Politan Row at Colony Square Grand Opening Slated for June 24-26; Two New Concepts Announced


ATLANTA (March 23, 2021) –  Talent-driven food hall Politan Row announces the two newest concepts to join the dining lineup at Colony Square, as well as its official grand opening celebration, which is slated for June 24-26. Jack Bai’s hibachi bowl concept Gekko, and Michaela Merrick’s Creole-Mexican street taco concept Pretty Little Tacos will be the newest additions to Politan Row at Colony Square, located at the corner of Peachtree and 14th Streets at the iconic Midtown Atlanta mixed-use destination.

Colony Square marks the seventh and largest food hall in Politan Group’s portfolio, with room for 11 local, independent restaurant owners looking to grow their businesses in a dynamic, collaborative environment. Both Gekko and Pretty Little Tacos will debut their first brick and mortar locations at the food hall.

“You are going to see food from these two entrepreneurs that you couldn’t find anywhere else. That’s the fun part about developing new restaurants in our food hall,” said Will Donaldson, founder and CEO of Politan Group. “We provide a lower-risk alternative to traditional restaurant ownership that fosters learning and growth in the aspiring restaurateur while they cultivate their brand.”

The newest concepts opening at Politan Row at Colony Square this summer are:

  • Gekko, a hibachi and sushi experience by Jack Bai, presents high-quality ingredients that are fresh and fast. Previously, Bai invested his talents in Gekko, originating as a hibachi and sushi food truck that opened in the fall of 2017. Gekko is already known and loved at Colony Square through its participation in the seasonal food truck series where Bai established a very loyal group of fans. Bai’s bowls are colorful, fresh and lighter than hibachi fare. A fan favorite is the spicy ponzu tuna bowl, which is both healthy and satisfying.
  • Pretty Little Tacos is a Creole-Mexican street taco concept founded by Michaela Merrick in May 2020. An industry veteran, Merrick launched in Triton Yards last year and immediately established a loyal following. Merrick took the challenges of opening at the height of the pandemic head on to follow her dream. Pretty Little Tacos is known for a focus on Birria, a decadent beef taco that is dipped in a flavorful broth, which is trending everywhere. In addition to the popular dish, she offers street taco favorites of chicken, oxtail, shrimp and steak options. Merrick also plans to offer vegan alternatives, as well as dessert tacos, including peach cobbler and strawberry shortcake, to her space at Politan Row.

“Opening a new business is risky, but opening a new business during a pandemic was unheard of,” said Merrick. “While it was challenging, I learned a lot about myself and my business and was blown away by the support received from the community. I’ve been looking to expand and Politan Row was the perfect opportunity. I am so excited to be a part of this unique experience and to bring my tacos to the hustle and bustle of Peachtree and 14th Streets.”

The grand opening celebration for Politan Row at Colony Square will kick off on Thursday, June 24 with a ticketed VIP event, followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, June 25, and all-day festivities for the community to enjoy on Saturday, June 26. Guests will be invited to delight in the food hall’s delicious cuisines and explore its expansive community spaces, including its central bar, secret bar, 20,000 square feet of indoor seating and 22,000 square feet of outdoor dining space, brought together by a large opening wall that opens up the interior space to engage with the outdoors. The food hall is connected to the mixed-use destination’s 10,000-square-foot open-air Plaza, which will be energized weekly with yoga, live music, comedy acts and movie nights.

“Working with these local entrepreneurs to turn their dreams into reality – in the midst of a global pandemic – has been nothing short of inspiring. We have greatly enjoyed getting to know the vendors so far and look forward to helping them grow their brands in Midtown’s Living Room,” said Adam Schwegman, partner and SVP of leasing at North American Properties (NAP).

Politan Row at Colony Square will be the latest addition to the mixed-use destination’s retail, restaurant and entertainment collection. Most recently, luxury dine-in movie theater IPIC debuted its first Georgia location at Colony Square. Later this year, Colony Square will welcome Serena Pastificio, Holeman and Finch Public House, Rumi’s Kitchen, King of Pops, Lush Nail Bar, Sunnies and Saints + Council to the diverse tenant mix.

Jack Bai, Gekko

Michaela Merrick, Pretty Little Tacos