The visionary crew behind TOP FLR and The Sound Table are on the verge of their next venture. While the deal is not yet complete, it's likely the owners will turn their successful "Dinner Party" concept into an actual "permanent" restaurant in Midtown. A highly placed source tells me that the location they are in talks to lease is the recently vacated 980 Piedmont. This space has gone through a variety of concepts over the years, most recently it was home to the ill-fated Nona Mia. (Prior to Nona Mia: Sweet Devil Moon, Fishmonger Restaurant, Balance Restaurant and Big Red Tomato.) If anyone can make a go of it at this space, I think the team of Darren Carr, Jeff Myers and Patrick La Bouff have a good shot. Having turned what was the shuttered DaVinci's on Myrtle into the successful TOP FLR, and earlier this year opening the popular The Sound Table in the former home of "Over da Edge," this team seems to have a knack for turning unsuccessful spaces into neighborhood favorites.
Dinner Party presents some unique challenges in that it's successful now, in its current form, because of its uniqueness and ever-changing roster of guest chefs. Described as “A little bit speakeasy, a little bit supper club and definitely unique…” This may be a difficult aura and experience to recreate or replicate in a standard restaurant space. Executive Chef Shane Devereux serves as EC at TOP FLR but has also played an integral role at Dinner Party, and it would impossible for him to be a significant presence at both. Former Top Chef contestant and owner of both Super Pan and Pura Vida, Hector Santiago was one of numerous guest chefs who participated in "Dinner Party." Among the more interesting locations of prior Dinner Parties were the Millennium Gate in Atlantic Station, Piedmont Park and an airplane hangar.
Among other things I've heard is the idea that the restaurant may only be open 3 days a week to maintain the exclusivity and uniqueness of the concept. The key to this arrangement would be getting the rent to such a level that the restaurant could succeed with limited hours. Perhaps the space could be used for something else on the other days?Editor's note:
Another blog recently ran a contest asking its readers what should open in the vacant space discussed above. As usual, if you want gossip and nonsense you know where to turn. Trust that now and as long as this site is in existence, I, as a lifelong Atlanta resident, will have the freshest, most accurate information available. (Undoubtedly though, this story will end up being republished on numerous additional sites without credit being given.) I don't hide behind nonexistent "industry insiders" or regurgitate stories from other sites. This juice is freshly squeezed and never from concentrate. ToNeTo Atlanta