Two years ago in June, Politan Group, the oldest and most awarded hospitality operator in the food hall industry, celebrated the grand opening of its largest concept to date, Politan Row at Colony Square. Now, the New Orleans-based company is expanding its relationship with North American Properties (NAP), owner of the Midtown Atlanta mixed-use development, to open Politan Row at The Forum. The food hall is a core component of NAP’s redevelopment strategy at the Peachtree Corners lifestyle center and will open next summer.

“When we attended the groundbreaking back in April, it was so nice to see how much energy local officials and residents had about The Forum’s comeback story,” says Will Donaldson, CEO of Politan Group. “NAP has a thorough understanding of how to curate high-quality retail experiences and build neighborhood town centers that bring people together, something you can tell guests are seriously craving. We are thrilled to start connecting with the community and play a role in bringing downtown Peachtree Corners to fruition.”  

Situated on the northern end of the property between Aomi and Soma, the nearly 10,000-square-foot food hall will feature space for seven independent food and beverage concepts, a central Bar Politan, a private event venue, and an outdoor patio fronting the greenspace. Politan Group is also activating the adjacent jewel box with a standalone restaurant and wine bar presented by a brand that will be announced soon. While the chef lineup has yet to be finalized, its anticipated that the mix will include a few familiar faces from Colony Square along with some fresh, up-and-coming talent. 

What sets Politan Group’s platform apart from other operators is its hands-on hospitality approach, similar to how NAP manages its mixed-use portfolio. Like all other locations, Politan Row at The Forum will have front-of-house staff to help with anything from answering dining questions and bussing tables to serving as consumer guides, ensuring top-notch service from entry to exit. Another differentiator is its use of china, real silverware, and proper glassware. The most distinctive characteristic of Politan Group, however, is its design-forward mentality, which focuses on creating elevated dining destinations that draw people in and inspire them to connect over food. 

Bell-Butler, the woman-owned architecture firm that produced the vision for Politan Row at Colony Square, has once again been tapped to custom-design a compelling dining experience for the Peachtree Corners community. Blueprints are still in their infancy, though similar elements such as wood tones and leather will likely be incorporated along with some less urban yet glam aspects. 

Since opening in 2021, Politan Row at Colony Square has received numerous honors, including an ICSC Design and Development Gold Award and an AIA Louisiana Design Excellence Award. Its wildly popular speakeasy Jojo’s Beloved Cocktail Lounge was also highlighted on Imbibe’s 75 Places to Watch list in 2022 and has been named Top Cocktail Bar by Thrillist Atlanta as well as Best Retro Cocktail Lounge by Atlanta magazine. 

“Each week at Colony Square, the food hall serves over 10,000 guests: a truly mind-blowing metric. We’ve also seen two of the vendors, Pretty Little Tacos and Gekko Hibachi & Sushi, incubate and grow their businesses to other locations. The icing on the cake is helping entrepreneurs realize their dreams,” says Adam Schwegman, executive vice president at NAP. “Our journey with Politan Group has been incredibly fruitful thus far, and we have such high expectations for what lies ahead.”

Politan Row at The Forum will begin taking shape in early 2024, marking NAP’s third food hall.

NAP and Nuveen Real Estate entered a joint venture to transform The Forum into a true mixed-use destination in March 2022. Construction began this past May and will be completed in phases, with the retail-focused improvements slated for a 2024 holiday season delivery. Plans call for a revamped merchandise lineup, an expanded public realm, and density additions, including a 125-key boutique hotel, 381 multifamily units and a structured parking deck. NAP will also weave its hospitality-driven management approach into the project, incorporating resort-level services such as Concierge and valet to enhance the overall guest experience. 

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