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Archive for December, 2008

Chefs’ Dinner Series Video

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

Check out one of this year’s hottest events, The Chefs’ Dinner Series – Atlanta 2008, featuring Chefs Michael Deihl, Robert Gerstenecker, Joe Truex and Mihoko Obunai.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW VIDEO ON YOUTUBE

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Rita Restaurant Corp. Offers Franchising Program for Don Pablo’s

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

Rita Restaurant Corp. of Madison, Ga., announced in early December its first-ever franchising program for its flagship brand, Don Pablo’s.

The company plans to franchise many of its existing 40 company-owned restaurants as well as new Don Pablo’s restaurants.  Plans call for 30 franchised restaurants by 2012.

Rita Restaurant Corp. is offering for sale cash-producing restaurants under their re-franchising effort of selling corporate locations to franchisees.  In addition, both single- and multi-unit franchise licenses will be offered in existing and new markets.  Investment costs are $40,000 per restaurant for the initial franchise fee and $10,000 for each additional restaurant.  Franchise candidates must have successful restaurant business experience in the desired market as well as aggregate net worth (personal or ownership team) of $750,000 including $250,000 in liquid assets per restaurant.

For more information on the franchising program go to www.donpablos.com or contact Kurt Schnaubelt at 706-343-2410 or kschnaubelt@dp-h.com.

Paul Seidman, chief operating officer for Rita Restaurant Corp., said the company will initially focus franchise growth on markets where there are Don Pablo’s currently operating.  Targeted markets currently include Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Baltimore/Washington in the Northeast; Indiana, Cincinnati and the state of Michigan in the Midwest; Dallas in the Southwest; and Orlando in the Southeast.  However, the company will also consider franchise locations in new markets domestically.

“While our initial goal is to further penetrate existing Don Pablo’s markets, what we’re most interested in at this time is finding the right franchise partners.  We want business operators and entrepreneurs who have the experience, enthusiasm and customer-centric focus to be the driving force in moving Don Pablo’s into the future,” Seidman noted.

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Kozmo Gastro Pub to Open in Alpharetta

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

Restaurateur Oswald Morgan is bringing comfort cuisine, sophisticated style and the new “Kozmo” to Johns Creek.  In late January 2009, his restaurant, Kozmo Gastro Pub, will open at the corner of Douglas Road and Jones Bridge Road in the Shops at Douglas shopping center.  This urban style tavern will offer Alpharetta residents a fun and friendly dining destination with a chic twist.

The restaurant’s menu, where no item exceeds $13, will feature American favorites including hamburgers, fresh salads, fried chicken and a velvety rendition on macaroni and cheese. Though the food is an important aspect of the restaurant, Morgan has placed a major focus on the cocktail list.  Kozmo will feature a drink menu dedicated to what else?  The “Kozmo.”  Mixologist Jimmy Rudnick has created a “Kozmo” cocktail list that puts a new twist on the classic Cosmopolitan.  The restaurant will feature a “Kozmo” of the day along with a Kozmo-rita, Kozmojito and other popular drinks for $5- $8.  Kozmo Gastro Pub will also offer draft beers and a vast wine list of American and international red and white selections that range from $6 to $10 a glass.

The 3,000 square-foot restaurant, designed by architect Judy Gordon of O Architects, seats up to 70 guests in the dining room and 20 guests at the bar.  The interior décor is a modern, industrial mix made cozy and comfortable with roomy booths, warm lighting and the kinetic nature of the open kitchen for a vibrant dining experience.

Kozmo Gastro Pub is located at 11890 Douglas Road, Suite 105.  The restaurant will open daily at 4:30 p.m., serving dinner seven nights a week. The restaurant will also serve brunch on Saturday and Sunday and does not take reservations.  For more information about Kozmo Gastro Pub, call 678-526-6094.

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Pollo Campero Opens First Restaurant in Georgia

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

pollo-campero-gainesville-1.JPGGainesville residents will now have the opportunity to enjoy the great-tasting flavor of Pollo Campero, the world’s largest Latin American chicken restaurant chain. Pollo Campero introduced its first location in early December, with special guest Gov. Sonny Perdue.

Franchise owner, Nora Hatchett, became familiar with the Pollo Campero brand while doing humanitarian work in Guatemala with the Ayúdame a Vivir Foundation. This foundation receives financial support from Pollo Campero. While working closely with Guatemalan children through the foundation, she witnessed their love for Pollo Campero.

Besides providing Gainesville with the Pollo Campero family experience, Hatchett has continued her humanitarian work by helping families adopt children from Guatemala and other countries, as well as domestic adoptions. She has helped place more than 200 children in loving homes across the United States.

ribbon-cutting-ceremony-pollo-campero.JPGOne of the many families that has seen the results of Hatchett’s efforts includes Gov. Perdue’s family. Hatchett helped the Governor’s daughter through the adoption process of a Guatemalan boy named “J.” Gov. Perdue, his grandson, and Beatriz Illescas, Consul General of Guatemala in Georgia, along with Hatchett cut the ribbon at the grand opening ceremony.

Known for its signature, pressure-cooked chicken and traditional Latin side dishes, Pollo Campero offers family-friendly take-out or eat-in dining. Side dishes include its award-winning Campero beans, Campero rice, yuca fries and sweet plantains, as well as French fries.  In addition to its expansive and popular menu, the Gainesville restaurant features grilled chicken entrees, including quarter-chicken and whole chicken on-the-bone meals and grilled chicken Caesar salad.

Pollo Campero’s fried chicken is marinated, rolled in specialty seasoned flour and slowly pressured cooked in trans-fat-free oils to produce the flavorful, juicy meals that have inspired robust sales across the nation. The citrus-infused grilled chicken features a blend of lime and orange juices, prepared with red bell peppers, rosemary, oregano, cilantro and Campero’s own blend of secret ingredients.

Founded in 1971 by the Guitiérrez family in Guatemala, Pollo Campero opened its first U.S. restaurant in 2002 to record-breaking sales. Since then, the company has opened 44 locations in the United States from California to New York and Florida. Having established its U.S. headquarters in Dallas, Pollo Campero has launched an aggressive expansion plan.

The company’s success has not gone unnoted. Pollo Campero has been voted “best of” in several categories and in several publications across the markets in which it operates, including New York, Houston, Chicago, Dallas and Washington, D.C. Pollo Campero was recently recognized as a 2008 “Hot Retailer” by the International Council of Shopping Centers. The award honors organizations with innovative retail concepts. The chicken restaurant chain also opened its first site in a Walmart Supercenter earlier this year in Rowlett, Texas.

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UCCA Holiday Party

Friday, December 12th, 2008

December 12, 2008 at Georgia Tech Conference Center Hotel.  For more information, email mojhill@bellsouth.net.

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GRA PAC- Meeting with Atlanta City Government

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

December 9, 2008 at Gilbert’s Cafe.  For more information, visit http://www.garestaurants.org

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Virginia-Highland Tour of Homes

Saturday, December 6th, 2008

 December 6 – 7, 2008 visit http://www.vahihometour.org or call 404-467-9922 ext. 301. 

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Georgia Organics Releases 2009 Harvest Calendar

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

Georgia Organics, a non-profit organization working to integrate healthy, sustainable and locally grown food into the lives of all Georgians, released its annual harvest calendar.  The calendar reflects the diverse array of sustainable produce available from local farms during peak season and season extension periods.

To download this PDF calendar, please click below.

2009 Harvest Calendar from Georgia Organics

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Carterville’s D. Morgan’s Wins AAA Four Diamond Rating

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

D. Morgan’s Restaurant & Wine Bar in Cartersville, Georgia, has been awarded the prestigious AAA Four Diamond Rating for the year 2009. Restaurants at this level offer a distinctive fine-dining experience marked by high-quality ingredients, creative presentation, and attentive service.
chef-derek-morgan.jpg

D. Morgan’s is part of a select group of AAA Four Diamond Award winners. Just 3.9 percent of the more than 31,000 AAA Rated(R) lodgings and 2.8 percent of the 27,000 AAA Rated restaurants were awarded the prestigious AAA Four Diamond designation for 2009.

D. Morgan’s occupies a historic building built in the late 1800’s in downtown Cartersville. Chef Derek Morgan and his family chose the location because it is centrally located on the square in downtown Cartersville. Chef Morgan graduated with honors from the Art Institute of Atlanta in 1995 and has worked in prestigious restaurants on the east and west coasts.
AAA’s Diamond Rating System is the only ratings system that covers all of North America and one of only two that conducts physical, on-site evaluations. Information about AAA Diamond Ratings and the complete 2009 Four Diamond Award winners list are accessible at http://aaa.com/Diamonds.

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Robert Schmitz Named COO & VP at Sterling Spoon

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

Sterling Spoon Management Services (SSMS) welcomes Robert Schmitz as chief operating officer and vice president of strategic development.  Over his 25-year career in the food service business, Schmitz has a diverse background in contract food service including experience with Compass and Sodexo.  In his new role, Schmitz will optimize the potential of the SSMS brand to become the regional market leader in on-site café services – driven by a unique “food-first” culture and long term value through outstanding client service.

As Sterling Spoon’s COO and VP, Schmitz is enthusiastic about the brand’s future and looks forward to working with the already strong team of highly dedicated and passionate food service professionals.  “I am very excited to be joining SSMS.  I believe that the already successful brands of Marlow’s Tavern and Aqua blue restaurant is indicative of Greazy Spoon’s commitment to quality and a culture of continuous improvement. This success has provided a solid foundation on which to build the SSMS on-site café services so the company can be rightfully recognized as the region’s champion provider of quality food, services and preferred client partnerships by delivering the value our customers deserve.”

Raised in Boston, Massachusetts, Schmitz attended the Burgundy Institute in Aurerre, France, and Boston’s Northeastern University.

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