Friday, October 9, 2015

Is BLT Steak Checking Out of the W Atlanta Downtown?

BLT Steak to close downtown?

New York-based BLT Steak, (Bistro Laurent Tourondel)  may soon close its downtown Atlanta restaurant.  BLT Steak, located on Ivan Allen Jr. Boulevard at the W Downtown, opened in 2007.

A sales flyer from CBRE indicates the 7,400 square foot restaurant is being offered for lease for an undisclosed amount.  I contacted a restaurant employee who indicated he was unaware of any imminent changes or closure.  

This response seems to contradict the sales flyer which seems to indicate the space is available immediately.  It's also worth noting that the images on the sale flyer show the restaurant's exterior without the BLT signage, superimposed instead, "YOUR SIGN HERE" lettering is shown in yellow.  The sales flyer also notes  "*this is a open and operating restaurant- please do not disturb*"

Other W properties in Atlanta have changed their signature restaurants from those that they opened with as well. In 2012, W Atlanta Buckhead replaced Market, a contemporary American restaurant from chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten with Cook Hall, a gastropub.   Last year, W Atlanta Midtown replaced Spice Market, a southeast Asian restaurant also from Vongerichten, with TRACE, a southern, farm-to-table restaurant.  

If BLT does close it will not be the first out of town-based, upscale restaurant to fail in downtown Atlanta.  Maxim Prime, a collaborative restaurant from New York restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow and MAXIM Magazine, opened at The Glenn Hotel in 2008, but closed less than a year later,  in early 2009.  New York City-based Il Mulino also closed on Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta. The New York-based eatery open at 191 Peachtree in late 2008 and was closed by late 2010. Alma Cocina, a modern Mexican eatery from Atlanta's Fifth Group, now occupies the space.  

Elsewhere in Atlanta, countless other out of state-based restaurants, especially those from New York, have failed as well.  Wolfgang Puck Express, Craft, Emeril's, 5 Napkin Burger, Ocean Prime and AquaKnox have all failed to find consistent business in metro Atlanta.  At the same time, local operators like the aforementioned Fifth Group and Atlanta-transplant Ford Fry have both expanded their restaurant empires.  

Would you be surprised if BLT Steak closed?  If it did, what type of restaurant do you think would do well in its place? What is your favorite downtown Atlanta restaurant? 

Please share your thoughts below.  


Anonymous said...

I've been a few times around lunch and it seemed moderately busy at best. It's a little too far from most of the downtown office buildings and main convention hotels for folks to walk there. The whole area around Allen Blvd is still a bit of an island off to itself.

Anonymous said...

This is not an accurate story. BLT is NOT closing.