Peachtree Mall: Villa Fresh Italian Kitchen in, Johnny Carino’s out

The Peachtree Mall food court has picked up a couple of new eateries, although the mall also lost one of its full-service restaurants recently.

Mall general manager Chris McCoy said Thursday Charleys Philly Steaks and Villa Fresh Italian Kitchen opened a couple of weeks ago inside the court.

The Villa Fresh website says its first pizzeria opened in 1964 adjacent to Ed Sullivan Theater on Broadway and the chain has grown to more than 225 locations. Its menu has, of course, pizza. But entrees include lasagna, chicken parmesan, baked ziti, and spaghetti and meatballs. An oversized stromboli, which is somewhat like a calzone, salads, hot sandwiches and cookies round things out.

Charleys Philly Steaks, which also goes by Charley’s Grilled Subs in some markets, serves up various steak, chicken and deli sub sandwiches, bacon-cheese fries and lemonade. It has more than 500 locations.

The entrance of Villa Fresh Italian Kitchen is notable in that the mall has lost its two Italian outlets this year. Sbarro, which had been a food-court mainstay for years, closed abruptly in February as the chain shuttered more than 150 locations nationwide as part of a bankruptcy reorganization.

Johnny Carino’s, a full-service stand-alone Italian restaurant outside of the mall on the Macy’s end of the property, closed its doors without notice a few weeks ago. A sign still on the door thanks customers for their years of patronage. Johnny Carino’s opened locally in 2005.

Meanwhile, the mall still hasn’t found a replacement for the restaurant space vacated by Picadilly a few years ago. The cafeteria-style eatery was on the back side of the mall.

The departure of Carino’s leaves Ruby Tuesday — on the JCPenney side of the mall — as the only full-service restaurant at the Manchester Expressway shopping center.