Sorry folks, I’ve been absolutely swamped with work and such. Alas, my blogging has been essentially non-existent. However, I promise to get back on the hobby horse momentarily. While you were sleeping, I’ve been out and about and taken a couple of trips to Hugh Acheson’sEmpire State South. While y’all wait on that … check out Cliff’s notes! Now on to the sad but true.
Let’s all mourn for a restaurant that most every foodie in the city hit up more than once. I’m sure there’s more to the story, but I’m not privy to any of it. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, might I suggest that ignorance is bliss. If you have a hankering to find out more about that chicken, check out my first impression.
After 45-years at the intersection of Lindbergh and Cheshire Bridge, The Varsity Jr. is sailing off into the sunset. One of six outposts of the institution, the original plan was to rebuild the family-owned location. I first heard about this via a ton of people on twitter and my heart sank as the information was confirmed by 11-Alive just a little bit ago, this thing seems set in stone. They have all the gritty details, so I won’t bother to give you all the he-said, she-said. What I will tell you is that this sucks! The Varsity Jr has been at the same place since before I was born and while I’m a Fenway type of guy, the plan to rebuild it seems reasonable to me. This isn’t right! And while I’m not so bold as to think my word alone carries any weight, but maybe with some help it will. Thus, I’ve started a petition to save the Varsity JR.. We don’t have much time, but let’s see what a little elbow grease can do!
The massive restaurant space at the corner of Ponce De Leon and Penn Ave is now dormant. Yes, it appears that the Old Spaghetti Factory has closed up shop and moved on to greener pastures. While the restaurant chain is still alive and kicking outside the state of GA, they finally threw in the towel on January 24th. While I always considered it one of the worst restaurants in the city, the place seemed to get a pretty good crowd. So in that respect, I must say that this was a bit of a surprise. Cheerios y’all!
Here To Severe restaurants is continuing on the trend that started with Trois, continued with Cuerno, and even hit Stella. Kess is reporting that instead of an outright closing of Lola Bellini Bar, Tom Catherall is shuttering the space after New Years with intentions of “re-concepting” the restaurant.
There’s no doubt that traffic for this cougar-iffic hotspot has dwindled significantly in the last few months. Time will tell if the redeux will fare any better.
Had I written on Stella Trattoria, you would have seen one of the blistering reviews that I’m known for. To be honest, I thought I had written it. Only when I heard that the restaurant is off to the land of restaurants past did I notice the oversight. Regardless, the Grant ParkItalian eatery, who shares a father with Osteria 832, never caught my culinary fancy. Despite a very memorable meal there (because of the tornado – not the food) and the unabashed love by a dear friend (see … even my closest companions don’t always agree with me), the place just never caught on.
The space is scheduled to go through some renovations and open in February as the equally unimpressive Doc Chey’s.
The hits just keep coming. Though this actually happened a few weeks ago, I somehow managed to miss it. Wolfgang Puck Express pulled an Emeril’s and said buh-bye to Atlanta. This leaves the city with one less celebrity chef restaurant and the ground floor of the Brookwood Place complex dangerously close to empty (at least in the south building). While the signage is gone and a closing note hangs in the window, the interior has remained pretty much intact. Maybe another restaurant will go in … maybe not … only time will tell. I have a few snapshots, but they are held hostage on my camera until a little later tonight. I’ll throw them up when I have the chance.
According to an article in today’s online edition of the Atlanta Business Chronicle, the ESPN Zone in Buckhead is a thing of the past. A notice popped up today informing potential patrons that the sports bar was now closed. With the vast number of sports bars between me and the Zone, I can’t say I made it there frequently. That said, I’m a little surprised to hear about this. According to the article, all of the 140 employees received a 60-day administrative leave package, so that’s nice to hear.