Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ To Replace Copeland’s Atlantic Station

Plus Salata is taking the place of Moe's Southwest Grill, Spa810 opening February 11.

Plus Salata is taking the place of Moe’s Southwest Grill, Spa810 opening February 11.

California-based, grill-at-your-table concept Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ, has plans to open its first Georgia store in Atlantic Station, The Atlanta Business Chronicle (ABC) this week first reported.

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The franchised restaurant concept, with roots in Japan, would take a 6,000-square-foot piece of the now-shuttered Copeland’s of New Orleans space, which closed its doors early January, Barbara Garrett, general manager of Atlantic Station, Thursday confirmed in an email to What Now Atlanta.

The Atlantic Station Gyu-Kaku would be a corporate store, Garrett said.

At Gyu-Kaku, guests cook their own “yakiniku” (Japanese BBQ) at the table including beef, chicken, pork and seafood, and vegetables.

In related news, Texas-based salad bar concept Salata, which is planning 20 Atlanta-area locations, is replacing Moe’s Southwest Grill at Atlantic Station.

Moe’s also closed its doors in the Midtown mixed-use development – which was acquired by Hines and capital partner Morgan Stanley late-2015 from North American Properties – early January.

And Spa 810, a first-to-market spa concept, is scheduled to open its doors ahead of Valentine’s Day Saturday, February 11.

Caleb J. Spivak

Caleb J. Spivak

Caleb J. Spivak

Caleb J. Spivak

2 Responses

  1. I’ve eaten at Gyu Kaku (beef corner) in Pasadena and loved it. Hope it does well in Atlantic Station. They need special, destination restaurants there.

  2. Gyu-Kaku started out as a great opportunity. I interviewed in Atlanta only once with Sandy. The interview went well and within a week I was offered a position as manager. It was strange because I had only been on one interview and within a week I had received my offer letter. Gyu-Kaku is opening a new restaurant in the Atlanta area, and currently there is no other store nearby. So part of the deal was that I had to get my affairs in order with one week’s notice and complete my 2-month training in Boston. So that I did. I arranged for my son to be taken care of and I left for Boston. The trip started off pretty bad and that should have been my first clue as to how the rest of this horrid experience would be. I was told via Email to find a way to my Airbnb. At this time my travel was not covered. The Uber to the Airbnb was 55$. At this time, I had not been payed and could not afford this type of trip. Luckily I have a wonderful cousin who is an Engineer at Gillet. She was able to leave work early and pick me up from the airport.

    Throughout my training I felt like I was treated poorly and unfairly. I was required to commute in a foreign city via Two Busses and a train. The commute was over two hours long. They told me originally it would only be 45m. When I arrived late once they did not have an ounce of understanding. I was traveling by train and bus in a foreign city for the first time. Sandy who came to Boston for training as well had a totally different experience. Sandy had worked in Boston previous to our training, and was best friends with the General Manager Co Le. Instead of living in a run-down Airbnb with a rat infestation she was shacked up with her best friend who would also take her to and from work. This made her experience obviously less stressful. My entire stay in Boston I was never offered a ride home. Even when we all were there tell 2:30am and all busses had stopped running. After the first month of training I was given the option to Uber to and from work. Finally, a bit of pressure had been lifted off my shoulders, and instead of my commute being between 1hr & 45 minutes to 2hrs & 10 minutes, it was only 30 -45 minutes. At the end of the month I did my expense reports and submitted. I received a very rude email after from Co Le the General Manager who never found time to speak with me any other time. She said that my expenses were way to high and that she could not approve them. The Uber rides where between 2-8 dollars during regular hours. For the numerous nights where I left after 2am the Uber was anywhere between 15-26 dollars. Once I informed her boss that the expensive Ubers where mandatory because public transportation doesn’t run that late he agreed to approve my expenses. My food expense was $25, and only on off days. Mind you there were some schedules that had me working 10 shifts strait with no off days. So in that case I was expected to fend for myself or eat a discounted meal at Gyu-Kaku. I’ve traveled for work and training before and know that there is usually a daily food expense. They would also normally rent you a car or cover your transportation completely. In fact, Gyu-Kaku made me pay out of pocket for my transportation on off days. My cousin who travels for work with Gillet all the time told me that I should pay attention how they treat me now. She said that she had never been treated nearly as bad by any company.

    The hours were excruciating especially for a trainee. Normal, training for any job you would only work a maximum of 40 hours per week. I understand that this is a restaurant management position, and you would be required to work between 45-55 hours a week. However, for a trainee to work those type of hours is counterproductive and that accompanied by an insane commute leaves absolutely no time for study or comprehension. I was able to look at the labor report every day and noticed that I was putting in more hours than the actual managers at that location. Between 55-60-hour work weeks. Since I was being paid as Mgr. trainee salary I was only getting paid $10 an hour some weeks. Again I stuck in there kept my head up and came to work hard every day.

    Approaching my last few weeks of training I was informed that Gyu-kaku wanted to extend Sandys and I’s training for an additional 2weeks. I have a son and it was already hard on my parents to have to watch him for me while I was training. In my offer letter it said I would be coming home on Nov 4th. I wanted to be as flexible as possible and prove to them that I was dedicated so I agreed to stay an additional 3 weeks. I informed them a week in advance of a family emergency regarding my child. I informed them that instead of leaving on Nov 18th I needed to leave on the 15th. I only missed two shifts to come home and handle my affairs.

    After our training in Boston was completed Me and Sandy began work finding vendors and getting everything in order to open our restaurant. We had to meet at a nearby Starbucks and work from 10am – 7pm Monday – Friday. A few days in to our work I was forwarded an email by mistake that said Co Le planned on terminating me and that our Atlanta kickoff meeting was postponed until further notice. My heart dropped and I realized that all I had went through was for nothing. I thought of a million reasons as to why they would terminate me and couldn’t come up with one. Sandy obviously knew I was being fired and for the next week or so smiled in my face made jokes and pretended everything was ok. Gyu-Kaku and the people who work for them are unprofessional and clumsy so the fact that I had to read about my termination through a forwarded email came as no surprise. Within a week of me reading the email Sandy told me she had a family emergency which I assumed was a lie. She told me she would not be meeting with me for a few days because she would be out of town for family emergency.

    The next day I received a phone call around Noon from someone I had never met. The call went like this. In very broken English. “Hello Mr. Young, I have bad news we must terminate you.” I was not surprised and only asked one question. WHY? He replied, “I cannot tell you that Mr. Young.” I mean how unprofessional can one company be? No one even had the decency to look me in my eye and terminate me properly. I have never been terminated from a job, but I have had to terminate employees in the past. Let me tell you I always look them in their eyes give them supporting documentation as to why I’m terminating them. I also provide them with a termination letter which is required by law.

    Co Le who supposedly was the one who wanted to terminate me never once set down and coached me. She always ignored me and avoided eye contact. So I can’t understand what the issue was. Please stay away from this company if you are anything but Asian. I’ve talked to my lawyer about the situation, and even though it clearly states in my offer letter that this company can fire me for no reason if they like. My lawyer informed me that from what he can tell I was clearly discriminated against based on my nationality and treated totally unfairly and says that I definitely have a case, he will except my case and legal action will be my next step.

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