Thursday, July 20, 2017

Hojeij Branded Foods Acquires Premier Airport Wine Bar Chain Vino Volo

For more information:
 Morgan Lanier or Olivia Tuttle
Melissa Libby & Associates

The two companies will join forces to offer guests a one-of-a-kind high-end experience in a relaxed atmosphere in airports across North America

ATLANTA (July 20, 2017) - With its acquisition of North America’s largest airport wine bar and wine retail chain Vino Volo, Hojeij Branded Foods (HBF) creates a powerful new partnership, bringing together two companies that share an unwavering commitment to quality and an outstanding guest experience. Currently with more than 40 locations in 32 airports throughout North America, Vino Volo (Italian for “wine flight”) has an unparalleled reputation for offering guests a premier experience with wines from around the world by the glass.

“Combining the forces of HBF and Vino Volo is a natural fit for both companies,” says HBF CEO Regynald G. Washington. “Vino Volo believes as we do that modern travelers expect and deserve a high-end airport wine experience. Both organizations are widely recognized for operational expertise, top-notch guest service and a strong commitment to employees. As a result of this acquisition, HBF is now uniquely positioned to serve more guests in more cities than ever before.”

Like HBF, Vino Volo has received extensive accolades from the industry, counting 34 Airport Revenue News awards, including "Food Operator with Highest Regard for Customer Service" 11 years in a row and “Best Airport Wine Bar” at the Airport Food & Beverage awards.  With the company’s commitment to bringing the wine country experience to business travelers, Vino Volo has become a customer favorite by offering a relaxed, knowledgeable atmosphere and the combined services of a lounge, restaurant-quality light bites and wine shop to travelers on the go.

“We are delighted to join forces with HBF,” says Vino Volo CEO Doug Tomlinson, who founded the San Francisco-based company in 2004. “Like HBF, Vino Volo has experienced tremendous growth by delivering high quality and an exceptional experience. With our shared guest-centered culture, the two companies have achieved success by building unique, complementary strengths and assets.  By now joining forces, we are confident that the combined company will see even greater growth.”

Wassim Hojeij, founder of HBF added, “This acquisition is a continuation of our strategy of partnering with top brands and delivering a level of service and quality unparalleled in the airport industry.  This also continues our goal of becoming one of the largest and the best airport food and beverage operators in North America.”

With the retention of Vino Volo founder Tomlinson as president, Vino Volo will become a wholly owned subsidiary of HBF, run by Vino Volo’s current leadership team under the leadership of the HBF CEO.

Together, HBF and Vino Volo are exceptionally well positioned to embrace and enhance HBF’s mission of “enhancing the passenger’s dining experience, one airport at a time.”

About Hojeij Branded Foods
Hojeij Branded Foods (HBF) is an Atlanta-based company operating more than 70 restaurants and bars across 14 airports in the United States.  HBF’s portfolio includes over 40 widely known national, regional, and local brands that range from full service to fast casual and quick serve.  Across all its locations, HBF strives for operational excellence and outstanding service in order to deliver on its mission of “Enhancing the passenger’s dining experience, one airport at a time.”  HBF is a Morgan Stanley Private Equity Portfolio Company.  For more information, visit        

About Vino Volo
Vino Volo establishments combine an upscale wine lounge, restaurant and boutique wine shop under one roof, and are primarily located in airports across  North America. Vino Volo (derived from “wine flight” in Italian) is a trusted wine authority that makes wine approachable, offering hand-selected wines from around the world by the glass, in tasting flights and by the bottle for customers to take home or have shipped. Vino Volo also offers a Wine Club for enthusiasts and a loyalty program to reward its guests. For more information, visit


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Atlanta-Area Restaurants Offer Patriotic Specials for Independence Day

For more information:
Morgan Lanier or Olivia Tuttle
Melissa Libby & Associates


ATLANTA (June 27, 2017) – Many of Atlanta’s best restaurants are serving up specials with a side of patriotism this Independence Day. Whether you prefer white tablecloths or picnic tables for your Fourth of July celebration, the following are devoted to fulfilling your holiday expectations:

Open on July 4th:
The AJC Peachtree Road Race is a July 4th tradition, and 5Church is helping to feed spectators along the route with kebabs (Mediterranean steak, jerk chicken and herb-roasted vegetable) and beverages for sale in front of the restaurant. The restaurant is closed, but the sidewalk feasting happens 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. 404-400-3669;

Looking for a little adventure with your festivities this year? Atkins Park Restaurant & Bar in Virginia-Highland is offering a round-trip bus ride from the restaurant to SunTrust Park for the Braves game and fireworks show on July 4. The $60 ticket includes a smoked whole hog meal, admission to the game and alcoholic beverages on the way. Not a baseball fan? Celebrate your independence by digging into a meat and three special at Atkins Park featuring whole smoked hog with mac ‘n’ cheese, tomato and cucumber salad, baked beans, grilled corn on the cob or coleslaw for $15 per plate. Available starting at noon until it’s gone. 404-876-7249;

It’s a Fourth of July Terminus City Takeover at Communion, the Mexican-inspired backyard behind Revival, Kevin Gillespie’s family-style restaurant in Decatur. This festive, all-ages event has barbecue, beer, family-friendly entertainment and games on July 4 from noon to 6 p.m. or until food runs out. Gillespie's Terminus City is serving up chopped whole hog barbecue for $15 and vegetarian-friendly pimento cheese for $12. Each plate includes pickles, bread, slaw and potato salad. “$4 on the Fourth” drink specials from Communion Cantina include cervezas, margaritas, wine by the glass and sangria. While the restaurant itself will be closed, families can mingle at communal picnic tables and on the front and side porches of Revival. 470-225-6770;

Start red, white and bluesin’ early – HOBNOB is opening for brunch on July 3 at 10:30 a.m. and at 9 a.m. on July 4. The AJC Peachtree Road Race runs right by the Midtown restaurant, so it's the perfect spot to spectate (or quit running and start drinking). HOBNOB will serve its brunch menu and specials through 4 p.m., and dinner service will run as usual. 404-968-2288;

You can’t spell freedom without free! Marlow's Tavern is sending members of its Insider Club a free burger giveaway only valid on July 4. Are you on the list? Subscribe and savor today.

Smokebelly BBQ is featuring a free hog roast on July 4 beginning at 4 p.m. until they run out, with music continuing until 8 p.m. Pre-party with drink specials all weekend, including $5 Moscow Mules, $5 Tito’s Handmade Vodka and $3 Bud Light and Miller Lite drafts. Smokebelly’s Sunday brunch will be sure to have you seeing fireworks, and guests can listen to live music from noon until 4 p.m. Music will continue on Monday, July 3 from 7 p.m. until 11 p.m. For those planning to celebrate at home, Smokebelly also offers catering. 404-848-9100;

Taco Mac is determined to make sure Fourth of July is LIT with its new 60 oz. shareable cocktails, including the Sail Away Typhoon, the LIT, the Taco Mac Margarita and the Strawberry Cooler. Each pitcher is $29.99 and is served with one 12 oz. rocks glass per guest.

Celebrate on the beach without leaving the city. Both locations of The Big Ketch Saltwater Grill are open July 4 and all weekend with live music, so come partake in the celebration of red, white, and the big blue sea! 404-474-9508 (Buckhead), 770-993-5749 (Canton Street);

The Federal is open for brunch from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The eclectic menu features everything from chopped chicken liver toast to cold brew coffee and a heaping Southern breakfast. 413-789-1267;

Trade in your traditional red, white, and blue for a race tee. Willy’s Mexicana Grill is offering $5 burritos all day on Tuesday, July 4, to anyone wearing an AJC Peachtree Road Race T-shirt from any year since the race began in 1970. Baja and Frito Burritos are just $7 with a T-shirt. Check for holiday hours.

Holiday Weekend Specials:

“Basque” in the sun this holiday weekend at Gypsy Kitchen while enjoying paella on the patio on Sunday, July 2 at 4 p.m. Diners can also cool off with $6 Ketel One Moscow Mules, $6 Tanqueray No. Ten gin and tonics, $6 rosé and half-off select bottled wine. A flamenco guitarist and DJ will provide the music and entertainment. Gypsy Kitchen will be closed on July 4. 404-939-9840;

While Storico Fresco Alimentari e Ristorante will not be open on Independence Day, the Buckhead Italian restaurant is offering both pasta to-go and in-house on July 3 for those carb-loading for the AJC Peachtree Road Race. Complete your pre-race ritual with a piping hot bowl of their incredible gnocchi. 404-500-2181;

For those entertaining family this holiday weekend, The Southern Gentleman is serving its creative take on contemporary Southern cuisine for brunch on Sunday, July 2. Enjoy a $5 mimosa or one of the gastropub’s famous $10 Bloody Marys.  The Southern Gentleman will be closed on July 4. 404-939-9845;

If you are struggling to come up with holiday weekend activities,  has you covered! Whether your family enjoys hiking, nature, art or food, the Historic Roswell District has fun for everyone. Shoot the ‘Hooch or visit Vickery Creek Park, grab a bite at Grand Champion BBQ or 1920 Tavern and a beer at Gate City Brewery, then enjoy the annual 4th of July Fireworks Extravaganza starting at 5:30 p.m. on the 4th. Plan your trip today at


Thursday, June 15, 2017

Taste of Atlanta Tickets Go on Sale June 16

For more information:
Morgan Lanier or Olivia Tuttle
Melissa Libby & Associates

The Wait Is Almost Over! Taste of Atlanta Tickets Go On Sale June 16
Incentives Include Early Bird Pricing and Gift Bags for First 300 Grand Tasting Experience Purchasers

ATLANTA (June 15, 2017) – The early bird gets some delicious discounts when Taste of Atlanta tickets go on sale June 16 on the festival website. The first 200 fans to purchase tickets to the city’s premier bites and bevs fest can score Saturday or Sunday general admission tickets for just a sweet $16 (plus fees) - the lowest price the tickets will be this year. The first 100 Grand Tasting Experience tickets sold for Saturday or Sunday can be locked in for just $116 per pair (or $58 each), while the first 50 tickets to the Friday night Kick-Off Party are just $65 each. To sweeten the deal, the first 300 Grand Tasting Experience ticket buyers will secure their highly coveted Taste of Atlanta gift bag before the festival begins simply by purchasing early.

“As the city’s most popular, chef-driven food fest, we have many dedicated attendees who plan early and come year after year to be introduced to the newest, trendsetting chefs and enjoy enduring favorites,” explains festival founder Dale DeSena. “We want to reward those early birds and encourage all of our passionate fans to go ahead and secure their tickets at this lowest price of the year.”

Running from Oct. 20 to 22, Taste of Atlanta is celebrating its Sweet 16th year with a move to a new home in Historic Fourth Ward Park, adjacent to Atlanta’s burgeoning Beltline. The festival features more than 200 nibbles, sips and samples from the city’s favorite neighborhood hotspots alongside today’s most creative restaurants. Local favorites and exciting newcomers participating this year include Hattie B’s, Le Bilboquet, Hampton + Hudson, The Halal Guys, Bezoria, Better Half and Cast Iron.  

In addition to Saturday and Sunday General Admission food adventures filled with soul-satisfying samples, festivalgoers can upgrade to a Grand Tasting Experience which includes 20 Taste Points and access to exclusive bites and beverages. Formerly known as VIP tickets, this popular option sells out every year, so tasters are encouraged to purchase their passes early. Hometown chefs the Fox Bros. are looking forward to hosting Friday night’s Sweet 16 Kick-Off Party, and chef demonstrations, interactive panel conversations, music and more round out the schedule for a weekend full of food and fun.

To keep up with Taste of Atlanta updates, check out the official festival website at, sign up for the fun, foodie Bite of News newsletter and follow Taste of Atlanta on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For sponsorship information, email Dale DeSena at


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Big Ketch Saltwater Grill in Buckhead Opens Seafood Counter

For more information:
Morgan Lanier or Olivia Tuttle
Melissa Libby & Associates

Fresh Favorites To-Go from Atlanta’s Favorite Beach House

ATLANTA (June 13, 2017) – Since opening its Buckhead doors in 2010, The Big Ketch Saltwater Grill has established itself as a casual beach house favorite known for sourcing the very freshest seafood and creating signature gourmet fare with coastal flair. Now, the restaurant has added a seafood counter open daily so guests can grab and go, no advance order necessary.

“Fresh seafood delivered daily is a point of pride for us, and we are excited to be able to share that with our guests now both in and out of our dining room,” says co-owner John Piemonte. “With our new seafood counter, diners can get fresh seafood to go to prepare at home.  It’s another way to provide the great-tasting seafood they’ve come to love in a way that’s fast, convenient and affordable.”

The seafood counter menu features favorites by the portion or by weight and includes the following:

  •          7-ounce fresh Gulf grouper ($13.99)
  •          7-ounce Chilean salmon ($7.99)
  •          4-ounce lobster tail ($6.49)
  •          Dozen littleneck clams ($5.99)
  •          7-ounce fish of the day (market price)
  •          Prince Edward Island mussels ($3.99 per pound)
  •          Dry pack scallops, 10-20 count ($12.49 for half a pound)
  •          Peel-and-eat shrimp, 26-30 count ($13.99 per pound)
  •          Raw, shell-on shrimp, 26-30 count ($11.99 per pound)

Available only at the Buckhead location (3279 Roswell Road, 404-474-9508), The Big Ketch’s seafood counter is open the same hours as the restaurant: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

About The Big Ketch Saltwater Grill
Who doesn’t love a day at the beach? That’s the spirit behind The Big Ketch Saltwater Grill – fresh, casual seafood, prepared with a gourmet touch. Atlanta’s local beach house first opened its doors in Buckhead in October 2010, followed by a second Roswell location in 2015. Known for sourcing the highest quality seafood and offering friendly service in a relaxing atmosphere, The Big Ketch is the perfect place to dine with friends and family any day of the week. For more information, visit


HOBNOB Brings Tavern Fare with Southern Flair to Brookhaven on July 10

For more information:
Morgan Lanier or Olivia Tuttle
Melissa Libby & Associates

Second Outpost of Neighborhood Tavern Offers Spirited Scene for Socializing in Town Brookhaven

ATLANTA (June 13, 2017) – HOBNOB Neighborhood Tavern owner Sean Yeremyan announces the opening of his second Atlanta tavern at 804 Town Boulevard in the Town Brookhaven mixed-use complex on Monday, July 10. Just like the name implies, HOBNOB provides a warm and inviting atmosphere for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, while also pouring one of the most comprehensive bourbon lists in the city. The restaurant’s menu of refined tavern fare highlights classic Southern dishes designed to deliver comfort to those who live and work in Brookhaven.

“Although we are known for our high-quality tavern specialties, signature cocktails and one of the largest bourbon selections in the Southeast, HOBNOB is first and foremost a community-driven establishment that emphasizes friendly service and comfortable environs,” says Yeremyan of his goal to provide a lively respite for guests.

Town Brookhaven’s pedestrian-friendly urban village creates a sense of community akin to what Yereyman and HOBNOB general manager Mark Nelson believe is the foundation for their restaurant.
“We want guests to feel like they are at a party whenever they visit HOBNOB, and Town Brookhaven offers a similar energy that we know our guests will appreciate,” Nelson says.

At HOBNOB, the party starts with a chef-driven menu created by Nelson and executive chef Gerald Rheinlander. It features gourmet burgers, classic entrees, gluten-free options and more, with a special steak menu unique to the Brookhaven location. Examples of other lunch and dinner dishes include the following:

  •          Southern spring rolls with smoked pork, collard greens and bacon onion jam ($9.50)
  •          Tavern salmon with herb-breadcrumb crust, balsamic glaze, melted Vidalia onions and Brussels sprouts ($18.95)
  •          Kale and wheat berry salad with red onions, red grapes, green apples, pomegranate seeds, mint and cilantro-lime vinaigrette ($12.50)
  •          10 oz. marinated hanger steak served with roasted fingerling potatoes, chipotle tomato relish and cilantro ($22.95)
  •          Five different wood stone oven-fired pizzas with the option of house-made crust, gluten-free crust or flatbread ($13.25-$14.25)

Weekend warriors will enjoy multiple variations of the mimosa along with satisfying brunch fare such as:
  •          Tiramisu French toast with Challah bread, maple syrup and powdered sugar served with fresh fruit ($11)
  •          Chicken and waffle sliders with Nashville hot chicken, cinnamon roll waffles, powdered sugar, maple syrup and grits ($12)
  •          Wake and bake pizza with sausage, bacon, spinach, bell peppers, mushrooms, caramelized onions and three eggs over easy ($13)

Complementing the high-quality tavern fare is a craft beverage menu boasting one of the largest selections of bourbons in the Southeast along with an extensive selection of craft beer, wine, boozy and non-alcoholic milkshakes and signature hand-crafted cocktails.

Live music and daily specials such as half-priced wings, Trivia Tuesdays, Slider Night, BBQ Thursdays and a Kids for Kids charity fundraiser offer something for everyone and contribute to the restaurant’s convivial vibe.

Much like the Midtown location, HOBNOB’s Brookhaven décor features a rustic mix of wood paneling and black brick walls with orange accents, while the Edison blub lighting emphasizes the impressive bourbon selection on display. A glass garage door allows for open access between the main dining room and the large patio to give the space an airy feel and take full advantage of the city’s warm weather. The restaurant’s interior seats 180 guests, while the spacious patio seats an additional 75.

HOBNOB at Town Brookhaven is located at 804 Town Boulevard, Suite 1010. The restaurant serves lunch weekdays, dinner nightly and brunch on the weekends. The bar is open until 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Ample free self-parking is available. For more information, call 404-464-8971 or visit Follow HOBNOB on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for additional updates.


Free Margaritas and Fun Galore for Father’s Day, June 18

He’s king of the hill, top dog at the grill and ruler of the remote. Give Dad a break from kingly duties by whisking him away for a Father’s Day outing involving eating and drinking at Atlanta’s fun-loving and fancy restaurants. Specials are popping up all over town on Sunday, June 18.


Indulge Dad with an elegant prime rib dinner at American Cut. The upscale steakhouse in The Shops Buckhead Atlanta serves this Sunday special from 4-9 p.m. for $52 per person (excludes tax and gratuity). Dad can choose either the OG 1924 Hotel Caesar salad or Beeler’s Farm bacon to whet his appetite. For the second course, slice into a tender cut of 12-ounce dry-aged prime rib served with beef jus, horseradish sauce and a choice of one menu side dish. Lucky dad, Father’s Day falls on a Sunset Sunday, a monthly after-brunch party hosted by American Cut’s upstairs neighbor, The Regent Cocktail Club. On the third Sunday of each month from April through September, the rooftop cocktail lounge is open from 3-11 p.m. From 3-6 p.m. enjoy $35 mimosa carafes and $10 tequila cocktails. Just the place to let Dad know he’s “tops” in your book.

5Church Atlanta has a dad-friendly weekend brunch and à la carte dinner menu featuring hearty options such as the “60 second” prime New York strip, the bistro steak “a la brasa,” the 5Church lamb burger, Atlantic diver scallops (dinner only) and the A-5 Kagushima wagyu rib-eye (dinner only). For a more intimate option, Dad can share the 60-day dry-aged porterhouse for two with his special someone. Call 404-400-3669 or visit for reservations.

Dad’s well worth his salt, so Jefe’s Tacos & Tequila in Brookhaven is treating Dad to one free margarita on Father's Day. He’ll enjoy the icy concoction while building a taco playlist from Jefe’s multitude of creative handfuls. Another margarita or favorite brew? There in a jiff, at Jefe’s.

Dad can sleep in and still make it to Sunday brunch at Kaleidoscope Bistro & Pub. The Brookhaven eatery stands by its usual hours and menu with offerings such as Springer Mountain chicken wings, herb-crusted salmon, shrimp and grits, steak frites and, of course, the award-winning Kaleidoscope burger. Secure your Father’s Day reservation -- available all through brunch (versus the usual protocol of accepting reservations only for first 30 minutes of opening). Reservations: 404-474-9600.

Take Dad out to play in the backyard on his special day -- to Communion Cantina, the outdoor gathering spot behind Kevin Gillespie’s Decatur restaurant Revival. Dad’s assured a laid-back afternoon or evening flush with cold beer, cocktails, a small menu of Mexican food truck snacks and games such as cornhole. Open Sunday from 1-9 p.m. -- no reservations needed.

The Federal serves Sunday brunch from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and dinner from 5-9 p.m., so you can treat that special man in your life to traditional American steakhouse favorites. The famous 50-day dry-aged steak is sure to compete with even his grill skills. Call 404-343-3857 for reservations.

Delight Dad with a delicacy from Sublime Doughnuts on Father’s Day morning! Sublime will be rolling all his favorites into one delicious treat with their bourbon-glazed apple butter doughnut. Pick up this breakfast fit for a king at Sublime’s Georgia Tech location all day on June 18. Just in case Dad prefers sleeping in, they’re open 24 hours!   

Midtown Takorea & Ssam Bar on Juniper Street is a fun alternative for Sunday dining, open noon-10 p.m. Executive chef Tomas Lee’s BBQ pork sliders are a Korean spin on dad’s favorite backyard barbecue meal.

HOBNOB Neighborhood Tavern is serving up their new Champion burger this Father’s Day weekend. Featuring pork belly, provolone, house-cured kimchi and served on a brioche bun with a side of house-cut french fries or seasonal veggies, this burger is sure to be a winner.


Dads who like to putz around in the garden will thrill to see Milton’s Acre, the backyard garden and a source of ingredients at Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails. The historic Crabapple restaurant offers a three-course Father’s Day brunch menu priced at $32 per person. Among the enticing offerings are sticky toffee pecan beignets, shrimp and grits, blackened Atlantic salmon, a truffle-salted petite filet mignon and maple-bacon bread pudding. Additionally, Milton’s will offer its regular menu and “Milton’s Prime” menu of prime cuts of signature steaks, including grass-fed Delmonico rib eye, served with a choice of three sauces. For reservations, call 770-817-0161.

Craving fresh seafood?  Drift Fish House & Oyster Bar features a fresh Maine lobster bar that will reel in dads from all over town. Call 770-635-7641 for reservations.

For all-day fun, go explore Vickery Creek Park, head over to Gate City Brewing to cool down and then finish it off with a patio dinner at The Big Ketch on Canton Street. For more information to plan Dad's perfect Father's Day in Historic Roswell, visit

Multiple Locations

The Big Ketch Saltwater Grill knows Dad is quite a fine catch, and they’re offering a Father’s Day feast in his honor. The $34.95 per-person haul features a crabcake, lobster tail and a skewer of grilled, blackened or jerk-style shrimp or scallops accompanied by two sides. Sail into either port, Buckhead or Canton Street in Roswell, to net this bounty.

Whether Dad’s a morning person, afternoon adventurer or night owl, Ray’s Restaurants has Father’s Day meals covered. Dad can relax while looking out on the Chattahoochee River at Ray’s on the River (770-955-1187), serving Father’s Day brunch from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. For $45.95 per adult or $22.95 per child (age 5-10), scope out generous buffets tailored to morning and afternoon/evening tastes. In Alpharetta, Ray’s at Killer Creek (770-649-0064) spreads a Father’s Day buffet from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. for $39.95 for adults or $19.95 for kids (ages 5-10). Family favorites include peel-and-eat shrimp, rosemary-roasted leg of lamb and roasted prime rib. Families planning an in-town Father’s Day adventure can launch or cap the day with a special Father’s Day meal at Ray’s in the City (404-524-9224). Brunch, offered from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., is priced at $39.95 per adult and $19.95 for children (ages 5-10). Stations are waiting for guests offering carved beef steamship round and pork shoulder, sushi, smoked salmon, charcuterie, chopped beef brisket, herb-roasted chicken and a dessert and pastry bar. Each restaurant offers its own à la carte dinner menu from 5-9 p.m., with appetizing steak options.

Gift Idea

For the king of the grill, the KUDU Safari Braai is the ideal gift for Dad this Father’s Day. He is sure to rule the backyard barbecue season with this portable grill boasting elevated grates providing a range of heat levels that can simultaneously sauté, sear, fry, boil, smoke and steam all over an open flame.

Want to see a KUDU in action and eat some great food? Come out to Yebo Beach House on Father's Day from 12:30 - 4 p.m. and join Atlanta restaurateur Justin Anthony and his father Derek Anthony as they combine forces for an exclusive KUDU Safari Braai Cookout! Tickets are $30, and you can buy them here!