Quick Bites: Aqua Bistro shutters, Lovies BBQ opens, and more

Atlanta restaurant news roundup


A new barbecue joint, Lovies BBQ, recently opened at 3420 Piedmont Road in Buckhead. Planned for nearly a year, the casual, sit-down or take-out restaurant serves pulled-pork, chicken, ribs, and classic sides in an old-school interior complete with stadium seats salvaged from the 1996 Olympic Stadium, plus a covered patio to boot.

Buckhead's pan-Asian sushi restaurant Aqua Bistro closed unexpectedly last week. Known for its diverse menu of small dishes for dine-in or delivery, the eatery has been part of the swanky Eclipse building since it opened in 2005. Loopnet real estate records show that the corner restaurant has been available for acquisition since October 2013. Have intel on what restaurant will take its place? Let us know in the comments.

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In case you missed it, head honcho Giovanni di Palma is readying to open an Italian food market and retail shop, Luisa's, across the street from his other concepts on Hemphill Ave., Antico Pizza Napoletana, Gio's Chicken Amalfitano, and Caffe Gio. Di Palma tells CL that the market's initial phase will debut within the next two weeks. Additionally, an outdoor grill and cabana bar with outdoor seating will arrive in the spring.

Vine & Tap will open as soon as possible at 2770 Lenox Road, owner Ian Mendelsohn tells CL. As of Tuesday, before the Snowpocalypse setback, the former St. Regis beverage director was expecting to open his new wine bar and restaurant within two weeks. Barring any further obstacles, Mendelsohn hopes to open Vine & Tap in mid-February.

Vegan restaurant Sadiq's Bistro is slated to open on Atlanta's southside at 3762 Campbellton Road on March 1. The forthcoming dinner and nightlife spot will offer soul food-inspired, health-conscious fare by celebrity fashion designer and chef "Queen Vida," a well-traveled cuisinier with 30 years' culinary experience. Counting clients like Rita Marley to her career roster, "Queen Vida" recently received raw food certification from "Father of Raw Foods" Dr. Aris Latham. Details as they arise.

Southbound, the long-awaited, upscale Southern soul restaurant from Mike Plummer and Dennis Lange, has found a new evening executive chef in Matt Marcus, previously of Chattanooga's Hennen's and, until recently, its Kitchen at Union Square. Marcus replaces the chef Cooper Miller, who abandoned the venture in December. Southbound is slated to open early this year at 5394 Peachtree Road in Chamblee.

Holeman & Finch alum Anthony Genovese is now heading up the General Muir's bakery program. Alongside Bear Maker Bakery's Brandon Tidwell, Genovese is developing bagels, pastries, and breads for the restaurant that are all made in-house.

One Eared Stag's chef-owner Robert Phalen first opened Holy Taco at 1314 Glenwood Avenue back in 2008. But we've recently learned that the chef has reportedly cut ties with the East Atlanta restaurant to focus on One Eared Stag. For now, Holy Taco's food will remain in the capable hands of chef Doug Rouen.

A fifth Highland Bakery location opened on the Emory University campus at 1300 Clifton Road (H/T to the AJC).

Ron Eyester's flagship Morningside restaurant, Rosebud, has ceased serving lunch, focusing instead on finessing the dishes and improving diner experiences at dinner and brunch.

Sakana Sushi & Grill opened at 2221 Peachtree Road in Brookwood Hills, UrbanDaddy reports. It appears the restaurant closed in 2013 after nearly five years in business, making this reappearance merely the unveiling of a refreshed concept. Expect deep-fried bagel rolls, Japanese pancakes, sake, and more.

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