Sunday, May 17, 2020

[EXCLUSIVE] Local Hospitality Group Shutters Three Restaurants

Atlanta-based Southern Proper Hospitality Group seems to have permanently closed three area restaurants.  Based on local sources, calls to remaining locations and removals of the affected restaurants from their respective websites, it appears that Big Ketch Saltwater Grill Roswell, Tin Lizzy's Cantina at Emory Point [The Point] and Beni's Cubano at The Avenue East Cobb have all closed for good.  
The Big Ketch Saltwater Grill, located at 1105 Canton Street in downtown Roswell, opened in October 2015 and was the sibling of the original location on Roswell Road in Buckhead which opened in 2010.  The Buckhead location has been for several weeks open for takeout, curbside delivery and third party delivery but the Canton Street location has been "temporarily closed." According to OpenTable.com, reservations for inside dining will resume as of Wednesday, May 20 in Buckhead, whereas the Canton Street location will not reopen, according to multiple employees of the Buckhead location.  The Roswell location has also been removed from the Big Ketch website.  

The closure of The Big Ketch in Roswell is the second closure in just the past few days following the formal press release Friday announcing that C&S Seafood and Oyster Bar in Sweet Apple Village would close as of Friday evening, May 15.  The restaurant, from co-owners Rich Clark and Jon Schwenk, opened in 2016 as C&S Chowder House before being rebranded to its current name in 2019.  C&S Restaurant Group operates two additional concepts, C&S Seafood and Oyster Bar- Vinings and Hugo’s Oyster Bar, both of which remain open. The restaurant group will also welcome another C&S Seafood and Oyster Bar location to Modera Sandy Springs along Roswell Road near City Springs later this fall. 

Beni's Cubano, located within "The Hub" at Peachtree Center, opened in late November 2017, and was the sibling to the original location at Avenue East Cobb in East Cobb, where it shared space with sibling concept Tin Lizzy's Cantina.  Despite the Beni's downtown location having been removed from the Beni's Cubano website , we have now learned that the East Cobb location is in fact the location that has closed for good.   Maurcio Diaz, former Managing Partner with Southern Proper,  purchased the Beni's name, concept and intellectual property earlier this year [from Southern Proper] and will continue operations as is at The Hub.  

Tin Lizzy's Cantina, Southern Proper's flagship brand, closed its outpost at The Point along Clifton Road across the street from the CDC.  The closure, which many in the area felt was foreshadowed for some time, was easily the most predicable of the three Southern Proper closures.  Despite a new name, "The Point," restaurants, except for The General Muir, have consistently struggled at the mixed-use development.  Tin Lizzy's marks at least the ninth restaurant closure at the project.  Following the closure at The Point, Tin Lizzy's still have nine locations in Georgia and one in Tallahassee, Florida.  According to the Tin Lizzy's website, all but the Midtown, Buford and Tallahassee locations have reopened for dine-in/takeout service.  The Point location has been removed from the website.  

Tin Lizzy's closure at Emory Point marks the second permanent closure in the area following news earlier this week that Lucky's Burgers & Brew has closed in nearby Emory Village.  Locally owned Lucky's opened in late 2015 along North Decatur Road in a former Starbucks.  The eatery was at the time the third location following the original in Roswell and sister location in Brookhaven.  A fourth outpost was added last year to Marietta Square Market.  A source close to the Emory Village landlord tells ToNeTo Atlanta that Lucky's lease was up and that the closure was merely accelerated by rather than the result of COVID-19.  There is not yet a planned replacement for the roughly 2,200 square foot space, the source added.  

The COVID-19 pandemic is no doubt wreaking havoc on the hospitality industry, but as we have reported on in recent weeks, many of the closures that have occurred thus far seem to be closures of under-performing units or locations already marked for non-renewal/closure. There was reportedly no signage up at any of the aforementioned Southern Proper concepts indicating a reason for the closures, and attempts to get comment from the group's public relations representative were unsuccessful.  

Are you surprised that Southern Proper closed The Big Ketch, Tin Lizzy's and Beni's Cubano?  What is your favorite Southern Hospitality Group concept?  Where are you most excited to dine-in again?

Please share your thoughts below.  

UPDATE 5/18 10:30AM: This post has been updated to accurately reflect the sale, closure and continuing operations of the Beni's Cubano concept.  We apologize for any confusion or inconvenience.    

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