Popular breakfast and brunch restaurant Le Petit Marche closed after 13 years in the heart of the Kirkwood neighborhood.
Owner Marchet Sparks closed the restaurant’s dining room at the start of the pandemic and shifted the entire operation to takeout. The longtime Atlanta restaurant was known for its French toast sandwiches, grit stacks, salmon croquettes, and always congenial staff. Prior to the health crisis, lines on the weekends often snaked out the door.
In a video posted to the restaurant’s social media pages, Sparks explains her decision to close, calling it a “matter of timing and opportunity.” With the lease up, Sparks plans to return to real estate and continue running her AirBnB while pursuing voice work in Atlanta.
“I started the Little Market, aka Le Petit Marche, with a hot plate, an electric skillet, a couple of Fry Daddys, the support of my mom and dad, and the support of the Kirkwood community,” Sparks says in the video. “We were able to grow the business into what it has become, a legacy, a legacy that will remain in everyone’s hearts.”
Sparks, who opened Le Petit Marche in 2008 during the recession, briefly mentions the pandemic as a factor in the decision to close, but says the restaurant was able to sustain itself on takeout over the last year.
Burnout and turnover rates are at an all-time high throughout the restaurant industry after an emotionally and physically demanding year involving multiple service pivots, dining rooms shutdowns, carrying out rigorous health and safety protocols, and dealing with patrons refusing to cooperate with the latter. Chef Robert Phalen closed his decade-old Inman Park restaurant, One Eared Stag, in March citing, in part, the grind of running a restaurant during the health crisis and the need to step back.
Eater reached out to Sparks Wednesday evening for further comment on the closure.