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Army Veteran, Entrepreneur, Wife, and Mother Valerie Thomas by Labor Day 2022 has plans to debut CCXVI Restaurant and Lounge, a vegan-centric restaurant that’ll leave its guests feeling like they’re in Miami or Los Angeles, and not Southwest Atlanta.
Thomas, a Cleveland, Ohio native, is in permitting with the City of Atlanta to open the venue which pays homage to her hometown — CCXVI are the Roman Numerals for 216 which is the area code for Cleveland.
CCXVI will occupy the entire property, at 2015 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. SW, combining three suites into a single unit, Thomas told What Now Atlanta in a telephone interview Thursday. “I’ve thought long and hard about opening this restaurant,” Thomas said. “It’s been years in the making and I have the systems and the structure in place to ensure CCXVI is a staple in the neighborhood for the long term.” In addition to beautifying an otherwise abandoned retail strip, Thomas looks forward to creating new jobs for the locals, she said.
“We’re going to cultivate a Miami-, Los Angeles-vibe for the restaurant,” Thomas said. The “grown, sexy lounge experience” will mostly cater to healthy eats centered around a vegan menu. Brunch will be served on Sundays and a patio will bring the experience outdoors.
After serving in the U.S. Army for 14 years and growing her Clay Luxury Kids boutique to five stores, Thomas said opening a restaurant was the next obvious move for her. “Opening a restaurant is always something I had on my vision board,” Thomas said. Entrepreneurship runs in Thomas’ family. Her parents own a chain of salons back home in Cleveland.
After CCXVI opens later this year, Thomas is going to take Clay Luxury Kids to Los Angeles next and then will offer franchising, she said, with plans to open in every major city coast to coast, and eventually internationally.
Editor’s note: a mood board that outlines design inspiration for CCXVI was removed at Thomas’ request.