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The Most Anticipated Atlanta Restaurant Openings, Spring 2016

Your guide to what's on deck this season

Mihoko Obunai at the future home of Nexto.
Mihoko Obunai at the future home of Nexto.
Concentrics Restaurants

The weather is warming up, and spring is right around the corner. That means it's almost time for a season of rebirth to hit Atlanta's restaurant scene. We saw a number of major openings last year, and a few more have already come online in the first couple months of 2016. With the future in mind, it's time to take a look at the spring tracking guide, running through the most anticipated restaurants set to begin service before summer arrives. These are listed in alphabetical order, and we'll update statuses as they open. If you have a favorite not listed, do leave it in the comments below.

8 Arm

Chefs Angus Brown and Nhan Le have cut bait with Lusca, and they plan to open a smaller restaurant, Ama, in the Paris on Ponce space this summer. But first, the duo will launch an adjacent coffeeshop. Lusca alum Matt Mullin is on board to run the coffee program at 8 Arm, and the shop will serve breakfast and lunch fare in addition to the "tight coffee menu." Virginia-Highland: 710 Ponce de Leon Ave.

Projected opening: Late spring.

AMER

Partner David Durnell tragically died in February, but Bocado's Brian Lewis is pressing on to open the cocktail bar that falls "between the esoteric and the playful." Amer takes up residence in Inman Quarter, and the beverage menu will be divided into four sections: Shaken, Built, Sodas, and Stirred, focusing on bitters and Italian Amari. Food will include savory snacks and small plates such as chips with charred onion dip; fried artichoke hearts and lemon; Buffala with trout caviar and fried leeks; Hamachi, green apples, and sunchokes; and an English muffin with local egg and pork belly. Inman Park: 299 North Highland Ave.

Status: Certified open.

Amer

[Blue Hominy PR]

Ba Bellies

Nam Phuong owners David and Tina Nguyen are planning to open their next restaurant in Peachtree Corners. The duo is partnering with chef Mike Yang, previously of New York City's Per Se, Craft, and L'atelier, to serve Southern-Asian fusion and an extensive craft beer list. The menu is still being finalized, but some dishes to expect include shaking beef banh mi, crispy Brussels sprouts with puffed rice, Tonkotsu ramen, and bacon fried rice. Norcross: 6025 Peachtree Pkwy.

Projected opening: Late April/early May.

BRUSH SUSHI IZAKAYA

The Japanese restaurant comes from former One Sushi + executive chef and Craft Izakaya sushi chef Jason Liang, whose vision is "more inline with the traditions of the Japanese sushi-ya than Atlanta is used to seeing." Look for yakitori made from GrassRoots Farm chicken and Edomae-style sushi sourced locally and from the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo. Decatur: 316 Church St.

Status: Certified open.

CHAR KOREAN BAR & GRILL

From former Craft Izakaya partner and general manager, Char will serve "traditional stuff like bo ssam, sea snail, spicy noodles," along with kimchi-pork belly fried rice, sweet potato tempura, and more Korean barbecue staples. Craft Izakaya chef Jey Oh is consulting on the food, but he's not a partner in the project. The beverage program sounds ambitious: "I'm not saying we're going to go molecular, but we're going to go outside the box a little bit," Tang previously said. Inman Park: 280 Elizabeth St.

Projected opening: April.

CITY WINERY

Michale Dorf's wine bar/restaurant/music venue concept is coming to Ponce City Market. It will open adjacent to Dancing Goats Coffee Bar, following locations in New York City, Chicago, Napa Valley, and Nashville. Dorf says the food has "a real Mediterranean core: Italian, French, Spanish, Greek, which all share their salty-ish ingredients." Jeffrey McGar, a veteran of Atlanta's corporate culinary scene, is on board as executive chefOld Fourth Ward: 650 North Ave.

Projected opening: May.

City Winery Atlanta

[Fox Greenberg Public Relations]

Comet Pub & Lanes

The team behind Twain's Brewpub & Billiards is planning a new bowling-centric venture in the former Suburban Lanes space. The redesigned bowling alley will preserve "the classic feel of the iconic bowling alley," and the restaurant will use locally sourced ingredients. On the menu, look for hand-tossed pizzas, burgers, and shareable plates, and the bar will pour craft beers and custom cocktails. Decatur: 2619 North Decatur Rd.

Projected opening: Late April/early May.

Linton's In The Garden

Chef and restaurateur Linton Hopkins is close to opening his latest restaurant, located in the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. Jason Paolini, an veteran of Hopkins's restaurant group, is in as executive chef, and he'll serve "honest, garden-to-plate cookery." The restaurant will seat more than 200, include a patio and rooftop deck, and offer views of the woodland garden and Midtown skyline. Ansley Park: 1345 Piedmont Ave. NE.

Projected opening: Late spring.

MorningSide Kitchen

Tom Murphy is closing in on the launch of his third Atlanta restaurant. Located roughly a mile from his eponymous eatery in Virginia-Highland, Morningside Kitchen will take over the former Rosebud space. With Bhavesh Patel running the kitchen as chef de cuisine, the restaurant will serve "neighborhood comfort food" for dinner and brunch. Morningside: 1397 North Highland Ave. NE.

Status: Certified open.

Nexto

Local ramen chef Mihoko Obunai is leaving the pop-up game to open her own restaurant. Details are still scarce, but considering Obunai's reputation, the forthcoming eatery's BeltLine-adjacent location, and partnership with successful hospitality group Concentrics Restaurants, it's bound to be a hit. Poncey-Highland: 822 Ralph McGill Blvd. NE.

Projected opening: Spring.

NOBLE FIN

From 4th & Swift's Jay Swift, the Peachtree Corners restaurant will serve contemporary Mediterranean and American cuisine, and Swift's son Jeb Aldrich will run the kitchen as chef de cuisine. The 200-seat restaurant will feature a full bar in the front with a 24-foot ceiling and skylights and a 15-foot "wine wall" in the dining room. The dinner menu will be seafood focused with a raw bar section; small plates; several fresh-market fish options; hand-cut pastas; and a section of steaks, chops, and poultry. The lunch menu will offer the addition of sandwiches, po' boys, and lobster rolls, as well as an "express menu" for dinners on their lunch break. Swift was hoping to open by the 2015 holiday season, but he was hit with industry-typical delays. Peachtree Corners: 5260 Peachtree Pkwy.

Projected opening: Late March.

Noble Fin

[Noble Fin/Facebook]

RICHARDS' SOUTHERN FRIED

Todd Richards, who left The Shed at Glenwood and The Pig & The Pearl for White Oak Kitchen last year, is getting in on the national hot chicken craze. At this Krog Street Market stall, fried yardbird will be available in three varieties: classic, hot, and Richards' HOT. It'll be served in sandwich and plate form and accompanied by sides such as potato wedges; stewed okra and tomatoes; and broccoli, rice, and cheese casserole. Inman Park: 99 Krog St. NE.

Projected opening: April/May.

Ton Ton

Ton Ton has seen multiple delays, but owner Guy Wong has the finish line in sight. When it does open at Ponce City Market, the restaurant will serve Japanese ramen, yakitori, and sushi. Noodles, rice, and other Japanese ingredients will be available for retail purchase. Wong says friends-and-family events should begin soon. Old Fourth Ward: 675 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE.

Projected opening: Late March.

Also tracking: 5Church, Barcelona Westside, Boti, Grindhouse Killer Burgers Decatur, Hampton & Hudson, Revolution Doughnuts Inman Park, Richards' Southern FriedSuperica Buckhead.

Longleaf

1345 Piedmont Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30309 (404) 585-2061 Visit Website

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