Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Amelie's doing ATL

Lynn St. Laurent of Amelie's says plans call for a May-or-so opening of an Amelie's outpost in Westside Atlanta, which she characterizes as "like NoDa was six years ago." She and partners Brenda Ische and Bill Lamb have been working on figuring out something in Atlanta for a year and a half, she says, wanting to find a location that suited the nuances of the business, from parking to production. They've set up a company in Atlanta that's owned by Amelie's Holdings, with a partner who will ultimately be the operating partner, and plan training; she says chef Georgia Gronefeld's already been sent. The menu will be the same, though they "might tweak a few things," while the decor will be "absolutely the same."

"What we learned by opening Rock Hill (the company's third location, in addition to the original in NoDa, shown in a file photo above, and the one Uptown) was that we had better be prepared," she says, because they didn't expect it to be as popular as quickly as it was. That's what the Amelie's folks call a "half-baked" location: Some things are made in the production kitchen (the former Charleston House), such as pastry cream and some of the choux shells (like eclairs and macarons), but no stabilizers are used, and things are filled and dipped, etc., on site. (In contrast, the Uptown location is a "no-bake"; nothing's baked there.)

"It's a new type of market," she says. "For me, it makes more sense to go somewhere like that and learn how to do it, then come back and open a 'half-baked' in Lake Norman or whatever."