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Southern-American Restaurant Simon’s Shutters on Juniper Street in Midtown

The two-story restaurant closes after three years in Midtown citing COVID-19’s “lasting impact” on the dining experience

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

Southern-American restaurant Simon’s, owned by Simon Guobadia, closes permanently after just three years on Juniper Street in Midtown. According to a press release, Guobadia did not see a successful path forward for the restaurant due to COVID-19 and its “lasting impact on operations,” but alludes to possibly opening another Atlanta restaurant in the future.

“Unfortunately, the decision to close came down to us not being able to provide the true dine-in experience to guests with the current restrictions given our restaurant layout,” a representative speaking on behalf of Simon’s tells Eater Atlanta.

Under the governor’s latest executive order, restaurants are permitted to reopen for dine-in service but must comply with a set of state-mandated safety guidelines. Among the 39 COVID-19 requirements for restaurants to follow, the most notable require staff to wear face masks and limits dining capacity to ten patrons per 300 square feet. The guidelines remain in place through May 31.

Despite being open for takeout and delivery, Guobadia did not apply for emergency funding or seek rent relief from the landlord during the dining room shutdown, according to the representative. However, Guobadia did pay his 20 hourly and salaried employees for 30 to 60 days right as the shelter-in-place orders and dining room shutdowns began in late March.

Simon’s, which replaced rapper Ludacris’ restaurant Straits before it was renamed to Time Restaurant & Lounge, featured a two-story dining room seating around 130 people. The menu included everything from a crispy chicken sandwich and oysters, to grilled salmon and Creole-style oxtails.

793 Juniper Street NE, Atlanta.

Stay home if sick. Check the Georgia Department of Public Health website for guidance and updates on the latest number of reported COVID-19 cases. Numbers are now updated three times a day.