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Tasting Menu Restaurant Lazy Betty Is Taking Over the Empire State South Space in Midtown

Lazy Betty will remain open in Candler Park during renovations in Midtown, before moving into its new space some time this fall

Ryan Fleisher
Beth McKibben is the editor and staff reporter for Eater Atlanta and has been covering food and cocktails locally and regionally for over 12 years.

Candler Park tasting menu restaurant Lazy Betty is relocating to Midtown later this year, taking over the former Empire State South space at the 999 Peachtree office complex at the corner of Peachtree and 10th. Lazy Betty will remain open in Candler Park during renovations in Midtown, before moving to its new location some time this fall.

Chef Hugh Acheson closed Empire State South in March after nearly 13 years, citing the financial fallout stemming from the pandemic and continued inflation in the decision to close the critically acclaimed restaurant.

chefs Aaron Phillips and Ron Hsu
Chefs Aaron Phillips and Ron Hsu.
Andrew Thomas Lee

As for Lazy Betty in Midtown, people can still expect two highly curated, multi-course tasting menus from owners and chefs Ron Hsu and Aaron Phillips, along with a new bar menu offering a la carte dishes and drinks. Some new dishes on the tasting menu in Midtown will also be presented table side.

The design by Kat Blue of Blue Lantern Studios calls for a large main dining room, an expanded bar and outdoor patio, and two private dining rooms for events.

“We’re excited to move into the new space because it’s more accessible to more of Atlanta, and it will allow us to do more as a restaurant,” Hsu tells Eater. “We’ll have a more expansive bar that’s separate from the kitchen, and we’ll also be able to offer an a la carte bar menu, which we haven’t done before.”

Hsu and Phillips are no strangers to fine dining. Hsu worked at Le Colonial in New York City and met Phillips while both were working at Le Bernardin, owned by chef Eric Ripert. Phillips also worked stints at the Mark Restaurant and Bouley in New York City, and later at Atlas at the St. Regis Hotel in Buckhead after moving to Atlanta.

Hsu’s return to Atlanta was a homecoming. Growing up, his family owned five Chinese restaurants throughout the 1980s and 1990s in the metro area and his siblings, Howard and Anita, own Sweet Auburn BBQ in Poncey-Highland and Gezzo’s Coastal Cantina in Bolton.

Liberty Farms duck Ryan Fleisher
Wagyu steak and eggs at Lazy Betty in Candler Park Atlanta Ryan Fleisher

Lazy Betty opened in 2019 inside the former Radial Cafe space on DeKalb Avenue and quickly garnered local and national acclaim. The “lazy” in the name refers to a family joke poking fun of the Hsu sibling’s late mother, Betty, and her need to stay active and busy, even after retiring from the restaurant business.

Hsu and Phillips have since opened Humble Pie at the Interlock on Howell Mill Road and Vietnamese restaurant and bakery Juniper Cafe, which they closed earlier this year ahead of a planned relocation closer to the city center. Gezzo’s Coastal Cantina took over the Juniper Cafe space on Marietta Boulevard in May.

Lazy Betty

1530 DeKalb Avenue Northeast, , GA 30307 (404) 975-3692 Visit Website

Empire State South

999 Peachtree Street Northeast, , GA 30309 (404) 541-1105 Visit Website