5th Earl Terminates Lease After 8 Months of Waiting

I sent a note to the owners of 5th Earl yesterday after someone inquired about the status of rebuilding and reopening the space.

Last night I received a note back from 5th Earl co-owner Brian Bressler informing me that after months of waiting, they had terminated their lease with the landlord of the burned space and would not be reopening there in the future.  To put it modestly, it seems there was a major falling out between parties.

Brian said that he has no immediate plans of reopening elsewhere, as they “are still muddling thru the last portion of our insurance claim, to see where we end up.”

I wish them the best, and am optimistic that one day they can do another great rehab around town and start serving up those great sandwiches again.

27 thoughts on “5th Earl Terminates Lease After 8 Months of Waiting”


  1. I will wait for Fifth Earl to come back to life. There is no where else in Decatur that serves
    better deli food, and in such a wonderful atmosphere. I am sure they will find a new location
    that will be even better than the old one. I’m waiting, waiting, waiting…

  2. Please please please open up somewhere soon…I am SO craving a number of your sandwiches. Best of luck with everything!

  3. Fifth Earl, we need you. One of the very few places that everyone in our family loved to go to. Crossing our fingers you return somewhere in Decatur very very soon.

  4. Yes, please do open again! What about the old Voila space on the west end of Ponce, would it be large enough?

    1. Who is the landlord?
      Let’s just say I’m not surprised that no reasonable agreement could be reached.

      A shame, in another long list of them.

  5. I will hold out hope that they will reopen. They were a wonderful addition to the Decatur community, and I miss them greatly.

  6. I also hope they re-open somewhere in Decatur! I miss their sandwiches so much.

    Hopefully by breaking their lease, they’ll have the opportunity to do so a lot sooner than would have been possible by waiting for the old space. (could be years before it’s back, given the current pace!)

  7. Viola would be a great spot… as would the old Little Azio spot next to Cafe Cliche… Plenty of empty spaces in the West Ponce area!

  8. Can we discuss the landlord issues to give us some better insight into helping Fifth Earl find an ideal location? I’m sure they have their own requirements in that regard. Voila’s location is great, but seems like a very small space compared to what they had (also total lack of atmosphere). Little Azio’s location is good and larger, but also has total lack of atmosphere. Fifth Earl’s appeal was aesthetic as well as GREAT FOOD! How do you get that ceiling height and exposed brick and old wood aesthetic unless it comes with the property? Parking is also an issue at the Little Azio location, but would be fine at the Voila location…

    1. Great observation Carolyn. One of the other key things that David mentioned in his email was all the renovation that they had done on the space and that if they were to reopen they would want to create the same kind of atmosphere…so many spaces in Decatur wouldn’t qualify.

      And while he certainly left the door open for reopening elsewhere, it sounds like if they go that route it will be a long uphill climb.

  9. Parking is also an issue at the Little Azio location, but would be fine at the Voila location…

    Hmm … I actually percieve it as the opposite.

    1. Agree. I park in back of the building that has Cafe Cliche and used to have Little Azio and parking has been great there. Even when Little Azio’s was full, I didn’t have a problem. Unfortunately for Little Azio’s, potential patrons may not realize that there’s great parking in the back and think that only the two metered spaces in front are available. The owner really needs to put out a sign that says something like “Parking Available for Patrons” because I think the perception of no parking hurt Indie and Little Azio.

  10. Does this likely mean that Trackside won’t come back either? I was wondering why there’s been no activity over there for months.

  11. Trackside is definitely coming back – see my response on the Friday Free For All. I guess the fact that Trackside is coming back did not garner as much attention by the Decatur Metro editors as the fact that Fifth Earl is not.

    1. I think Fifth Earl ending their lease is more noteworthy just because their future plans have been more murky whereas you have been consistently telling us you will be returning (for which we are all eternally grateful).

  12. Thanks, Doc Al. Can’t wait for Trackside to be back! Our trivia team laments the loss of Trackside every week.

  13. The lil azio site could be made better wuth some work for 5th earl. I bet the rent is very high. I am glad trackside is coming back. i used to play Team trivia there and now we play only once a week on thursday at raging burrito. It will be great to play at both places again. does anyone know when trackside will reopem?

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