Rumors of Hand in Hand’s closure began swirling around the Atlanta subreddit on Sunday. A representative for the pub confirmed the closure via email saying, “Escalating rent and the overall slowdown of our part of the neighborhood” were to blame. The representative says the BeltLine and nearby development are factors in the “slowdown” of this stretch of North Highland Avenue from Ponce de Leon to Virginia Avenue, which they claim has “seen zero growth or development for years.”
The pub opened on North Highland Avenue in 2000 during the height of the area’s thriving nightlife scene. That scene has waned over the last few years with the opening of the BeltLine, the popularity of competing neighborhoods like Old Fourth Ward, and ongoing parking woes in the area.
Rumors began circulating when someone spied moving trucks parked outside of Hand in Hand on Sunday morning. People were seen removing items from the building. The first comment on the post simply states, “Closed for good. They emptied it out.”
The Atlanta subreddit thread entertains all sort of theories on the closure. They include the neighborhood’s parking problems. Parking in Virginia-Highland is metered, permitted, or sorely lacking in some spots. Others theorize the true culprit is the area’s transformation over the last decade from young and vibrant to what one commenter calls “family-oriented” and “sleepy” and “dead”.
Eater Atlanta received two tips regarding the shutter on Monday morning. One anonymous source close to the situation quickly confirmed the pub’s closure.
Update, Tuesday, July 17: This story has been updated to reflect comments from a representative for Hand in Hand.