Months are just flying by this year. And with the official transition to summer beginning June 21, the new season brings a fresh set of Atlanta restaurant openings.
Construction and permitting delays and equipment shortages continue to plague the restaurant industry in Atlanta, with many owners finding themselves yet again pushing planned opening dates further out. But there’s hope on the horizon. As construction nears completion and more permits get approved, some of those long-awaited restaurant openings are now just around the corner.
Eater is actively tracking the progress of the following six restaurants with anticipated summer debuts, serving everything from king oyster mushroom carnitas enchiladas and Peruvian ceviche to Latin soul food and natural wine paired with tinned fish.
Location: Poncey-Highland, 675 North Highland Avenue
Who: Chef Arnaldo Castillo and Howard Hsu
Projected opening: June 28
Chef Arnaldo Castillo opens his first restaurant this summer, when he transforms Peruvian pop-up La Chingana into Tio Lucho’s. Teaming up with Atlanta restaurateur Howard Hsu (Sweet Auburn BBQ), Tio Lucho’s is an ode to Castillo’s father, who is known for his ceviches. The restaurant bears the affectionate nickname (Tio Lucho or “Uncle Luis”) given to him while working in multiple Peruvian restaurants over the years in Atlanta. Expect dishes blending Peruvian techniques and recipes with Southern ingredients, like tiradito (similar to sashimi), lomo saltado, and a few favorites from La Chingana on the menu. But ceviches take center stage at Tio Lucho’s, as do other coastal Peruvian dishes and cocktails.
Location: Decatur, 110 West Trinity Place
Who: Catherine Zuber
Projected opening: July 9
La Chiquiada, owned by Catherine Zuber, is currently on track for a summer debut in Decatur. Located in the same building as co-working space WeWork, Zuber wants La Chiquiada to be the kind of place people pop in and out of throughout the day, starting with coffee paired with breakfast tacos and conchas in the morning. The restaurant transitions into happy hour mode in the afternoon, featuring snacks, cocktails, and wines from northern California, before shifting the menu again for dinner, including street tacos, chile relleno, and citrus-marinated flank steak.
Location: Cascade Heights, 2287 Cascade Road
Who: Chef Deborah VanTrece
Projected opening: July/early August
After the successful opening of Oreatha’s at the Point, chef Deborah VanTrece is set to open her third Atlanta restaurant in the coming weeks right next door. Look for Latin soul food dishes from chef Whitney Thomas at Serenidad, including smoked chicken arepas with guasacaca and fire-roasted strawberry salsa, sea bass ceviche served with hominy and plantain chips, and tequeños (Venezuelan cheese sticks) with salsa brava and salsa rosado for dipping.
Location: Reynoldstown, 780 Memorial Drive
Who: Sophia Marchese and Reid Trapani
Projected opening: August
Another Atlanta pop-up going permanent this summer, expect the menu at La Semilla to center on vegan Latin food dishes and drinks, including crunch wraps made with seitan beef, summer squash empanadas, and king oyster mushroom carnitas enchiladas. Owned by Sophia Marchese and Reid Trapani, the team behind vegan Latin food pop-up Happy Seed, La Semilla seats 75 people and features a covered patio at the Modera Reynoldstown complex.
Location: The Interlock, Howell Mill Road
Who: Chefs Ron Hsu and Aaron Phillips
Projected opening: August/early September
Chefs Ron Hsu and Aaron Phillips (Lazy Betty, Juniper Cafe) open their next restaurant together at the Interlock this summer. Called Humble Pie, the menu focuses entirely on whole wheat and sourdough wood-fired pizzas and a variety of pot pies and dessert pies. Expect pizzas like broccoli and cheddar and loaded baked potato on the menu paired with cocktails, beer, and natural and biodynamic wines. Design plans call for a variety of seating arrangements, too, including a counter overlooking the pizza oven in the kitchen, a bar and mezzanine, and a patio with an indoor-outdoor bar.
Location: Midtown, 208 12th Street
Who: Jordan Chambers
Projected opening: September
This petite wine and coffee bar comes from former Steady Hand Pour House coffee shop co-owner Jordan Chambers. In Larakin, Chambers merges his passions for both coffee and wine, while fulfilling a dream to open a relaxed neighborhood spot where most of the seating is outdoors. Located on the ground floor of a short-term rental hotel on 12th Street near Piedmont Park, expect coffee and espresso drinks and natural wine served by the bottle and glass. A tight menu of breakfast dishes and local baked goods are expected in the morning, followed by tinned fish and cured meats later in the day when Larakin transitions from coffee shop to wine bar.