The year began with a slew of new restaurant openings, as well as an unfortunate number of big restaurant closures, including the Lawrence, Bar Mercado, and Full Commission in January. With February almost over, 2023 is looking to be another year of rebuilding for the Atlanta restaurant and dining scene, as the industry continues recovering from the financial toll of the pandemic.
Catch up on the latest big stories you might have missed below. Cheers to the weekend, y’all!
The five biggest stories of the week
- Closures continue to dominate the news cycle this month. Serenidad, owned by Twisted Soul chef Deborah VanTrece, closed just shy of five months after opening in Cascade Heights. But VanTrece plans to replace it with another restaurant this spring. Woodward and Park closes at the Larkin on Memorial in Grant Park Sunday, February 26, after three years at the complex.
- Southern restaurant Liz and Leon’s and Sweet Gigi’s bar open this fall along historic Hotel Row on Mitchell Street in downtown Atlanta. Backed by Atlanta chef Bella Jones, Liz and Leon’s explores the African diaspora through food and is a “culinary love letter” to her grandparents, in particular her grandmother, Elizabeth.
- Food hall Citizens Market opens at Phipps Plaza in April with 13 restaurant stalls offering everything from sushi, burgers, and roast chicken bowls to fried chicken sandwiches, tacos, and vegan fare from some big name chefs and food influencers. This includes chefs Dani Garcia, Masaharu Morimoto of Iron Chef fame, and Wes Avila and Italian chef and master butcher Dario Cecchini.
- After closing 10th and Piedmont and G’s Midtown in January, just beyond the famed rainbow crosswalk, owner Gilbert Yeremian recently replaced both restaurants with Casa Almenara: Tulum Cuisine and Craft Bar. Yeremian describes his latest restaurant as a “neighborhood destination” for Latin American dishes, with a particular focus on foods found around Tulum and Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.
- The list of restaurants opening around Atlanta in 2023 continues to grow by the day.