Decatur's Atlanta Bread Company Closes Its Doors

Been waiting on this announcement for quite some time.

Louis writes in…

Atlanta Bread Company (next to Noddle) is closing for good after lunch today. From what I can tell, while the catering business was good, the dining-in crowd apparently had dwindled off. No idea what might occupy the space …

This is prime – with a capital “P” – real estate at a key corner of downtown.  What takes over this spot matters more than most.   Now that Leon’s has brought life to the opposite corner of Ponce and Church, we need to pull people across the street farther down Ponce.  ABC has been hindering this for years.  Let’s hope the replacement lives up to the expectation!

60 thoughts on “Decatur's Atlanta Bread Company Closes Its Doors”


  1. I heard they were leaving and was surprised not to see a sign on the door. Was going this morning to get one use out of my Bulldog Card, but oh well…never made it there a single time.

  2. Leon’s should buy it, block off Church Street between Leon’s and the ABC spot (aka “Leon’s Annex”) and make it one big outdoor patio with volleyball, bocce ball, fountains (of beer, of course), and some sort of livestock. Oh, and an organic garden.

    I’m only half-joking. Which half is up to interpretation.

  3. MC, I think you nailed it! I was thinking the same thing when I first heard the news. I’m down for some livestock and beer fountains! 🙂

  4. The ABC was a toilet. Sorry to say, but they were cheap with their portions, overpriced IMHO.

    I would be SHOCKED if a chain did not go in there, however. I just have a feeling that a chain will grab that place.

  5. No chains will touch it. Their research departments demand ample parking before they go into a market. They have zero parking.
    If anyone ever wanted to open a killer bakery in Decatur here is your chance. Bagettes, fresh bread, bagels, cakes, cookies, etc.

  6. Our ABC was a poor excuse for a “bread company.” It’s too bad that this is being blamed on the poor economy. Blame it on being a poorly run business that had a perfect location in a perfect trade area and blew it – badly. I don’t care what the economic conditions are, you still have to give your customers a reason to come back and I never heard one person who had a good experience there, myself included.

    I agree with Freak not to expect a chain on level of Panera Bread to go there given the lack of parking but something will snap it up. I’d love to see Duck’s Cosmic move to a more high-profile/visable spot. This seems like a perfect fit. More than anything it will come down to the type of rents the building owner charges. Is s/he willing and/or able to let a local up-and-comer get in there, or will the owner insist on a credit tenant? If it’s a credit tenant, it may sit unoccupied for a while.

  7. First Choice: Duck’s. Imagine the increase in their crack sales, ahem, donut sales they’d have in that high-visibility spot.

    Second choice: Livestock and beer fountains.

  8. The Duck’s bagels make Dancing Goats a destination for many. I overheard a conversation about this earlier this week in Buckhead.

  9. I guess I’m in the minority but I will miss ABC. It was a great place to take my baby daughter, the staff was always nice to me (they actually knew me after a while!), and I loved the avocado sandwich, which was huge and enough to share with the aforementioned child. I hope something better does go in there though – so much potential for that spot!

  10. Maybe the Twain’s/Brick Store/Leon’s/Squash Blossom folks can expand the empire by giving Dad “The Corned Beef King” his own deli….

  11. I Agree would be a great spot for the 5th Earl. Sure miss my moat & duke of earl. Anyone heard when and where they are coming back?

  12. BAKERY BAKERY BAKERY BAKERY BAKERY BAKERY or Duck’s (I love the Cosmic Salad–yes, they do make something besides donuts!).

  13. I think we need another pizza joint! (ha ha.. no).
    Actually 5th Earl would be AWESOME at the ABC location.
    Now I just hope Ruby Tuesdays follows ABC’s lead… then we could put Trackside there! 😉

  14. You are so right DM. The Tossed space is odd. It’s really big, expensive, and on the wrong side of the street with no parking. It will sit empty until the end of time.

  15. Good Riddance.

    ABC was a pit. Last fall I had some people meet me there for a quick, late lunch so I could show them around downtown Decatur and try to sell them on moving down from Yankeeland.

    Granted, it had been 8 or 10 years since I had been there last, but I was caught up in saying hello to my guests, ordering sandwiches, then sitting down before I began to realize what a dump it had turned into. I was mortified, but decided to gut it out.

    Sticky booth table. Sticky floor. Missing and soon-to-be missing water-sodden ceiling tiles bulging precariously downward. Tables and chairs in disarray, though we were the only customers. Flies. The large cockroach that crawled up the wall I was leaning against.

    The food was fine. The people behind the counter were pleasant, but not particularly bothered by my private complaint as we were leaving. I assume none of them was the owner.

  16. Moxie Java space has no parking, which is why I am sure any potential tenant with sense would steer clear ie: trackside. hmmmm But Atlanta Bread Company had no parking either. I think Trackside should go into the god awful Depeaux. I’m surprised their doors are still open.

  17. It sickens me to see any Decatur business close. It makes our town appear downtrodden with vacant spaces, and unappealing. We must rally around our local merchants and continue to support them. If you don’t like chains, fine, but there are plenty of locally owned stores and restaurants that offer competitive products and services with convenience and excellent customer service. They need our support, and our home values, and schools need to have a vibrant downtown commercial area. It’s called the trickle down effect. The more stores close, the further we will have do go for commerce and thus emit more green house gases, and the less these businesses will be able to contribute to the philanthropic needs in our community. Our home values will go down with the ‘ghost town’ appearance, and folks with children will not move here, and our schools will suffer too. YOU MUST SHOP AND EAT IN DECATUR!

  18. I – for one – will miss my “to go” Asiago cheese bagels w/onion & chive cream cheese or Frontier chicken chili in a bread bowl for Sunday brunch 🙁 But I will say the place had THE slowest toasters I’ve ever encountered.

  19. Granted some places aren’t great, however we have had tremendous amounts of closures. Sure, this is mostly because of the economy. I too, don’t frequent places I don’t like or have a need to go to. But, Decatur about 12 years ago WAS a commercial ghost town, that saw a resurgence, and we have all benefitted by this. Do we want this to end? All I am saying is to keep your money where you live. There is going to come a point where businesses stop filling the empty spots, and I think it is beginning. Look at the spots under the Artisan.

  20. Rebecca– I agree with you about the Artisan’s empty spaces. Unless/until they get a grip and realize that they need to give potential tenants a rent break until the economy picks up steam, they’re not going to maximize their inflow of new businesses. It’s not good for too many rental spaces right on the main drag to sit empty; I for one hope that landlords start getting a bit more realistic about what they can charge. Reduced rents are better than nothing!

  21. I can’t say anything different about the service or food that others have not already said. What I can say is that my weekend morning routine of the Asiago Cheese bagel (just like Cliff) and vanilla nut coffee cannot be replicated any closer than the Panera Bread Company in Emory Village. While I knew about the rat problem (not to mention the leaking roof problem after torrential rainfalls), I guess I accepted the restaurant as it was because it just seemed like a spot frozen in time.

    I honestly felt that an hour invested in a hole-in-the-wall place like ABC every Saturday morning somehow put the rest of the world in far-away perspective. The economy being what it is, I have been forced to work untold hours trying to keep the ship righted at my company. I could sit for an hour, exchange information with the coffee kvatch crew from the Towne Square condos next door, watch the emergency vehicles pass through the large windows, watch the joggers running up and down the street, and see Agnes Scott students and Marta workers (regulars all) stop by for the breakfast sandwiches. I liked having a place that epitomized that oft-mentioned Decatur dichotomy of “Berkeley-by-way-of-Mayberry” for the working professionals who are neither students nor retirees.

    Of course I am partly to blame for their closure. I only ate breakfast at ABC once or twice a week. I eat lunch and dinner at other places around Decatur because, as everyone mentioned, neither the food nor the service was exceptional. I guess I unwittingly voted with my dollars and, as they say on “Survivor”, the tribe has spoken and ABC’s flame has been put out in Decatur.

    I don’t know what I am going to do for breakfast now — probably I will eat cereal and brew my own cup of coffee. I guess that is what everyone else is doing these days.

  22. I totally agree with Food For Thought. Trackside should be in the old train station the Depeaux.

  23. Personally, I’d like to see retail go into the space.. another art gallery would be outstanding.. but..too many of those have gone under of late.. and it would be a tough buildout. It may be worth noting that, since moving from Oakhurst, our March sales (in a bad economy) have already doubled those from last year (in a good economy), so its not impossible. Also, like someone mentioned earlier, parking really is not a problem, just a perception 🙂

    Oh.. and did you know that Java Monkey has an outstanding buscuit with egg and sausage or bacon for breakfast until 11?

  24. If ABC had such a bug problem, what about Noodle? Usually if it’s the same building then everyone has the same problems when it comes to bugs.

  25. My vote would be for something along the lines of The Laughing Seed in Asheville. Quality veggie food that even carnivores crave. And an organic bar. Nice compliment to the meat & beer of other Decatur hotspots. But I’m not opposed to Alon’s – mmmmmm. Or how about getting a Goldberg’s on the east side?

  26. A really good Indian restaurant would be awesome in that space. Or maybe Zesto’s could move there from Little Five Points. A bakery would be nice as well.

  27. Noodle, unlike ABC, has regular pest control (I asked) and way better food for the money. I think an awesome vegetarian friendly restaurant like those in Asheville would be an excellent addition to Poncey-Church.

  28. love ducks where it is. the courtyard is sheltered from bustle, parking is great. East Decatur is vibrant and they are the perfect cornerstone business there.

  29. I love the idea of a bakery coming in. The Senior Citizens in Philips Tower depended on ABC as one of the closest walking cheap eats. They also depended on that location to rest & get a snack. Me too.
    A bagel store or Ducks will clean up in that spot. Like the Deli or basic diner idea,too. Would prefer an independent. I think it is important to have a mixture of “trendy, gourmet” eateries and more affordable basic options.

    To we who can walk easily, it seems Subway isn’t that much further. For the very elderly with aching feet, they will stay home. ABC was a definite draw mentioned by potential rentals as we tour apartments. Also consider we have more college students in town than ever who need a wifi hang out to study in without breaking them. Jurors and jurists need a quick, decent lunch option, too.

    We will remind our residents of the other options. Please remember that Decatur is about citizens of all ages and income levels. If any restaurant or store owners would would like to offer our residents a discount, please call or stop by.

    Rae Sirott, LCSW
    Service Coordinator
    Philips Tower
    404-682-4005

    I wish Nino and the gang the best.

  30. We work on the square so we ate there from time to time. The one thing we all always talked about was that the lady behind the counter seemed to hate her job. You could never order, pay, and get out fast enough for her. I hope she has a job she likes now.

  31. It sounds like a lot of ABC’s are going out of business because the franchisor wants them to do expensive remodeling. The following article describes why an Atlanta Bread Company in Gainesville, FL went out of business:

    http://www.gainesville.com/article/20090602/ARTICLES/906029918

    The one in Gainesville was also really run down like the one in Decatur.

    It would be great to have 5th Earl in that space. I miss them!

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