Hugh Acheson, Top Chef judge and the man behind Atlanta's Empire State South, Athens's Five & Ten and The National, and Savannah's The Florence, may be working on a project at Ponce City Market. Atlanta Magazine took notice of a press release from Jamestown Properties, the company that owns PCM, in which Jamestown president Michael Phillips indicated Acheson is one of the four James Beard Award winners on board.
A Central Food Hall at Ponce will feature "four James Beard award-winning chefs," Phillips said, referring to Anne Quatrano, Sean Brock, Linton Hopkins and Hugh Acheson. "We're also going to do an old school smoke shop that adds a little edge to the experience with pipes, cigars and a little bit of an ode to the new cannabis craze," he said. "It's only going to be the legal parts."
A tipster in tune with the goings on in Atlanta's restaurant scene tells Eater Atlanta Acheson has signed a letter of intent for the development. Acheson's publicist, Ashley Malec, would neither confirm nor deny the tip.
"I'd love to confirm/provide details for Hugh and Ponce City Market, but at this time all I can say is that nothing is yet finalized," Malec said in an email. "... I cannot promise that Hugh will not break news himself via Twitter or another such avenue."
Acheson said last summer that he wasn't looking to open another restaurant in Atlanta, though he mentioned it was because the city was close to saturated with "the style of food we do." Could Acheson branch out to a different cuisine or revive the Mexican fare from his shuttered Cinco y Diez? The latter might not be an option since Sean Brock is opening a second location for Minero, his Mexican restaurant, at the development.
Details are scarce, but it certainly sounds like the wheels are in motion for Acheson at Ponce City Market.
UPDATE: Acheson tells the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "It is NOT a restaurant and the deal ain't final." So perhaps some non-dining sort of project is in the works.
UPDATE II: Acheson is not opening a restaurant at Ponce City Market. He's opening a coffeeshop.
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