UPDATE: Decatur Diner Closes, Being Replaced by a Mexican Restaurant

Dave reported in this morning to say that Decatur Diner was closed and that there were reports of another restaurant taking its place.  Can’t confirm that, but another Dave followed up this afternoon with this photo and stated…

Closed sign on door. Door open, lights off.

What’s up?

UPDATE: The Schmacher group has announced the sale on its website.  It reads in part…

The Shumacher Group, Inc. and Steven Josovitz represented the Seller Nahidul Khan in transaction. Irving Jacobson of The Shumacher Group, Inc. Co-Broker deal with Mr. Josovitz representing Buyers Mike Brocius. Mike plans are to convert space to a full service hi quality hi energy Mexican restaurant and bar with a street food twist and exciting patio service.

This business was just sold in October but new absentee owner has no full service experience and not capable of growing or manage business thus reason for sale. This is one of the hottest corners in all of Metro Atlanta with incredible visibility, frontage hi traffic car and foot traffic at the intersection of Church and Ponce.

57 thoughts on “UPDATE: Decatur Diner Closes, Being Replaced by a Mexican Restaurant”


  1. DM is being a responsible journalist type, but as a commenter I have no qualms whatsoever. The rumors are of a spanish-themed restaurant with tacos taking over the place.

    I guess that would technically be our second Spanish themed food place, but I can’t imagine them aiming for the same audience as the Iberian Pig.

  2. The Shumacher Group, Inc. sells the Decatur Diner located at 205 East Ponce De Leon Avenue, Decatur, GA 30030-3405 at Church Street in the heart of Downtown Decatur. The Shumacher Group, Inc. and Steven Josovitz represented the Seller Nahidul Khan in transaction. Irving Jacobson of The Shumacher Group, Inc. Co-Broker deal with Mr. Josovitz representing Buyers Mike Brocius. Mike plans are to convert space to a full service hi quality hi energy Mexican restaurant and bar with a street food twist and exciting patio service.

    This business was just sold in October but new absentee owner has no full service experience and not capable of growing or manage business thus reason for sale. This is one of the hottest corners in all of Metro Atlanta with incredible visibility, frontage hi traffic car and foot traffic at the intersection of Church and Ponce.

      1. I think with El Tosoro, the location and poor execution killed that one. If executed property, with this location, it could be successful

    1. Rolling my eyes at the PR-speak in the announcement:

      “exciting patio service” hmm, your food will be delivered via slingshot? And your taco gets a “street food twist” when it lands in the middle of the street?

      1. Perhaps “street food twist” means no bathrooms. If so, it looks like Cafe Alsace has started a trend.

  3. In other news – it is reported via Patch that The Brewhouse Cafe Avondale will close it’s doors on April 28th. I’m keeping my fingers crossed something interesting will finally take over that space.

    1. True, but that’s old news. Only the date was in question. Can’t figure out why they messed with success to begin with.

    2. How a pub, in a town with only one pub, can do so poorly is beyond me.

      Then again, we drove past it last night to go to Mac Magees. I may be part of the problem… it’s that, or their lack of whiskey flights.

      1. The problem was it was such a luke warm amateur attempt at a Irish *concept* bar. It had a type of chain restaurant Irish pub feel – they needed to take lessons from Mac McGee’s, Brick Store and The Marlay.

    1. I second that — or a good NY bagel shop. Oh, what about Bagels ‘n’ Biscuits ?

  4. Hey, another Mexican restaurant serving margarrritas with a patio, what a novel idea….

    La Fonda and some others are definitely awesome, but it might be nice to see something diff.

    1. I don’t know. I’d love to see great traditional TexMex food within walking distance other than TDS. Los Loros and El Toro are … not great.

  5. Man, I hope they turn that eyesore into something good. I’ll be curious to see how the competition from the “Raging” restaurants are.

  6. Raging Burrito is a place that assembles interesting flavor combinations in the shape of a burrito. I like it, but it is neither mex nor tex-mex. Ever traveled to Tucker to eat at Taqueria Los Hermanos? That is a menu I’d love to see in Decatur.

    And yes – real bagels would be great as well …

    1. . . . when you say “real bagels”, i say fo real.

      stumbled across this place in Alpharetta a couple of months ago, http://www.bbsbagels.net/
      best bagels i’ve had in Atlanta–reminded me of my beloved H&H in NYC
      full complement of schmears of all shmorts, full breakfast shmenu, etc.
      the line was out the door, and could imagine the same here.

      1. In the meantime, H & H ships them frozen. It’s not exactly the same, but it’s pretty good.

      2. all the h&h bagels are now gone in new york city . we specifically went h&h on the west side, but were devastated to see them all gone last month . I believe the shipping businesses has closed as well.

      3. +1000

        Moved here from OTP about a year ago and BBs is one of two or three places that no where I’ve found near by can touch. Now dreaming of the poppyseed bagel ( and olive cream cheese) and contemplating an almost 50 mile round trip treck for bagels on Saturday.

  7. So how long will it take to build out? 18 months? Two years with the tables set for six months?

  8. I still pine for Gringo’s. I dearly wish the new restaurant will be just like that. With corn budin. And enchilada budin.

  9. A boy can dream that a more authentic Mexican restaurant than anything we have within 10 miles of Decatur would open up here. Decatur eaters are smart and open-minded enough that a place serving Mexican food that people eat in Mexico might do well. When I want a decent bowl of menudo, seven mole sauces, or a good cabeza taco, I have to hop in the car and increase my carbon footprint, fer $#%’s sake.

    Of course, what would truly rule is a half decent Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Malaysian, Taiwanese, Indonesian, Vietnamese, or Cambodian place. Everything between here and the Buford Highway is so Americanized, almost none of them are worthy of advertising their supposed ethnicity.

  10. I’m sort of in shock. Not because the Decatur Diner has closed, but because I’m thinking about how much time and energy it collectively took up on DM. This seemingly terrible restaurant was, I think, the most discussed item on this blog in 2011. And I can recall that for years people on this blog were asking for someone to open a 24 hour diner. Note to prospective restauranteurs, ignore requests for bagel shops, and just sell good food!

    1. Hmmmmm…the most discussed? Maybe a close second to the Dollar General’s prospective opening in the Big H…it’s probably close, though. DM?

      1. Hmm, in terms of what? Total comments? Diner probably wins, but it was a much more drawn out story than the Dollar General fiasco started by a two line post relaying an encounter by Chadly’s “pretty wife”.

        And while expectation was certainly a dimension of the Diner chatter, let’s not forget that there were other non-food aspects of the business that drew attention and conversation.

        1. Interesting….Several dimensions on which we could measure the intensity of discussion: absolute quantity of comments; frequency of responses to posted comments (in other words, density of threads); level of passion reflected in remarks (requiring some subjectivity in quantification); proportion of comment frequency to length and/or detail of original post/comment; frequency of digression (aka thread-jacking) — the less frequent, the more engaged people are with the core topic. Verbosity is one of the more obvious parameters, would not be IMO very useful or interesting, since some of us are known to run off at the keyboard like mineral oil through a goose. But it could be interesting to look at how often, in a given thread, posters get scolded (or even just gently cautioned) by other posters — another potential way of examining how deeply engaged we are about a topic…

    2. I don’t get the logic. Folks asked for a classic all night diner but that’s not what Decatur Diner was. It was some weird Greek food place with incredibly salty and overspiced food and tasteless pastries that was open 24 hours and wasn’t at all conducive to hanging out, alone or in groups, like a good diner is.

      My guess is that a truly good bagel shop/Jewish deli would make it, something like Bagel Palace but with even better bagels, cookies, and pastries plus deli sandwiches and matzo ball soup and borscht. But of course an ersatz bagel shop/deli would fail; anything mediocre will in this economy.

      1. I hear what you’re saying, but I’d say that while folks did asked for a classic diner, what they were really asking for is the idea of a classic diner. If you travel around NY and stop at some of the classic diners in that state, it’s not as though they serve incredible food. It’s just that they’ve been serving food in that location for 50 years, hence the “classic”. I’d argue we’ve been spoiled in Decatur by great restaurants and bars, and we’re at the point where we want places to drop out of the sky with an ambiance that screams “this place is special because your city is special!”

        I’m not by any means excusing the Decatur Diner. The place just sucked. I’m just saying I think our city’s collective expectations may have reached unrealistic heights.

        1. I like my diners basic and tasty with down home charm. My favorite ever was Tasty Town on Forsyth St. I always felt like I’d stepped in a wayback time machine! The menu was two pages, and that was plenty. Super nice waitresses who’d been there forever. I usually got a tuna melt or a fried trout dinner with a sweet tea. (Never did get around to ordering the imported sardines, ‘though I meant to.) And oh how I LOVED their toasted pound cake a la mode… My goodness! What fond memories… *sigh*

        2. I think you hit the nail on the head. To me, a good diner has a fairly limited menu that is in no way exciting; reliable quality (not necessarily 5-star or even 4-star but 100% predictable); 24-hour access, or close to it; and a total lack of pretension on the part of the establishment AND its clientele. Actually, I can’t think of one anywhere that is recently established. Maybe it’s a type of place that can’t get going from scratch these days, we just have to cherish the ones that are left…?

          1. The Gato Bizco in Candler Park is my ideal of what a Decatur diner would be, except that the Gato is only open for breakfast.

            I think Sammitches and Stuff has potential to be the Decatur diner, with some changes. Those of us who read this site should bring that possibility up to those guys the next time we stop in, although I’m sure they’ve thought of it.

  11. I think Colbeh qualifies as a “drop out of the sky” unexpected delight. It may never generate the “buzz” that it’s neighbors (BrickStore, Leons, 246) create, but the kabobs are other-worldly.

    Someone hit it on the head in the comments, the key to the DD corner will be a cheap pitcher of margaritas for a group of pedestrian-mobile friends who want to hang Friday after work on the amazingly-located patio.

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