Castleberry Hill barbecue restaurant Smoke Ring is closed after six years on Nelson Street. The restaurant posted the news to its Facebook page late Friday morning. Eater Atlanta reached out to owners Steve Buero and Chris Segal of 101 Concepts (Meehan’s, 101 Steak) earlier this morning to confirm the closure after receiving two tips on Thursday evening.
Buero and Segal have yet to respond to Eater’s initial request for comment.
According to the official statement posted to Facebook, the decision to close Smoke Ring is due to “compelling” circumstances that left the owners “no choice,” including the “tremendous amount of transition” the neighborhood has undergone over the last three years.
However, a report by CBS 46 News Thursday night states Smoke Ring recently failed a follow-up health inspection on December 6 with a score of 62 (U). The previous inspection, dated November 22, lists a score of 74 (C), giving the restaurant two weeks to correct violations.
New and repeated violations include “mold-like markings” on a cutting board, “mold-like growth” on chicken, and not disposing of prepared food over a week old. The CBS report confirms seeing the note taped to the front door Thursday stating the restaurant was only “closed temporarily for the holiday and a slight renovation.”
It’s unclear if these health violations were part of the decision to the close the restaurant. But, it seems the owners do plan to replace Smoke Ring with a “new restaurant coming this spring.” An anonymous source with knowledge of the situation tells Eater Smoke Ring could become a Meehan’s.
Eater reached back out to confirm this information.
Smoke Ring is the second 101 Concept restaurant to close this year. Southern restaurant Food 101 closed in March after 20 years in Sandy Springs.
Read the full Facebook statement from Smoke Ring below:
The owners of neighboring Elliott Street Pub announced in June they were selling the beloved dive bar, known for its deli-style sandwiches, after 13 years in the neighborhood. Mike Jakob, who owns the bar with his brother, Pete, told Eater at the time they are “ready to move on.” The brothers are asking $3.3 million for the entire property.
309 Nelson Street SW, Atlanta. www.101concepts.com.