Bar Meatball, located at 1044 Greenwood Avenue in Virginia Highland, closed earlier this week. The meatball eatery opened this past February, replacing Pozole, a Mexican eatery that had been in business for eight years.
Joey Masi, who previously ran Pozole, partnered with his New York-based cousin Joe Federici to open the restaurant. Even before the first location opened, Masi talked of bringing Bar meatball to "other intown neighborhoods." The current status of the restaurant would seem to make that idea unlikely.
I visited Bar Meatball once, and while the theme and decor were great, the meatballs were not nearly as good as I'd hoped. Bar Meatball was modeled after popular New York eatery, The Meatball Shop. From what I hear, business was ok, not spectacular, but the addition of a food truck was broadening their reach to neighborhoods beyond Virginia Highland.
It's not yet known what exactly caused the closure but neighborhood intel indicates there was a disagreement between the cousins. Given Frederici was (from what I understand) still residing in New York, his distance alone could surely have made things challenging.
Though not definitively for the same reasons, the closure of Bar Meatball reminds me of the short-lived Atlanta presence of 5 Napkin Burger. The New York-based burger joint replaced longtime Midtown fixture Nickiemoto's in 2011 only to close about a year later.
While it's definitely sad to another restaurant close, it would also seem to present a unique opportunity for a group or individual to open in its place.
What would you like to see open in place of Bar Meatball?
Please share your thoughts below.