Just over a year after opening Juniper Cafe at Westside Village, chefs Ron Hsu and Aaron Phillips closed the Vietnamese cafe and bakery January 1, 2023, with plans to relocate the restaurant further into town. But Hsu and Phillips will continue operating the wholesale bakery arm of Juniper Cafe from the Marietta Boulevard location and are opening a new restaurant there later this year.
Hsu declined to provide further details on what led to the closure of Juniper Cafe and its relocation, or just what will replace the restaurant at Westside Village in 2023. However, Juniper Cafe’s relocation may come down to lack of foot traffic and street visibility. Despite praise from both local and national press for its food and cocktails, the restaurant didn’t quite capture the attention from diners it deserved at the northwest Atlanta development, a complex set along a busy four-lane road and heavily traveled truck route. Westside Village is also home to the Woodall, backed by the team behind Marlow’s Tavern, and a location of Ted’s Montana Grill.
Named for Hsu’s niece and the tree-lined street populated with historic homes and restaurants in Midtown, Juniper Cafe serves pho, bún, bánh mì, spicy fried chicken, Vietnamese sausages, and summer rolls, along with fresh pastries baked daily.
The chefs, who first met while working at Eric Ripert’s Le Bernardin in New York, opened tasting menu restaurant Lazy Betty together in 2019. The name of the restaurant pays tribute to Hsu’s late mother Betty, a longtime Atlanta restaurateur. Hsu’s siblings, Howard and Anita, own Sweet Auburn BBQ in Poncey-Highland and are partners in neighboring Peruvian restaurant Tio Lucho’s.
Hsu and Phillips and Lazy Betty general manager and beverage director Carl Van Tyle Gilbert open Humble Pie at the Interlock on Howell Mill Road this winter, serving wood-fired pizzas and dessert pies. Gilbert is also a partner in Juniper Cafe.