Decatur’s Highland Bakery location could open by late July

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt March 25, 2016
Highland Bakery, Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe, and Orangetheory Fitness have signed leases for The Place on Ponce. Photo by Dena Mellick

Highland Bakery, Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe, and Orangetheory Fitness have signed leases for The Place on Ponce. Photo by Dena Mellick

Highland Bakery’s Decatur location, its first franchise store, was originally expected to open in the summer of 2015.

That timeline was a little optimistic. Lately, though, people have been seen working in the space at 315 West Ponce de Leon Avenue. Assistant City Manager Lyn Menne said the owners have permits and work has begun.

Highland Bakery founder Stacey Eames said the company “had a lot of complications with the building” which delayed the restaurant’s opening.

“Things were not very easy with the building,” Eames said. “There were some items that were not provided initially that we had to figure out with the landlord’s team. We had to hire a team of people, engineers and such, to try and figure it out. We finally got on track and we started building out probably about a week ago and now we’re halted just a little bit for some permitting items and hopefully we’ll be back on track in a couple of days.”

The first Highland Bakery opened in 2003. There are locations in Old Fourth Ward, Buckhead, Midtown, Emory and Georgia Tech. The Decatur location, which will be owned by Jill Johnson, should open by the end of July, Eames said.

Eames said she and Johnson go way back.

“She actually sold me my very first espresso machine when I started in business in 1993,” Eames said. “She was one of Mellow Mushroom’s first franchisees, in the early days of franchising. It’s going to be such a win-win for her because she went through that whole process with Mellow Mushroom.”

Eames said while Johnson will be running the show in Decatur, she’ll be keeping a close watch on things.

“The great thing is I live in Decatur and I live right around the corner and I will definitely have a vested interest in it,” Eames said.

The original press release sent to media outlets in 2015 provided some information about what the Decatur location will look like and what will be on the menu.

“Their … location will boast 3,000 square feet of main level seating as well as a 500 square foot mezzanine,” the press release said. “A full breakfast and lunch menu will be served, including signature dishes such as Fried Chicken Benedict, Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes, Peanut Butter French Toast as well as gourmet coffee. The new space will also include a full service bakery offering the whole grain, all-natural, freshly baked breads and delectable pastries that have made Highland Bakery a local favorite. Catering and custom cakes are also available.”

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