Floataway Cafe, co-owned by James Beard award-winning chef Anne Quatrano, is closing Friday, December 23, after 25 years on Zonolite Road, according to an announcement on Instagram. But it may not be the end of the story for the restaurant known for serving rustic French-Italian dishes.
“Thank you all for the sweet messages and memories. Don’t worry - this isn’t the end. We’ve got some fun ideas in the works,” a statement from the restaurant says among the comments on the Instagram post. Another comment from the restaurant on Facebook alludes to a “big announcement after the holidays.”
“Our 25-year lease is expiring at the end of this year and the building is under new ownership as of September 2021,” Quatrano tells Eater. “We think the timing is right to let this lovely gem of a restaurant go at this point. We hope it finds a new life with a talented chef and continues to serve the Floataway community.”
As to the fun ideas mentioned in the social media posts, Quatrano says one plan involves kicking off a ticketed supper club at Star Provisions early next year. The family-style dinners will take place a few nights a week and feature some of Floataway Cafe’s most popular dishes. Floataway executive chef Faye Poone (Eaksuree Poonsiripukdeekul) will oversee the prix-fixe dinners, which should offer a price point of between $45 and $55 per person.
Quatrano opened Floataway in 1998 with husband and business partner chef Clifford Harrison in a converted warehouse just off of Briarcliff Road in the Woodland Hills neighborhood. The opening of Floataway followed the success Quatrano and Harrison found with their fine dining restaurant Bacchanalia, which the couple opened in 1993 in Buckhead, before moving it to Westside Provisions District in 1999. Bacchanalia, along with neighboring market and cafe Star Provision, relocated again in 2017, this time to a new standalone building nearby along Ellsworth Industrial Boulevard in Blandtown.
Floataway offered diners the same refined culinary touch and commitment to local ingredients as Bacchanalia, but in a more casual and laidback setting, including at the small bar and on the dog friendly courtyard patio beside the restaurant.
Quatrano won “Best Chef Southeast” from the James Beard Foundation in 2003 and was nominated multiple times over the years in the “Outstanding Chef” category. She went on to open two additional Atlanta restaurants: W.H. Stiles Fish Camp in the food hall at Ponce City Market and brunch restaurant Pancake Social along North Avenue at the complex. Quatrano partnered in Pancake Social with restaurateurs Dan Jacobson (formerly of Chick-fil-A) and Steven Chan (Tin Drum Asian Kitchen), and Revelator coffee director of retail (co-founder of Octane) Tony Riffel. Quatrano eventually divested from the restaurant in 2021 in order to focus on her other establishments.
Update, November 21, 1:45 p.m.: This story was updated with comments from chef Anne Quatrano.