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Food & Drink

Local Restaurant Group Grows Concepts



Raquel Stalcup, Charlie Sunyapong, Natalie Young, Tola Mak
Photos by George Hunter

Owners of Pêche Modern Coastal and Stäge Kitchen & Bar aim to cover the area with varied cuisine.

The vision, passion and creativity behind Pêche Modern Coastal at The Forum comes from a love of food, good service and, collectively, decades of experience.

Owners Tola Mak, creative director of marketing; Charlie Sunyapong, corporate executive chef; and Raquel Stalcup, director of operations, put their knowledge and acquired skills into varied and interesting food offerings throughout the area. 

Raquel Stalcup, Charlie Sunyapong, Natalie Young, Tola Mak
Raquel Stalcup, Charlie Sunyapong, Natalie Young, Tola Mak

Besides the high-end seafood restaurant, they are also the force behind nearby Stäge Kitchen & Bar, another local favorite.

Stäge is focused on tapas and sushi as well as fresh pasta, steaks and seafood. “It’s driven by local and seasonal items, so [the menu] changes to incorporate fresh ingredients,” said Mak. 

Although Pêche emphasizes fish and seafood offerings, they try to have something for everyone. 

“We use lots of classic French techniques in our cooking styles, but with a modern twist,” said Sunyapong. “We’ve also got a raw bar offering, something no one else in the area really had.”

With an eye to freshness and authenticity, there’s no freezer in the Pêche. Fresh ingredients are delivered four times a week.

Vereak Chhun, executive chef, Brian Thomas, Michael Real
Vereak Chhun, executive chef, Brian Thomas, Michael Real

Even though the restaurant strives to stay true to the vision of the chef, the kitchen is flexible when it comes to dietary restrictions, allergies and just plain preferences. “We have vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free,” said Stalcup. “If it’s not on the menu, the chef will make something special.”

Three paths come together

“I have had a love for food since I was young,” said Sunyapong. 

He was in one of the early classes of the now-shuttered Culinary Institute of America in Tucker. He took a hiatus for about a decade and focused on the beauty industry. But his first love called him back.

He then opened a restaurant in the Parkside district in 2017. Shortly afterward, he teamed up with long-time friends who’d had similar dreams. “We’d been talking about doing this for like 20 years,” he said. “Then once we opened one restaurant together, we just kept going.”

Mak grew up cooking with his parents and grandparents. “They worked in hotels and restaurants. Since I could probably walk, I was in a kitchen, just doing little things,” Mak said. 

His grandparents owned a bakery in Thailand. When his parents immigrated to the U.S., they opened a Thai restaurant in Norcross.

After a childhood around the food industry, Mak also went to culinary school. He took the corporate route and worked in several hotels throughout the metro area.

“I worked for Marriott, Renaissance, the Marquee,” he said. He said that the last thing a corporate executive chef got to do was cook.

“You’re not allowed in the kitchen,” Mak said. “Most hotel chefs are in the office. You’re just managing the staff and the numbers. You’re not really allowed to be that creative, so I opened my own restaurant.”

Stalcup grew up in Hawaii. Her family had some restaurants in hotels, and she grew up working alongside them. The family moved to Atlanta when she was 15 and she started working at local restaurants. That’s when Stalcup met Sunyapong and Mak.

She worked for Buckhead Life Restaurant Group and Here to Serve Restaurant Group for 15 years, bartending and managing the different concepts. “I moved to Johns Creek / Peachtree Corners 20 years ago, managing at Stoney River, and I was the general manager at Cabernet Steakhouse in Alpharetta,” she said.

Although they traveled different paths, the three friends ended up at the same conclusion. “With so much experience in different areas of restaurants and all of us with the cooking background, we realized we can do this ourselves,” said Sunyapong. “So we opened La Belle Vie six years ago.”

They sold that restaurant and have formed their own restaurant group, Saltie Butter, in late 2020. “We have a really good owners’ group where everyone specializes in their area,” said Mak. “So we’ve been able to expand a lot faster.”

Bringing a variety of cuisine to the area

Besides Pêche and Stäge, the group is looking to open two more restaurants — one in Dunwoody, named Campus 244. While it will also concentrate on top-notch cuisine and service, it won’t be like the previous two.

The group is building momentum and putting profits into new development. “I’m out to three times a week looking for locations and meeting with developers,” said Mak. “We’re talking about 10 restaurants in the next five years, so it’s more of a process. We go in and train and develop menus and then we kind of move on to the next project.”

Part of Saltie Butter’s focus has been on mentoring new chefs and restaurateurs to form the next successful generation. The group encourages the staff to grow, learn and bring their cultures and ideas into the mix.

“What we do is really try to grow a lot of the people within our group, and give them a shot,” said Sunyapong. “I think that gives us the opportunity to really expand and not just be a one trick pony.

Arlinda Smith Broady is part of the Boomerang Generation of Blacks that moved back to the South after their ancestors moved North. With approximately three decades of journalism experience (she doesn't look it), she's worked in tiny, minority-based newsrooms to major metropolitans. At every endeavor she brings professionalism, passion, pluck, and the desire to spread the news to the people.

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Food & Drink

H&W Steakhouse Opening in Peachtree Corners



(Photography by Bruce Johnson)

Norsan Restaurants has announced the upcoming opening of its new restaurant concept, H&W Steakhouse. H&W is the third fine-dining steakhouse concept from Norsan Restaurants.

The company also operates Pampas Steakhouse in Johns Creek and Frankie’s The Steakhouse in Duluth. H&W aims to bring modern fine dining to Peachtree Corners with USDA Prime Steaks and a variety of seafood options.

H&W Steakhouse
Left to right, Martin Ramirez, COO of Norsan Restaurants, Thomas Minchella, Executive Chef of Norsan Restaurants

The restaurant was designed by architect Filipao Nunes out of Monterrey, Mexico.

“It fills us with great pride to be part of such an important project, which was designed to create an experience on par with the menu,” says Nunes. Our goal was to allow for elegance to shine in every single detail, staying faithful to the essence of the brand.”

Chef Thomas Minchella leads the culinary team at H&W and has served as Norsan Restaurant’s Executive Corporate Chef since 2020.

Chef Minchella, formerly the Executive Chef of McKendrick’s Steakhouse, looks forward to the opening and sharing his menu and creations with guests. He states, “Creating delicious food is my passion, creating a culinary staff is my ambition, and creating guests is my love!”

Norsan CEO Norberto Sanchez shares, “We are very excited to open our new concept H&W Steakhouse. Taking center stage at H&W will be handpicked premium steaks and a fantastic array of seafood offerings. Our hospitable and professional service team has one goal: to make our guests feel at home.”

H&W will soft-open late September with a limited number of reservations available.

Reservations will be available via Opentable and directly through the restaurant. Follow along on Instagram for the official opening date and ongoings @hwsteakhouse.

Source: H&W Steakhouse
Photography by Bruce Johnson

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Food & Drink

Shah’s Halal Food Celebrates Opening in Peachtree Corners



Images courtesy of the City of Peachtree Corners

Mayor Mike Mason, Peachtree Corners Business Association (PCBA), business professionals and community well-wishers joined the Hameed family, owners of Shah Halal Food, and staff to celebrate the opening of its new Peachtree Corners restaurant with a ribbon-cutting celebration and lunch event.

Khurran (Kay) Hameed shared, “At Shah’s Halal, we take pride in offering the highest quality, most authentic and delectable halal cuisine at a fair price. We are excited to bring our exceptional dining experience to Peachtree Corners.” 

In addition to dining services, Shah’s Halal also offers to-go orders and catering for special events.

Mayor Mason, along with PCBA Board Members Lisa Proctor, Allison Reinert, Suzanna Martinez and local business supporters were on hand. 

“The city council and I are delighted that you have chosen Peachtree Corners for your business location,” said Mason. “We are pleased to have this new restaurant available as part of our business-friendly city.”

Shah’s Halal Food is located at 5450 Peachtree Parkway, Suite 8B, in Peachtree Corners. Check them out at shahshalalfood.com/peachtree-corners/ or call 678-292-6426 to find out more.

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Food & Drink

Good French Fare Now Closer Than Ever



Photos by George Hunter

Henri’s Bakery & Deli opens a Peachtree Corners location.

“Un bon repas adoucit l’esprit et régénère le corps.”

That common French saying, “A good meal softens the mind and regenerates the body,” is gradually becoming a theme in this part of metro Atlanta. As the Peachtree Corners food scene expands its offerings, world-class cuisine is becoming more and more available.

For example, one can find the mouth-watering goodies of a French patisserie near the Town Center. Henri’s Bakery & Deli is one of the newest food purveyors in the area, but it has a long-standing tradition of quality and service.

A tasty history

French immigrant Henri Fiscus started his first bakery at the corner of 10th and Peachtree streets in Atlanta in 1929. He quickly became known for his inventive recipes and the attention to detail he paid to his customers’ needs and wants. 

That legacy led to several shops across the metro area with the newest location in Peachtree Corners, according to company literature.

Fiscus passed away in 1974, just one day shy of his 80th birthday, but his family has carried on the traditions and original recipes but has employed modern business practices to spread the quality throughout the area.

To keep consistency and streamline costs, all the products are baked at central location in metro Atlanta.

“We have one commissary, where all our products are made daily overnight. We get a delivery every morning at 6:00. So, whatever we need is freshly made for the day,” said Henri’s Peachtree Corners General Manager Tarik Aboudi. “We want to keep the recipe the same and make sure there is someone on top of orders.”

Aboudi, originally from Morocco, has many years of experience in this kind of food business. When the Peachtree Corners location was looking for someone to lead it, he’d been at a local family-owned bagel restaurant.

“I enjoy what I do here and like working with the company. It’s a good concept,” he said. 

Unlike the other company, the hours are a little more family-friendly to his lifestyle, with the eatery closed on Sundays and wrapping up daily service by 6 p.m.

And the location is just 10 minutes from his home. “That’s one of the reasons I came here,” he said. “I don’t want to work eight to 10 hours and then spend another two or three hours in the car.”

With Henri’s being local and family-owned, it appealed to Aboudi on many levels.

“Family-owned businesses have a different personality than many corporations,” he said. “People care more about their legacy, and you get to talk to the owners face-to-face. It’s more personal and it feels more like you are part of a family.”

Feast for the eyes and tastebuds

When you get right down to it, the food is what brings people back.

“There’s a good selection of fresh pastries,” said Aboudi. “I was raised on fresh pastry and one of my favorites is the Napoleons.”

Of course, you can’t call yourself a French pastry shop without eclairs and croissants — sweet and savory. And although the name is French, Henri’s has lovely Italian fare like tiramisu and Greek baclava.

There is plenty to choose from for everyday eating, but Henri’s also provides sandwiches, salads and desserts for special occasions. “We have these little, small cakes with a flower on top called petit fours. Also, there is shortbread; that’s been popular for years and years,” said Aboudi.

There’s a wide selection of cookies, too — chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin and a specialty called the ‘Mediterranean’ that’s gluten-free, as well as classic favorites like snickerdoodle and gingerbread people.

But wait, there’s more!

Breakfast sandwiches — with a bagel, croissant or toast base — come with eggs, cheese, bacon, chicken sausage, ham and/or cream cheese. For those looking for classic Southern fare, there are several types of cheese straws and wafers with chives, jalapenos and other tasty ingredients. 

Aboudi stressed that you’ll not find a more delicious cake anywhere. “Our cakes come in a lot of different sizes and flavors. You can get a six-inch round to a full sheet cake,” he said. 

Southern favorites, like red velvet and coconut, to modern twists, like cookies and cream and peanut butter, are just a few choices on the menu.

If you have a hankering for something different, customers are encouraged to work with Henri’s staff through the online form, by phone or in person, to build the perfect cake for their occasion.

For customers who just want to run in, grab something and go, there’s a refrigerated case with pre-made sandwiches and salads.

“We try to accommodate customers on every level,” said Aboudi. “We already are seeing a lot of business and we are getting good feedback.”

Henri’s Bakery & Deli is located at 5005 Peachtree Pkwy., Ste. #820 in Peachtree Corners. Visit them at henrisbakery.com/peachtreecorners or call 470-282-3349. Their current hours are 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

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