This Week on The Street

by Steven Josovitz

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This Week on The Street

Atlanta Restaurant Real Estate

This Week on The Street  (A more or less regular compilation of news, factoids and observations.

September 21, 2017

Behind the Scenes at The Benz

It’s hard to miss Arthur Blank’s suite at the recently opened Mercedes Benz Stadium. It’s the only one that is two levels and has a life size portrait of the Home Depot co-founder at the entrance.

His neighbors include a who’s who of corporate Atlanta, as you would expect, plus some smaller companies, with less known names, but clearly successful enough to be ensconced in this lofty perch.

The Gull Wing Club, the poshest of the posh is just one of several private enclaves for the well-heeled as we discovered on a recent behind-the scenes tour.

There are also clubs sponsored by Suntrust, Harrah’s Cherokee Casino, and Delta, as well as the Centennial and AMG suites for holders of club level seats. Several of the clubs even provide   concessions from some of Atlanta’s best known restaurateurs.

Speaking of concessions, the Benz, as I’ll label it, offers some of the lese expensive concessions of any stadium in the country. Two dollars gets you a better than average hot dog, popcorn or unlimited refills from numerous soda machines throughout the stadium. From there you can move up the food chain sampling a wide variety of fare from restaurants such as Fox Brothers, Jim N’ Nick’s, Chick Fil A. At the main concession stands-run by Levy Foodservice-we enjoyed a Portobello burger and a beer soaked brat, from Shock Top Brats, at a nearby stand.

The stadium is adorned with a wide array of museum quality art, that was curated and selected by the Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD) in both the public and private areas of the stadium.

There are some other features as well. Both the Falcons and the Atlanta United Soccer team have their own dressing rooms (a distinct step up for the soccer folks who are usually given short shrift in most of the American stadiums they play in.) There’s even a child care/babysitting area for players to park their kids during the game.

As you can imagine, everything still has a shiny new patina and after only 6 events there are still some logistical challenges but, all in all, this is a truly state of the art facility.

Unexpected Consequences

One group that may be less satisfied with the new Stadium,at least this week, is the Atlanta area Moe’s operators. As part of a promotion, game attendees were offered a $1 discount for every goal scored toward the purchase of a burrito. Last week, Atlanta United outscored the New England Revolution 7-0 so the burritos were essentially free. From all reports several Moe’s had lines out the door and had to bring in extra staff to handle the crunch.

Kudo’s to two Shumacher Group clients recently recognized in Creative Loafing’s Best of Atlanta Issue…Babalu Tapas and Tacos as best newcomer and Pappi’s Cuban and Caribbean for best in that class.

Now that the dust (or rain) has settled from Hurricanes Irma and Harvey, Yahoo news reports   that as many as fifteen percent of all restaurants in the country were effected by the storm. Among those hit the hardest, Starbuck’s which closed some 700 stores and Fiesta Restaurant Group, which has 70% of its locations in Texas and Florida. Atlanta stalwart, the Waffle House, proved the outlier remaining open throughout the storms in most of the markets affected. The government has come to call this the Waffle House Impact and uses the number of locations forced to close as a barometer of severity.





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