The first quarter of 2020 saw several big Atlanta restaurant openings around town. There was Ruby Chow’s, the long-awaited second restaurant from chef Guy Wong in Old Fourth Ward, Eat Me Speak Me chef Jarrett Stieber’s Little Bear in Summerhill, Wonderkid diner on Memorial Drive from the team behind Bon Ton and the Lawrence, and Tal Baum’s Israeli-style shipudiya restaurant, Rina, at Ford Factory Lofts.
As the city enters the second quarter of 2020, here are the nine most anticipated Atlanta restaurants planning to open this spring.
Keep updated on all of the restaurants planning to open around Atlanta with this continually updated list.
The Companion — now open
Location: Bolton, 316 Marietta Road NW
Who: Chef Andy Gonzales
Projected opening: Late March/early April
The old Adams Hardware building in the northwest Atlanta neighborhood of Bolton soon becomes the Companion bar and restaurant from longtime Steinbeck’s chef Andy Gonzales. The chef says the Companion’s menu leans toward “big, delicious sandwiches,” along with a few entrees and burgers, “snacky items,” and soft serve ice cream. The bar includes 16 beers on tap, craft cocktails, a couple of frozen drinks, and wines by the glass.
Grana — now open
Location: Piedmont Heights, 1835 Piedmont Avenue NE
Who: Chef Pasquale “Pat” Pascarella
Projected opening: Late March/mid-April
After some delays, it seems The White Bull chef Pat Pascarella is set to finally debut his Neapolitan pizza and Italian restaurant Grana on Piedmont Avenue. Grana’s menu features wood-fired pizzas, Pascarella’s handmade pastas, a mozzarella bar, build-your-own cannolis, and a variety of meatball flights. The main dining room offers communal seating around the bar, along with smaller two- and four-top tables scattered about the space. There’s also dining on the restaurant’s mezzanine and a rooftop bar equipped with fire pits and buckets of Lambrusco.
Location: Reynoldstown, 905 Memorial Drive
Who: Chef Richard Tang
Projected opening: April
Char Korean Bar & Grill owner chef Richard Tang and chef Mike Yang now plan to open their seafood boil and by-the-pound restaurant, Girl Diver, in April at the Madison Yards development. In addition to platters and boils filled with Alaskan king crab, jumbo tiger shrimp, and piles of crawfish, Girl Diver also offers grilled octopus served with confit baby potatoes and a Wagyu skirt steak topped with Thai-style chimichurri served with a side of roasted potatoes. Tang’s next restaurant, a game bar called Press Start, opens this fall in Summerhill.
Talat Market — now open
Location: Summerhill, 112 Ormond Street
Who: Chefs Parnass Lim Savang and Rod Lassiter
Projected opening: Late April/early May
Former Thai food pop-up Talat Market finally turns permanent restaurant in Summerhill this spring. Owned by chefs Parnass Lim Savang and Rod Lassiter, the restaurant is located inside an old neighborhood market on Ormond Street and seats 40 people inside and ten people on the covered patio. Savang says the dining room is a mixture of Thai and American aesthetics with a mural by Atlanta artist Christina Kwan, and includes an open kitchen and a large boat-shaped bar. The chefs are developing a menu of 12 to 15 dishes featuring soups, salads, relishes, curries, stir-fries, and desserts, along with a couple of larger entrees.
Pizza by the Slice
Location: Virginia-Highland, 1023 Virginia Avenue NE
Who: Anthony Spina
Projected opening: May
After finding success with his two pizzerias — O4W Pizza and Nina & Rafi — Anthony Spina opens Pizza by the Slice in part of the former Goin’ Coastal space in Virginia-Highland this May. Spina’s latest pizzeria focuses on Sicilian-style pizza served by the slice or whole pie. The pizza typically features a thick, focaccia-like crust topped with oregano and tomatoes. In addition to pizza, the restaurant will also serve Jersey-style sub sandwiches. The pizzeria, located next door to Paolo’s Gelato, may finally fill the void left behind by the beloved Everybody’s Pizza, which closed in the neighborhood after 41 years in 2013.
D Boca N Boca
Location: Summerhill, 39 Georgia Avenue
Who: Chef Helio Bernal
Projected opening: May
What began as the Real Mexican Vittles mobile kitchen in 2017, serving tacos and tamales at festivals and breweries, is propelling owner Helio Bernal into his first restaurant venture — Mexican gastropub D Boca N Boca. The 1,800-square-foot restaurant should seat around 40 to 50 people inside, with an additional 50 on the patio. Like the Real Mexican Vittles, the menu at D Boca N Boca includes street corn, tacos, and tamales, but dishes will also lean into Bernal’s family roots on the Gulf Coast of Mexico.
Location: Decatur, 1365 Clairmont Road
Who: Manny Rodriguez and Stacie Antich
Projected opening: June
After years of running their popular mobile Cuban bakery and sandwich shop Buena Gente from a teardrop camper or ventanita (“little window”,) Manny Rodriguez and Stacie Antich open their first permanent location in Decatur. Buena Gente takes over the former Nectar space on Clairmont Road. The restaurant stays true to its ventanita roots and will be mainly takeout with some limited seating inside. The menu includes a variety of pastelitos, croquetas, and empanadas as well as an expanded menu of Cuban sandwiches.
Location: Grant Park, 580 Woodward Avenue
Who: Hope Webb and Walter Cortado
Projected opening: June
Filipino restaurant Estrellita opens later this spring along Woodward Avenue in the same retail complex that houses Manny’s pub. Owned by Hope Webb and Walter Cortado, Estrellita’s menu features dishes from Pampanga, Philippines. Both partners have deep connections to the province northwest of Manilla. Look for dishes like chicken or string bean adobo, bone marrow soup, rellenong bangus (stuffed, fried milkfish), and chicken inasal (Calamansi lime and vinegar marinated grilled chicken).
How Crispy Express
Location: Summerhill, 71 Georgia Avenue, Suite B
Who: Chef Will Silbernagel, Greg Best, Bart Sasso, Luke Wilkinson, and Jim Crook
Projected opening: June/July
Located next door to chef Jarrett Stieber’s restaurant, Little Bear, How Crispy Express sandwich shop includes a walk-up window serving sandwiches like the “Atlanta Classic” crispy chicken sandwich, a rotating daily chicken sandwich special, and a vegetarian sandwich made with tofu called the “Summerhill Sammy”. How Crispy will also serve salads and drinks. The shop offers limited bar seating at the front window and includes an open-air patio
Note: This story was updated Wednesday, March 11, to include details on the openings of Pizza by the Slice and How Crispy Express. Eater Atlanta reached out to Howard Hsu and Anita Hsu of Amar Bien who say the restaurant should open on Marietta Boulevard later this summer.