Baum, nominated by the Georgia Restaurant Association for Restaurateur of the Year, confirmed the news in a telephone interview with What Now Atlanta Thursday.
“I’m very proud of my heritage, culture, and roots, and I’m ready to enter the next phase of opening a new restaurant or two,” Baum said.
“These new concepts will bring me back to my roots of where my family and I are originally from.”
The first, Aziza, will be a sit-down “chef-driven” Israeli and Middle Eastern eatery in Westside Provisions District.
“Atlanta doesn’t really have restaurants that celebrate the Israeli food and culture. I’m excited to share the flavors and hospitality traditions and environment that we’re going to create.”
Aziza will occupy a 3,938-square-foot space under Ford Fry’s Marcel (formerly The Preserving Place), with menu items like a “whole leg of lamb cooked in a wood-burning oven, tagines, and salads.”
There will also be a bread program.
Complete with outdoor seating and a neighboring falafel stand with to-go items, Aziza will be “vibrant” with a “big bar component” designed by Smith Hanes Studio.
An open kitchen with a wood-burning oven will be a “predominant” feature.
“We’re celebrating a refined Middle Eastern dining experience with dishes that are a bit more elaborate that require more technique and attention to details.”
The second restaurant, Rina, will open in the Ford Factory Lofts adjacent to the forthcoming 725 Ponce development.
Rina will offer a more casual option with a menu of “skewers, falafel, sandwiches, and salads” as early as spring 2019.
“I envision Rina to be a more casual space where people can grab a meal as they walk the Beltline or just come with family and friends and hang out over the weekend.”
The 2,700-square-foot concept will have a lot of windows facing the Beltline making the space “very bright with a fresh ambiance.”
Rina will offer direct access from the Beltline and a small patio space.