Cantina has closed as of dinner service tonight.
Here To Serve Restaurants has decided to throw in the towel on its Mexican concept, Cantina Taqueria & Tequila Bar, at Terminus in Buckhead. The restaurant opened as LOLA Bellini Bar & Restaurant in 2007, along with the rest of the Terminus development. Lola began as an Italian restaurant, but in 2009 was relaunched to include Mediterranean fare as well. The concept was relaunched and rebranded again in early 2010 to the current Cantina concept.
I reported in 2012 that intel at that time suggested that Ray Schoenbaum, founder of Rio Bravo, was in talks to take over the space for a Rio Bravo reboot. While there was discussion, the two sides never reached an agreement. I'm told that there are no plans for Schoenbaum to re-enter the picture, and that despite being told by a hostess that Cantina was closing for "renovations," it has instead closed for good. To that end, Cousins, who owns and manages Terminus, reportedly plans to "rework" the space, likely for a retail or other similar tenant, likely not a restaurant, Rio Bravo or any other.
Terminus as a project has not been the kindest to restaurateurs with Cantina being only the most recent failure at the development. Dressed, a build-your-own salad joint, closed at Terminus in late 2009. AquaKnox, an upscale seafood eatery, closed in early 2010, and Emerald Coast Coffee & Grille closed in mid 2011. While not entirely attributable to the Terminus project, MF Buckhead, the gourmet sushi eatery from the Kinjo brothers, closed at Terminus in early 2012.
Other businesses have also had issues at the center including All Wrapped Up, a gift wrap boutique, and The Grooming Lounge (and later William David Salon), all of which have closed at Terminus.
III Forks and Cantina Laredo were announced to be opening at Terminus 200 in 2008 but never opened.
Yogurberry, BrickTop's, The Flying Biscuit Cafe and Chick-fil-A represent the isolated "successes" at Terminus. I say "successes," as only BrickTop's represents what I would consider a strong performing operation. Chick-fil-A has limited hours and Yogurberry is sold by size where most consumers today want "self serve" FroYo by the ounce. The Flying Biscuit Cafe is, in my eyes, most likely to close next. The location and concept have struggled and the food has gone downhill over the past few years.
Subway opened in place of Dressed in 2011, and well, it's Subway, so people go.
Amura Sushi & Steak opened last year in place of MF and is reportedly not doing so well, while Industry Tavern opened in April in place of Emerald Coast.
Jack's New Yorker Deli opened at Terminus 200 in 2011 and is easily one of the more popular / successful eateries at the project.
While some say the logistics of Terminus make is unappealing to diners / customers, the parking situation is easily one of the least convenient / accessible in Buckhead today.
John Schaffner of Buckhead View reported in April that Cousins was preparing to add a 5,000 square foot, two story "in-fill addition" to Terminus. The addition is meant to "provide solution to a wind tunnel effect that renders the patio area unsuitable for outdoor dining as intended."
Is Cousins doing too little, too late, or will this addition save the remaining restaurants at Terminus? How would you like to see the Cantina space repurposed? Where do you go for Mexican food in Buckhead?