In today’s Four on Friday, we chat with Adrienne Crawford and Lily Heimburger, both of whom are vice presidents in the Atlanta office of SRS Real Estate Partners. Crawford and Heimburger lease retail and mixed-use projects across metro Atlanta, and we recently got a chance to chat with them about those properties, the changing face of Atlanta’s restaurant scene, and their favorite happy hour spots.
Many thanks to Adrienne and Lily for their time.
What projects are you currently working on in Atlanta?
Crawford and Heimburger: We are close to being finished with Krog Street Market, with two more anchor tenants left to open: a restaurant by Greg Best and Regan Smith, and a retailer who we just signed this week in the freestanding building on the corner of Lake and Krog streets. There are also a few market stalls left that are under negotiation.
The big project we are working on is Gateway at Roswell Road and Windsor Parkway. We’ve been working with a big-time attorney who is slaying it there. It is a Sprouts-anchored center with restaurants and retailers such as Tupelo Honey Café, Urban Cookhouse, pH Wine Merchant, Blast Fitness and Spa Sydell. We also have several new in-town developments like 675 N. Highland (across from Flip Burger) and 5th and Peachtree. Most of the in-town sites are residential buildings with street-level retail.
You have brokered so many restaurant deals, what do you feel has changed in the Atlanta restaurant scene in the past decade?
Crawford and Heimburger: Atlanta has become more of an epicurean city. We all learned our lesson from Emeril and Craft shuttering in Buckhead. Atlantans are loyal foodies and feel a camaraderie with their local restauranteurs. We want to feel that connection and root for the home team. There are so many talented chefs and sous chefs that are ready to venture out and start their own concepts, and they are venturing out to the suburbs as well.
Downtown Roswell is an excellent example with Table & Main, Osteria Mattone and Salt Factory. Bocado Burger and Antico are in Alpharetta, Riccardo Ullio is opening Novo in Dunwoody, and Jay Swift is opening Noble Fin in Peachtree Corners.
What are you plans for the summer and outside of restaurant deals in which you are involved, which restaurant are you most excited about opening?
Crawford and Heimburger: Outside of our restaurant deals, we are very excited to try the following openings this year:
Staplehouse is a huge hometown favorite and all for a good cause. Everyone is rooting for them. Kevin Gillespie of Gunshow is opening Revival, a Southern family-style restaurant. Michael Arnette is opening an upscale casual diner in Chamblee. Brian Lewis and David Durnell of Bocado are opening Amer. Ford Fry is opening Marcel, a European-inspired steakhouse. Anne Quatrano of Bacchanalia is opening Dub’s Fish Camp.
What are some of your favorite restaurants/bars in Atlanta since you’ve had to do so much “market research”?
Crawford and Heimburger: For happy hour, we enjoy:
• Craft Izakaya at Krog Street Market
• Krog Bar
• The Blind Pig Parlour
• Bookhouse Pub
• Kimball House
Our favorite restaurants are:
• Ladybird – killer burgers
• St. Cecilia
• General Muir
• Better Half
• Cooks & Soldiers
• Umi Sushi
• Cocentrice, Craft Izakaya, Fred’s and Superica (we like Krog Street Market!)