Thursday, April 18, 2013

Peasant Bistro Pulls out of Downtown

The Peasant Bistro has closed.

Maureen Kalmanson and Pam Furr decided to close their downtown restaurant this past Saturday in order to focus on their current and upcoming midtown projects.

Peasant Bistro opened in 2006 on the bottom of the Embassy Suites, overlooking Centennial Olympic Park on Park Avenue West.   Campagnolo, which can be translated "peasant," opened a little over a year ago on Piedmont Avenue in midtown. Earlier this year came word that the partners planned to open a new restaurant, Henry's Midtown,  near Campagnolo, at 10th and Juniper Streets.

Kalmanson and Furr are 25+ year veterans of the restaurant industry, having spent decades growing the original Pleasant Peasant restaurants with Bob Amick.  The pair even owned one of the last remaining Peasant restaurants, on Peachtree Street, but closed it not long after opening the Peasant Bistro downtown.

It would seem that the partners are pleased with midtown, and perhaps displeased with downtown.  This, of course, is rather odd given the limited options downtown and variety of walking options in midtown.  I will say that that their location, on the back side of the Embassy Suites, may have made it difficult to describe to some, and of course offered zero visibility from Marietta Street.

I know for a fact that the restaurant was busy during the recent Final Four, but so was just about every other restaurant.

Now you can look forward to Henry's, which I'm now told will open next month, and reminisce about the Peasant  restaurants of Atlanta.


Darin said...

Damn. I'm not surprised, because they were mostly empty every night except for certain special downtown event nights. but I'm sad anyway because this was one of the very few good dinner options downtown for a nice night out.

The food and service were always good. I went several times with my wife (we live downtown) and we always enjoyed it.

French restaurants in particular have a really hard time downtown. FAB, Social, Les Fleur De Lis -- all of them were pretty short lived. Peasant Bistro stuck around a little longer at least.

Molly@The Nesting Game said...

I miss the old Peasant Uptown at Phipps. Chalkboard menus, Steak au Poivre, the meringue dessert in the flowerpot. (Granted, I was about 12 the last time I went there, but it was always special.)

As for PB, downtown just ain't where it's at for the locals.

Darin said...

RE: "downtown just ain't where it's at for the locals."

Just want to rep my 'hood and mention that thousands of people live Downtown. We are locals.

I understand that you mean Atlantans who don't live downtown seldom go there for dining. We're all painfully aware of that down here. But I just cringe when it seems like someone is suggesting that there is no local presence downtown. We live here.

Anonymous said...

It would be sad if finances played a role in the owner's decision to close.

Anonymous said...

No matter how good a restaurant is in downtown, the locals do not support it enough where it's sustainable for it to make money, they depend on tourism traffic in downtown. Going to eat there once or twice a month is not supporting it. Let's face it, downtown never became that great turn around story that all the cheerleaders were promising. The unsavory elements still reeks all around the downtown area. Just like the Underground, no matter how much money the govt throws at it, it's still a failure decade after decade. That's the bottom line.

Anonymous said...

Yup...why would I hassle for a potentially unsafe parking place, feel comfortable walking by all the thugs and the pandhandlers, not to mention the traffic just to eat downtown?

Not going to happen.

Atlantic Station isn't much better but I don't go there either. Too thuggy.

Darin said...

RE: "No matter how good a restaurant is in downtown, the locals do not support it enough where it's sustainable for it to make money, they depend on tourism traffic in downtown."

But the same is true of any restaurant in any neighborhood. Look at any popular restaurant in Inman Park or ViHi. It doesn't rely only on locals in that neighborhood. It couldn't. No restaurant of considerable size and quality does. The customer base is always drawn from a mix of locals and visitors. Downtown restaurants are no different though, yes, we certainly have more visitors than most because of the attractions and events spaces.

RE: "no matter how much money the govt throws at it, it's still a failure decade after decade. That's the bottom line."

This is obviously untrue. Downtown has a troubled spot in the area south of Marietta Street at Five Points, but in no way is the overall Downtown area a failure. We have many restaurants that have succeeded for years (like Max Lager's) mixed with newer ones going strong (Alma Cocina or the constantly-packed Meehan's) and even exciting new concepts like Naan Stop that chose Downtown and a place to start and grow.

Our office market is not terribly hot right now, but that's to be expected in a metro with so many choices in office markets all over.

Downtown is a great place to live. Ask me or any of my neighbors.

Anonymous said...

That place sucked. I worked for those two for two years. They treat their staff like shit. They gave the entire restaurant staff a two day notice that they were closing for good. All of their restaurants have failed so it is only a matter of time before these two bomb. Don't support these women. They are HORRIBLE people.

Anonymous said...

From my experience with her as a customer I am going to agree with Anonymous.

Anonymous said...

In reply to the above comments, I worked for both women and if still in the hospitality business, would have chosen to do so again in a heartbeat. I learned an enormous amount from them and they were always kind and fair. I would wager that there are thousands more who agree with me.

Anonymous said...

Maureen was cool
A true professional in every sense of the word. She possesses impeccable service standards and integrity. Daniel Atwood (formerly of H2S) twist and prime, who wrote the menu at PB, is also a rockstar. I enjoyed working with both of them. Pam Furr , on the other hand, couldnt run a burger king. The lady is an incompitent, confused, micro managing, joke. Im pretty sure she got her service standards at dennys (third shift). Maureen, you better buy her out, or shes going to run anything you open into the ground. Love you maureen. Your the best in the buisness.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the historic documentation!

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