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Whole Foods Is Getting in the Restaurant Business

A new direction for the upscale grocery chain

Exterior signage at a Whole Foods Market. Flickr/Mike Mozart

Whole Foods Market, the high-end grocery store chain that has long been derided as "Whole Paycheck," appears to be diversifying its brand even further. Already working on a new line of lower-cost stores, the chain is now planning to open a full-service restaurant, reports What Now Atlanta. The eatery is being installed at Whole Foods’s under-renovation Midtown store.

"Our Whole Foods Market Ponce de Leon location is expecting to open its first in-store restaurant, The Roast, during ‘phase three’ of the store’s current renovation plan," a company spokesperson said in an email to Eater Atlanta. "Currently, the venue is expected to open in the spring of 2017 and will serve beer and wine on tap."

Further information on the project, such as what type of cuisine it might serve, was not immediately available. The spokesperson indicated the "Roast" name is a working title, and that "additional details around the restaurant concept, final name, and amenities are currently under development."

It’s unclear whether Whole Foods currently has plans to open restaurants across the country, or if this is a one-off venture.

Whole Foods’s renovated Midtown outpost, located at 650 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE, is throwing a grand-reopening party next week. Thursday, November 3, through Sunday, November 6, the store will host live music, DJs, a hog roast, local brewery tap takeovers, and more.

Whole Foods Market to Open Full-Service Midtown Restaurant [WNA]

Scope Renderings for Atlanta's Forthcoming Alternative to 'Whole Paycheck' [EATL]