Quick Bites: Better Half and the Imperial open, Kirkyard Public House debuts, and more

Atlanta restaurant news


Better Half, the brick-and-mortar restaurant from PushStart Kitchen's Cristina and Zach Meloy, officially opened last Monday at 349 14th Street in Home Park. Serving dinner Tuesday-Saturday, the eatery offers imaginative, Latin American-inspired cuisine, plus an eye-catching wall mural painted by chef Zach.

The Imperial opened in Oakhurst on December 13 at 726 W. College Avenue. The neighborhood pub offers dishes such as Filipino-style spring rolls, charred broccoli salad, and a mushroom Philly sandwich. After a bit of runaround involving liquor licensing, alcohol is beginning to trickle in, as well. Recent Facebook updates from the business indicate that a variety of beers are now available on tap.

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The next feather in Giovanni Di Palma's Italian cap will be his long-awaited limoncello bar, which opens this spring at 1077 Hemphill Avenue. Di Palma is also currently working on an Italian market in the same complex, where he will sell many of the authentic ingredients used at Antico Pizza Napoletana, Caffè Gio, and Gio's Chicken Amalfitano.

In case you missed it, charismatic chef and onetime Atlanta mayoral candidate Paul Luna has left Atlanta (again). This time Luna is bound for Switzerland to be with his wife. In an open letter sent to Creative Loving, Luna professes his continuing love for Atlanta and his desires for the city to memorialize recently deceased chef and local icon Ria Pell. His beloved restaurant at 231 Mitchell St., Lunacy Black Market, will continue to operate more or less as usual.

A new Indian restaurant has found a home in Midtown. Tabla, a contemporary concept from restaurateur Sandeep Kothary and chef Gamer Rawat, opened December 12 at 77 12th Street, about a block from Opera nightclub.

Kirkyard Public House opened in Kirkwood on Wednesday at 1963 Hosea L Williams Drive. Patrons of the area may remember a similar concept, Kirkwood Public House, which closed and sold to new owner David Johnson in 2011, who renamed it Kirkwood Bar & Grill. His leadership was mired in controversy, however, and the concept foundered by June. UrbanDaddy reveals the space has been reincarnated (thanks to new owner Dano Kirk) as a bi-level sports bar serving chili cheeseburgers and 12 draft beers.

The Atlanta Business Chronicle published a robust report on 10 new restaurants scheduled to open at luxury mixed-used development Buckhead Atlanta (3060 Peachtree Road) next year. In addition to previously reported eateries Shake Shack, Gypsy Kitchen, and the Southern Gentleman, the complex will welcome Le Bilboquet, a sophisticated French bistro concept imported from New York, Dallas-based American F+B, a possible pizzeria called Fireside Pies, along with Lugo Caffe, Corso Coffee, Benihana founder Kevin Aoki's Doraku Sushi, and TLC-famous bakery Georgetown Cupcake.

Casual Indian eatery NaanStop, which started as a Los Angeles-based food truck and is now a brick-and-mortar restaurant downtown, is planning to open a second, Buckhead outpost at 3405 Piedmont Road. The restaurant should open by summer 2014, says Tomorrow's News Today. Additionally, a local concept called Lovie's BBQ should open in the space next door at 3420 Piedmont Road in January. Details as they arise.

New Greek restaurant Cafe Mezo will open "soon" at 794 Juniper St., the former home of the Fifth Ivory Public House in Midtown (H/T to Eater). Mezo comes to this renovated Victorian house thanks to restaurateur Kemal Karsli, who previously operated Cafe Agora on 9th St.

The Pig and the Pearl - the new Atlantic Station smokehouse and raw bar to be helmed by the Shed's chef Todd Richards - is on track to open in March or April at 1380 Atlantic Drive.

Googie Burger, Centennial Olympic Park's walk-up burger joint has closed for the winter months. The Midcentury-inspired structure frequently serves fast food fare to sightseers enjoying the park's Fountain of Rings, and will begin cooking again once the weather warms enough for foot traffic this spring.

Far East Dogs, East Atlanta Village's Asian-inspired sausage pop-up shop, will close at the end of this month, Eater reports. The dining concept originally kicked off at We Suki Suki in July.

NOTE: This post has been updated to eliminate inaccurate information.

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