This Week on The Street – 9.11.10

by Harold Shumacher

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This Week on The Street

(A more or less regular compilation of news, factoids and observations.)

An article in this weekend’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution indicates Georgia still leads the country in the number of bank failures. Granted, part of this title is attributed to the inordinately large number of small town banks Georgia has (the result of some heavy duty anti big-bank legislation passed many years ago to keep out mega banks) but that only accounts for part of the reason.

The other is the physical locations of these banks, mainly in the outlying parts of the state, which impacted their ability to lend locally  and made participation in loan portfolios in the metro Atlanta area more attractive and virtually necessary to survive.

The result, lots of small banks owning varying sized pieces of now failed projects in all the major segments (residential and commercial development, raw land, timber, warehouse, retail-you get the idea.)  These days the battle cry from bankers is not  “what can I lend you money on”  but “extend and pretend”  and  “delay and pray.”

From all reports banks, especially those under pressure from the FDIC are, increasingly motivated to get troubled assets off their books.

Not all is doom and gloom. In the past month, The Shumacher Group, Inc. has finalized leases for Chicago newcomer-Egg Harbor’s first Atlanta location (John’s Creek); a revived Taco Stand-Mansell Point in Alpharetta-from long time caterer Lee Chadwick and her family and the leasing of midtown’s Repast to…..

The company also brokered the sales of the former  Mama Fu’s on Peachtree to Sagon Café, Doc Green’s on Ponce de Leon-to Chow Baby and the two original Midtown Atlanta Flying Biscuit locations.

Long time Atlanta restaurateur (and former client) Karen Bremer has been named the new executive director of the Georgia Restaurant Associations. Bremer was heavily involved in the association’s founding and initial organizational period.  She’s the former owner of Dailey’s and City Grill, both of which were located in downtown Atlanta.

The Atlanta Business Chronicle’s annual list of Atlanta’s top 25 Restaurants (by volume) is always of interest. This year’s list had some interesting twists. The top of the list has remained virtually unchanged from the past few years including the likes of Bones, Chops, Atlanta fish Market, Fogo de Chao, The Varsity, Ok Cafe and Hard Rock Café reporting sales of  8 to 14 million dollars.

Houston’s four local operations remain local favorites reporting   revenues in the $5-$6 mm range per location.  Two newcomers Bistro Niko (Buckhead $7,500,000) and  Six Feet Under (Memorial) with a respectable $4.9 mm in revenues. This marks the first restaurant below downtown to make the list.

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