Grazing: First Looks at Ri Ra and Joia

Two newbies on Crescent Avenue

Remember when Vickery’s was the only restaurant on Crescent Avenue in Midtown? It was considered an edgy location — the kind of place that magnetized urban hipsters, resplendent in black and redolent of cannabis. It was a great scene. Later, South City Kitchen opened on Crescent and attracted a more serious foodie crowd.

Now, more than 25 years since Vickery’s opened, the street has become the backside of the explosive high-rise development along Peachtree Street that real estate people call the Midtown Mile. It starts with the mixed use 1010 Midtown building, whose rear is home to three restaurants: Noon, RA Sushi and Rí Rá Irish Pub (1080 Peachtree St., 404-477-1700).

Rí Rá  is catty-corner to the new Joia (1100 Crescent Ave., 404-537-5000), which occupies one of the older buildings on Vickery’s side of the street. It has been opened by Marco Betti, owner of Antica Posta in Buckhead. Rí Rá is part of a large national chain. The two restaurants are, naturally, vastly different.

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(Photo by James Camp)