Midtown’s dining scene is poised to change once more with the closing of Straits Restaurant. This Juniper Street restaurant is owned by Grammy award-winning artist and actor Ludacris (Chris Bridges) with partner Chris Yeo.
In a statement, Bridges called Straits “a great segue into the industry.” Now, Bridges will focus on a new concept called Chicken N Beer, inspired by his 2003 album of the same name. Working with Atlanta Restaurant Partners, Bridges will open Chicken N Beer inside Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. The emphasis here will be on comfort foods and craft beers.
According to the statement, Bridges has other plans for the Straits location but he is not ready to release those details at this time. What would succeed in this spot? Consider the fate of other ambitious Midtown restaurants. Think Concentrics’ Trois, Chocolate Pink Cafe and Riccardo Ullio’s Cuerno, Lupe and Beleza — all closed.
Also on the Midtown dining front, Patrick La Bouff of Dinner Party Atlanta and Darren Carr, co-owner of Top FLR and Sound Table are bringing a new restaurant to the former Cuerno space. This new venture, The Lawrence, will serve French fare with Southeast Asian flair. Maybe what Midtown needs now is a more casual concept?
Let’s also look what’s happening in Buckhead, where we have the new Tomo, Ocean Prime and (soon) Pano’s. Do people still expect high-end dining in Buckhead and high-end mixologists in Midtown?
What does Midtown need and what will survive? Let us know what you think.
–by Jenny Turknett, Food and More blog