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Things To Do Forsyth County {Weekend Edition}

best things to do this weekend

Things to Do Forsyth County For The Weekend Of February 22-24

Happy weekend, FoCo! This past week, I announced an event that is being put on by SwimKids of Georgia. It’s FREE to attend and I think an important cause. For all the details, check out the article – Save The Date: FREE Childhood Drowning Prevention Forum. This event is taking place on March 2nd. I hope to see you there!

If you are a business that hosts summer camps – you will want to submit your camp to be included in my summer camp guide asap!

QUICK REMINDER – if you have an event or activity coming up, make sure you add it to Forsyth County’s community calendar. You can do that by clicking here.

Friday:

Saturday:

Sunday:

Click here for all the Calendar information.

Kids Eat Free

  • Take a break from cooking this weekend and go out to eat where the Kids Eat Free

Don’t Miss these Posts:

No matter what you do this weekend, we hope you enjoy it & have a safe one!


This post is sponsored by:


{Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash}

Aspiring Authors Invited to Local Writing and Publishing Events

Local authors are expected to converge on all branches of the Forsyth County Public Library this spring to join free showcases, author talks, writing workshops, and publishing seminars as part of the library’s Forsyth Writes Together series sponsored by the FCPL Friends & Advocates.

“We offer so much support for local writers all year round, but this spring’s Forsyth Writes Together series delivers five events with a powerful combination of instructors, authors, and publishers to help aspiring authors in our community find their voice, hone their craft, and get their work in front of an audience,” explains Programming Manager Tracy Walker.

Forsyth resident Ginger Garrett, author of The Last Monster published by Delacorte Press, will give the keynote address at the Forsyth Writes Together Community Authors Showcase at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 3 at the Sharon Forks Library, 2820 Old Atlanta Road, Cumming.

“Ms. Garrett leads a writing group for teens at our Post Road branch and her experience in writing fiction for both adults and younger readers gives her a unique perspective on how to find your audience,” says Walker.

Following Garrett’s remarks, participants can meet more than 15 local authors to learn about their writing styles and habits, check out their books from the library’s collection, and even purchase books and have them signed by the authors.

The Community Authors Showcase features works of fiction and nonfiction for adult audiences. Admission is free and the event is open to the public.

Author and lecturer M. Jayson Graham will lead a seminar on epic story creation the following weekend.

After graduating from Howard University, Graham spent six years in Los Angeles working with independent production companies to develop television series pilots, show bibles and feature film scripts. Graham is a frequent speaker at Momocon, Dragoncon, Gencon, Onyxcon, and Dreamhack and his seminar at the library will help aspiring writers learn techniques for crafting their story ideas into novels, comic books, and film series.

An Introduction to Epic Story Creation will begin at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 16 at the Post Road Library, 5010 Post Road, Cumming. Admission to the 2-hour seminar is free and open to the public.

After learning about idea development and world building for long-form stories, writers can perfect their character creation and plot pacing in a hands-on workshop with Dr. Leverett Butts, author of the award-winning Guns of the Waste Land series, at the Sharon Forks Library on Saturday, March 23 at 10:15 a.m.

During his 2-hour workshop, Dr. Butts will discuss helpful writing habits and lead exercises to improve brainstorming, planning, and drafting initial ideas for writers at any stage of the process, from imagining a first story to completing a work in progress.

He will also explain how tools like Joseph Campbell’s stages of the hero’s journey and Carl Jung’s archetypes can guide writers in advancing the plot and provide insight to make characters more vibrant.

Admission to Creative Writing Workshop: Character Creation and Plot is free and the workshop is open to the public.

Several successful children’s book authors also make their homes in Forsyth County. Two such authors, Shanda McCloskey and Kristy Hamby, will appear as part of a panel discussion on how to publish books for children on Saturday, April 6 at 10:30 a.m. at the Hampton Park Library, 5345 Settingdown Road, Cumming.

McCloskey’s debut picture book, DOLL-E 1.0 published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, was recently recognized by the National Science Teachers Association as one of the best STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) books of 2019 and she is expected to speak about the unique challenges of both writing and illustrating a children’s book.

McCloskey will also take questions about her second book, T-Bone the Drone, explaining the steps in the publishing process and the work to be done before the book is released this fall.

Hamby’s debut picture book, Chicken Lips, is the story of a cow on a mission to find the meaning behind his seemingly silly name. Before school is out for summer, Hamby will have visited more than 50 elementary schools and preschools to read her book, lead creative writing exercises, and share songs inspired by the story and recorded by local musicians.

Hamby is expected to speak about the joys and challenges of working with an illustrator to tell the story, as well as her experiences in promoting Chicken Lips in-person and online.

Angela DeCaires, CEO of Alpharetta-based publisher BookLogix, and Steve Floyd, CEO of Atlanta-based August House Publishing, will also join the panel.

DeCaires and Floyd are expected to discuss the differences between independent and traditional publishing. They will also share strategies to help aspiring authors navigate the publishing business,

Questions from the audience will be welcomed and admission to the “How to Publish a Children’s Book” event is free and open to the public.

“Though writing events at libraries are generally intended for people writing books, our community is rich with talented people who aspire to write for television and movies, and Georgia’s reputation as a great place to film continues to grow,” says Walker.

There’s something for budding screenwriters at Forsyth Writes Together, too.

Writer, director, and producer Michael Lucker will teach Screenwriting 101 on Sunday, April 14 at 2:00 p.m. at the Cumming Library.

Lucker helped pen more than 30 feature screenplays including the animated sequels to Disney’s Mulan, Lilo & Stitch, The Emperor’s New Groove, and 101 Dalmatians. Lucker also worked on the Academy Award nominated animated film Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron.

In this seminar, Lucker will share what he’s learned working as a Hollywood screenwriter to help participants develop a base of knowledge to succeed in the film industry and master the skills required to tell great stories.

Admission to Screenwriting 101 is free and open to the public.

“We want all local writers to know that their library can support their efforts with free resources like online writing tutorials, research databases, and reference materials, and we even host groups for writers to share their ideas or work-in-progress and receive constructive feedback from their peers,” explains Walker.

Both the Post Road and Sharon Forks libraries host writing groups for adults, while the Cumming and Post Road branches host writing groups for teens.

“Forsyth Writes Together is a valuable opportunity to connect with other writers, learn from their unique experiences, and be inspired to publish your own work. All the events in the series are free – you don’t even need a library card to participate,” encourages Walker.

Forsyth Writes Together 2019 is sponsored by the library and FCPL Friends & Advocates.

Find details on all Forsyth Writes Together author talks, workshops, and seminars on the events calendar at www.forsythpl.org.

Flavors by Julie: Rosati’s Authentic Chicago Pizza

rosati's chicago style pizza

On a very warm summer afternoon, after finishing a bit of work, there was only one thing that I wanted to have for lunch – a really good Caesar salad.  A few restaurant names came to mind.  My friend mentioned we should try Rosati’s Chicago Style Pizza.  I will admit I wasn’t sure how good the Caesar salad would be at a Chicago pizza sports pub but I figured I’d give it a try.  And I am glad I did.

The Caesar salad was exactly what I wanted and tasted great.  Fresh, crisp, wonderfully flavored and with just the right amount of shaved parmesan cheese to make my trip a most joyful one.  I also ordered Bruschetta and enjoyed every bite.  The toasted baguette pieces were perfect, and the tomato, garlic, olive oil, and basil combination was delightful.

I decided to return and try their pizza since, after all, that is what they are known for.  The pie (pizza) was flavorful and cooked to perfection. The sauce was just right; and for someone whose father is Italian, I believe the sauce defines the meal.

Rosati’s is a franchise with over 200 restaurants in the US.  The restaurant is proud of its history, which began in 1895 when an Italian immigrant from the region of Naples, Italy, by the name of Ferdinand Rosati opened a fine-dining Italian restaurant on Coney Island.   In 1906, Rosati moved to Chicago and started yet another Italian restaurant on Chicago’s famous Taylor Street.

Back then, the pizza was strictly old-world Italian fare, simply a tomato sauce served on crisp bread that Ferdinand often put on the table as a special offering to his customers. Today’s pizzas are a bit more elaborate, with a wide range of ingredients to choose from.  Every pie is made to perfection to satisfy even the most discerning taste.

Rosati’s offers more than just pizza.  Pub-style sandwiches and a host of other treats are available.  The menu is extensive.  TV screens surround the walls of the restaurant making it a sporting haven for enthusiasts.  Each booth has its own screen as well.

As for this foodie, I was just happy to find a perfect Caesar salad on a hot Saturday afternoon.

415 Peachtree Pkwy., Suite 200
Cumming GA
678-513-1113
Myrosatis.com

Dining Room Hours:
Sun-Thurs 11am-10pm
Fri & Sat 11 am-12am
Bar Hours: Daily 11am-12am

 


Julie Brennan has been publishing My Forsyth magazine since 2010. She volunteers as part of the Kick It Up and REACH programs for MentorMe North Georgia, South Forsyth High School Culinary School Program, and the Forsyth County Schools College and Career Development Program. Julie was born and raised on the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico. We like to refer to her as the Forsyth Foodie full of local flavor!

Follow Along with Forsyth Foodie: Facebook | Instagram 

To learn more about Julie and other contributing writers, click here.

Nine Signs That Your Child Is Being Bullied

Thank you to Christi Cawley, M.A., Lower School Counselor at Pinecrest Academy for writing this impactful article on bullying.

A parent’s natural instinct is to protect his or her child from harm.  That’s why the issue of bullying is top of mind for most parents of school-aged children.  It’s first important to understand what bullying is so that the signs may be recognized and addressed.

Bullying behavior can be distinguished from other inappropriate behavior by remembering the acronym “RIP,” which stands for:
  • Repeated
  • Imbalance of Power
  • Purposeful
While “repeated” and “purposeful” are self-explanatory, the “imbalance of power” criterion can sometimes be confusing. Here are some examples of power imbalances between children: physical (size/strength), social standing/popularity, and being outnumbered (two or more children picking on or excluding another child).
Bullying can take several forms:
  • Physical (hitting, punching, beating)
  • Verbal (teasing, name-calling, threats)
  • Emotional (intimidation using gestures, social exclusion, threats)
  • Sexual
  • Racial
  • Cyberbullying (online harassment, hate messages, threats, impersonation, and other digital abuse)
  • Hazing
Signs that may point to a bullying problem:
  1. Unexplainable injuries;
  2. Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics, or jewelry;
  3. Frequent headaches or stomach aches; feeling sick or faking illness;
  4. Changes in eating habits, like suddenly skipping meals or binge eating. Kids may come home; from school hungry because they did not eat lunch;
  5. Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares;
  6. Declining grades, loss of interest in schoolwork, or not wanting to go to school;
  7. Sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations;
  8. Feelings of helplessness or decreased self-esteem;
  9. Self-destructive behaviors such as running away from home, harming themselves, or talking about suicide.
Sadly, adults are notified in less than half (40%) of bullying incidents, so it is important to recognize the signs and communicate with your child in a calm, open manner.  Kids don’t ask for help for many reasons, including: fear of being seen as weak or a tattletale, fear of retaliation from the bully, embarrassment, fear of punishment for being weak, feeling like no one cares/would understand, fear of rejection by peers, and belief that adults can’t or won’t help them.
Most parents (if their child tells them about a problem) tell their children to 1) ignore it; and/or 2) “stand up” for themselves.  These strategies are good life skills for children to have, but they are typically more effective in situations where there is not an imbalance of power or the behavior is a minor, one-time incident.  Our job as adults is to help children when they need us, and in a true bullying situation, they do.
The effects of bullying can be very severe, long-term, and life-altering. Please reach out to your child’s teacher, school counselor, and dean immediately if you have concerns about a potential bullying situation.
Sources:
Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

 Pinecrest Academy is a private Catholic school serving Pre-K through 12 students. We provide an atmosphere of academic rigor and critical thinking while offering personalized attention in a Christ-centered environment of faith and reason.

Connect with Pinecrest Academy: Online | Facebook

Save The Date: FREE Childhood Drowning Prevention Forum – March 2nd, 2019

It’s astonishing to me that an estimated 360,000 people die from drowning each year worldwide. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the leading cause of unintentional-injury related death among children between ages 1 and 4. It is also the number 2 cause in children from 5-14. What is even more crazy to me is that nearly 70% of those deaths are preventable. More than 50 percent of drowning victims treated in emergency room departments require hospitalization or further care. These nonfatal drowning injuries can cause severe brain injury resulting in long-term or permanent disabilities.

This issue is truly a matter of life and death for children and is preventable.

I am so thrilled to be sharing with you about the Childhood Drowning Prevention Forum. You will want to save the date!

Save The Date: Childhood Drowning Prevention Forum

Date: March 2, 2019
Location: Cumming Community Center
Time: 12-3 pm

Grab Your FREE Tickets By Clicking Here

Diedre Rowe, MD, “Survival swim is a helpful tool in the prevention of childhood drowning. I’ve had all my kids go through the survival swim program.”

Two Passionate Visionaries Come Together:

Nadyne Siegel-Brown, CEO of SwimKids of Georgia and founder of the non-profit J.A.C.O.B. (Just A Couple Of Bubbles), who has passionately taught infant aquatic survival for 32 years. The J.A.C.O.B. Foundation provides survival swim lessons for underprivileged kids.

Nicole Hughes, Founder of the nonprofit Water Guardians: Levi’s Legacy. Water Guardians promote the need for water safety and the development of infant swim survival skills.

Sadly, Nicole’s support of this important effort was a result of the loss her 3-year old son Levi to drowning on June 10, 2018, while on a family vacation.  Levi’s accident occurred on the same day that former world cup alpine ski racer Bode Miller and his wife Morgan lost their 19-month-old daughter Emmy.  Since the accidents, Nicole and the Millers have been working with the American Academy of Pediatrics at a National level to create more attention on this extremely important topic.

What To Expect At The Forum

Childhood Drowning Prevention Forum: This community event will feature guest speakers and subject matter experts including: Nicole Hughes, Diedre Rowe, MD Pediatric at a major local children’s hospital, and a First Responder, from Forsyth Fire and Rescue. All will share their insights on the need to raise the awareness around drowning prevention and measures that may be taken to protect your children.

The panel of subject matter experts will present recommendations and insights for drowning prevention and layers of protection recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

In addition to the panel discussion from 1-2 pm there will be kids’ activities from 12-3 pm that will include, face painting, jumping tent, kids Pilates, local fire trucks and food trucks.  SwimKids of Georgia will be raffling free survival swim lessons for those who sign up at the conference.

[Learn More about Childhood Drowning Prevention]

Nadyne Siegel-Brown “We live in a lake community with thousands of swimming pools in subdivisions and backyards so drowning prevention should be high on everyone’s radar. We want the coming Childhood Drowning Prevention Forum to be the next big step in drowning prevention for our community.”

We hope to see you there! Don’t forget to reserve your spot. And again, it is a free but very informative community event.


SwimKids of Georgia, with over 30 years of child survival swim experience and close to 10,000 children taught, offers unparalleled knowledge, experience and success.

Connect Online: Website | Facebook

Choosing The Right Path For Your Child’s Education

Weighing the benefits of a more custom education style and the cost of the school is enough to stress any parent out. Don’t let the overwhelming amount of information deter you from making one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make for your child: where they receive an education.

If you are planning for the 2019-2020 school year, let Horizon Christian Academy help your child find their bigger purpose at school. To help you with your decision, below are the five main benefits of your child attending HCA.

Smaller Class Sizes and Increased Teacher Dedication

One of the most effective ways to improve student performance is to decrease the size of the classroom. This can completely change the dynamic of the student-teacher relationship. Your child will be able to receive the attention they need to learn and grow in a way that meets their individual needs.

Your Child Will be Known by Teachers

Due to the strong emphasis on teacher-student relationships, you can be secure in knowing that educators are aware of your child’s strengths and limitations. The class sizes are smaller which leads to more opportunities for relationship development. Your child will not go unnoticed. The more comfortable your child feels is directly correlated to their performance.

Community Focused Environment

When students are a part of something with a bigger purpose, they are more likely to feel a sense of belonging and dedication. At HCA, your student will want to be involved in serving the community. The goal at HCA is to develop a heart of servant leadership, first through biblical teaching and then with a hands-on approach.

A Shared Educational Philosophy

If you are looking for a school that helps extend the biblical foundation that you are laying for your child, HCA is the perfect partner for you. Our Christ-centered focus allows us to continue the biblical teachings you are doing at home. This will help your child develop independence and unique skills that are extended beyond what would be gained at a public school.

Encouraged Participation in Extracurricular Activities

A wide variety of extracurricular activities are offered at HCA, and a high level of involvement is encouraged. It is proven that students involved in activities outside the classroom have lower levels of stress and higher levels of motivation. Not only are these activities a good break for the brain, but they also encourage the crucial development of soft skills and even discipline.

If you want to know more about the Horizon Christian Academy difference, join them on a Tour with the Principals held throughout the year. Check out their Facebook page for more details


More About Horizon Christian Academy:

Home to approximately 225 students and 45 full and part-time staff members, Horizon Christian Academy offers a Christian-educational experience serving Forsyth and surrounding north Georgia counties. Horizon continues to be fiercely committed to the complete development of students, both educationally and spiritually, making it the perfect home for families seeking an all-encompassing education driven to foster a Christ-like character in the lives of their children.

Connect with HCA Online: Website | Facebook | Twitter

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” Colossians 3:23

Dine In At Luca Brasi’s Pizzeria ASAP

Guys, I’m having a hard time writing up this article because I’m so freakin’ excited to tell you a couple things about Luca Brasi’s Pizzeria! First, let me give you some background. I have been a fan of Luca Brasi’s since before they even opened. I discovered them because they are two doors down from my daughter’s dance studio, Footprints. During their initial construction, I  meet Richard & Bridgette Stanley. I loved them from the start. I can always feel and see passion oozing out of business owners. This couple definitely has it and I loved seeing that!

Once they opened, I picked up dinner most Thursday nights after dance class. The weeknight special is too good to pass up. And perfect for a busy weeknight during the school year. Ok – now on to the new stuff that I’m thrilled to share with you!

New Dine-In Option

The inside of Luca Brasi’s Pizzeria has been completely remodeled and it looks so GOOD. This picture doesn’t do it justice. Everything from the wall decor, chandeliers, booths, and much more were done so nicely! The ambiance of the place is perfect. You’ve just got to go by and check it out for yourself.

New Menu

In addition to the new look inside, they also updated and expanded their menu. {Insider tip: I have been told that they will continue to add new items from time to time so stay tuned!}

Some new menu items to point out would be:

  • Baked Johnny Sausage (Italian sausage • slow-cooked house Sunday gravy (onion • bell pepper) • wrapped in dough • Sunday gravy)
  • Chicago Egg Rolls (seasoned roast beef • garlic and onion mashed potatoes • Giardiniera • Grande cheese • au jus)
  • Baby Face Nelson Burger (Boar’s Head applewood smoked bacon • caramelized onion • sauteed spinach and mushrooms • gorgonzola)
  • Machine Gun Kelly Sandwich (fresh cut rib-eyesteak•pepper•onion• mushroom • Grande provolone cheese • hoagie roll).
  • Vinny Gorgeous (Buffalo Base • chicken • caramelized onion • Boar’s Head applewood smoked bacon • Grande cheese • buffalo sauce • ranch)

Follow this link to see the full menu

New Hours

With the new dine-in plus new menu, it was time to update their hours. The new hours are as follows:

  • Monday: 4pm-9pm
  • Wednesday & Thursday: 11am-9pm
  • Friday & Saturday: 1pm-10pm
  • Sunday: 12pm-8pm

Please note: Luca Brasi’s Pizzeria is closed on Tuesdays

New Private Event Hosting

With the new schedule in place, a fabulous new menu, and an excellent local spot – Luca Brasi’s would be a perfect choice to host any events you have coming up this year. Birthday parties, company parties, engagement parties and much more! You are welcome to book these parties from 8am-8pm on Tuesdays or between 8am-4pm Monday, Wednesday or Thursday.

For more information, call Richard or Bridgette directly at (470) 281-5707.


Ok – that’s all I’ve got. Go have yourself some yummy food and support this fabulous locally owned and operated business. Last but not least, please let me know what you think once you try them out!

Happy Eating!


More About Luca Brasi’s:

Richard Stanley started making pizzas for friends, parties and school events in the early 90’s. His pizza was always a hit. In fact, people would constantly tell him that he should open up a pizza joint of his own. Back then, his life was devoted to being a father to five amazing kids. Now that his kids have grown up, he has put all his passion and energy into Luca Brasi’s. It is his calling. Luca Brasi’s opened in January 2017 and has been serving up authentic Chicago style deep dish and New York style hand-tossed pizza to Forsyth County as carryout or dine-in.

Address: 4335 Bethelview Rd Cumming 30040
Phone: 470-271-5707

Connect online with Luca Brasi’s: Website | Facebook | Menu | Subscribe to the VIP List

Fulbright Scholar Begins African American History Series at Library

African American History Month begins this Friday, February 1 and Forsyth County Public Library will present a series of guest lectures and discussions for adults throughout the month.

A Fulbright scholar and filmmaker from the Ivory Coast of West Africa will present the first program in the Celebrating African American Heritage series at the Post Road Library on Monday, February 4 at 7:00 p.m.

Dr. Gnimbin A. Ouattara is an Associate Professor of History and International Studies at Brenau University and will speak on the initial African reaction to the Transatlantic slave trade with a focus on Adahu, the first African slave mentioned by name in historical documents.

The second event in the series will bring an archivist from the Atlanta University Center to share stories and images about the accomplishments and struggles of African Americans in military service.

“Last year’s series began with a presentation on the Tuskegee Airmen by Getchel Caldwell of Clark Atlanta University and that event was so well-received that we wanted to be sure that this year’s series included a discussion on military history,” says Programming Manager Tracy Walker.

Sarah Tanner, Head of the Archives Research Center at the Atlanta University Robert W. Woodruff Library, will speak on “African Americans in Times of War” on Saturday, February 9 at 11:00 a.m. at the Sharon Forks Library.

Following the presentation, Ms. Tanner will discuss how this history is represented in the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library’s Archives Research Center, how genealogists and other storytellers can access these materials, where to find digital resources and the importance of archival material in telling this story.

At 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 9, Dr. Jürgen E. Grandt of the University of North Georgia will present “Syncopated Switzerland: Hot Jazz in the Cold Alps” at the Cumming Library.

African American in its origins and embraced by the world, jazz music has been influenced by many international cultures. Dr. Grandt will explain how and why jazz music found its way to the heart of Alpine Europe and introduce listeners to the music of two Swiss musicians whose improvisations celebrate the origins of jazz and what it means to be a citizen of the world.

Dr. Ian Afflerbach of the University of North Georgia will conclude the series with a book club-style discussion of “Recitatif,” a short story by one of the nation’s most distinguished African-American authors, Toni Morrison. The discussion will be held at the Hampton Park Library on Saturday, February 23 at 3:00 p.m.

Morrison has won the Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize, and National Book Award for her novels, and yet during her 50-year career, she has only written one short story.

“This story may be her most captivating because it examines the lives of two women–one white, one black–as they grow from childhood to maturity. But here’s the catch: Morrison refuses to tell the reader which woman is black and which is white,” explains Walker of the story’s popularity across book clubs and classroom discussions.

Morrison’s story, as Dr. Afflerbach will discuss, offers a thought-experiment about how readers “see” race and how we come to associate certain races with social, economic, or cultural behaviors from food preferences to music to religion.

Complimentary copies of “Recitatif” are available at the Ask Us desk of all four branches of the library.

Admission to each event in the Celebrating African American Heritage series is free and open to the public. For more information, please visit the events calendar on the library’s website at www.forsythpl.org.

Flavors by Julie: Palapas

Palapas Bar & Grill

Great Food Under “the Hut” Or On The Go

Mexican food has gained popularity over the years. As of 2011, there are more Mexican restaurants than Italian bistros, Chinese kitchens, chicken rotisseries, or seafood shacks in the US. That means that no less than 38,000 Mexican restaurants are dispersed all across the American landscape (Data was obtained from the 2011 US Economic Census of the US Census Bureau). Located in Cumming, Palapas Bar & Grill is fast becoming one of Forsyth County’s most popular Mexican restaurants. Besides great food, the restaurant offers exceptional service and a fun atmosphere. “Life is good under the hut,” explained Oziel “Ozie” Rodriguez, owner of Palapas Bar & Grill. “Palapas means hut, and our goal is to serve the best quality food to our guests.” Palapas feature a vast menu, featuring traditional Mexican dishes and the addition of unique combinations that are likely to please even the most discerning taste. Ozie is no stranger to the Forsyth County community, as he is the owner of Carniceria Hernandez, a staple in the community since for 12 years. “The carniceria opened in October 2003.” He has also provided interpretation services to Forsyth County courts and businesses. Palapas’ fun environment and colorful décor make it a great place for adults looking for a place to watch sports or enjoy an adult beverage as well as families looking for a family-friendly environment where their kids can enjoy the food and their time. “Our goal is to provide a quality product to our patrons. We are proud of our service, our food, and our offerings,” Ozie affirmed. A private room is available for parties, special events, and meetings. Palapas also offers catering. Check out their Weekly Specials on their Facebook page.

Palapas Bar & Grill
2950 Buford Highway
Cumming, Ga 30051
770-889-1002
www.palapasbargrill.com

Monday-Thursday 11am – 10pm
Friday – 11am – 11pm
Saturday – 11:30am to 11pm
Sunday – 11:30am to 10pm

** EXCITING NEWS: Palapas has a second location hopefully opening soon on Matt Hwy in the new Walmart shopping center. I will be sure to let you know as soon as I know the planned open date!


Julie Brennan has been publishing My Forsyth magazine since 2010. She volunteers as part of the Kick It Up and REACH programs for MentorMe North Georgia, South Forsyth High School Culinary School Program, and the Forsyth County Schools College and Career Development Program. Julie was born and raised in the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico. We like to refer to her as the Forsyth Foodie full of local flavor!

Follow Along with Forsyth Foodie: Facebook | Instagram 

To learn more about Julie and other contributing writers, click here.

Halcyon Forsyth: Here’s What You Need To Know

I have been so curious as to what the status of all things Halcyon Forsyth is lately. So I reached out and got TONS of information. Of course, I had to share all this with you! I hope it answers some questions you had as well. And of course, keep scrolling as this article contains tons of information for you!

Confirmed Retail Tenant Information

CMX

Halcyon’s first signed tenant is a state-of-the-art cinema venue – CMX. The deluxe cinema chain will open a 9-screen, 38,000-square-foot theater, marking its first Metro Atlanta location and one of its first in the country. Halcyon’s CMX theater will include approximately 500 luxury seats in its 10 viewing rooms, with the ultimate in audiovisual technology by Meyer Sound Laboratories and one Dolby Atmos room, which takes traditional surround sound to the next level enabling powerful moving audio to travel from all directions.

The theater will also offer full-service gourmet in-seat dining and an exceptional assortment of wines, as well as handcrafted cocktails made-to-order by a top mixologist. Additionally, the theater will feature oversized full recliners with a swivel table and a service push button. Each chair will include a dim LED light and storage compartments for purses and shopping bags for added convenience. CMX will be the only dine-in movie theater in Forsyth County, giving residents and visitors an upscale dine-in and relaxing movie experience. The VIP Cinema experience extends to any portable device with CMX’s extensive and easy to use geo-targeted application, allowing customers to pre-purchase tickets and order food.

Marc Taft concepts

Atlanta Chef Marc Taft will bring three restaurant concepts to Forsyth County that will include CO-OP Community Table + Bar, FEED – Fried Chicken + Such and Best Burger. The three concepts will augment Halcyon’s southern appeal and launches the many choices that will be available to visitors and residents.

CO-OP Community Table + Bar will be a full-service, farm-to-table concept with a Southern ingredient focus. CO-OP will be a neighborhood-gathering place that will provide effusive Southern hospitality while emphasizing the importance of sustainability.

FEED Fried Chicken + Such is a fast-casual concept that was inspired by Southern roadside restaurants Taft ate at with his family while traveling from Alabama to East Tennessee to see his Grandmother. Taft’s team of experts is carefully crafting more details about Best Burger.

Cherry Street Brewing

Cherry Street Brewing will open a nearly 6,000-square-foot brewpub and beer garden in the center of the restaurant village. Already a local Forsyth staple, Cherry Street will fit perfectly into Halcyon’s locally focused tenant list. As a brewpub, it will bring both locally brewed beer and food to the new location. The brewpub will have 19 Cherry Street beers on tap, including existing fan favorites and a new HALCYON-specific brew.

 Cherry Street recently won the title of Grand National Champion at the 2017 U.S. Open Beer Championship, taking home three gold, one silver and two bronze medals for its various beers. Several of the award-winning beers will be staples at the Halcyon location.  As a brewpub, Cherry Street will also feature an upscale pub food menu with seasonal, chef-inspired food options. The brewpub and beer garden is designed with the greenery-focused, open-air style of Halcyon in mind.  The beer garden will feature communal tables, ample bar space and a stage for special events. 

Never Enough Thyme:

Never Enough Thyme, which opened its first location in Alpharetta, is a family-owned-and-operated gourmet restaurant that specializes in high-quality, homemade food. The owners, Michele and Mike Doyle, and Rob and Patrice Pniewski, are relocating the restaurant and expanding at its new Halcyon location. The new location will be open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and will occupy approximately 3,500 square feet and is positioned between the green space and CMX.

“For 15 years, we have loved being a neighborhood gathering space known for our homemade food, and fast and friendly service,” said Michele Doyle. “Now, as the area is changing, we are excited to change with it by moving to Halcyon, where we hope to maintain our regulars and attract new guests.”

Sweet Tuna

Sweet Tuna, a Hawaiian Fresh Poke concept, is opening its second Georgia location and first Market Hall concept at Halcyon. Sweet Tuna employs a different approach than other Poke concepts: rather than using pre-made flavorings from distributors, it crafts its own flavorings for the authentic build-your-own bowl experience.

The Sweet Tuna chef has a background in fine dining at sushi restaurants and will introduce seasonal dishes, desserts and limited-time flavorings at the Halcyon location. All bowls are gluten-free and made with organic produce sourced from local farmers.

Pita Mediterranean Street Food

Pita, a Mediterranean street food concept that is already a Georgia staple, is also opening its first Market Hall concept at Halcyon. It will bring authentic Mediterranean culture and an open kitchen with cooked-to-order food to its newest location. In typical Mediterranean style, Pita will feature vertical rotisseries, peanut, and dairy free food, certified halal meats and authentic, pure olive oils.

Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee Company

Founded by Jonathan Golden in 2005, Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee Company is opening its largest coffee house yet at Halcyon. After realizing the tangible opportunity to make a difference in Rwanda, Africa, which had experienced one of history’s most devastating genocides, Golden started Land of a Thousand Hills and utilized farmers in Rwanda. The introduction of specialty coffee to Rwanda not only allowed the people to rebuild homesteads, but it also allowed the country to work toward a lasting peace

Land of a Thousand Hills’ Halcyon location will be the company’s fourth corporate coffee house, with locations ranging from Roswell, Georgia to Cypress, Texas. (Halcyon will be the fourth corporately owned location, and there are five franchise locations.) The Halcyon location will be unique in that it will serve as a music venue as well, with the interior and large patio space deliberately created for presenting local and national artists. Along with the 100 percent, Arabica coffee and unique blends offered at Land of a Thousand Hills, this location will also serve craft beer. When visitors purchase Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee, they are helping families provide for themselves with living wages, building homes for orphans, giving care to widows and giving hope to communities.

Butcher & Brew:

Halcyon will be home to the second location of Butcher & Brew. The original location, which opened in 2016, is located on South Main Street in Alpharetta. Owner Louis Soon also owns South Main Kitchen, located next door to the original Butcher & Brew, and has more concepts upcoming. Butcher & Brew is a Craft American Shop, focused on quality ingredients and eclectic craft beers. Each dish, from the risotto fritters and wings to the selection of bowls and one-of-a-kind sandwiches that uses locally baked bread, is crafted to provide a unique experience with every bite. Butcher & Brew will have 3,000 square feet in Halcyon and face the greenspace. Soon is also opening a new taco concept as part of Halcyon’s Market Hall.

“At Butcher & Brew, we focus on the people – both those working here and those eating here. We have created an environment where guests can have an upscale meal while cheering for their favorite sports team or connecting with friends over a craft beer,” said Louis Soon. “Halcyon is the perfect development for our next location, and we’re excited to bring our high-energy concept to Forsyth County.

 TOCAYO:

After visiting Tulum, Mexico with his team, Louis Soon knew what his next concept would be: a taco stand. Inspired by Mexican street food, TOCAYO will have a simple menu of tacos, perfect for the fast-casual atmosphere of Halcyon’s Market Hall.

“With this Market Hall space, we’re creating a very simple, but an elegant vibe that will have Bohemian-inspired décor, Mexican draft beers, and margaritas,” said Soon. “TOCAYO will have amazing tacos that are reasonably priced, and visitors will be able to grab a taco and a margarita and walk out to enjoy them on the green space.”

Gu’s Dumplings:

Gu’s Dumplings has been voted the No. 1 place to eat dumplings in Atlanta, one of the best Chinese restaurants in America and one of the 49 things you have to eat in Atlanta before you die, and now it’s coming to HALCYON’s Market Hall. Gu’s, which was founded on Buford Highway, currently operates in Krog Street Market and in SunTrust Park. The authentic Szechuan restaurant focuses on dumplings, noodles, and stir-fry and lets its menu remain fluid, allowing for creativity and customer input. It will be one of the first Szechuan restaurants in Forsyth County.

“We opened our first family-run restaurant, Gu’s Bistro, in December 2010 off of Buford Highway,” said Yvonne Gu Khan of Gu’s Dumplings. “We decided to open a smaller version of Gu’s Bistro in Krog Street Market called Gu’s Dumplings, which focuses on dumplings and noodles, but also includes our most popular stir-fried dishes. The Gu’s team knows Szechuan food because it is in our blood. We want to introduce Szechuan food to the masses and want them to enjoy it as we do because we are proud of our heritage.”

Kilwins:

Kilwins will be opening a Chocolates, Fudge, and Ice Cream store in the Halcyon village. Kilwins Halcyon will have a wide selection of “Original Recipe” Ice Cream, which is served in a freshly made Waffle Cone for a special in-store treat, and it will also offer specialty Sundaes, Shakes, and Malts. Kilwins Halcyon owners, Christina and Tony Abunassar, wanted to bring high-quality confections and ice cream, along with the Kilwins’ family-friendly service, to their friends and neighbors. Kilwins Halcyon will occupy approximately 1,440 square feet as part of the Market Hall.

Cocina & Taqueria

Cocina & Taqueria, which is currently located at Abernathy Square in Sandy Springs, will open its second location at Halcyon. The restaurant and bar offer a mix of Mexican and Latin flavors, with a menu that includes tacos, rice bowls, and flavored margaritas. CT will occupy 6,000 square feet across from the CMX Cinema.

Hog Island:

Halcyon announced that Southern Proper Hospitality has signed a long-term lease for their newest restaurant, Hog Island, at its 135-acre mixed-use village, Halcyon. The hybrid concept combines the best of a smokehouse and oyster bar under one roof, bringing the heartiness of the land to meet the freshness of the sea at Hog Island.

Hog Island, which will occupy a 4,220-square-foot space, will be housed in a contemporary barn-like building. Natural light and wood detailing will add warmth to the restaurant’s clean, crisp and bright interior, creating a comfortable, laid-back vibe. The menu will feature signature smoked meats and seafood dishes.

Retail Tenants: Willow Jane (formerly Lavender), Canoe and Nina + Leigh

Halcyon announced its first retail tenants to join the mixed-use village: boutiques Willow Jane (Lavender) and Canoe, and a brand-new clothing boutique, Nina + Leigh. The retail options are the latest additions to the community, joining various restaurants, a Market Hall, a luxury movie theater and more.

Willow Jane, which originally opened as Lavender in 2004 and is currently in the Collection at Forsyth, is relocating and expanding in Halcyon. The boutique carries women’s clothing and accessories for all ages.

Willow Jane will be joined by another existing Georgia boutique, Canoe, a lifestyle brand, and boutique. Canoe is opening its second location in Halcyon provide shoppers with unique jewelry, bags, and accessories. Founder Lynn Kemp first opened her store in Blue Ridge, GA, and had been looking to expand into the Atlanta area when she heard about Halcyon.

Halcyon will also be home to a new retail concept: Nina + Leigh. Nina + Leigh will be a clothing boutique for women in their late teens to thirties and will carry clothing, jewelry, and various accessories. After working in retail for nearly 10 years, founder Candice Sinisgalli decided to follow her passion and open a store where she could provide affordable, on-trend clothing to women.

The boutiques will join Allure Nail Bar, which will occupy 3,500 square feet, and Uni K Wax, which will have a nearly 1,200-square-foot space.

Uni K Wax

Halcyon’s latest addition of Uni K Wax brings another lifestyle component to the restaurant and retail roster at the mixed-use village. A unisex waxing studio with an organic wax formula, Uni K will occupy a 1,100-square-foot space alongside other retail tenants.

Already a staple in Florida, New York, and New Jersey, Uni K is opening its first Georgia studio at HALCYON. Uni K, as the first-ever waxing studio to offer unisex services, continues to offer safe waxing to men and women of all ages.

RW Design

that RW Designs, an upscale interior design studio, and gallery, is joining Halcyon’s impressive tenant list. RW Design & Exchange will relocate the showroom from its current location at The Collection in Cumming, Georgia and will occupy a 7,500-square-foot space at the entrance of Halcyon. Halcyon, the new mixed-use village currently under construction in Forsyth County, is being developed by RocaPoint Partners and New York-based The Georgetown Company.

Founded by Rhonda White in 1987, RW Designs has become a name uniquely associated with Atlanta interior design. Rhonda offers customers impeccable design and timeless distinction in each of her high-end product lines, along with guidance throughout any stage of the design process. In 2009, RW Designs opened its first storefront, RW Design & Exchange, allowing customers to visit the design gallery and buy products. RW Design & Exchange offers services ranging from residential and commercial design, to model home design.

Lizard Thicket:

Lizard Thicket, a unique woman’s fashion boutique, will join Halcyon’s list of retail tenants. Halcyon’s Lizard Thicket will be the twenty-second Lizard Thicket boutique to open in the U.S. and will occupy approximately 3,000 square feet in HALCYON’s mixed-use village.

Lizard Thicket prides itself in selling the latest, most fashion-forward styles and accessories at surprisingly low prices. With only six pieces of each clothing style carried in-store, Lizard Thicket guarantees that its stylish clientele can wear Lizard Thicket threads with confidence that their wardrobe is as unique as they are.

Totally Running and Walking

Totally Running and Walking will open its second location at Halcyon. Totally Running’s new location will be steps from the Big Creek Greenway and will promote an active, community-oriented lifestyle in HALCYON.

Totally Running has been a Forsyth staple since 2007 and is opening its second location to provide expert services to a wider audience. The store specializes in athletic gear and fitting each customer with their perfect running – or walking – shoe.

By bringing Totally Running to Halcyon, Kim hopes to host races from the store and provide healthy, productive ways for families to get out and spend time together. At Totally Running, everyone is welcome, regardless of age, size or experience level, and the Halcyon team will find everyone their perfect shoe.

With the addition of Totally Running, Halcyon will be home to future 5Ks, fun runs, walks, running groups and more. From competitive runs to runs that end at the local brewpub, Halcyon and Totally Running welcome all levels of runners and walkers.

Embassy Suites by Hilton at HALCYON

Halcyon announced a 152-room Embassy Suites by Hilton will be added to the 135-acre mixed-use development. Embassy Suites by Hilton at Halcyon will include multi-functional ballrooms and more than 6,500 square feet of much-needed meeting space in the northern arc of the region. Demonstrating its fit within Halcyon’s ethos, the hotel will have a distinct focus on fitness that will incorporate yoga and saunas in its state-of-the-art fitness center and broad green space as part of its forward-looking design. An indoor pool and hot tub, two presidential suites, and a large lobby bar and atrium will also be included for social events and gatherings.

Popbar

Built from Italian roots, Popbar blends authenticity, innovation, and high-quality ingredients to bring a unique and mouthwatering experience to Halcyon. Its inviting location, just off the retail village green space, is positioned for customers to easily enjoy more than 40 rotating flavors of frozen treats in the surrounding open areas. For added convenience to Halcyon’s visitors, residents and employees, Popbar’s mobile cart will deliver pops around Halcyon and to events outside the village. This all-natural franchise offers creative and customizable frozen treats including Hot Chocolate on a Stick, Frozen Hot Chocolate, the Double Shake (Popbar’s take on a milkshake, made with any two pops), and the newest menu item, the PopWich, a gelato sandwich on a stick. Popbar offers vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free and soy-free options, so visitors with any dietary restrictions can experience the delicious frozen treats. Popbar currently has 17 stores around the country, 11 internationally, and four under construction. Popbar Halcyon franchise owners Charel and Jamal Palmer dreamed of owning a business that would allow them to leave as a legacy for their three children while bringing members of the community together and bringing the first Popbar to Georgia is helping realize that vision.

JOEY

JOEY, a contemporary Pilates and dance cardio studio, will open its first location in Halcyon, Forsyth County’s most anticipated mixed-use village. JOEY, named after the founder of Pilates, Joseph Pilates, will provide a well-rounded fitness experience in a sophisticated studio environment, offering both Pilates and dance cardio classes. JOEY’s dual-class offerings will provide the community with an engaging way to meet their fitness goals.

Pilates classes will be intimate and individualized, taught with a contemporary approach to the classical method. Dance cardio classes will provide clients with a calorie-blasting, music-driven, group fitness experience incorporating lightly choreographed movements along with equipment such as hand weights and resistance bands. Beyond fitness classes, JOEY will sell a curated collection of athleisure wear, accessories and home goods.

SafiraMD

SafiraMD Medical Aesthetics and Wellness Center will join the mixed-use community’s tenant line-up. The med spa’s highly trained personnel will provide personalized customer service with elevated standards, state-of-the-art products and customized treatments in a contemporary environment. The med spa will be led by Dr. Andrea L. Volk, Medical Director, and Rafael Santos, RN, Office Manager, both trained and certified professionals. The two will oversee the day-to-day operations of the facility and the evaluation of the various spa and retail programs.

The med spa offers a variety of skincare and wellness services targeted to men and women, including laser skin rejuvenation, laser hair removal, Botox®, and dermal fillers, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) rejuvenation, body contouring, revitalizing facial peels, clinical facials, healthy living programs, and medical-grade skin care products.

RBM of Alpharetta Mercedes-Benz Experience Center

The RBM of Alpharetta Mercedes-Benz Experience Center will be one of the first permanent, small format retail spaces at Halcyon. The experience-driven store is slated to open in conjunction with the opening. This location will offer access to new Mercedes-Benz product launches, select brand accessories and purchasing incentives for Halcyon customers. The space will incorporate modern design elements with experiential factors, including interactive digital displays and showcasing new vehicles. Knowledgeable product specialists will offer information on the luxury auto brand and offer access to new Mercedes-Benz product launches. To establish a convenient connection between the nearby RBM of Alpharetta dealership, just two and a half miles from Halcyon, and the new retail space, RBM of Alpharetta will offer a shuttle service to-and-from HALCYON, to allow customers waiting on vehicle maintenance to enjoy strolling around the outdoor mixed-use village and visiting the experiential store. RBM of Alpharetta has also been selected as the valet sponsor.

Progress Updates

• Heading into 2019, we are nearing the opening of Halcyon, the $370 million mixed-use development coming to Forsyth County.

• At this point, the majority of buildings have been topped out and spaces are being turned over to tenants, allowing them to begin executing the interior buildout and design.

• This year, Halcyon will bring 480,000 square feet of office and retail space to Forsyth County with Phase One slated to open spring 2019. Phase One will focus on the commercial retail components of the project. •

RocaPoint Partners has worked closely with JLL, the retail leasing team for the mixed-use development, to carefully curate a tenant mix that will create a place where families can walk off the Big Creek Greenway to enjoy a bite to eat from one of the unique restaurant concepts, where dogs are encouraged to stroll through the property and visit pets-welcome retailers and where office tenants have the opportunity to host meetings at a variety of restaurants and outdoor meeting spaces. Halcyon is roughly 70 % committed at this point. (See additional List of Tennant Summaries for a glimpse at individual tenants coming to Halcyon.)

• The mixed-use destination will also extend the Big Creek Greenway with a fully functioning trailhead, including restrooms and parking space.

• Once complete, Halcyon plans to bring two hotels and 690 residential units, including multifamily, active adult apartments, single-family homes, and townhomes.

• Office leasing, provided by NKF, is well underway. The office component of Halcyon will have access to a number of amenities and offerings at Halcyon, including the Wi-Fi connected outdoor pocket parks, green spaces, restaurants and more.

• Over the next 20 years, Halcyon will have a $150 million impact to Forsyth County.

Experts To Talk Migration, Populism, And International Trade At Post Road Library

Prepare to discuss the world as professors from the University of North Georgia (UNG) lead a series of eight discussions on complex global issues beginning this month at the Post Road Library, 5010 Post Road, Cumming.

The series is part of Great Decisions 2019, a national program developed by the Foreign Policy Association (FPA) to help local communities better understand global politics, government, and foreign issues that affect the United States and its citizens.

“The FPA describes Great Decisions as America’s largest discussion on world affairs,” explains Programming Manager Tracy Walker.

“It’s certainly a large program for the library and it’s one of the most popular programs we offer for adults. We find that our patrons are interested in understanding more about the world and gaining new perspective on the challenges we face as a nation, and this gives our community a chance to talk personally with experts who can share specific details or guide them to further resources and information on these complex topics,” adds Walker.

Raluca Viman-Miller, Ph.D., an assistant professor of comparative politics, international relations, and European politics at UNG, will lead the first discussion, Refugees and Global Migration, at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 22.

Dr. Viman-Miller will share information about the laws and policies created by each state regarding who is permitted to cross its borders and how they will do so, as well as provide insight into how certain countries react to migration and the effectiveness of laws and policies regarding refugees and migrants.

At 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 29, Victoria Hightower, Ph.D., an associate professor of Middle East and Persian Gulf history, will lead the next discussion, The Middle East: Regional Disorder.

Dr. Hightower will explain the ways the Trump administration has aligned itself with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Israel to thwart Iranian expansion. She will also describe possible actions the U.S. might take in troubled countries such as Syria, Yemen, Libya, and Iraq.

After tackling those complicated topics, the series continues into February and March with discussions on nuclear arms, the rise of populism in France, Germany, and the UK, the trade war with China, cyber conflicts, and the current state of U.S. diplomacy and its relationship with Mexico.

Each discussion will include a presentation on the topic and a question-and-answer period with the presenter. Admission to each discussion is free.

“If you have a desire to educate yourself on any or all of these topics before attending a discussion, the FPA publishes a briefing book and DVD to provide an overview of the situations and perspectives that influence the most important challenges in national and global politics at the moment,” explains Walker.

Copies of the Great Decisions 2019 Briefing Book and DVD are available at the library and library cardholders may place hold requests at catalog.forsythpl.org.

“Reading the briefing book or watching the DVD are not requirements. If you’d like to learn about global politics and how those decisions affect people here in the U.S., I encourage you to come and listen to a presentation and then feel free to ask questions of the professors from UNG,” says Walker.

For more information, and to see the full schedule of Great Decisions 2019 discussions, please visit the events calendar at www.forsythpl.org.

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