In a strange turn of events, The James Joyce Pub, which closed in Avondale Estates at the end of September, and reopened days later under new ownership as The Hail Mary, has reverted back to the original ownership and again changed its name, now to Avondale Arms. James Joyce originally opened in 2002 and did well for a number of years but its owner, Denise Gerard, who also owns the popular Brewhouse Cafe in Little Five Points, saw sales lagging and sought a change.
The Hail Mary has had a location in Grayson, Georgia since 2008, and its owner Blake Hawkins stated at the time of the Avondale Estates opening that if successful, they hoped to franchise the brand. Based on the Decatur restaurant changing hands and concepts so soon after the Hail Mary conversion, perhaps the idea of a "family friendly sports bar" was not so well thought-out.
With Gerard back at the helm, Avondale Arms opened yesterday December 17th, and I'm told will not be an Irish pub, nor just a sports bar, but will hope to fuse successful aspects of both.
Do you live in the neighborhood and enjoyed The Hail Mary or did you miss The James Joyce? Have you already been to Avondale Arms? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.