A planned Sandy Springs outpost of Giovanni Di Palma’s Antico pizzeria is “officially dead” due to city permitting issues and budget concerns within the Neapolitan pizza maker’s restaurant group, according to Reporter Newspapers.
The pizzeria was set to open in a forthcoming development along Hammond Drive and include Vespa-style food carts and an indoor-outdoor beer and wine bar.
Gerard Gunthert of Cornerpoint Partners, the company overseeing the land’s development, blames the collapse of the Antico deal on the “length of time and complexity” involved in the city of Sandy Springs’ permitting process. Antico was slated to kick off construction in June in the development at the intersection of Hammond and Boylston drives. As of Monday, permits had yet to come through from the city.
Di Palma also cites budget concerns following the opening of a second location of Gio’s Chicken Amalfitano at the Battery near SunTrust Park in Cobb County as a factor in the killing of the Sandy Springs deal. However, he isn’t ruling out opening Antico elsewhere in the north Fulton County city or in neighboring Dunwoody.
Di Palma provided the following statement to Eater Atlanta:
“We loved the location and were very excited to be in Sandy Springs, based on the feedback from the city and its residents. So it’s disappointing. During the long process to relocate a longstanding tenant, demolish and get a permit to build, many things changed. Specifically, market conditions, construction costs and our planned growth timelines all became obstacles.”
“We signed at The Battery and opened Gio’s at that location quickly, which was unplanned. Therefore this location and project no longer fit our budget and timeline. With regret, the door is certainly not closed on Sandy Springs and we are keeping options open for the right opportunity.”
In addition to Antico’s original Home Park restaurant and Di Palma’s Little Italia food village on Hemphill Avenue, the pizzeria has locations at Battery Atlanta and at Avalon in Alpharetta. Antico did have a location on the club level inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium during its debut season, but is no longer operating a stall there.
Update, September 24, 2:45 p.m.: This story has been updated with an official statement from Giovanni Di Palma.