“It was a tough decision,” said Andrea Jimenez, marketing director of the Buckhead Life Restaurant Group, which operates Buckhead Diner. “But at the end of the day, (Buckhead Life) co-founder Pano Karatassos has always been very good at figuring out when it’s time to move on to the next business.”
She said the restaurant group is focusing on several new projects, including the recent opening of the Lamb Shack ghost kitchen and the renovation of the Chops Lobster Bar. The decision was therefore taken not to renew the Buckhead Diner lease.
A restaurant move “is a possibility,” Jimenez said, “but not a priority.”
Serving lunch, brunch and dinner, the Buckhead Diner offered a menu that included buttermilk pancakes, omelets, burgers, crabcakes and its signature blue cheese chips.
Jimenez said the hope is to make several of the restaurant’s most popular dishes available on the menus of other Buckhead Life restaurants.
The restaurant had been closed since mid-2020. In an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution last July, Buckhead Life Executive Chef Pano I. Karatassos said Buckhead Diner would remain closed until the area saw an increase in attendance at the hour of the week. breakfast.
“The volume of the lunch at Buckhead Diner was a huge part of this business,” Karatassos said.
Other Buckhead Life restaurants, including Atlanta Fish Market, Bistro Niko, Chops Lobster Bar, Corner Cafe, Pricci and Kyma, have reopened in the past year after all temporarily closing in early 2020 due to the pandemic.
In addition to its comfort food, Buckhead Diner has become known over the years as a celebrity magnet, with stars including Robert Downey Jr., Jeff Foxworthy, Jimmy Buffett, Elton John, Ted Turner and Liam Hemsworth.
It was also the first step for chefs who left their mark in Atlanta with their own restaurants, including Gerry Klaskala, Kevin Rathbun and Joey Riley.
“He was a staple and an icon, and will always be remembered as such,” Jimenez said. “It combined fine dining and casual dining within its walls, and until then that hadn’t really been done. We are amazed at the legacy he leaves.
Cumming did not immediately respond to AJJ’s request for comment.