After more than 20 years, The Cheesecake Factory restaurant on Peachtree Road in Buckhead will be moving out, and Restoration Hardware will move in next door at the former ESPN Zone site.
The Restoration Hardware lease took effect the week of Feb. 11, according to property owner Peter Blum, but there is currently no timetable on when Cheesecake Factory will move.
“That is still being discussed. … We have a great working relationship with Cheesecake,” he wrote in an email. “We are going to give them sufficient time to figure out where they want to relocate and do the build-out.”
Blum said Restoration Hardware will demolish the former ESPN Zone space (3030 Peachtree Road), within the next couple of months but he is unsure how long construction will take.
Although Blum said Cheesecake Factory, located at 3024 Peachtree Road, has been a “great tenant,” he said the final conclusion three weeks ago was not to re-sign with them.
“This was a very difficult decision, one we weighed very carefully,” he said. “Some 22 years ago, when they approached us, hardly anyone had heard of [Calabasas, Calif.-based] Cheesecake Factory. Today they are a household name. We wanted to reposition this property in view of what [Marin County, Calif.-based] Restoration Hardware will be building next door and to correspond with the Buckhead Village’s resurgence.”
However, Livable Buckhead Executive Director Denise Starling said there is a controversial issue with the city of Atlanta’s Development Review Committee and Restoration Hardware, whose plan is to build a wall facing Peachtree, in order to create an outdoor courtyard area between the street and the store.
“They want to keep a tranquil space that you don’t see Peachtree from,” she said at last week’s Buckhead Community Improvement District board meeting. “The DRC has given them comments back saying, ‘We really don’t like the wall on Peachtree. We’re trying to activate Peachtree and have it pedestrian friendly.”
Starling said the store’s design plan looks “gorgeous without the wall.”
“It’s a fantastic new concept. It’s not a typical Restoration,” she said. “It’s actually kind of a design center.”
The store is using a “vignette approach,” Starling said, where customers feel like they are in a grand home and each room is a different style, and the average transactions are $7,000 at a time.
Both Cheesecake Factory and Restoration Hardware representatives declined to answer the Neighbor’s emailed inquiries on the topics of moving and opening, respectively.