Stop-Work Order Delays Decatur Diner Opening

David reported in last week of a stop-work order on the door of the soon-to-be Decatur Diner.  The sign was still there late last week when I stopped by, so I sent a email of inquiry to part-owner Bill Langford.  Here’s his reply…

We had hoped to be ready to open by now or at least with in a couple of weeks. Unfortunately when you’re dealing with various contractors, ordinances and inspectors, the best of plans seem to get derailed.

Although I haven’t been directly involved in the build out, the stop work order had something to do with some minor changes made to original interior plans and the failure of our general contractor not informing inspectors with updated blueprints. The new blueprints were delivered at the end of last week.( after a wait to have them changed) With the holiday, it’s another waiting game for inspectors to come back out. Not always a quick process even without a holiday.

I assure you nobody wants to get the doors open any quicker than our owner group. Our best guess now is another 4 weeks. But again you never can tell exactly.

The major construction obstacle now is our hood and fire suppression system which will take approx two weeks to construct and install. That is in the process and again hopefully will go in fairly soon. After that everything else will go quickly.

On a positive note, we’ve had tremendous response from the community. To date we’ve had over 2,000 applications for employment and scores and scores of people stopping buy welcoming us to the community.

We are excited to get going and becoming an intricate part of the community.

92 thoughts on “Stop-Work Order Delays Decatur Diner Opening”


  1. I finally got a good look at the Decatur Diner exterior while at the Arts Festival yesterday. The blue block letters and the mural look fine to me. I have to admit that the swirled aqua blue faux marble look isn’t my taste but it doesn’t look suburban plaza to me, just weird. I think it would fit better at the beach. It does sort of match the faux torches at the Decatur Square. Maybe downtown Decatur is shaping up to have a funky faux retro Jetson look. If the Diner turns out to be popular, we’ll probably all become familiar and comfortable with the look.

  2. The location’s great. If the food’s good it’ll be a winner, and I’ll be glad to take the family there from time to time. I don’t see what the fuss with the decor is all about. It’s just a little different.
    Good luck Decatur Diner!

  3. Hideous, tasteless exterior paint job. Sorry, but that’s all I cansay. Hope the food tastes much better than the outside looks.

  4. I won’t go until the blue swirl tile is replaced or painted over. The exterior of this restaurant is unacceptable. Sorry leon’s. Despite the great accomplishment in opening one of the most interesting spots this town has ever seen your part of the neighborhood just went down in value.

    1. At least they’re putting money into the property.

      What’s really detrimental – and therefore unacceptable – in a city are buildings showing obvious neglect. And unfortunately, much of the concrete stuff built in the 1970s, seems to show neglect much quicker than most other urban structures (think the DeKalb County Courthouse or the MARTA tracks that run along DeKalb).

    2. The exterior of this restaurant is unacceptable. Sorry leon’s. Despite the great accomplishment in opening one of the most interesting spots this town has ever seen your part of the neighborhood just went down in value.

      _______________________

      Can someone please contact the City Council and have an ordinance passed mandating thart the exteriors of all restaurants shall henceforth be “accepable?” Then we won’t have any more Decatur Diners. Please, it’s for the children. And for Leon’s, since they never woukld have opened if they had known the Decatur Diner might have been built.

    3. Then you’ll really love the thirty foot metal chicken planned for the forecourt!

    4. Please don’t go “until the blue marble is painted over.” I will feel more comfortable if the diner is devoid of “facade snobs.” Food snobs, I understand and support, but facade snobs are indefensible. By the way, you used the wrong “there” in your sentence, “You should go their for dinner tonight.” You need to use correct spelling if you live in Decatur. It’s the Decatur way.

  5. So, you won’t go to the diner becaause you don’t like the decor? I haven’t seen it, but I have to say I generally visit restaurants for the food and not the facade.

  6. Downtowns thrive on visual interest, which includes meticulous good taste, brash kitsch, multicultural mishmashes and a whole lot more. It seems some people would rather live in a perpetual state of controlled blandness (the uniform inoffensiveness of the Town Center condos retail or the opposing Renaissance, for example) than welcome a little non-programmed flair.

    Yeah, it’s tacky. But so was your great aunt, and that’s part of what made her so interesting. Lighten up.

    1. EXACTLY!
      this is decatur! in my mind decatur has always = kitsch & tacky ever since I was a kid. I cant imagine it ever turning into a alpharetta esque place

  7. Thank you, Scott for laying that out for ‘decatur believer’… At a time when the economy (worldwide) is tanking and 10% of the population is out of work, I’m delighted to see anyone take a chance on a new business. The tacky faux marble looks far better to me than the empty storefront and ‘For Lease’ sign…

    1. EXACTLY! How is anyone rooting for a business (especially one that intends to feed us) to fail before it opens!???

      Misery loves company in the blogosphere.

  8. I too would like to be an intricate part of the community. When may I start ?
    I will paint our house orange tiger stripes if it will help, thank you so very much!

    1. I think orange tiger stripes would be hilarious! But depending on which street you live, that community intrication strategy could have unintended consequences for traffic congestion and/or incidents.

  9. Hooray for lowered expectations! Maybe a stalled economy will mean an anything goes mentality will pop up all over the country until everything looks like Panama City. I plan to open a Fireworks Store on the square soon.

  10. Oh come on, what happened to Decatur loves diversity.
    Ya want uniform, Alpharetta has a spot for you. Predictable, controlled …. perfect!

    I hope for the diner to have a menu and service that will make you love the paint job.

    Eclectic Decatur, oh yeah!

    756, this is not an all or nothing conversation. Stimulating, Interesting, unusual and a broad definition of aesthetics can be a thing of beauty

  11. When did it become socially acceptable to publicly criticize other people’s taste? I refer not only to the carping that’s been going on for weeks (months, even?) about the Decatur Diner’s decor, but also to those who chime in to shoot down others’ restaurant preferences or recommendations (harking back to a thread months ago). Is it a cyber phenomenon, or would these same people look someone in the eye and tell them their shirt is ugly? Sorry if I’m thread-jacking, but this constant style policing is far more offensive to me than any paint job could ever be. Genuinely valuing diversity requires tolerance, and tolerance begins when you realize you really dislike your neighbor’s taste–in exterior colors, yard art, music, whatever. Try to remember that somebody probably thinks you’re tacky, too, and appreciate the fact they aren’t getting in your face about it.

    1. I think it’s okay to publicly comment on the look and feel of a business, as long as people don’t engage in silly name calling. I don’t think valuing diversity requires us to be silent.

      It may be an internet thing. I heavily use websites like TripAdvisor and Kudzu. I generally want someone’s unvarnished opinion, whether I agree with it or not. I also think owners and managers are generally curious people and will want to know if something they have created appears garish to a significant number of people.

      That being said, an ugly diner would not keep me from enjoying a meal there.

      1. Unless something extreme is involved (barbed wire, physical mass that dwarfs surroundings, etc.), “the look and feel of a business” are based on purely subjective reactions that will naturally vary among individuals. As Scott pointed out, vibrant downtown areas thrive on visual interest which in turn favors variety over uniformity. Commenting publicly about what one likes and dislikes makes one a self-appointed arbiter of taste, another term for being snarky. Unnecessarily snarky, in fact, by which I mean it serves no broader purpose than to differentiate the commenter from those with different tastes. I was brought up not to do that because it is “not nice” — my mother’s way of flagging impolite behavior. (To be clear, I’m talking about injecting this into public dialogue–private conversations are another matter.) In that day and time (the dark ages when I was being taught good manners), it was paramount to always be polite, no matter what. As an adult, I understand the reason for that–it isn’t prissiness for its own sake, but the simple fact that politeness lubricates human interaction. It’s always better to avoid making another person feel bad, if you can. Ergo, gratuitous remarks that malign other people’s choices should be swallowed. It won’t choke you, I promise. And it will help diminish, by even a little bit, the continued coarsening of public dialogue that is going on everywhere.

        That said, sites like TripAdvisor and Kudzu are another matter, where candid and forthcoming comments are solicited and expected, to help prospective customers choose among service providers of various types. But the last I checked, that isn’t what DM is about.

        Okay, I’m going back to indexing my “Miss Manners” collection.

        1. smalltowngal-

          Honey, you keep right on singing it! Big Ups to both manners comments!

          Wish I had clean hands. I feel so bad for piping up on the very 1st Diner post to snark. (Not on décor. Different is good!) All the comments to date have been interesting– and very revealing about the commenters themselves. Sure never realized there were so many frustrated designers lurking about!

          Can’t wait to try their desserts!

        2. “Commenting publicly about what one likes and dislikes makes one a self-appointed arbiter of taste, another term for being snarky.”

          Okay – I’ll remind you of that for all your future DM posts… !

          (smile)

  12. I guess some folks weren’t around for the Southern Star, Square Table, original Thumbs Up, Ya-Ya’s, the original Food Business, etc., all of which were tacky, quirky or funky in their own right.

    And oh, yeah. They also helped lay the foundation for downtown’s rebirth. Good thing we had fewer arbiters of good taste then.

    Decatur: Sanitized, for your protection!

    1. Amen , Scott.

      I am not a big diner food fan, but I welcome this business to Decatur. They have the right to decorate as they choose.

      I’ve been here long enough to remember the junk shop that used to be on that property. It was hideous but back in the day I got some good deals on (now) vintage stuff. Aqua counter tops are a huge improvement.

      Used to be the best thing about Decatur was that fact that residents could be themselves without the pressure to conform often found in subdivisions in the burbs.

  13. Truth is I kind of like it. Just like I like the Krog Street tunnel and the graffiti on Studioplex. Doesn’t hold a candle to the curved wooden facade of Leon’s, but crushes the boring Atlanta Bread Company look. I’ll take Little 5 any day over Alpharetta.

    I was just commenting that I would hope a slow economy would not lead us to a mindset of “we’ll take anything”. I prefer to come out the other side better then how we went in.

    1. I think we can glean from the awesomeness of the Krog tunnel that the solution to this problem is graffiti

  14. Thank goodness none of you were a part of the decatur redevelopment plan or the city would look like the inside of a Chuck E. Cheese. I hear a new Applebee’s opened up in Jonesboro. You should go their for dinner tonight. They have a really shiny sign.

    1. Decatur has a redevelopment plan with style and design elements? Where?

      Paint color can’t be regulated or controlled ANYWHERE. Not even in a local historic district.

      1. Slight clarification, DM. Privatized, “public-like” environments such as malls or lifestyle centers regulate such things, as do CCRs associated with subdivisions. The difference is that, in those instances, people submit themselves to the regulations voluntarily when they lease a retail space or buy a house.

    2. So you not only won’t patronize a local business that offends your sense of style, but you also insult all the local residents who happen to disagree with your assesment. Exactly which part of Decatur do you believe in?

      1. I believe in the part that doesn’t look like the “As seen on TV” merchandise cart in the hallway of Gwinnett mall.

        1. OMG, decaturbeliever! Surely you haven’t actually BEEN in the Gwinnett Mall ! ugh. That is SO not cool…

          [edited]

    3. Not like Chuck E. Cheese? decaturbeliever has obviously never been inside Twain’s any day between 5 and 8 when the kids are running free 😉

  15. Wow a topic almost as provocative as CSD decisions–Decatur Decor! Whenever decisions about what school should be closed and/or built where and when get too hot and heavy, all we have to do is pick some 1960s color scheme like aqua blue or avocado green, put it on a major corner, and voila! All worries about flood plains, trailers, bus routes, and mud pits, I mean playgrounds, seem inconsequential. 🙂

  16. I defy any of the decor-haters (get it? hee-hee!) to visit the Diner, have the tuna melt & top it off with a slice of the mile-high Mounds cake, and STILL gripe about the facade. If you do, you’re just not a good American. 😉

      1. Au contrere, ma cher– not enough! (Hence the jones for the Mounds cake…mmmmm…coconut & chocolate….*sigh*)

    1. Sorry, DM…although, that wasn’t a personal attack. It’s an ancient Chinese proverb. No lie. Nevertheless, I will refrain in the future from using it, regardless of how apt! Thanks for your good work!

  17. Can’t say I love the decor but it wouldn’t stop me from trying the place out. Have to say I think the faux marble won’t clash as much when the green awning is gone (I think together they are a bit jarring). Still I hope this new Decatur business does well. Can definitely live with the decor for another business instead of an empty building.

    1. Yeah chad, a bunch of inferior decorators. Same kind of people who wouldn’t eat at the Vortex in Inman Park because of the funky skull exterior. Part of trying to be an “artsy” community is tolerence. Yeah, the exterior isn’t to my taste, but my taste is more interested in the food, not the facade. I guess the property value would be better off if the “for lease” sign was still up. Sheesh!

      1. I wouldn’t care if The Vortex’s front door was a giant neon faux rectum instead of a skull– I’d still go thru it to get at those onion rings & fried zucchini. (Too graphic? Sorry– but it’s true!)

          1. Clearly, writerchad is intolerant, and not worthy of being a true Decaturite (Decaturian?) for having the gall to express his feelings of revulsion over an imaginary restaurant entrance.

    2. agree. good example of what I came to Decatur to get away from. please don’t make me move again!

  18. My post was removed. And sorry DM.

    Sometimes when i read things that seem to be to be totally snark and occasionally downright mean-spirited directed at those who don’t share the same opinions, well, that’s just kind of, I don’t know.

    I’m trying to write this in a way as not to be remoderated.

    So back on topic… I like pretty shiny things too but like i said a few weeks ago regarding the sign, let’s just wait and see how the food and service are before thrashing it.

    If anyone was offended, I was wrong, and for whomever did not see it, i didn’t f bomb anyone or anything like that.

    Apologies again DM

    1. Well if you didn’t f bomb anyone or anything like that than you are a better person than me. There are some real &%$*%#&’s on here sometimes!

  19. Who was it who said that there’s no such thing as bad publicity? The Decatur Diner guy is a marketing genius! Can’t wait for the opening!

      1. Awesome, Daren. 🙂

        (does anyone know how to make a laughing emoticon?)

        Is say all of us who really believe in Decatur show up on opening day at the diner and eat all 798 menu items!

  20. Hang in there Bill…. the city may seem like they are there to slow things up sometimes but it has been my experience that, when push comes to shove, they will be your best friends. As for the building code office (not sure what their ‘title’ is) we had our ‘issues’ with them when we were building our house but, in the final analysis, they were right and ended up saving us a lot of money and hardship.

  21. In case no one’s noticed, the “decoration” as well as the people look very similar to the people who bought Crescent Moon, “redecorated” it and then promptly ran it into the ground. People can have whoever they want as an “owner” to hide behind. I’d be careful Decatur.

  22. It means the guy taking applications was the same guy who did all the work at crescent moon. That’s what it means

  23. Well damn, if the people here look like the people at that other place that used to be good and then sucked, then this place is gonna suck too, no doubt. SteFanie, she of the unsightly capitalized F (which offends my aesthetic sense even more than blue fake marble), did nail this one on the head. It’s why I don’t eat Chinese food any more. I went to one place where I got bad Kung Pao and now I can’t eat a whole nation’s worth of food because all the people in all the Chinese places look exactly alike to me!

    Seriously DM folks, let’s all get behind Nellie on this one. All of us non-haters need to show up on opening day and sample all 798 menu items between us. I call the matzo ball soup and pastrami sandwich!

    1. I’m with J_T and Cuba. Let’s all go on opening day and show our support for Decatur’s newest venture. Ever since Corky Deans closed its doors, I’ve been looking for a local place to get a patty melt, fries and a chocolate malt.

      SteFanie, I just don’t understand your desire to bring the place down before it even opens. What’s up with that?

    2. NO KIDDING!!!

      I’ll take the fried egg sandwich on toasted wheat, key lime pie for dessert! (Okay. It IS funny to have a choice of Sandwiches or Tasty Sandwich!!! :0)

      Looking forward to placing my order!

      1. What’s even funnier is that the regular “sandwiches” sound tastier than the “tasty” sandwiches!

  24. I think that the owners of the Decatur Diner have succeeded in their paint color and design choices.

    It seems everyone in Decatur is talking about it!

    Well done.

  25. Can somebody anybody post the number for decatur diner or least how I can get in touch with the company please and thank you.

    1. It’s being opened by the Marietta Diner folks, so I would call there first, (770) 423 – 9390.

Comments are closed.