Guac y Margys closed earlier this week in Midtown, a little over a year after opening at the Amsterdam Walk complex on the edge of Piedmont Park.
The margarita bar and restaurant, which first opened along the Eastside Beltline in 2018, took over the former Amsterdam Cafe space in the summer of 2021, following the closure of the longtime gay-friendly bar and restaurant at Amsterdam Walk.
“We made the very hard decision to close our Midtown location,” Guac y Margys co-owner David Barton says. “We put a lot of work into the space and made a lot of great memories, but it ended up not being the right fit for our concept. Staff were compensated fairly as a result of the closure.”
However, multiple sources claim employees of the Midtown location were blindsided by the sudden closure this week and were laid off without warning. A source claiming knowledge of the details surrounding the closure tells Eater the owners were aware this past fall that the restaurant was in need of repairs and in financial trouble and even attempted to transfer ownership. Staff were allegedly informed of the immediate closure of the Midtown location during a Zoom meeting and compensated one week’s pay, according to the source. It’s unclear if these employees were offered other positions at the Beltline and Howell Mill Road locations of Guac y Margys.
Barton has yet to respond to Eater’s further request for comment on these claims.
Barton, Troy Meyers, and Sebastian Romano opened Guac y Margys four years ago at SPX Alley on the Beltline, where the bar and restaurant became known for its margaritas, tacos, and queso. Romano is no longer affiliated with the restaurant. A second, much larger Guac y Margys opened in 2021, taking over the Amsterdam Cafe space. Amsterdam Cafe featured a popular covered patio and regularly hosted drag shows and dance parties, political fundraisers, and LGBTQ sports league events over its 15 years at Amsterdam Walk. Barton and Meyers planned to continue offering those events, along with its themed trivia nights, special brunches, and karaoke nights.
“Two of our three co-owners are gay men and long-term residents of Atlanta. When the space became available, it felt like an opportunity we couldn’t pass up,” Barton told Eater at the time of the opening in Midtown. “We look forward to opening another gay-owned bar and restaurant there.”
A third location opened at the Interlock on Howell Mill Road in 2022, focusing on the bar’s margaritas and guacamole and queso.