After replacing his previous restaurant Cold Beer along the Eastside Beltline earlier this spring with the much more laidback Slabtown Public House, chef Kevin Gillespie closes that restaurant on September 24, the Atlanta Business Chronicle first reported.
“We have made the incredibly difficult decision to close Slabtown Public House permanently,” a statement provided to Eater reads. “The reality is that many small businesses have closed since 2020 either due directly or indirectly to the economic impacts of COVID-19; we are simply the latest to do so. In time we hope to be able to bring Atlanta new restaurants again...”
Gillespie and Red Beard Restaurants partner Marco Shaw say they are working to find new positions for Slabtown employees who wish to remain with the group at Gunshow in Glenwood Park and Revival in Decatur.
Gillespie declined to comment further on the decision to close Slabtown or on future plans for other Atlanta restaurants.
Slabtown also served as home base for Red Beard’s charitable meal program, Defend Southern Food Foundation (DSFF), which now moves to Revivial. Founded in 2020, DSFF provides meals to children who rely on free lunches served at schools in the Maynard Jackson High School cluster — a district within Atlanta Public Schools (APS) that includes six elementary schools and one middle school. In addition to its meal program, the foundation supports local farmers and seeks to decrease food waste through composting and rescued food.
Cold Beer closed in January after nearly three years along the Eastside trail. Gillespie, who once described Cold Beer as the “sophisticated sister” of Gunshow, told Eater at the time of the closure that the restaurant no longer fit the needs of area residents who wanted more affordable and casual dining options in Inman Park, Cabbagetown, and Old Fourth Ward.
Unlike Cold Beer, the menu for Slabtown leaned into pub fare, including loaded nachos, burgers, and Gillespie’s popular take on the Chick-fil-A chicken biscuit called the C.O.S. (closed on Sunday). The name Slabtown comes from the former red-light district along what is now present-day Decatur Street in downtown Atlanta. The area was initially created by Atlanta mill owner Jonathan Norcross in the late 19th century who provided slabs of wood to mill workers in order for them to build homes for their families.