Saturday, March 16, 2013

Modern May be Going out of Style

Modern Restaurant & Bar in Buckhead has closed... temporarily...for now....

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?  

18 comments:

Carl Black said...

I've walked by there many times, curious why the scantily-clad smoking patrons were going there instead of Twin Peaks. The clientele's demeanor was enough to alert me that I didn't need to look at the menu.

Anonymous said...

Atlanta has a knack for attracting THE most incompetent business people, especially in the hospitality industry.

This blows my mind. How does one spend all the time, paperwork, money, construction, etc etc and yet be so incredibly misguided and incompetent.

That's a great location within walking distance of residences and hotels. There's no reason something successful can't operate there. And don't tell me about parking because there is plenty to be found if you're not lazy.

Anonymous said...

It s a shame and a beautiful restaurant and well designed - excellent food - service was getting up to par and busier by the day.

BUt it is circumstantial apparently due to the Ownership and those that actually worked it from what's on the street.

Anonymous said...

My first impression was how boring...nothing special. A manager who at one time was a chef! That was a big
why for me. The little guy doing music by door being so cool while on his phone. There's an employee who gives a great impression.
You open in Buckhead & try to compete you better be extra special! NEXT

Anonymous said...

Never judge a book by its cover. If you don't know the facts then don't assume, I would say to be fair. Staff was not the result of these events.

Anonymous said...

It says Mark Alba and Philippe Haddad walked out - maybe they were asked to leave. I found it odd that Philippe was the General Manager of Modern yet he was cooking at Yebo's on Sunday nights. Isn't that a conflict of interest???

Anonymous said...

I hope they can straighten this out. It is sad to see so much effort go to waste. Not to mention the fact that so many will lose their jobs to no fault of their own.

I appreciate anyone's efforts to start a business in Atlanta. At least they have TRIED.

Anonymous said...

The truth is: Philippe Haddad was let go on Wedensday night, Mark Alba was heard he is going to get fired on Saturday, so he came in Thursday morning to quit, and spread rumors in the kitchen, and he did have few followers to leave with him. The night Phillippe Haddad let go, he texted few front of the house suggest them not to come to work on Thursday. He and Alba met on Friday morning at Starbucks cross street further discuss how to distroy Modern right way. Someone called vendors to cancell all the delivery for the day even there are enough good people in kitchen willing to cook, but not too much you can do at 4:30 pm on a Friday . Non of front of house left with them on Thursday or Friday. You see, it's deadly when you hired wrong people.

Anonymous said...

Uhh.... can you write a coherent sentence please.

Anonymous said...

What difference does it make - it shows you what kind of people Mark Alba and Philippe Haddad are.

Anonymous said...

considering the numerous comments with terrible grammar that, it seems as though some sort of Modern insider has found there way here. Here's a tip - clean up your comments and try to be more subtle next time.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Chase Bank should consider this space for it's growing take over......on a more serious note, wouldn't be a bad spot for Cheesecake factory to relocate to if the signage was improved.

Anonymous said...

Accountants shut it down. Some shady financial practices were going on.

Anonymous said...

I work in Terminus. You know what we want? A friggin' place to eat lunch for under $12. Give us that, and you will reap the benefits.

Anonymous said...

Philippe Haddad??? What a joke!!

Atlantan99 said...

@Anon RE: Terminus for under $12.

I'm guessing you are not including Chick-fil-A, but what about Farm Burger or Jack's New Yorker Deli?

Thanks for the comment and for reading the blog.

Anonymous said...

5 days per week, about 49 weeks per year.

CFA - can't eat there too often
Subway/Jimmy Johns - Get's tired
Jacks - calling ahead you are okay, but gets too crowded
Jason's - eh
Piu Bella - pretty good but not good for the heart
Couple Sushi places every now and then..
Chipotle - no thanks
Kroger - every now and then
Cafe 100 (et al) - ok now and then
Twin Peaks - no skanks
Buckhead Pizza - tooo slooooow
Farm Burger - overpriced, often overcrowded but okay.
Cantina - according to various blogs that place is on verge of closing? so whats the truth?

Point is... this is a commuter city. Fancy restaurants won't succeed right here, right now. A casual restaurant with sidewalk seating would do great right there. Think Corner Bakery, but with a view of Starbucks!

Anonymous said...

speak for yourself! i enjoy quality and will pay for a good lunch no matter the cost!