Pano's and Paul's eyes new location, name in Atlanta

ATLANTA Pano's and Paul's, the flagship operation of Pano Karatassos' Buckhead Life Restaurant Group, likely will relocate, possibly with a new name, when its lease expires next April, a company spokeswoman said.

Spokeswoman Jennifer Boozer said Pano's and Paul's would be moved closer to the heart of Atlanta's upscale Buckhead neighborhood. Currently, the restaurant is located in a strip mall in an outlying area of Buckhead.

Boozer would not confirm media reports that say possible sites for the restaurant include The Streets of Buckhead development project or the St. Regis Atlanta hotel, which opens next March.

“We aren’t yet giving out that information, but this idea has been on the table for quite some time. It has nothing to do with the economy or anything other than our lease is expiring and we want a more high profile location,” she said.

Boozer did say that Pano's and Paul's might be renamed simply Pano's, to reflect the fact that former partner Paul Albrecht has not been involved with Buckhead Life for quite some time. No decision has been made on the name change, she added.

Boozer also said the relocated restaurant would not be an exact replica of the original, which opened almost 30 years ago and long has been cited for helping put Atlanta on the culinary map.

“This will give us an opportunity to do something new," she said. "It will be along the lines of reinventing and doing something fresher while making customers who felt at home at Pano’s and Paul’s still feel that way."

In the meantime, Buckhead Life is in the process of opening two other concepts, one in Atlanta and another in Boca Raton, Fla. Pano's Grand Cafe, a 220-seat “comfort French American brasserie,” will open this spring in the new, upscale 54-story Sovereign building in Buckhead, Boozer said. And this fall, City Fish Market will open in Boca Raton, which marks the company's second restaurant in the Florida city after the debut of Chops Lobster Bar last year.

“We plan to continue to cast our net outside of Atlanta, but we still see opportunity in Atlanta as well," Boozer said. "We plan to continue growing."