Athens restaurant Farm 255 will end service on July 19. The farm-to-table restaurant spearheaded by chef Whitney Otawka has been sold to Vanessa and Juan Molina of Broad Street Coffee. Otawka officially left after the weekend, but will be around through mid-July preparing the kitchen for her departure. The restaurant's mobile venture, Farm Cart, will shutter as well, and Online Athens reports that "the new Molina-run restaurant will be in line with the Broad Street original, according to the statement, and retain its vegan, vegetarian and health-conscious fare."
Here's the full statement released by the restaurant:
To our dear staff, friends, supporters, and our extended family of the Athens community,
After 8 beautiful years and just following our Athfest anniversary, Farm 255 will be closing its doors. Our last day of regular service will be Friday July 19th.
As you may know, over the last two years Farm 255's partners have moved on to other opportunities in food and agriculture fields, far away from the restaurant's heart of operations in Athens. Therefore, it is with a heavy heart that we have chosen to close our doors. We simply cannot operate Farm 255 to its best and fullest capacity from afar, which we feel is a disservice to the community. We feel strongly that the location can be better utilized as a community asset if operated by a local community member. As heart wrenching as it is to say goodbye to our beloved home, we know that giving back is the best way to move on.
We are excited to be welcoming proprietor Vanessa Molina into the space at 255 W. Washington. She will be expanding her vegan restaurant, Broad Street Coffee, currently on the West side of Broad Street. Vanessa will be opening later this summer as she transitions from her current location. We feel confident that her health-conscious, vegetarian and vegan cuisine will contribute to the downtown gastronomic experience, and that her businesses will proudly carry on a part of the Farm 255 tradition in its commitment to good food and community spirit.
Chef Whitney Otawka will be moving on to other exciting culinary opportunities. Stay up to date with her @WhitneyOtawka on Twitter. Farm Cart will be closing as well, and will not be finishing out the full season at the Athens Farmers Market. The Full Moon Farms vegetable operation and CSA will continue to operate and thrive as a pioneering member of the Athens local food community. Farm Burger, with its three locations in Atlanta and one in Asheville, will carry on the Farm 255 legacy by expanding its grassfed goodness throughout the southeast and beyond.
Closing details will be updated regularly on our website blog and Facebook pages and on Twitter @Farm255. Final celebrations and specials will take place throughout the month and be announced online. Be sure to join us often during the coming weeks – we want to celebrate and memorialize our journey with you. There are still seats available to experience our unique relationship with our local farms at the final Farmers Table Supper Series with our very own Full Moon Farms July 11.
We thank you all deeply for what you as a community have contributed to this grand adventure. We could not have succeeded without you.
In love and gratitude,
Olivia, Jason, Kate, Jerid, Whitney and Farm 255