Right on the heels of the closure of Deep End in April, 10 Apart Hospitality Group (The Pinewood) is closing their Ponce City Market cocktail lounge and restaurant. The Mercury, located on the second floor of the food hall, closes Friday, May 31, partner Brooks Cloud confirms to Eater Atlanta.
“Come have a drink with us before the lights turn off.”
10 Apart partners Cloud, Julian Goglia, and chef Mike Blydenstein filed chapter 11 bankruptcy in October for both the Mercury and the Pinewood, followed by Deep End in February. Unlike chapter 7 bankruptcy, which liquidates the assets of a business and forcing it to close, chapter 11 allows a business to restructure debts and formulate repayment plans with creditors while continuing to operate.
The group’s bankruptcy filings last fall followed the closure of their Buckhead Italian restaurant Bar Americano in April 2018. Cloud explains the partners had been “reeling” since the closure of Bar Americano and were attempting to “refortify” the other restaurants and work with their creditors to get back on track.
However, the forthcoming closure of the Mercury seemingly came down to what Cloud describes as a “legal battle” with Ponce City Market property owners Jamestown over the lease. That battle ended on May 8 with Jamestown apparently winning a judgment against the restaurant group in court.
“Ultimately, they decided not to allow us to continue there [at Ponce City Market],” Cloud claims. “We had the money to pay them and were profitable but, couldn’t continue to fight a multi-million dollar corporation. We’re just small business owners trying to survive.”
A spokesperson for Jamestown responded to Eater’s request for comment saying, “It’s unfortunate that over expansion and poor finances have forced a successful restaurant like The Mercury to close its doors.”
Cloud calls the 70 employees at the Mercury “amazing” and hopes to place as many of them as possible at the Pinewood in Decatur. He further stresses the group has no plans to close their flagship restaurant, and the landlord of that property “has been great” and continues to work with them.
Chef Adam Waller (Empire State South, Bocado) returned as the group’s culinary director and chef for the Pinewood in March.
“It’s been an incredibly hard two years. We let our ambitions get the best of us and aimed big,” Cloud explains. “It’s a difficult and expensive lesson to learn but, we don’t want this to define us and will now focus all our energy into the Pinewood and Proof [cocktail] Syrups.”
“The Mercury is open until May 31, and if you love us, come visit. We need the support. After May 31, come support us in Decatur at the Pinewood.”
The Mercury opened at Ponce City Market in January 2016 channeling mid-century vibes on the cocktail and food menus and in the restaurant’s design. It’s one of a handful of full-service restaurants at the market’s food hall.