Hermes1The vast mixed-use development of Buckhead Atlanta is well underway after false starts and many delays. The six-block, 8-acre project at Peachtree and East Paces Ferry roads taken over by Oliver McMillan has been redesigned and gone through a series of name changes (formerly The Streets of Buckhead) to attract Atlanta’s diverse residents. Slated to open this summer, there will be new office spaces, retail shops and residential developments that will transform the area into a walkable, urban destination for residents and companies.

“What we’ve done is gone out for best-in-class restaurateurs around the country,” said Oliver McMillan’s Hunter Richardson, who manages Buckhead Atlanta. “We are excited about the diversity of restaurants that we are attracting…what we love about this is within a five-minute walk, you’ll find 10 restaurants.”

Since I, like many other Atlantans, spend a great deal of my time in this area for work and pleasure, I thought it’d be helpful to sift through all the plans and official releases to deliver what we really care about: eating and shopping. So which restaurants and retailers will be joining luxury retailers and fashion brands Hermes and Spanx? I’ve got the dibs on the restaurants you’ll be looking forward to dining at this summer in Buckhead Atlanta as well as the new shops coming to the Buckhead/Lenox area.

Le Bilboquet – New York meets the South when Le Bilboquet opens this summer. A staple of Manhattan’s Central Park for more than two decades, the French bistro will be open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner with a sensible approach to fine dining. Expect to savor dishes such as Cajun chicken and tuna tartare. Coffee and croissants are part of the takeout menu.

American F+B – Based in Dallas, Texas as a part of Consilient Hospitality, American F+B is described as a rustic neighborhood bistro with French-inspired dishes.

cafeluggo-side1Lugo Caffe – Specializing in homemade pastas, Lugo Caffe joins the surge of Italian restaurants sprouting up in Atlanta. The restaurant will offer its own lines of Prosecco, Chianti and Pinot Grigio.

Corso CoffeeCorso Coffee is another Italian restaurant where Atlantans can look forward to a coffee bar with espresso-based beverages as well as pastries, salads and paninis.

Doraku Sushi – Benihana is already a Japanese favorite in Atlanta. And now Kevin Aoki, son of the founder of Benihana, has established Doraku Sushi, which will feature an extensive sushi and sake menu.

noflashGeorgetown Cupcake – Known for its fresh, homemade baked goods, Georgetown Cupcake was featured on TLC network’s DC Cupcakes. Traditional flavors top the varied menu offerings, but there are also indulgent and fun choices like bubblegum, vegan, peanut butter and cheesecake.

Gypsy Kitchen and The Southern Gentleman – Both restaurants are concepts from founders of The Big Ketch and Tin Lizzy’s. Gypsy Kitchen will offer Spanish-inspired dishes, whereas The Southern Gentleman is expected to be a gastropub.

index2Shake Shack – I’m most looking forward to Shake Shack because I’ve heard great things about the roadside burger stand from New Yorkers. Now Atlantans finally get their chance to try the famed all-natural angus beef burgers, flat-top dogs, frozen custard, craft beer and wine. Another perk will be the addition of a rooftop deck.

But that’s not all.  Already planting roots in the Buckhead area are Sprinkles Cupcakes and St. Cecilia, which both opened this month.

SP_GR_12-1031_view1_openSprinkles Cupcakes – I tried this gourmet bakery on Friday before work, and I have to say after biting into my red velvet cupcake, it was well worth the wait. Sprinkles Cupcakes opened on January 24 at Lenox Mall. The baked goods retailer offers more than 50 flavors, including banana, chai latte, dark chocolate, strawberry, and yes, the increasingly popular red velvet cupcake. There are also sorbets, ice cream, shakes, malts and root beer floats. What really makes Sprinkles Cupcakes special besides its variety and decadent flavors is the world’s first-ever “Cupcake ATM.” The machine holds up to 600 cupcakes at a time and dispenses them 24 hours a day. Convenient and delicious, Sprinkles is already shaping up to be a favorite.

St. Cecilia – Ford Fry’s latest addition to the dining scene, St. Cecilia opened earlier this month on January 13 in Buckhead’s Pinnacle Building. With a nod to fine Italian dining, St. Cecilia’s menu focuses on fresh pastas, roasted fish and shrimp varieties as well as wine and dessert.

in Buckhead’s Pinnacle Building
in Buckhead’s Pinnacle Building

What else can you look forward to this year?

True Food Kitchen – Opening in Lenox Mall this June, True Food Kitchen is all about offering decadence without compromising health. The restaurant will serve nutritious options such as quinoa and kale.

Thirteen Pies – A spin-off from sister concept Fireside Pies, Thirteen Pies is scheduled to open on July 7. It’s characterized as an upscale pizzeria joint.

And for my fashionistas, Kate Spade has filed plans to open a second store in Buckhead. The high-end boutique  is currently located in Lenox Mall but has plans to open its second store across the street in Phipps Plaza. No confirmation on when construction will begin or if the designer plans to keep both stores in the same area.

What are you most looking forward to opening this summer in the new Buckhead Atlanta? Do you think the new redesign will revitalize business in Buckhead?

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