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Front Burner: Home restaurant to close

June 2008 at Home, watching the "Top Chef" finale

June 2008 at Home, watching the "Top Chef" finale

Home restaurant — the tony Buckhead eatery where Richard Blais was cooking during his “Top Chef” run — will close at the end of the month and reopen as Coast Seafood & Raw Bar in the beginning of April. Is it the first “Southern farm to table” spot to meet Davy Jones’ locker? (Or would it be Bubba Jones’ turnip patch?) Would this signal a peaking trend? Hmm….

Perhaps more significantly, this is the second time in recent months that Home’s parent company, Here to Serve Restaurants, has reconcepted an underperforming restaurant. In December, it closed Lola Bellini Bar to reopen as Cantina Taqueria & Tequila Bar, home of the $25-but-free-if-you-finish-it burrito the size of a Dachshund.

You can read more about the change here from he who broke the story.

In other news:

  • Pizza Fusion — that healthy, LEED-certified, thoughful pizza parlor in the Aramore building in South Buckhead — bit the dust. Maybe it couldn’t compete with the hyper-successful Varasano’s Pizzeria down the road. Maybe people want greasy, bad-for-you pizza these days.
  • Kevin Gillespie mouthed off a little more about his hoped-for barbecue restaurant around the corner from Woodfire Grill, which sounds like it will serve a couple of whole hogs a day. Gillespie is eyeing a former Brake-O location.
  • I hear that Yeah! Burger, Shaun Doty’s White Provision hamburger heaven, will be counter service, with build-your-own garnishes, organic ingredients and (please make this happen) $1 sliders after 10 p.m.
  • The Decatur Metro blog is reporting that the defunct Atlanta Bread Company space in downtown Decatur will become a 24/7 offering from the Marietta Diner folks. So when you spill out of Leon’s Full Service across the street at 1 a.m., you’ll have someplace to absorb your double bock with food.

11 comments Add your comment

Jeff Melnick

March 11th, 2010
6:46 pm

Pizza Fusions failure had nothing to do with Varasano’s.

MB

March 11th, 2010
8:24 pm

Maybe people have tired of restaurants that are “concepted” and just want some good food at a fair price.

Tiffany Janes

March 12th, 2010
9:07 am

It’s really sad to see Pizza Fusion close because many gluten-free diners in that area loved it. It was way out of the way for us to visit on a regular basis and our own pizza joint in Duluth offered a better tasting crust anyway (for less money). The owner Jeff was a great guy but something about the space was always off in some way.

On the other hand, Home should have closed. The one time we went, they knew it was my birthday and that I was gluten-free. I didn’t expect them to waltz out with a gf cake, but when they said there was nothing for me to eat for dessert, I was sure glad I’d ordered a killer coconut cake from a local baker here. The hostess who was quite lovely looked like she grabbed her boyfriends t-shirt and went to work. I guess it was a t-shirt dress but in any case, unless she works at Cheetah, it was not appropriate clothing. We were all in total shock but at least it was entertaining for the men in our party…lol!

I think I read about Leon’s from your blog John, so thanks for the tip. Most of their entrees are gluten-free as prepared, as are the fries, many sides and salads. All but one of their sauces is gluten-free so they really have it going on for the gf set, except in the beer and dessert categories. Next time I’ve totally getting the bacon in a glass!

RK

March 12th, 2010
10:44 am

I had never heard of Pizza Fusion.

Home? How did it last that long? It was died the day Blais walked out. That place has gone from Seeger’s, to a good idea in Home, to something seemingly generic.

Ted

March 12th, 2010
12:58 pm

The farm to table movement shouldn’t be considered a trend. It’s an idea embraced by a growing number of informed customers and chefs regarding being familiar with where their food comes from. It may be currently considered as a fad, as it’s popularity has exploded over the last couple years. But, I know the restaurants continue who think in this fashion are the ones where I’ll continue bringing my family. Whether that’s still hip and cool won’t matter to me.

Ted

March 12th, 2010
1:02 pm

Sorry, typo above: Correction: the restaurants who continue to think in this fashion….are the ones..blah blah blah

[...] John Kessler is reporting on his AJC blog that Home Restaurant is closing and will reopen as Coast Seafood and Raw Bar in April. [...]

ViewFromMidtown

March 12th, 2010
7:23 pm

John, John. I enjoy your column and love your Top Chef recaps, but.. “reconcepted”? Please. I think the word you’re searching for is reconceived.

John Kessler

March 14th, 2010
9:02 pm

Ted — Very true about restaurants that really mean it, but there is a fad element that may be peaking.
View — Alas,”reconcepted” is tried-and-true restaurant biz lingo. And when it goes flawlessly, we call it “immaculate reconception”….

R MItchell

March 16th, 2010
2:35 pm

The basic problem with Pizza Fusion was not Varasano’s, per se. It was the fact that their pizza did not compare favorably to many other pizzas in town (certainly including Varasano’s, but going much broader than that). I figured this out very quickly – after about 3 bites – and because I have no gluten issues and, therefore, have a multitude of superior pizza options, I never went back. Neither did any of the other 5 people who were there with me that day all of whom, I think, go out for pizza a few times a month on average.

Home was hit and miss both during Blais and after Blais – so “hit and miss” that I considered it to be “bad.” Every time I went, there were at least a few dishes ordered to the table that were simply ill-conceived. Dishes where you didn’t say: “Well, I don’t find that to be very good or interesting, but I can see how someone else with different tastes than I have would appreciate this dish more than I do,” but dishes where you say “What in the HELL were they thinking – this is vile!” I really believe that such dishes can kill a restaurant. They make a person who is put in charge of choosing where to take people to dinner strike the offending restaurant off the short list out of fear that one of their guests will be served something similarly vile.

alan

March 17th, 2010
5:17 pm

Hey JK why be like a snotty, spoiled kid just because a gf pizza place goes under. Your remark about Verasanos being greasy, bad for you pizza shows almost a contempt for the food that people enjoy. I’ve never eaten in either place and probably wont because I live a distance away. I grew up on NYC pizza and have eaten pizza in Europe, Israel, Jordan and have enjoyed different styles but a gl pizza never.