Saturday, July 25, 2015

Angry Chef Abandons Timone's, Last Service Sunday Evening

Morningside eatery to close, Diner next? 

Timone's,  "pizza, grocery, deli" will close after dinner service on Sunday, a little more than six months after reconcepting.   The closure announcement was posted yesterday to Timone's facebook page. Interestingly, although the Timone's facebook page has fewer followers than ToNeTo Atlanta's facebook page, seven people had "liked" the closure announcement:

"Hey folks, as many of you know, our “long, strange trip" at Timone’s has certainly been an interesting one. To say it has been a learning experience is definitely an understatement. And while we certainly had our "ups and downs" at Timone’s, I think that our efforts to try and make Timone’s work truly demonstrated our commitment to this beloved neighborhood. But unfortunately, we have arrived at a tough crossroads, and I have decided to close Timone’s. As not to focus on the negative here, one door closes and another opens; I think it’s time we take a step back, and focus on the core elements that initially defined our success here in Morningside. Rosebud and The Family Dog have undoubtedly been steadfast parts of this neighborhood, and while exploring other growth options is exciting, these two concepts reflect my personality like no other. Life brings many lessons; hopefully the hardest ones yield a level of clarity that allow you to return to your roots, and apply what you have indeed learned to these things and make them that much better. I look forward to seeing you soon enjoying our version of community as we serve it at Rosebud and The Family Dog. –Ron Eyester"

Timone's originally opened in July 2013, before closing for a few months in 2014 and eventually reopening this past January.  

When it first opened, Timone's replaced  short-lived waffle eatery Waffold, which itself had replaced short-lived burger joint Burger Tap.  (J.P. Kim, once of Yoforia, was responsible for both the waffle and burger concepts.)  

Caramba Cafe was the most popular occupant of the space, and they relocated to the Pencil Factory Lofts in 2010 after operating in Morningside since 1988. Caramba Cafe closed at the Pencil Factory Shops at the end of last year

In Morningside, Eyester operates Rosebud and The Family Dog, both popular restaurants in the neighborhood.  I say "in the neighborhood," as it's unclear that if you were to pit them against restaurants in a more competitive neighborhood, they would survive.  Eyester's food is ununspired and his persona better suited to a Bravo reality show or as a Joan Rivers replacement on Fashion Police.  


Top Chef viewers may recall that Chef Eyester was eliminated in week three of Season 12 of the popular show, making him one of the worst performing Atlanta-based chefs in the show's history. 

Interestingly, in Eyester's emotional closure comments, he makes no mention of his other troubled restaurant, Diner, at Atlantic Station.  

Diner was first announced in the spring of 2013 with a planned opening in December 2013.  The creatively named restaurant eventually opened this past March and was almost immediately panned by media and yelp critics alike.  

Among the more entertaining Yelp reviews:

"Everytime my bf & I go to this place, we say..."let's get there before it closes for good."  It's almost as if they're attempting to fast track themselves to mediocrity."

Another user created an entire drinking game out of the terrible service she experienced.

---DINER DRINKING GAME--- 

Rules: everyone brings their drink of choice. I recommend something you can down a lot of.   
1. Upon arriving if there is no one at the hostess stand, drink while waiting until someone arrives.   
2. If your server says "I'll be right back to take your order"....IT'S A RACE! Send everyone but the person who suggested Diner out in Atlantic Station. See how many people can go to a different establishment, get served, take a shot, and come back before the server does. If you actually take longer than the server, drink. If everyone comes back before the server, the person left takes a shot.    
3. Power hour: take a sip on the minute every minute your tiny water glass goes empty.   
4. If two or more people verify that your dish is prepared poorly (burned food, way over salted, etc.) drink half your drink.   
5. Drink for every item you try to order that the server says is unavailable.   
6. Take a shot if your server tells you to come back at a different day/time because that time is when the "A-Team" is in the kitchen.  
7. Count how many times the menu refers to another restaurant. Take that many drinks.   
SOCIALS: - Every time someone in your party mentions that it's warm inside the restaurant.  - If your server blames anyone else (chef, manager, owner, etc) for the poor experience.  - If food is delivered without silverware

Another user said of his experience at Diner "This is one of the worst meals I have had in a long time!  Everything was terrible."

All in all, the theme seems to be high hopes lead into eventual letdown.  

You've heard my thoughts on Eyster and his restaurants, what do you think?  Can Diner survive? Are Rosebud and The Family Dog as mediocre as they seem?  Will you miss Timone's?

Please weigh in below.  

13 comments:

ImAndy said...

I never go to Atlantic Station but went last night actually to try Pig and Pearl. While I thought the menu was interesting what I ended up ordering was excellent! I could not help but notice that for a Friday night the place was about 3/4 empty. AS restaurants just don't seem to get foot traffic or maybe it was an off night. I can't imagine they'll be around long either with those kinds of numbers.

Anonymous said...

Nobody really cares if you have more likes than the place you're writing about.

Anonymous said...

What a cursed space. I finally made it to Timone's a few weeks ago and thought it was fine. What are people looking for exactly? Atlantans can be so fickle with restaurants. But it would certainly help if there were better parking in the area. Same issues exist at The Prado, poor signage, horrible parking situation.

Anonymous said...

I care! I thought the Facebook followers comment was self-deprecating and funny :)

Anonymous said...

I've been to Timone's and thought it was excellent. Diner at Atlantic Station has been a terrible disappointment to say the least. For awhile, I have thought that a good neighborhood pizzeria could do very well at Atlantic Station. It seems inevitable that Diner will close down, and probably sooner rather than later. It doesn't even seem like they're trying. Might not be the worst idea to relocate Timone's to the Diner space, or at least part of the Diner space.

Anonymous said...

Eyester is a hideous person inside and out. Its not surprising that once he saturated the once needy Morningside, he fails at everything. i think that his performance on that cooking show is a harbinger of his future woes.

Matt said...

this is a shame for the neighborhood. there simply are not enough delivery or walkable family options in morningside. since he loves to mash his concepts together (a jewish deli AND a pizza place!) maybe he should just offer pizza delivery from the family dog.

Russ said...

I agree Matt, too few options for a thriving neighborhood with plenty of disposable income. I think delivery pizza prepared with quality could succeed in that area.

Jodyml813 said...

The Diner still has no alcohol license but advertises BYOB. Was a little suprised given how many other restaurants in Atlantic Station have alcohol. The waitress actually suggested I get something from Publix.. um no thanks, will go across the street to a restaurant w bar service. I was told they would have alcohol after the BB&T tennis tournament as they were approved but didnt want to rush? Seems like terrible timing since the tennis tounament brongs in tons of traffic? Agree, dont see this lasting too long.

Russ said...

I've heard Eyester has been having disputes with his distributors over owed bills. Again just a tidbit I heard from a trusted friend and can't independently verify. But on that note, we were recently at Family Dog and noticed how many beers and menu items they were out of. We asked about at least 5 beers on the menu and the bartender said they were out of them. She mentioned they were waiting on a delivery but didn't seem confident in her answer.

So who knows what's going on there but hopefully they get it worked out at both locations soon!

RIB1010 said...

Karma's a bitch. But then so is Eyester. I really tried to like Family Dog...but the music is too loud and it is NOT built for live bands. (I was in the music biz for 25+ years, not just a cranky patron).
Music should set the mood not keep you from hearing the friends you came to drink with. Conversation is IMPOSSIBLE.
Hopefully he'll sell his liquor license to someone that wants to run a bar not a concert venue.

MHBrown said...

Ron Eyester has to be the worst restaurant businessman in the universe. Timone's had table service, but the pizza—just about the easiest food to not screw up—was erratic. I went a dozen times and it was often burned to where I had to send it back. The beer selection was terrible. Still, it was a nice place to bring the family. Eyester, however, is well known to be overtly antagonistic to children, families with children and especially families with children and dogs. So what does he do? Opens a place in Morningside, known for its families with dogs. Still it worked. Then he closed it. He reopened it with no table service, surly counter help, overpriced and understocked deli with boutique foodstuffs in jars. What a disaster. I'm surprised he made it six months. It reminds me of the play The Producers where the main characters create a play sure to bomb so they can collect on the insurance money. In that story, however, it was a success in spite of itself. For Eyester, he just has no taste.

AtlCREChris said...

Brutal..the restaurant business is by far the most difficult in all of retail, the easiest to critique yet hardest to perform flawlessly. I feel for you Ron, hate to see anyone struggle, but loved that you tried. That's more than most people can say..