The Buckhead Business Association handed out its four 2012 awards at its annual luncheon Thursday at the Atlanta History Center in Buckhead.
“Each of the awards has a different component of celebrating Buckhead. … It’s a business that has distinguished itself,” said association president Brian Daughdrill.
Southern Art and Bourbon Bar, a restaurant inside the InterContinental Hotel, won the overall Buckhead Business of the Year Award, defeating finalists Chic Evolution of Art, Drybar, Simply Buckhead magazine and Zoe’s Kitchen. The eatery bought one of the Bucks on the Street, statues that raised money for Livable Buckhead, a nonprofit dedicated to increasing greenspace in the community, and donates to several local charities.
Of the overall award, Marcia Jaffe, the association’s vice president of retail and hospitality, said the restaurant was chosen because of its “colorfulness, ambiance, contributions to the community, unique Southern cuisine, the fact that [owner] Art [Smith], Oprah’s [former] chef, decided to locate it here. They really do embody the criteria we use to select the [overall award] winner.”
David Allman, owner and chair of Regent Partners and chair of the Buckhead Community Improvement District’s board, received the Bullish on Buckhead Award for his commitment to the area. Allman could not attend the luncheon but talked about it Friday in a phone interview.
“It’s always nice to win awards,” the Buckhead native said. “I very much appreciate it. … I didn’t know I was being considered and pleased to hear about it yesterday.”
Allman and Regent Partners have been involved with bringing more greenspace to the community, working with Livable Buckhead, a nonprofit dedicated to adding parkland, to build a 1-acre pocket park in the Tower Place office complex.
“As a company, we [also] were involved in the Buckhead Church development [near] Tower Place,” he said.
3109 Piedmont Estate and Gardens, an events venue redeveloped by Tony Conway, CEO of A Legendary Event, won the Buckhead Beautification Award for revitalizing the house. Formerly Anthony’s Fine Dining, the property includes a house built in Wilkes County in 1797 and moved brick by brick to Buckhead from 1891 to 1894. Conway, who accidentally dropped his award while accepting it, said “It’s as sturdy as the house.
“It’s the oldest house in Georgia,” he added. After the luncheon he talked about the accolade. “It’s a great honor. I live in Buckhead and have worked in Buckhead for 20 years, and it’s great to have a location [Estate] in Buckhead and to be acknowledged for what we’ve done.”
A Legendary Event donates to more than 100 charities, including Senior Citizen Services of Metro Atlanta, the Atlanta Ballet, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Atlanta History Center and the Atlanta Ronald McDonald House, Conway said.
Brian Hah, owner and general manager of Yogurberry at Terminus, received the Buckhead Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
“I’m truly honored and humbled and pleasantly surprised and inspired,” he said. “Things like this, even though it’s hard work and [requires] the hours to continually try to improve and think outside the box, sometimes I think it’s fruitless. But that’s never been in my nature [to give up].”
Jaffe, who announced the honor, said she met Hah at A Taste of Buckhead Business in April.
“This one person [there] drew me in for the way he was passionate about his product. … [The yogurt and other food] is manufactured on the premises and is sourced by local farmers,” Jaffe said.
Yogurberry has donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, Atlanta International School, the Westminster Schools, the YMCA, the Atlanta Community Food Bank, Aid for Autism, Relay for Life, Emory University’s Rollins School of Health, the National Association of Asian American Professionals, the Organization of Chinese Americans and Chopstix for Charity, Hah said.
Five months after it opened in 2008, he took over the business from Seoul, South Korea-owned Yogurberry and made it a family owned individual franchise.
“We were immediately able to improve customer service and turn it around really fast,” he said. “We had a healthy following. The challenge is always the parking and people having trouble finding us, but we’ve improved that.”
In other news, the association announced its executive officers for 2013, in addition to Daughdrill. They are: president-elect Brian McGuire, secretary Barry Hundley and treasurer John Wright.