Modern Restaurant & Bar, which replaced Copeland's of New Orleans late last year, has already been struggling but recent developments may take this new restaurant off the deep end. According to multiple sources, Executive Chef Mark Alba, along with newcomer Philippe Haddad, (who earlier this week had celebrated his joining the restaurant as General Manager) both walked out of the restaurant Thursday night. A number of servers and assorted cooks followed suit, leaving the restaurant so shorthanded that it was forced to close as of Friday. Calls to the restaurant Friday evening went unanswered, while driving by the restaurant I found signage posted on the restaurant's exterior alluding to the restaurant reopening on Monday.
For those of you who are not in Buckhead or were somehow unaware, this week is Buckhead Restaurant Week, which offers diners prix fixe menus for $15, $25 and $35 at a number of Buckhead restaurants, Modern among them. Modern, which normally is not so busy, was in fact quite crowded earlier in the week. That being said, with what one source claims to be only a single cook to prepare and plate all dishes for the entire restaurant, the closure was necessary.
One tipster says many of issues are related more to the ownership than anything else. Modern owner Kane Xu came to Atlanta from Connecticut where he also owned a restaurant. Xu swooped in shortly after Copeland's closure in August of 2011 and claimed that he would completely renovate the space and open in February of 2012. Fast forward to October 2012 and the restaurant finally opened.
I visited the restaurant only once and knew the restaurant would not last long. The food is good, but not exceptional, and the restaurant interior lacks character and is simply too big. Additionally, the signage is subtle, so much so, that given the that name, one is unsure whether its a restaurant or a furniture store!
OpenTable.com shows reservations available for the lunch and dinner service starting Monday the 18th so perhaps the restaurant will reopen. Perhaps Kane Xu will make peace with Alba and Haddad, but alas, perhaps this restaurant should never have opened.
Are you surprised by this restaurant news? Were you a fan of Modern? If Modern does in fact close soon, what would you like to see open in its place?