Longtime Inman Park restaurant One Eared Stag permanently closed after 10 years on Edgewood Avenue, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reports. Owners chef Robert Phalen and Frank Bailey decided not to renew the lease on the restaurant, which closed after service on March 21.
“We had a great run and really enjoyed being in the community,” Bailey told the Chronicle.
Phalen says sales were down at the restaurant 30 percent since the beginning of the pandemic last March. However, the chef says the closing isn’t due to the health crisis, but rather a need for Phalen to take a step back from the grind of running a restaurant after a difficult year, which included the tragic death of their third partner, Brent Quick. Quick died in a car accident in January. Bailey said his best friend’s passing “definitely played a part” in the decision to close One Eared Stag.
Phalen and Bailey haven’t ruled out working together on another restaurant in the future.
Since opening in 2011, One Eared Stag and Phalen have became known for serving an approachable menu of Southern ingredient-driven dishes, many rivaling those found at fine dining establishments across Atlanta. Set within a historic storefront at the corner of Edgewood Avenue and Hurt Street, the neighborhood restaurant also served one of Atlanta’s best double-stack cheeseburgers (the “Meatstick”), a hearty chef’s breakfast on the weekends paired with cans of Schlitz, and Monday evening fried chicken dinners.
During the height of the pandemic last year, Phalen transformed the front of the restaurant into a market, selling fresh produce and meats from local farms and to-go cocktails from the bar.
Phalen was set to open Woodward and Park across from Full Commission in Grant Park prior to the pandemic. However, he stepped away from the project to focus on running One Eared Stag. Chef Dan Brown (Torched Hop Brewing Company, 5Church) now leads the kitchen at Woodward and Park.