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Richard Blais to open Midtown restaurant

Credit: Concentrics Restaurants

Credit: Concentrics Restaurants

Atlanta’s most famous chef will once again step up to the stove. Richard Blais, the recent winner of “Top Chef All-Stars” has announced that he will open a Midtown restaurant that serves “simple American food that tastes great.”

Blais will open the restaurant this winter in a partnership with Concentrics Restaurants – the hospitality group responsible for such popular Atlanta mainstays as One Midtown Kitchen, Two Urban Licks and Tap. The restaurant will take over the 5th Street location near the Georgia Tech campus that previously housed the Globe and, more recently, Waterhaven.

Blais, who previously worked as chef at One, says he’s happy to work again with Concentrics.

“I’m honored to be teaming up with them again in this newfound partnership,” he said in a prepared statement. “I’m super excited about getting ‘back on the line’ and doing it in Atlanta this upcoming year.”

The chef, who was a finalist on a previous season of “Top Chef” before returning to the franchise to conquer the top spot and a $200,000 purse in “Top Chef All-Stars,” has several other restaurant projects in the works. Currently the consulting chef for three branches of Flip Burger Boutique in Atlanta and Birmingham, he has plans to open a fourth Flip in Washington, D.C., as well as a gourmet hot dog restaurant in the Poncey-Highland neighborhood of Atlanta. That restaurant will be called HD for “Haute Doggery,” and is scheduled to open this summer.

But the new, as-yet-unnamed restaurant will be his home base, a place where fans can go to see him in chef’s whites and actively involved in preparing food. Atlantans who remember the exciting dishes he prepared at One, Blais, Element and other venues around town over the last decade will be thrilled to see him back in the saddle.

The partnership is also a coup for Concentrics, which runs popular, well received dining venues but has less of a track record of promoting name chefs.

“I am thrilled that I can participate in the opportunity to anchor Blais in Atlanta,” said Concentrics owner Bob Amick in a prepared statement. “We are all looking forward to having a space where Blais can offer his talents to his fans on a nightly basis.”

58 comments Add your comment

Charlie

June 22nd, 2011
2:34 pm

HD also stands for Home Depot. Might be real careful in this town not making Haute Doggery’s colors orange and white…

RK

June 22nd, 2011
2:37 pm

Is this the first “official” word that he is opening the hot dog shop? That’s gone be great…

Tim

June 22nd, 2011
2:38 pm

Really Charlie, that was the best comment you could come up with? HD also stands for high definition. Better make sure he keeps his windows clean!

Food Dude

June 22nd, 2011
2:43 pm

Charlie,

It is actually THD. The Home Deport.

Mr. Ed

June 22nd, 2011
2:44 pm

HD… also stands for H(high)& D(drunk).

In that particular state, you just might desire a hotdog.

Kay Stephenson

June 22nd, 2011
2:46 pm

Hope he can make it at that location. It does seem to have been plagued. We liked the Globe, especially for the bar, but it closed before we could make a second visit. Waterhaven was gone before we made the first.

ATL Montrealer

June 22nd, 2011
2:49 pm

glad he’s opening a normal restaurant, other than burgers/hot dogs, but the location certainly isn’t ideal….

Patrick

June 22nd, 2011
3:04 pm

Richard’s cooking ability and creativity coupled with Concentric’s business experience should make a great partnership. Good luck to all of them!

Hungry Gringo

June 22nd, 2011
3:12 pm

Come on Kessler, tell me more about this hot dog place. That part of Poncey-Highlands is full of potential customers, but the Globe/Waterhaven location is cursed with poor college students and no parking.

More of the same

June 22nd, 2011
3:16 pm

Great!

Another resturant in MIdtown.

Great!

Ryan

June 22nd, 2011
3:16 pm

I worked at The Globe (for 3 days, lol) I’m gonna try and get me a job @ Blais’ place

LizR

June 22nd, 2011
3:18 pm

The hot dog place is supposed to be on North Highland in the old coffee shop across the side street from Pura Vida.

Steve

June 22nd, 2011
3:18 pm

This just made my week. Very excited to have Blais in the neighborhood!

Sara

June 22nd, 2011
3:19 pm

This is very sad to me. Concentrics restaurants have always left me disappointed. After several fails at multiple locations I boycott the whole lot of them. Why would Blais want to go back to a place where the wait staff wears jeans and T-shirts but tout themselves as fine dining?

For the record, I don’t know why so many Atlantans put up with their half-hearted service, snobbiness, uncomfortable seats (I’m thinking specifically of the horrible stools at TWO) and loud atmospheres.

To each their own.

PMC

June 22nd, 2011
3:21 pm

Very much admire this gents work.

Ben

June 22nd, 2011
3:38 pm

Sara, I feel the same way. Was HORRIBLY disappointed the last time I went to Two Urban Licks. From the painfully slow valet, to the 12 deep line at the hostess stand (WITH a reservation), to the assembly line food (the place is WAY too big to put care into the food), to the rushing of the whole evening.

I hope they give Blais carte blanche to make the restaurant of his dreams and not hold him to their “hip restaurant by the numbers” modus operandi.

He deserves it. It’s high time he put his stamp on an actual restaurant and stop being a celebrity chef with multiple “projects” and start doing some cooking. That’s what chef’s do.

Dave

June 22nd, 2011
3:41 pm

The hot dog restaurant is opening in the spot across from Super Pan Latino on North Highland. The A/C unit was being installed last week and the construction workers mentioned it and the patio being prepared on the roof.

Jeff

June 22nd, 2011
3:45 pm

I want to echo (now there’s a restuarant I enjoy) what Sara and Ben said about Concentrics. I have never had a great experience at any of therir establishments, save Tap a time or two. In my experience, they feature rude, aloof servers and mediocre food. I hope Blais knows who he is getting in bed with.

Charles

June 22nd, 2011
4:00 pm

Glad to hear he’ll be teaming up with Concentrics! To all you haters on this blog, I actually love all of the restaurants I’ve been to (haven’t made it to Tap because I’m terrified of their parking situation). This will be yet another place I can take my out of town guests to have a unique experience and great food without having to shell out a ton of cash.

Matt

June 22nd, 2011
4:03 pm

I disagree with the negative comments on One & Two. I’ve eaten at both at least 5 times in the past year or so and I’ve only had one bad meal. I mentioned to my server that I was unhappy and not only was the food comped I was given a gift card for another visit. I find the service to be fine if not the most knowledgable in town. My only complaint would be the noise level at Two when the large window / door is closed on a crowded night.

Realist

June 22nd, 2011
4:08 pm

Haven’t been to TWO in a while, but my last couple of visits to ONE have been really enjoyable. It’s hard for a restaurant to stay relevant for a decade, with so many new places opening up every year. Yet ONE still has a good atmosphere (albeit loud) and pretty solid food, without being too pretentious. Hopefully, Blais’ new place will be the same. Good to see he is staying in ATL.

smc

June 22nd, 2011
4:20 pm

I am thrilled to hear about both new restaurants. I much admire this great chef!

Andrew

June 22nd, 2011
4:22 pm

Wow, disappointing. I’ve always been underwhelmed with Concentrics.
All flash and very little substance.

Terrible location too.

AC

June 22nd, 2011
4:23 pm

I’m so excited about this quality of restaurant going into this particular location. I can hardly wait to walk on over and try it! With Pacci now gone, we are sorely missing restaurants above the fast casual level in that area.

kat

June 22nd, 2011
4:28 pm

@Charles, TAP is about five feet from a MARTA station. How do you get to the High/Woodruff Arts Center?

ATL85

June 22nd, 2011
4:42 pm

Ah, Remember PIE BAR? Blais single-handedly destroyed that CONCENTRICS concept, a long with four other Atlanta disasters. To the fair weather TopChef fan foodies, yes Blais can create, but there is far more to running a successful long term restaurant!! Atlantans are so worried about being seen at the hottest spot that many overlook mediocre food and service to trade off with bragging rights and mentions in Jezebel magazine. I hope sixth time is the charm for Richard Blais, especially if his money is behind it. ( He is only a consultant at FLIP, no $$$)
As far as location, the space is great, Parking not so much………..

Stevereeno

June 22nd, 2011
4:52 pm

Atlanta is a sucky restaurant town.

Jesse

June 22nd, 2011
4:59 pm

I loved Top Chef and have been wanting to actually try Richard’s food. Sweet.

Jennifer

June 22nd, 2011
5:00 pm

Yay, I am so happy about this, this made my day. I love Concentrics and Richard!!! I can’t wait!

tim

June 22nd, 2011
6:01 pm

WOW, just think…..We’ll be able to watch him prepare a hot dog in his chef whites.

That’s so exciting……..

Robert

June 22nd, 2011
6:09 pm

One and Two are inconsistent. It’s just luck of the draw if you have good food or good service there. Trois closed for a reason. It embodied the worst traits of One and Two – but at least did so consistently.

Good luck with HD – it’ll do well for being trendy at first at least.

Midtown123

June 22nd, 2011
6:29 pm

@ Stevereeno. Have you even stepped outside of your bubble to look for good restaurants in this city? They’re all over the place.

The Donger

June 22nd, 2011
6:32 pm

No more yanky my wanky…. Congrats to both parties and look forward to see what ze Top Chef pulls outta his hat…. The Donger needs FOOD!!

Amy

June 22nd, 2011
7:06 pm

To those who are questioning Concentrics restaurants service….have you been to FLIP Burger (Blais restaurant)? OMG, I HATE the service. Nothing but rude, snotty a-holes (the location off Howell Mill). We’d eat there more often if the service were better. So it sounds like his new place should fit right in. It is sad b/c I love the food and I think he is very talented but I will not put up with crap service. Also I can’t tell you how grossed out we were when our last server was wearing a ‘wife beater’ as her top. I don’t want to see my servers armpits when eating out. Ick.

UF Girl

June 22nd, 2011
7:07 pm

Terrible location- near Tech. Not going to take my chances in getting mugged down there. Way too much crime in and around that area.

[...] Richard Blais, the recent winner of “Top Chef All-Stars” and the executive chef behind the chain of Flip Burger Boutiques, is opening a Midtown restaurant that will serve “simple American food that tastes great,” says John Kessler with the AJC. [...]

Stacey

June 22nd, 2011
8:17 pm

People keep saying parking is lousy in the area, but there is a huge parking garage at the Georgia Tech hotel–it is less than half a block away and is reasonably priced and never full. If this is a “destination” restaurant, they will just need to train people where to find the parking.

Also, before Waterhaven closed, they had valet parking right out front.

And crime? We are talking about right in the heart of Tech Square. If you’re not willing to go here for a meal, you might as well lock yourself in your home and never come out.

Within 1 block there are numerous restaurants that are open til 9 PM already, several til 10 PM and later. Barnes & Noble & Starbucks is open til 10 PM (except summer). Waffle House across the street is open 24 hours. A new place opening up at the corner of W. Peachtree and 5th that will probably be open til 2 AM. This is a vibrant area with people walking around into the late hours, which is what helps to keep an area safe.

Ok, so I live nearby and am biased.

Cuisinart

June 22nd, 2011
8:25 pm

“@ Stevereeno. Have you even stepped outside of your bubble to look for good restaurants in this city? They’re all over the place.”

Right, they’re called Chili’s!

Spare me the overpriced, pretentious places.

Bishop Browne

June 22nd, 2011
8:32 pm

Concentrics Restaurants and Chef Blais are both talented and professional. It’s time for a new restaurant with creative food complimented with gracious service to hit the Atlanta market. The current restaurant scene is so very tired. I look forward to seeing what this new partnership creates.
Can’t wait…..

Lighten up and laugh

June 22nd, 2011
8:37 pm

I am excited that Blais is getting back in the kitchen. Good luck to him!! He represented Atlanta very well on Top Chef. Good for you, Richard!!!!

John J.

June 22nd, 2011
8:39 pm

Yes, Janet. He looks like a real douche. He is a cry baby goof.

I've seen this guy before!

June 22nd, 2011
8:44 pm

Wasn’t he in “Something about Mary”? The hair gave it away.

bgreek

June 22nd, 2011
8:51 pm

“simple American food that tastes great.”

can’t wait to try a slice of apple pie….for $12.95

1164mgc

June 22nd, 2011
9:51 pm

I for one am excited about the new Flip opening in DC, which is closer to me than Atlanta. But I wish Richard luck with this new restaurant. I hope he reads this blog and “fixes” the service that people here think is lacking in his other restaurants. I guess he can’t do much about the location – hopefully some of those Ramblin’ Wrecks will be able to afford the food there:-)

Tony

June 23rd, 2011
3:28 am

The parking situation at this location is horrible. This probably was one of the main reason the last two restaurants didn’t last.

rebelliousrose

June 23rd, 2011
10:06 am

I wish I had anything nice to say about the current incarnation of Richard Blais. He was a really good chef when he was at Fishbone, before he had his own press to believe.

mike123

June 23rd, 2011
11:26 am

wow. another blais/concentrics restaurant that should last about a year or two. does anyone remember how much bob amick and richard blais dislike each other? comical that these attention sluts are getting back in bed together once again.

Blais is without doubt a fairly talented guy, too bad his ego will muddle his concept.

Edward

June 23rd, 2011
11:47 am

I’ll give it a chance, but considering my experiences so far with Concentrics and Blais, I am not optimistic. No doubt it will be the trendy “look at me!” place for a minute. I’m so tired of hearing people rate a restaurant “Amazing!” simply because they paid $15 for a cocktail and $18 for an amuse-bouche-sized entree. But Hey! They were seen there by EVERYBODY WHO MATTERS!

GAC822

June 23rd, 2011
12:01 pm

I wonder if Richard Blais is aware of what damage his name is getting in Poncey Highland. The lovely exec’s at Flip LLC are trying to strong arm their way into the neighborhood and are oblivious with resident concerns about parking, noise and congestion. It will be interesting to see if the restaurant can survive without local support.

Poncey Neighbor

June 23rd, 2011
12:03 pm

A pity that his proposed site for this restaurant is woefully substandard — it has virtually no space for parking. He has applied for a zoning variance to wave the parking requirement, which the neighborhood association has voted to oppose.