Is Dunwoody becoming a venue for destination dining?
From the list of restaurants launching in the next six months, that answer is “yes.” And it’s not just chain establishments – many of Dunwoody’s newcomers are non-franchise owners migrating from inside and outside the perimeter.
Leading the way is David Abes’ Dash Hospitality Group with its restaurant complex in the heart of Dunwoody Village that features both indoor and open-air seating. Two venues, Bar(n) Booze and Bites and Morty’s Meat & Supply, have already opened in the complex called The Village, with three more scheduled later this year.
This is Abes’ first solo foray into the Dunwoody area, coming from Buckhead Life Restaurant Group where he served as COO, overseeing nine restaurants in Georgia and four in Florida.
The Hall at Ashford Lane, a food hall with a similar multi-dining indoor and outdoor option configuration, is in the process of launching several eateries on the perimeter of an open-air park. The lineup will include Grana, which has another location in Buckhead, Hawkers, an Asian street food concept bistro that has another restaurant on the Beltline and Superica, which is adding a sixth venue in the Atlanta area.
Representatives from Superica confirmed that the restaurant is now hiring and training employees at the new location and expects to open within the next 30 days.
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream, next door to Superica, has already opened its doors, its ninth Atlanta location. HOBNOB Neighborhood Tavern and Taco Mac, longtime tenants at the center, are adjacent to the new outdoor space at the Hall.
Other restaurants joining the migration to Dunwoody include North Italia Eatery, Louisiana Bakery, 26 Thai Kitchen, Valor Coffee and Paris Baguette. More dining venues will enter the market after the completion of High Street, a 36-acre complex that will contain 400,000 square feet of retail space, a 400-bed hotel,3,000 residential units and 672,000 square feet of office space in the heart of the Perimeter Business District.
Puttshack, a tech-infused mini-golf experience, featuring food and drink options, has already committed to High Street and is expected to launch in the complex’s first phase.
Dunwoody Economic Development Director Michael Starling attributes the migration of local restaurants to the Dunwoody area to the area’s demographics and Dunwoody residents’ desire to “live locally.”
“We have an affluent base of residents in Dunwoody and a large daytime population of office workers who are returning after the pandemic,” Starling said.
In addition, Starling said, Dunwoody diners increasingly want to have a unique experience, not just a quick meal at a national chain restaurant.
“It’s not a new trend, but it has certainly accelerated after Covid,” he said. “We are finally getting destination dining in Dunwoody that feels cool, a place where you want to spend time.”
The food hall concept is also appealing to those who like the opportunity to choose from a variety of dining options in the same area.
“An entire family can go to one location, eat where they want, and everyone can go home happy,” Starling said.