It’s about time to buy a new calendar and obsess over the restaurant openings that will come to Atlanta in the new year. With that in mind, we’re taking a look at the winter tracking guide, running through the most anticipated restaurants set to begin service in the final weeks of 2016 and the first quarter of 2017. These are listed in alphabetical order, and we'll update statuses as they open. If you have a favorite not listed, leave it in the comments below.
It’s been delayed for a while, and chefs Angus Brown and Nhan Le have gone quiet regarding Ama’s potential opening date. But, the forthcoming restaurant from the duo behind Octopus Bar, Lusca (RIP), and, most recently, 8 Arm, is gaining buzz. Following the early critical acclaim for 8 Arm, Atlantans’ are eager to try Brown and Le’s next venture. The chefs have indicated they’ll focus on wood-grilled seafood, oysters, crudo, pasta, charcuterie, and seasonal vegetables. Virginia-Highland: 716 Ponce de Leon Pl. NE.
Projected opening: TBD.
What started out as a New York street cart has blown up into an insanely popular national chain. The first Atlanta outpost for The Halal Guys is planned for Buford Highway, and a few more should be coming to the metro area. When it opens, look for gyro sandwiches, beef and chicken platters with rice, and more. Chamblee: 4929 Buford Hwy., Suite A.
Projected opening: Mid-January.
Hadyn Hilton is close to opening the first cat cafe inside Atlanta’s city limits. She’s been working on her barista skills at Ebrik Coffee Room, and the Downtown cafe will provide the beans once Java Cats is up and running. The Gathering, part of a non-profit organization that offers homeless individuals a path to success through training in the culinary arts, will provide prepared food items. Most importantly, Java Cats is partnering with Paws Atlanta to foster up to 20 felines at a time in the cafe’s "cat room.” Grant Park: 415 Memorial Dr. SE, Suite C.
Projected opening: Late January/early February.
One Eared Stag chef Robert Phalen is opening his second restaurant at East Lake’s burgeoning Hosea + 2nd development. As full name suggests, Mary Hoopa’s will specialize in fried chicken and bivalves served a variety of ways. The menu will also included dishes previously seen at Phalen’s Inman Park restaurant. East Lake: 2371 Hosea L. Williams Dr. NE.
Projected opening: January.
Chris Martha, chef Michael Semancik, and beverage director Nate Shuman, who have all spent time at The Georgian Terrace hotel, are reuniting at Scout. Semancik will serve modern Southern cuisine, but he’s steering clear of typical comfort food. Shuman wants to pour "a great version of your favorite drink — whether it’s a cocktail original to our restaurant or a classic that anyone could make at home." The restaurant was originally scheduled to open in fall, but it should make its debut any day now. Oakhurst: 321 West Hill St.
Projected opening: Imminent.
• All Eater Tracking [EATL]