sidelines Suwanee

Sidelines Grille has developed a solid reputation with their customers over the past 11-years. Founder and owner Steve Katzenstein attributes this to the "I'll be back" factor, which has enabled them to grow and franchise.

The family owned and operated business started with a simple sports bar concept in 1994, and has evolved into a more sophisticated sports-themed restaurant. The food and service are the focal point, but the environment is also an element that has received detailed attention.

Today, there are five units; Two of the locations in Kennesaw and Suwanee (which opened January 3) are wholly owned and operated by the family. The freestanding Suwanee location is a brand new construction and stands like a tavern. Katzenstein invested almost $3 million in the project.

The interior has certain elements of a sports bar that blend into the restaurant environment. There are plenty of high-end TV's scattered and placed in a balanced manner throughout. Sunny yellow walls, pendent lighting, exposed brick, terra cotta tiled floors, and oak trim and maroon tufted booths, all add warmth and comfort to the interior.

Totally smoke free, the Grille has a very clean environment. The bar and lounge features a large granite topped bar with two LCD TV's and a large plasma TV built into the back bar. Seating for the restaurant and bar accommodates 185 with an additional 30 seats on the patio. There is a small video room which is perfect for the kids to hang out, while the family watches the games.

Daniel Acree, manager of the new unit and with Sidelines Grille for eight years says, "We offer a very large menu from sandwiches to prime rib. Our customers tell us that they love to come back because they can always try something new." The menu highlights include grilled 8-ounce tenderloin filet with a choice of two sides ($16.99), Smoky Mountain BBQ chicken ($9.99). Hand-trimmed ribeye steak ($15.99) and north Atlantic trio, salmon, shrimp and scallops grilled to perfection ($15.99). There is also a large selection of sandwiches, from wraps to a true French Dip, which Acree says is the "real deal."

The Suwanee Sidelines offers specials with sides each day of the week: Monday is the burger ($5.99) and chicken pot pie ($6.99); Tuesdays will get you crab cake ($7.49) and white chicken lasagna ($7.99); Wednesday specials include beef stroganoff ($7.49) and chicken Philly cheese steak ($6.99); On Thursday chicken and shrimp ($6.99) and BBQ pork sandwiches ($6.99) are offered and Friday rounds out the week with fish & chips ($7.99) and chicken tetrazini ($7.49).

The Sidelines Grille is located at 1500 Satellite Blvd. in Suwanee, 770.814.9694. Hours are Sunday - Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Friday & Saturday 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Visit www.sidelinesgrille.com for more info.

Gibney's opens

Charlie and Barney's, the downtown restaurant and bar, has a new name. Owners John Gibney and Joey Romano have decided to breathe new life into the place, and have changed the name to Gibney's Pub. In addition to the name change, they are in the process of remodeling the interior and the facade of the restaurant.

The new, bold, red facade will harken back to the pubs reminiscent of England and Scotland. Inside, Gibney's Pub will get a face-lift with new plasma screen TVs (with Direct TV), an additional bar, new flooring and tables, in addition to the existing pool tables, dance floor, and ten televisions, including their big screen TV. that packs the place out during football games.

John and Joey have decided to keep the world-famous chili that put Charlie & Barney's on the menu map. With the exception of the chili, the existing menu has been expanded and modified, offering traditional American fare such as burgers, wings, pizzas and salads.

Watch for the official grand re-opening in February.

Gibney's Pub has a blend of New York zest and Georgia's famous hospitality.

It is the place for the downtown crowd, and out-of-town visitors to gather.

Gibney's also offers on-site catering and private party packages,

Gibney's Pub is located in Downtown Atlanta, at 231 Peachtree Center Avenue NE, adjoining the Peachtree Center Mall and connected to the Hyatt, Hilton and Marriott Marquis hotels, 404.688.0928. Gibney's Pub is open to 3 a.m. on weekdays and Saturdays, and until 2 a.m. on Sunday. Map to Gibney's.