Quick Bites: Vine & Tap to open, P'Cheen to close, Guy Wong's Le Fat, and more

Atlanta restaurant news roundup


  • Photo courtesy of Corbin Brown
  • P'cheen will close Sunday in Old Fourth Ward, soon to be replaced by a cocktail-centric concept from former Woodfire Grill co-owner Bernard Moussa.

La Urbana Mezcal & Tequila Bar (1133 Huff Road) soft-opened on the Westside this week. For now, guests can enjoy lunchtime fare such as mole enchiladas, pork carnita sandwich rolls, and carne asada tacos. Once the alcohol starts pouring, probably some time next week, patrons can expect clericot, a Sangria-like wine cocktail, margaritas on draft, and of course, select tequilas and mezcals.

Former St. Regis beverage director Ian Mendelsohn's Vine & Tap is slated to open on Mon., Feb. 10, at 2770 Lenox Road. The wine bar's liquor license, however, is still pending, so it will remain BYOB for now. Food offerings - crafted by consulting chef Brian Obermeyer - include bruschetta, salads, panini, charcuterie, and an off-the-menu Maryland crab cake, which is made from a Mendelsohn-family recipe.

On Sun., Feb. 9, P'Cheen International Bistro & Pub owners Alex Friedman, Keiran Neely, and Mike LaSage, the same folks behind Pizzeria Vesuvius, Edgewood Speakeasy, and Bone Lick BBQ, will soon close their 701 Highland Ave. restaurant after eight years in Old Fourth Ward. Friedman, Neely, and LaSage will divide and conquer to oversee their other concepts, with aims to boost menus and bolster diner experiences. Meanwhile, former Woodfire Grill co-owner Bernard Moussa is slated to revamp the shuttered P'Cheen space, turning it into a cocktail-centric new neighborhood hot spot. Details as they arise.

After one failed concept on the Westside, Yum Bunz, chef Guy Wong is planning to open a new Vietnamese eatery, Le Fat, in the newly vacant space at 935 Marietta St. by late spring. Details as they arise.

The Spence's Justin Amick will soon depart the Midtown eatery in anticipation of his forthcoming boutique bowling alley, the Painted Pin. Starting Feb. 19, Advanced Sommelier Joon Lim (Kevin Rathbun Steak) will assume Amick's role at the adventurous Richard Blais spot. The Painted Pin is slated to open this April on Miami Circle.

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Bar Meatball is scheduled to open in place of Pozole at 1044 Greenwood Ave. during the week of Feb. 24. Former Pozole chef Joe Masi, who has worked at major restaurant groups Buckhead Life Restaurant Group, Fifth Group, and Concentrics, recently teamed up with his former business partner Joey Federici to launch the comfort-food concept. The menu will feature imported Italian ingredients and meatballs, plus a range of classic dishes such as calamari, lasagna, Caprese salad, and antipasti. Cocktails, wine, and beer will also be served in the 1920s bistro-inspired eatery, care of longtime Pozole bartender Jaxon Pickett.

MAR Coastal in Decatur announced that it will soon reopen after a lengthy winter vacation that began on Dec. 26, Eater reports. The restaurant at 314 East Howard Ave., which focuses extensively on seafood offerings, lost its original chef, Joey Zelinka, in October, just five months after its debut.

The Drafting Table, located at 349 Decatur St., has been sold. The casual gastropub replaced Hill Street Tavern at the Pencil Factory Lofts in late 2012, but has now been replaced by a more casual establishment, Bada Bings Sports, Food & Fun, which has already began the transition following last week's sale. The new bar's Facebook page is currently advertising Olympics specials such as Fireball shots, martinis, and sandwiches.

Watershed on Peachtree's famous fried chicken - a variation of beloved chef Edna Lewis' original recipe - is now being served at lunch on Wednesdays, rather than simply dinner, says Atlanta magazine. Brined in saltwater and buttermilk, the classic Southern delicacy has been a regional favorite since Scott Peacock first served it to hungry Atlantans at Horseradish Grill in Buckhead. Watershed's new chef Joe Truex carries the torch, preparing four pieces and two biscuits for $14.50 at the 1820 Peachtree Road restaurant. Arriving early is still recommended.

It's Poppin', the gourmet-flavor Buckhead popcorn shop opened by Audra Tippett of Cake Cafe in spring 2013, has mysteriously shuttered at 3165 Peachtree Road, Tomorrow's News Today reports. Though the notice on the establishment's door cites "renovations and management reorganization" as reason for the closure, blogger Eli Zandman predicts the closure will be final, with additional popcorn shop shutters to follow. Details as they arise.

Swanky midtown steak house STK - popular with visiting celebs like Kim and Kanye - has announced a new executive chef, Matt Rainey. Previously of Buckhead Life Restaurant Group, Rainey brings new specialty menu offerings to the repertoire at 1075 Peachtree St., including roasted beed carpaccio, grilled Spanish octopus, pan-roasted Branzino, and miso-glazed sea bass. New dessert options run the gamut from an almond fudge brownie to apple cider donuts with bourbon sauce.

Vinings' SOHO restaurant (4300 Paces Ferry Road) has welcomed a new executive chef, Scott Warren, who was recently promoted from sous chef after three years on the job. Besides the already-popular elk tenderloin and seared sea bass, former Wahoo! Grill chef Warren is adding numerous new dishes employing on farm-to-table ingredients.

The fledgling Bear Maker Bakery never quite fulfilled its dream of going brick-and-mortar. The artisan bakery has officially closed, Eater reveals. One of its previous owners, Brandon Tidwell, recently resurfaced at the General Muir, baking alongside H + F alum Anthony Genovese. In related news, former Woodfire Grill pastry chef Karie Brown has opened her own venture, named Beverly Jean Bake Shop in honor of her grandmother. Currently a roving concept, Brown's business is expected to evolve into a brick-and-mortar operation in the future.

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