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Dueling Piano Bar Park Bench Bows Out of Buckhead After 30 Years

Neighboring Stagecoach country western bar takes over the space. Plus, a new chef at the Lawrence and Japanese fried chicken heads to Chastain

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Beth McKibben is the editor and staff reporter for Eater Atlanta and has been covering food and cocktails locally and regionally for 12 years.

Dive-y dueling piano bar Park Bench Closing on Irby Avenue in Buckhead

The dive-y dueling piano bar Park Bench is closing on Irby Avenue in Buckhead. It has been sold to the owners of Stagecoach, the unmistakably country western bar next door. However, it seems Park Bench could be moving to a new location. A listing by commercial real estate broker the Shumacher Group indicates Stagecoach plans to undergo renovations and expand into the Park Bench space. [Official]

A new chef takes over the kitchen at the Lawrence in Midtown

Cleophus Hethington, the former chef de partie of Lazy Betty, is now the executive chef of the Lawrence in Midtown. Hethington’s fine dining background includes work at respected Miami restaurants like Yardbird Southern Table & Bar, chef Michael Schwartz’s the Cypress Room, and chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Matador Room and Market. The chef also lived in Atlanta for a time and worked at Ford Fry’s seafood restaurant The Optimist during its first few months open on Howell Mill Road. Hethington recently hosted Ębí Chop Bar at Lazy Betty, a five-course pop-up dinner inspired by the cuisines of the African diaspora. [Official]

Ponko Chicken opens in Chastain Park on Thursday

Japanese fried chicken and sandwich restaurant Ponko Chicken opens its next location Thursday, October 11, at the Chastain Square shopping center on Roswell Road, Tomorrow’s News Today reports. Ponko Chicken also has locations in Midtown on West Peachtree and in Chamblee. [ToNT]

The Optimist

1400 Adams Street, , TN 37208 (615) 709-3156 Visit Website

Lazy Betty

1530 DeKalb Avenue Northeast, , GA 30307 (404) 975-3692 Visit Website

The Lawrence

905 Juniper Street Northeast, , GA 30309 (404) 961-7178 Visit Website