Photo by Heather Middleton
By Maria-Jose Subiria
If your pallet craves sushi, Lo Mein and fried chicken, Atlantic Buffet, in Jonesboro, may satisfy that appetite.
Offering patrons a lavish interior design, the new restaurant, located at 8562 Tara Blvd., near Smith Street, is scheduled to have a ribbon-cutting ceremony, on Friday, Aug. 13., at 11:30 a.m., according to Clayton County Chamber of Commerce officials.
The restaurant, which opened July 16, operates Sundays through Thursdays, from 11 a.m., to 9:30 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays, from 11 a.m., to 10:30 p.m., said Aaron Chen, owner of the eatery.
Chen said the restaurant offers patrons nine food bars, including Asian, sushi, American and oven bars. The oven bar contains various food selections, such as barbecue pork, barbecue chicken, chicken kabob and squid, he said. The sushi bar offers patrons sushi rolls, California rolls, shrimp, raw oysters and spicy tuna rolls, he added.
Chen said the food is kept fresh, and changed consistently.
Patrons may purchase a lunch buffet, Monday through Friday, for $5.99, and $6.99 on Saturday, said Chen. The dinner buffet begins after 4 p.m., for $7.99, Monday through Thursday, and $9.99 on Friday and Saturday, he added. On Sundays, the buffet, which includes snow crab legs, is $9.99 throughout the restaurant's operating hours, he said.
Jonesboro resident and patron, Maranda Bright, said the restaurant has a nice ambiance. "They have not only Chinese food, but all kinds of food," she said, with a smile. "The prices are not that bad," added her sister, Simone Bright.
Patron, Ada Lozano, of College Station, Texas, said Atlantic buffet is a very elegant restaurant. "I've been to a lot of Chinese restaurants," said Lozano in Spanish. "This is the best one I've been to."
The diverse buffet restaurant also offers party rooms, both a large one and a smaller one. The large event room can seat approximately 170 people, while the smaller room holds about 110 patrons, according to restaurant management.
Chen said if individuals want to reserve space in a party room during a weekday, they must call the restaurant at least three days in advance, at (770) 471-6688. If a patron wants to use a party room on a weekend, he or she must reserve it several weeks ahead of the event date, said the 28-year-old Chen.
"We are looking for more business," said Chen. He said he owns another Atlantic Buffet, in Marietta, and business is doing very well there.
Chen said the Marietta location has been operating for six months and another location in Snellville will soon be added. The restaurant owner said he chose to open an Atlantic Buffet in Jonesboro, because he thought Clayton County was in need of a high-quality, buffet restaurant.
"I wanted to expand to the south," he said, adding that, before choosing the Jonesboro location, market research showed that approximately 150,000 people reside within a 5-mile radius of the site. The results of the research, he said, assisted him in ultimately choosing the location.
Chen said that overall, his approximately 13,000-square-foot restaurant can seat about 400 patrons. The facility, he said, was originally about 9,000 square feet, and in terrible condition. He said he added the adjacent unit, which provided another 4,000 square feet.
Renovations, he added, cost more than $500,000, but transformed the space into a more appealing place for customers, as apparent from the soothing colors on the restaurant's walls and other interior details that create a relaxed and comfortable environment.
And, Chen added: "We play very soft music here."