Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Vine & Tap Goes Rotten in Buckhead, Abruptly Shutters

Vine & Tap promoting their failed effort to add lunch business 
Vine & Tap on Lenox Road has closed 

Vine & Tap, the Buckhead wine bar and restaurant that opened in early 2014, closed this past weekend.   The roughly 2,800 square foot restaurant was located in Lenox Village, a small center nestled on Lenox Road where one can also find Roasters, Yogli Mogli and Mae's Bakery, among others.   While staff was unaware of the planned closure, a ToNeTo Atlanta tipster informed me last week that the restaurant was slated to close March 31st.  I called the restaurant a few times last week to inquire on this expected timeline and was informed that there were no imminent plans to close.

Sources close to the restaurant indicate the restaurant abruptly closed after dinner service Saturday night, April 1st. The restaurant is normally closed on Sundays and Mondays, so many staff reportedly did not find out until they reported for work on Tuesday afternoon that the restaurant had indeed closed.  

Ryan Catherall, son of Here to Serve Restaurants founder and current Taco Cowboy restaurant owner Tom Catherall, was named Executive Chef of Vine & Tap this past January.  Last July, Catherall was named Executive Chef at Char Korean Bar & Grill in Inman Park, but left the position this past October. Additionally, Catherall was at some point involved as a "chef" at Buckhead Village Italian eatery Portofino according to his Facebook page. 

Vine & Tap was opened by Ian & Susan Mendelsohn with Susan reportedly providing much of the funding for the business.  Vine & Tap opened in place of what had most recently been a restaurant called Pizzeria Venti and Cedar's Mediterranean before that.  While under construction prior to its opening, Vine & Tap suffered a fire causing the renovation timeline and expense to skyrocket. 

The restaurant, which was previously dinner only, tested lunch hours last year and rebranded the restaurant "Lobster Shack" Tuesday-Saturday during lunch.  The effort failed to catch on and the restaurant reverted back to dinner only.  

Until today, the restaurant's Facebook page has been silent since January 26th.  Today, the following message was left:

"We regret to inform you that we have closed due to the health of myself and my family.  It has been a pleasure being part of the Atlanta restaurant community over the last several years.  We have made good friends, and even better memories. We will see you all soon. Thank You"

Sources close to the restaurant indicate that Mendelsohn had been quietly shopping the restaurant to prospective buyers for nearly a month and that marital problems likely played a part in the decision to close.  

Are you surprised that Vine & Tap closed?  What would you like to see open in place of Vine & Tap?  Are you opening a new restaurant or are you in need of staff?  

Please share your thoughts and contact information below to help get those affected by this closure back to work.

5 comments:

Katherine Silverman said...

Not shocked, but saddened. I went once about two years ago. The food and service were both mediocre.I would love to see an independent wine bar make it in Buckhead with a really interesting wine list, but sadly this just wasn't the place.

Carl Muth said...

I'm surprised that they lasted as long as they did. His wife must have been making pretty good money to keep the restaurant afloat for this long...

jeff a. taylor said...

I understand it is a rough, even brutal, business. But treating your employees like chattel says an awful lot about your values. Forever.

oden said...

Don't you dare disrespect the Mendelsohn's.

Anonymous said...

Disappointed that this happened, but not surprised. It was a cool place, but I wanted it to be better. The service was definitely spotty. It felt like they had a good idea, but they weren't quite good enough at executing the concept. The shopping center is odd and parking can be a problem.

I think whoever moves in should target locals. Lots of people can walk there, which is great considering traffic and alcohol consumption. So why not local specials? Loyalty programs. Happy hour for locals. I think a tapas and wine place with local targeted promotions could work.