Intown Atlanta’s food scene has been flooded with new openings in recent years with projects such as Ponce City Market, Krog Street Market and The Shops Buckhead Atlanta bringing dozens of new restaurants to the city.
The growth has been rapid. Atlanta has added approximately 350 new restaurant spaces since 2008, according to data from the Georgia Restaurant Association.
Today, there are an estimated 3,332 restaurants in the city limits, up nearly 12 percent from 2,980 restaurants in 2008. But could Atlanta be getting bloated from all the tasty new choices?
As e-commerce sales continue to take a bite out of retail, restaurants have become the go-to anchors for many mixed-use developers. And there are plenty more in the pipeline with the planned redevelopment of Colony Square, Peachtree Center, Underground Atlanta and Atlanta Civic Center.
“Today, there is an insane amount of competition for food dollars intown,” said George Banks, who just launched Revel, a new retail consulting and development firm, with partner Kristi Rooks. Banks formerly worked for Paces Properties, the developer behind Krog Street Market. “You could see a lot of restaurant fallout in the next five years.”
Karen Bremer, executive director of the Georgia Restaurant Association, called the recent influx of intown restaurants “significant” and shared some concern there may not yet be the “population density that’s required to afford that many restaurants to be busy.” She remains optimistic it will balance out.