This Week on The Street October 4, 2011
(A more or less regular compilation of news, factoids and observations.)
By Harold V. Shumacher
Are Hot Dogs About to Get Their Due?
Face it, ever since the publication of The Jungle a century ago hot dogs haven’t got much respect. Oh sure, people eat them especially at ball games, Fourth of July celebrations, company picnics and after late night binges but as a featured entrée not so much. At least until now. Within the past few years the lowly link is enjoying a re-discovery. The newest entry in the hot dog wars is Richard Blais’ HD-1 featuring a wide variety of flavorful links (including seafood, lamb and even a vegetarian version.) There have been some other noteworthy additions to the local scene including JCT’s Wednesday night weekly special, America’s Top Dog and new locations for long time mainstay Barker’s Red Hots with rumors abounding of other restaurants soon to join the fold as well.
What’s fueling this trend. One is the obvious success of burger dominated restaurants (think of Five Guys and their astounding growth) along with a steadily improving availability of flavorful links from such companies as Patek Brothers, The Spotted Trotter and Pine Street Market now featured in many Atlanta area eateries.
The menu is still being set but if McDonald’s chose to do so there would be ample opportunity to add hot dogs to their menu at the company’s proposed London Olympics location. Checking in at just under 10,000 square feet the temporary restaurant anticipates serving 1,750,000 meals during its two week run next summer.
A Baker’s Dozen to Keep an Eye On
The pace of new restaurant openings is about to quicken. Among the newcomers to keep an eye on during the coming months are Ocean Prime, Southern Art, a re-located and larger Tomo, (Buckhead); The Lawrence, The Spence STK, and Lure (Midtown); Georgia Fish Company and , Cardamon (West Midtown); Seed (East Cobb); Alma Cucina (downtown); Chicken and Egg (Marietta) Harbor Bar and Fish House (Decatur.) We’ll also be keeping an eye on Dan Latham, an award winning chef re-located from Mississippi and now manning the stove and functioning as Executive Chef at Farm Burger.
The newest wrinkle in the fast casual world, something called “flex-casual” a blend of counter and table service being introduced in a number of restaurants. Generally the switch takes place in the evening where diners have more time, tend to be a little more relaxed and more likely to order alcoholic beverages.
How big an impact does Wal-Mart have on America’s shopping habits? Consider the following. Americans spend $36,000,000 at Wal-Mart every hour of day (which equates to $20,928 of profit per minute.) . What does that translate to? Between New Year’s Day and St. Patrick’s day (less than a quarter) Wal-Mart will generate more revenue that Target does in a year. Wal -Mart’s combined sales exceed those of Home Depot, Kroger, Target, Sears, Costco and K Mart combined. Wal-Mart entered the grocery business fifteen years ago and now sells more groceries than Kroger and Safeway combined. During this same period 31 major supermarket chains sought bankruptcy. And finally, Wal-Mart is the largest company in the history of the world employing close to 1.6 million people.
Recent transactions completed by The Shumacher Group Inc. include the first Atlanta location for Taziki’s Glenridge Springs second Egg Harbor, also Sandy Springs; leasing of former Thirsty Dog Tavern to Frank Ski’s and sales of the following businesses: Shoney’s Union City; Mood Lounge, Buckhead; Five Spot (Little Five Points) and Sarku Japan ( Windward/Alpharetta.)