By John Schaffner

Demolition work was completed and foundation work had begun for new construction at The Streets of Buckhead, as Ben Carter Properties announced Dec. 15 that another new upscale restaurant and two more retailers have committed to the $1.2 billion Buckhead centerpiece that is scheduled to open in 2009.

Japanese restaurant Japonais will open its first Atlanta location at The Streets of Buckhead.

“Japonais is one of the hottest and most talked about restaurants in the country and will be a perfect complement to the Atlanta palate,” said Ben Carter, founder and chairman of Ben Carter Properties, LLC. “Japonais is the third New York-based restaurant to join The Streets of Buckhead and we expect to announce several others soon.”

Additional restaurants announced to open at The Streets of Buckhead in 2009 include Bottega del Vino and La Goulue. Japonais currently has locations in three hotspot cities, Chicago, New York and Las Vegas.

Japonais offers signature sushi and cold appetizers by world-renowned sushi chef/partner Jun Ichikawa and hot appetizers and entrées by celebrated chef /partner Gene Kato. The restaurants’ signature red brick walls, ebony wood screens and gold accents create a dramatic, inviting and warm space (

Also Dec. 15, Carter Properties announced the signing of two additional luxury retailers, Vilebrequin and Optical Shop of Aspen, for The Streets of Buckhead.

Debuting in Saint-Tropez in the early 1970’s, Vilebrequin is known worldwide for its “Father and Son’s” matching swim trunk collections. Offering over 80 prints in several styles, Vilebrequin will occupy 850 square feet of space. Vilebrequin boutiques are found in Bal Harbour Shops in Miami, Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, Boston’s Copley Place, Palm Beach’s Worth Avenue, New York’s Madison Avenue, and throughout the world. (

Optical innovator Larry Sands opened a single eyewear shop in the 1970’s and quickly evolved into a leading luxury eyewear manufacturer and distributor. The eyewear products retailer showcases brands like Chrome Hearts, Kieselstein-Cord, Blinde and Matsuda. Optical Shop of Aspen will occupy 840 square feet at The Streets of Buckhead (

Additional boutique retailers announced to open in 2009 at the mixed-use community currently under construction in the heart of the former Buckhead Village include Hermes, Etro, Domenico Vacca, Bottega Veneta, Loro Piana, Borrelli, and AG Adriano Goldschmeid.

To date, two hotels also have committed to the development. The new project will be home to Atlanta’s first Hotel Monaco, a Kimpton luxury boutique hotel with 283 rooms. Atlanta-based Barry Hotel Partners also will build a 1Hotel & Residences, which will feature 100 condominium residences, a 175-key hotel, spa and restaurant.