Moderna Restaurant Brings New Energy to Sandy Springs

Located just before Roswell, the city’s newest taqueria sets itself apart in atmosphere and cuisine from the sports bars and taverns in the area.


Sandy Springs may be officially hip with the new restaurant, Moderna.

The city’s newest taqueria place sets itself apart in atmosphere and cuisine from the sports bars and taverns in the area. It's located just before the stretch into downtown Roswell at 8540 Roswell Road.

“We want to offer a brand new experience in redefining what a Sandy Springs restaurant and bar is,” said co-owner Josh Ahlzadeh.

Moderna celebrated its grand opening last Friday.

Moderna is comparable to Three Sheets, at City Walk shpping center, in atmosphere and vibe. It’s more restaurant than club, although the establishment holds parties for special events.

Ahlzadeh and co-owner Paul Yuwachit say folks nearby believe they have to go to Roswell, Buckhead or Perimeter for good food. But Chef Ignacio Nacho Barquera offers a new twist on the taquerias he grew up with in Mexico City.  The chef has worked at Red Pepper Taqueria, Nava, Relish and La Paz.  

Pork tacos are prepared over a three-day period, said Yuwachit. “Tortillas, we are going to make it by hand,” he said.

Prices are very reasonable. Click here to see the menu.

Several years ago Yuwachit, 40, owned Talay Thai restaurant, now housed by the Sandy Springs Diner. He currently operates Thai and Sushi restaurant in East Atlanta. 

In large part, Moderna is the vision of Ahlzadeh, 25, Yuwachit said.

“Josh came up with the concept,” he said. Folks who know the small strip at Huntridge shopping center would be surprised to see the space at former Diggers Sport Bar, and more recently the rustic Old Crow Grill and Tavern location transformed.

The remodeled eclectic eatery offers community dining tables, private coves, music and special lighting to match the mood of the night. Moderna opens daily at 11 a.m. and serves lunch.

The owners say they pride themselves on presenting an eco-friendly restaurant. The walls are lined with particle board. “It’s like a low grade recycled wood. The whole wall was cut into pieces and stained in color,” Ahlzadeh said. 

Much of the materials used for the restaurant’s décor was found at construction sites, the partners said. 

“When we are looking for something we want like particle board, we start driving around and see it everywhere,” Ahlzadeh added.

More than atmosphere, the owners say they want longevity in Sandy Springs, and desire to bring the best in food quality and service.

“We want to make sure that the initial food experience is phenomenal and [people] want to come back,” Ahlzadeh said.

Michael Prolman February 26, 2013 at 03:33 AM
I believe that particle board was an unfortunate choice, as it is high in VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). See http://www.ehow.com/about_6667809_effect-particle-board-asthma.html for more information.
Michael Denslow March 01, 2013 at 02:05 PM
The particle board was coated, sealed, and treated to block any VOCs from entering the air stream - As per the contractor and city of sandy springs.
Michael Prolman March 09, 2013 at 03:41 AM
Thank you for taking the extra steps to prevent the VOCs. The restaurant sounds interesting. I wish you much success.


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