Wednesday, September 11, 2013

HOLA! Mexican Cantina May Be Dead Before Dia de Muertos

HOLA! Mexican Cantina is on the chopping block.


Serial entrepreneur Mike Brosius opened HOLA! Mexican Cantina in downtown Decatur this past May after an extensive remodel.  The space, at the corner of East Ponce de Leon Avenue and Church Street, was in the mid 90s an Atlanta Bread Company location, and after sitting idle for many years, had most recently been the ill-fated Decatur Diner.  When the diner closed, many in Decatur referred to it as the  "end of an error."

Now, just a few short months after opening, and after already announcing plans for a second location in Roswell, the Decatur location is up for grabs.

I stumbled across a listing on a real estate website for a restaurant described as "Historic downtown Decatur restaurant, bar & patio."  Suspecting this was HOLA!, I cross referenced the square footage against that of Decatur Diner and voila! In the days that followed, I found the restaurant listed for sale by local broker Steven Josovitz of The Shumacher Group.

I have copied the highlights of the listing below.

"Great concept in place that can be kept as is and licensed from Multi-Unit group or converted to any upscale, casual or high energy restaurant, bar or retail use. Partner split forces sale of hottest restaurant space in Historic Downtown Decatur."

"The Owner of this Historic Downtown Decatur Restaurant, Bar & Patio invested $750,000 into this project. Space was recently remodeled and includes almost all new HVAC, plumbing, electrical, grease trap along with a fully equipped state of the art exhibition kitchen. All furniture, fixtures, and equipment are in mint condition. 3300/sf plus 1500/sf outdoor patio that has the best visibility in all of Decatur. Seating for 100 plus 75-seats outdoors."


Personally, I'm rather surprised that after investing $750,000 in improvements and equipment, Brosius is prepared to sell the business for a mere $425,000  with "very generous owner financing to very qualified individual with only 20% down."


The restaurant has an overall three star rating on both Yelp and Urbanspoon with many of their low ratings attributed to poor service.

One reviewer in particular mentioned a specific waitress, Rachel, saying she  "was bad-mouthing the restaurant as not having real Mexican food.  She also commented on how the name was accented incorrectly."

Perhaps a hospitality training course could improve what seems to be largely an issue with insufficient training.

I've heard of at least one interested party that would convert the restaurant to a new concept, but talks are preliminary at this point.

What would you like to see happen to this restaurant space?  
Would you prefer for someone to purchase and improve HOLA! or would you like for a new restaurant to open in its place?  
What type of restaurant would you like to see open is HOLA! closes?  
Please share your thoughts below.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Josovitz listings are most always exaggerated. Numbers just don't add up. Good luck getting 75 seats on this patio, or proving a net income multiplier that fits the asking price. At least the location description is fair. My guess, Decatur Diner did most the heavy lifting. Yellow and blue chairs from ikea does not equal 750k. Additionally, (imo) rent that outpaces the once hot, now saturated, decatur market = no bueno 44