Thursday, March 5, 2020

[OUR TAKE] Hudson Grille's Sudden Closure in Brookhaven

Here at ToNeTo Atlanta we are not huge fans of simply regurgitating news already reported elsewhere.  That said, several ToNeTo Atlanta readers reached out seeking our take on the recent closure of Hudson Grille in Brookhaven.  Eater Atlanta was first to report on yesterday's sudden closure, with a company representative telling the site that the restaurant's parent company, Atlanta-based Metrotainment Cafes and its owner, Jeff Landau “were unable to agree to terms” with the landlord on the bar’s lease at Brookhaven Station on Peachtree Road.  ToNeTo Atlanta requested further clarification to the leasing issue and was told only that it was "up for renewal."  


Hudson Grille Brookhaven, which measures a reported 8,000 square feet, opened in 2007 in a high profile, high visibility space previously home to Jocks & Jills, a similar but now defunct sports bar chain.  Hudson Grille, with six remaining locations, is Metrotainment's only current multi-unit concept, with locations in Alpharetta, Midtown, Kennesaw, Downtown, Sandy Springs and Tucker.  

The closure of Hudson Grille Brookhaven is the fourth closure by Metrotainment Cafes in just the past fifteen months.  The group also in 2018 officially called off plans to open a new Hudson Grille at Toco Hills, where Famous Pub had closed at the end of 2016. 

Cowtippers, one of the group's most popular restaurants, closed at the end of 2018, after a prolonged curtain call.  The site, once the home of an outpost of The Old Hickory House, was subsequently demolished with a new Chase Bank currently under construction in its place. 

This past October, Metrotainment closed its Hudson FC soccer-themed sports bar at Brookhaven Station where it was situated a stone's throw from Hudson Grille and adjacent to Sugar Shack, another sibling concept.  “We feel that while the restaurant was successful and became a home for Atlanta United and all soccer fans, it was not an ideal location for a soccer bar,"  Landau said at the time of the closure.

At the end of 2019, Guaco Joe's, the company's Mexican concept, quietly closed at Vinings Jubilee where it had operated for about five years. 

A company spokesperson told ToNeTo Atlanta by email that Metrotainment "is moving forward [with their Hudson Grille in Little Five Points ], and while there is not an exact opening date, we are projected for this spring."  That said, no construction/renovation permits have been filed with the City of Atlanta for the Little Five Points site previously home to Front Page News. 

Metrotainment Cafes, which Landau started in 1991, has over the years closed several restaurants - Garrison's Broiler & Tap (3), Joe's on Sullivan, Cheyenne Grille & Sports Bar, among others - but the current pace of closures is a bit alarming. 

Several readers and industry insiders believe Metrotainment may be having operational and or financial issues which have led to the recent rash of closures.  While those with whom we spoke stopped short of predicting a Here to Serve-like collapse, now might be a good time to use up any Metrotainment gift cards you have.  

Are you surprised by the recent closure of Hudson Grille in Brookhaven?  What would you like to see open in place of the former Hudson Grille Brookhaven?  Do you think more Metrotainment restaurants will close?

Please share your thoughts below.    

7 comments:

oden said...

Hope they all close! Hudson Grille is tired.

Anonymous said...

Never been a fan of Hudson Grille. I tried the Brookhaven location a few times over the year and each time the food was consistently mediocre or below and the service was downright terrible. It didn't make sense to go back so I didn't.

Anonymous said...

It was basically Applebees and Chilis with a slightly upgraded atmosphere but I think 97% of the population has gone to one of those when necessary and available. Great location, but sometimes I wonder if location isn't trumped (no pun intended) by perception. To catch eyes on a busy road and neighborhood, a place has to seem unique.

My one experience there was the servers were competent and attentive. That alone made me tip them well but.....nothing I wasn't receiving other places.

Anonymous said...

Well, because I was meeting some friends I went to the Sandy Springs location yesterday afternoon. It was mid day on a Sunday so not busy at all. Ordered a beer and the server disappeared for 15 minutes. Came back to our table and apologized and said they had to change out the keg. No problem - that happens, but maybe let someone know and see if they would rather get a different beer than wait that long?

Beer finally arrives and I ordered the ahi tuna salad with dressing on the side for lunch. It was a pretty decent salad but they forgot to put the dressing on the side, so, like in most restaurants there was too much dressing. This is why I don't go to Hudson. The service is never good.

Anonymous said...

@oden - Why wish failure upon a company that employs many? I too am not a fan of HG, but I just dine elsewhere. There are so many options in Atlanta. Why not just go to a restaurant that you like and not go to ones your don't like. Seems better than to wish failure...

Anonymous said...

The space was too large to fill on a consistent basis. Sure, sporting events would have people out on the patio but the food was so bad, there was nothing to draw in customers when there wasn't trivia or sports. We went several times because of the location and left disappointed. It's better to just go to Mellow Mushroom where the food is fresh and well-made.

I do think the rent must be high for this location and if you can't bring people in, you can't pay rent.

Anonymous said...

I'm not surprised. I don't think any Hudson Grille is very good. The food is nothing special. It would be nice if a great sports bar would open at the Brookhaven location.

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