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.  

16 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!

Anonymous said...

Our family loves you and wishes you the best, thanks for all the great food
The Sullivan’s

yayamer said...

Nicola is going to be dearly missed. I'm so happy for him but sad for all of us that loved him seeing dancing and serving his customers like family...
THE BEST Kibbe nayeh and Baba ghanoush besides of my grandma's...

Unknown said...

I'm so incredibly sad to see Nicola's close. My family celebrated birthdays, anniversaries, hell just Tuesdays at this amazing place. Best lamb shank, kibee and hummus ever. Blessings to this amazing family. I will miss them so.

Naaisha said...

Nicola was like my second Lebanese grandfather. So many memories from my life were made there. From being in labor and eating Baba Ghanoush, to celebrating my husbands birthday who had cancer, to parties, and events and bridal showers and more with my children. I will always love the food and the memories. Well deserved retirement sir. We love you! May Allah bless you with everything you desire and deserve! Sending love from Na'aish and the Kids!!

Neil Copeland said...

My wife, Jane, and I are sad to hear about the closing of Nicola's Restaurant earlier this year. It was always a special place for us even after we moved to Hall County nearly 30 years ago. We have known Nick for over 40 years and loved his bubbling personality. We made many trips for special occasions or even just a wonderful meal over the years, and it was always fabulous! Having just retired myself, I hope Nick enjoys his well-deserved retirement and lives to be a very old and happy man. He always made our lives brighter every time we met!

-Neil Copeland (Nick's old Mayor friend) :)

Anonymous said...

Loved Nicolas and Nick. Incredible food and hospitality.

Anonymous said...

Sad. My hubby and I held our small wedding reception here. Everybody wants to pay including other customers.

Unknown said...

Nicola's was our family's favorite restaurant for so many reasons! The most important reason was Nicola, who put all his heart into making sure his guests had great food and great fun. We will always gratefully remember the wonderful times we enjoyed at Nicola's.

Unknown said...

Ohhhh noooo! Nicolas was our wedding venue in 1990! Small intimate with family and the best reception dinner ever! We will miss you Nick ❤️

john said...

My wife and I had our first date there back in 1991. We have been back many times since. We took out of town visitors there and they couldn't believe that you could just walk in to such a wonderful place like that and not have a reservation. I have some video-recordings of Nicola dancing with his niece who was a beautiful dancer and oddly enough, was also named Nicola. He was so entertaining and so full of energy. I f you didn't get up and danced at least once, it had to be because your legs were in a cast, because he always inspired. God Bless and enjoy your retirement.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...