Monday, October 15, 2018

[SOS] Legal Sea Foods to Sleep With the Fishes in Downtown Atlanta

Boston's Legal Sea Foods plans to shutter its lone Atlanta outpost at the close of business on Tuesday, December 18, after just over a decade in operation.   The restaurant opened as the onsite restaurant of the Hilton Garden Inn Atlanta Downtown in 2008.  While the restaurant was a welcome addition to Atlanta, many readers have lamented over the years that the restaurant just wasn't as good as the original in Boston.    
The 9,000 square foot restaurant had a presence on two floors of the hotel and was located near the corner of Baker Street and Park Avenue West, close to the Georgia Aquarium and the College Football Hall of Fame, among other attractions.

By closing on the 18th though, Legal will forgo a number of upcoming lucrative revenue opportunities including the Peach Bowl (December 29), New Year's Eve (December 31) and Super Bowl LIII (February 3), among other events.  

Legal's closure downtown leaves McCormick & Schmick's as the area's lone upscale seafood option.  McCormick & Schmick's, a concept owned by Tilman Feritta's Landry's, Inc., closed its outpost in Dunwoody early this past January, but has kept its restaurant in downtown's CNN Center open.  

Privately held Legal Sea Foods has closed a number of restaurants over the years including outposts in White Plains and Garden City, New York, Sunrise and Boca Raton, Florida, and most recently, Tysons Galleria in McLean, Virginia this past September.  

The 242 room Hilton Garden Inn in which Legal is located is, like much of the "Luckie Marietta District," owned by David Marvin and his Legacy Ventures group.  Most restaurants in the area are Legacy concepts [Der Biergarten, Glenn's Kitchen, STATS, Twin Smokers etc.] and it's quite possible that they will seek to replace Legal with a concept of their own in 2019.  

Federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) notice filed with the Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) indicates that the restaurant plans to lay off 78 employees in conjunction with the closure.  

Given the seemingly endless barrage of restaurant openings in Atlanta, closures like this present both a challenge and an opportunity for employees.  Skilled workers are in high demand and will no doubt be looking for new jobs, especially given the closure is slated for the tail end of Hanukkah and just a week before Christmas.  

Are you surprised that Legal Sea Foods is closing in Downtown Atlanta?  What would you like to see replace Legal Sea Foods in Downtown Atlanta?  Where is your favorite place for seafood in metro Atlanta?

Please share your thoughts below.   

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