Meating Street Barbecue on Alpharetta Street near downtown Roswell closed on Saturday, December 15, Scoop OTP reports. Lost revenue due to lack of parking is supposedly the culprit. The restaurant opened in January 2018 in a former Domino’s Pizza store along Alpharetta Street — a four lane, divided highway.
In an email to customers, owners Brian Keenan and Joanna Keenan stated:
On Saturday, December 15th, Meating Street BBQ will be serving its final lunch at 1294 Alpharetta St. in Roswell. We are so extremely grateful for the support you, our customers, have shown us, as well as the encouragement of the entire Roswell Community.
Brian Keenan further expounds on the closure with Scoop OTP, telling the suburban lifestyle site the lack of parking “drained” them this past summer and they were unable to recover lost sales “to disappointed customers who couldn’t park after careful plans to visit.”
Meating Street includes a parking disclaimer on their website stating,” As is the case in most of Roswell, parking is limited. There are many lots nearby for overflow, or consider taking Uber or Lyft.”
The small space also meant the restaurant sold a limited quantity of barbecue each day, often selling out. This lead to Meating Street closing early or having unpredictable hours. Brian Keenan tells North Fulton Neighbor newspaper, “tweaking” the “cooking schedule” to “intentionally sell out before 3 p.m.” coupled with parking problems were challenges for the restaurant.
However, the Keenans may be looking to reopen elsewhere, and Brian Keenan continues to cook his barbecue for private parties and events.
Downtown Roswell has battled parking problems since its dining scene began taking off on Canton Street over a decade ago. Calls for a parking deck or viable solutions by local business people, including Table & Main and Osteria Mattone restauranteur Ryan Pernice, to be built near the heavily trafficked corridor have been met with resistance by Roswell officials and some residents.
Pernice, a founder of the Historic Roswell Business Association, has been spearheading parking solution discussions in the north metro Atlanta city. He spoke to the Alpharetta-Roswell Herald in July about the lack of parking harming area businesses, “Retail is leaving Canton Street in droves. I get that it’s expensive [parking deck,] but that’s sort of our own fault for making this area so attractive and then not actually solving the problem from the beginning. We still need to solve it.”
Roswell city hall, located across from the quaint downtown dining district, offered a quick fix to the conundrum — parking in its lots. Parking at city hall would force people to cross busy Alpharetta Street (Highway 9) with few crosswalks and, in the evenings, few lighted walkways on the city hall campus. The city did approve building a parking lot on Green Street, which parallels Canton, with 70 spaces. The lot was completed in May.
There are alternatives to driving in the area. MARTA offers bus service throughout the city, and includes a few stops walkable to and from Canton Street and Alpharetta Street, which becomes Alpharetta Highway upon crossing Holcomb Bridge Road. Lyft and Uber are also more readily available in Roswell now.
1294 Alpharetta Street, Roswell. meatingstreetbbq.com.