From some long-planned openings to a sentimental closing (for now), June is filled with changes for Northwest Georgia diners. And keep your ears open for a surprise or two before school starts again as a few deals are under review.
This latest update:
June 18: Middle Eastern Grill, the Shorter Avenue transplant with a new name, opens Monday, June 18 at 425 Broad St. Business hours will be 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week, but may be adjusted in the future. The grill received a perfect 100 inspection score earlier this week in advance of that opening.
What we know so far:
Friday: M.J.’s Grill grand opening. The big event is set for 7 p.m. at 7090 New Calhoun Highway in the former home of On the Bayou and Opi’s. M.J. Haltom plans to be open from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. In addition to her menu, she plans to offer beer to pair with lunch and dinner orders. Look for specials as well including burgers on Tuesday and wings on Wednesday. The restaurant at Ga. 53 and Ga. 140 in Shannon.
Next week?: Duke’s Wings & Seafood also is moving, to 315 Broad St., the former site of Sellers Gourmet Eatery and The Greener Burger. There are a few last-minute issues to resolve and we should know more late this week or early next week. Derrick Williams already has restaurants in Calhoun and Adairsville that are drawing well. He’s hoping the move to the 300 block will increase his exposure in Rome.
Now open: Bento Bx Sushi & Hibachi at 3148 Martha Berry Highway, the site of the former Chef Chen Buffet which closed earlier this year. Crews earlier this month said the opening was just a few weeks away so that’d put it right about now. There was no answer when we called Wednesday afternoon; we’ll swing by Thursday for more.
June 22: Scrape and build at Chick-fil-A Dwarf House. The institution on Shorter Avenue will close late in June but not until after hosting a private reception for all its former employees on June 9 from 6-8 p.m. More business will shift to the Riverside and mall locations during the months the new restaurant is built. (Yes, the red door will return).
June 9: The Cartersville Chick-fil-A also is undergoing a rebuild. The last day of service is June 8 and the new store — on the same site — should be open by Oct. 4.
What we’re watching:
There are a few more changes brewing, most in the discussion or due diligence stage. A couple of deals have been tabled but we hear discussions are continuing.
We’re told the folks at Little Caesar’s in East Rome need to relocate by the end of summer and a pretty brisk search was said to be under way for something else on that side of town (here’s hoping it comes with the drive-in window that’s so popular with West Romans).