SOUTH FORSYTH -- A well-known Atlanta chef is coming to Halcyon, a $370 million mixed-use development currently under construction in south Forsyth.
On Jan. 31, Halcyon announced Chef Marc Taft — who currently owns and operates Chicken and the Egg in Marietta, which opened in August 2011 — signed three leases to open multiple restaurants at the development, which is expected to open in spring 2018 off McFarland Parkway/Exit 12 of Ga. 400.
The three restaurants include CO-OP Community Table and Bar, FEED Fried Chicken + Such — a fried chicken and other Southern food joint — and a market hall burger concept.
The goal is to make the restaurants feel as Southern as possible, highlighting Halcyon’s concept for the development, Taft said.
“Being raised on Southern food inspired the vision behind the concepts going into Halcyon,” Taft said. “I’ve worked hard to create these concepts and to find the perfect place for them to operate. Halcyon is such a unique, exciting development that I think will enrich these restaurants. I expect all three to do very well in Forsyth County.”
CO-OP, Taft said, will be a full-service, farm-to-table restaurant that will highlight Southern ingredients in its cooking. The chef said he intends it to be a neighborhood gathering place that embodies Southern hospitality while also emphasizing the importance of sustainability.
FEED will be more of a fast-casual restaurant, where patrons can sit and eat while also being served quickly.
Taft said it was inspired by Southern roadside restaurants he and his family ate at while traveling from Alabama to East Tennessee to see his grandmother.
The market hall will be more of a grab-and-go eatery, where people can order food and sit or take it on the go.
Patrick Leonard, principal of Halcyon’s developer, RocaPoint Partners, said the choice to bring in Taft was an easy one.
“Chef Taft has an impressive resume and a spectacular vision for these concepts that are in concert with our plan for Halcyon,” he said. “The three new restaurants will fit in effortlessly with the overall tenant mix we have in mind and will be a fresh, exciting addition to the Forsyth County restaurant scene.
“Residents and visitors will soon be able to walk from the Big Creek Greenway into our food hall or restaurants, and we believe Taft is setting the perfect tone for the concepts we’re bringing to the area.”
In November, Halcyon broke ground on its extension of the Big Creek Greenway, a 12-foot-wide multi-use trail that currently runs 9.6 miles through the county.
RocaPoint Partners is building an extension that will lengthen the trail by about three-quarters of a mile along Big Creek.
The expansion will include a new paved and lit parking lot, restrooms and a trailhead and will tie into the sidewalks along Ronald Reagan Boulevard, eventually connecting to the Alpharetta Big Creek Greenway.
Taft’s restaurant in Marietta was recognized by Zagat as one of the “Top Five Best New Restaurants in Atlanta” and appeared in Jezebel Magazine’s “100 Best Restaurants” from 2012-2016.
The chef also recently announced a concept for Avalon, a large mixed-use development in Alpharetta. There, he will introduce Brine Seafood Shack, a “Cape-Cod-meets-Santa-Monica-inspired eatery, which will offer lobster rolls, tuna poke, fresh oysters and more along with a roof-top bar.”
He has run restaurants in New York, Chicago, Boston, Washington D.C., Miami, Nashville, Dallas and more and has been recognized by Best Chefs America.
Gov. Nathan Deal named Taft a Georgia Grown Executive Chef. Taft serves on the Chef Advisory Board for Georgia Organics and Best Chefs America and is a member of the Georgia Restaurant Association.