Monday, August 16, 2021

[CLOSURE ALERT] Longtime Lebanese Restaurateur Calls it Quits After Nearly Four Decades

Nicola's Restaurant, a popular Lebanese eatery, has closed.  Located at 1602 LaVista Road, Nicola's has been a neighborhood mainstay since Nicola H. Ayoub opened it in 1984.  Nicola's featured live belly dancing and a menu full of Middle Eastern favorites.  Prior to the pandemic, the restaurant was open throughout the week but as of this past March, its operating hours were reduced to only Fridays and Saturdays from 5PM to 10:30PM.  

Nicola's last hurrah was this past Saturday, August 14.  A local estate sale company held a one day liquidation sale on Sunday to clear out the restaurant's 27 years worth of memories.  

Ayoub, who according to DeKalb county tax records, owned the property, seemingly decided that at age 75 and with the pandemic still very much a thorn in the side of restaurateurs, now was the time to retire.  Local real estate firm Bull Realty had been marketing the .2 acre property for $795,000.  The 2,957 square foot freestanding building the restaurant occupied was originally built in 1959 and included seating for 118 and parking for 13 vehicles, according to marketing materials.  

Sources close to Ayoub tell ToNeTo Atlanta that the property has been sold and that a new restaurant is to open in the space before the end of the year.  In case you don't live in or frequent the area, it's worth noting that unlike when Ayoub first opened the restaurant, today the restaurant is located in the ever growing City of Brookhaven.  

Are you sad to see Nicola's close?  What is your favorite longtime Atlanta restaurant?  Has the uptick in cases due to the new Delta variant of the Coronavirus changed your dining habits?

Please share your thoughts below.  

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yes. I am back to looking for places with outdoor dining options.

Anonymous said...

Nicola will be sorely missed

Danita Turner said...

A wonderful person and the best food. Have a wonderful retirement!

Unknown said...

Nicola's had the best grape leaves and baba ganoush in the city. Everything was made fresh. Really sad to see it go.

Anonymous said...

Well deserved retirement - that's one heck of a run.
And the Ayoubs are a first class family. May the next owner be as great an asset as Nicola's!

Unknown said...

Sad to see Nicola's close. Went there often with the vegetarian club years ago. Always enjoyed the food and the atmosphere. Have a happy retirement!

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