The future of Mary Hoopa’s House of Fried Chicken & Oysters is unclear, according to a report by What Now Atlanta (WNA). For now, at least, it appears as if the restaurant may be closed.
Calls to Mary Hoopa’s by Eater Atlanta after 4 p.m on Wednesday and Thursday, when the restaurant should be open, went unanswered. The lights were off and doors were locked upon a visit to the restaurant at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday evening and at 7 p.m. on Thursday — Valentine’s Day and the furniture is now gone. Mary Hoopa’s lists on their website and the front door they are open daily at 4 p.m.
In the WNA story, Nathan Bolster — a partner at ReDevStudios which oversees Hosea + 2nd — claims the company has been working with Mary Hoopa’s to give them “every opportunity to operate,” though he doesn’t specify what that means. Bolster is quoted as saying ReDevStudios is “prepared to fill the space with one of several interested operators” if Mary Hoopa’s decides to close permanently, but the story doesn’t make the current operating status of the restaurant entirely clear.
Bolster provided the following statement to Eater Atlanta on Thursday morning:
“We admire and appreciate Robert Phalen as a Chef and creator. Out of respect for our tenants, we don’t discuss tenant matters publicly. Hosea + 2nd continues to deepen its roots in the community and grow as a destination for folks from across the city. We expect to complete Phase II of the development next month, which will bring more offerings and complement the offerings of our existing tenants, all of which we support fully.”
Eater Atlanta continues to reach out to the owner, chef Robert Phalen (One Eared Stag), for confirmation on the status of the restaurant.
Mary Hoopa’s opened last February next to Poor Hendrix at the Hosea + 2nd complex on Hosea L. Williams Drive. The restaurant is named for the caretaker of Phalen’s mother-in-law, who cooked meals like fried chicken for the family. Phalen uses her fried chicken recipe at OES and Mary Hoopa’s.
There are complaints on the restaurant’s Facebook page regarding Mary Hoopa’s being closed on days they were supposed to be open that date back to last October, and the most recent complaint was last month.
In an Instagram post on Monday, Mary Hoopa’s promoted their “Neighborhood Appreciation and 1 Year Anniversary Week”. The extended happy hour is scheduled to run through Saturday, February 16. Comments left on the post include people questioning if the restaurant is even open and one person inquiring about the status of her bridal shower, scheduled to take place there in April.
The post is only adding to the confusion regarding whether the restaurant is closed for good or just operating with limited hours.
Over the last year, diners have complained about Mary Hoopa’s high prices on forums like TripAdvisor and Yelp and on a private neighborhood Facebook page, in addition to the inconsistent hours. The restaurant’s co-owner, Brent Quick, responded to complaints in an October 2018 story by the Atlanta Business Chronicle, saying he “always thought (some of the prices) were a little high” and apologizing “to any and all of you that had anything less than an amazing experience.”
Update, February 14, 11 a.m.: This story was updated with a statement from ReDevStudio partner Nathan Bolster.
Update, February 14, 7:30 p.m.: This story was updated to reflect the restaurant was also closed on Thursday, February 14.