Carpe Diem Closes

Mike wrote in a couple days back that he had been told by the bartender at Carpe Diem restaurant that they would be closing their doors permanently on December 23rd.  A blog post on Patch echoed the news.

Carpe Diem has long sat beneath the Ice House Lofts at the southeastern edge of the Old Decatur neighborhood.  I’m not sure how long it’s been there (I’m sure someone can tell us), but it was already in place back when Fellini’s was still a Greyhound bus station  towards the Y2K end of the last decade.

It sat in a unique location, a bit removed from the rest of retail downtown Decatur, with the exception of Fellini’s.  That may change in the coming years, if the new “Brick Station” (my made up shorthand for the Brick Store venture in the Decatur Depot) and MAR completely reinvigorate that old rail line strip of commercial along East Howard Ave, but for now the space sits slightly off the beaten path.

Farewell Carpe Diem.  You will be missed by many!

Photo courtesy of Next Stop…Decatur

23 thoughts on “Carpe Diem Closes”


  1. My favorite patio in the city. Before being Carpe Diem, it was “Atlantic Star” or something like that.

    1. I think you are right about Atlantic Star – but that didn’t last too long and it’s been Carpe Diem for most of the life of the Ice House Lofts. I certainly hope someone will come in and put that fabulous patio to use in time for Spring!

      Now to find somewhere to have book club every month until that happens…

  2. I will miss it as well. The patio was peaceful and the food very good. I believe that Carpe Diem had been listed for sale for quite a while.

    Additionally, the Chocolate Bar has looked pretty closed as of late.

    1. Called The Chocolate Bar at 4:30 today. “What are your hours today?” “Uh, sorry sir, I’m not sure if we will be open today”.
      Ruh-roh.
      Again, it’s that time of year when the decision has to be made to lay out a chunk of change for the liquor license renewal or pack it in.

      1. I’m surprised Chocolate Bar is still open. I like thier products, but the service was so slow I thought I was on Candid Camera every time I’ve been there.

        1. this is true. I once stopped in to get desserts to go. I swear it took us 20 minutes to get out of there. how long does it take to cut 2 slices of cake and ring a cash sale???

  3. That’s too bad. I had several good meals there. This is the same restaurant group that runs Apres Diem in Midtown and Carroll Street Cafe and Village Pizza in Cabbagetown.

  4. Atlantic Star opened around 1998 or 99. The first time we did the poster unveiling for the Decatur Arts Festival, we held it there right before the restaurant opened. The floor downstairs was still dirt and attendees had to walk a plank of boards to get in. Ruth Franlin was the poster artist that year. Lots of memories in both Atlantic Star and Carpe Diem. Will definately miss their great patio.

      1. +1
        That Ruth Franklin poster still hangs in my kitchen. Sorry to see Carpe Diem go, though – it was a great place to have a girls night out. Alcohol and Southern Sweets desserts…what could be better?

  5. Always sad to see a relatively long time Decatur business close down. Based on the biz that the local pizza place gets, this should a hot location for the right concept. My wife and I were discussing our relationship with AS or CD when I mentioned exploring the old Atlantic Ice building before the additions and apartments/condos. I recalled buying a bag of coal from the facility sometime during the mid or late Sixties. With the right concept, and the development of the old Melton McKinny property, this could be a great location. Good Luck to the previous owner and hope for the best in the new year.

  6. Mrs Arriba and I had a babysitter and a cancellation from some friends the other night – we thought Carpe would be a great place to enjoy a slow, childless, quiet dinner…alas, it wasn’t to be.
    We’ve had some great dinners there – at both Atlantic Star and Carpe Diem, its too bad that that area is still somewhat of a no-mans-land.
    On a recent Path excursion, I was just thinking that whole area from Las Brasas to Ice House to Fellinins is ripe for some serious developmetn opportunities. If only I had the capital to make it happen.
    Good luck to the mgt there and to Ice House in their efforts to replace it.

  7. Always liked the place and thought it had a really cool, relaxed vibe. However, last time we ate there, more than a year ago, it became apparent that the patio/deck area had a bit of a giant roach/palmetto bug problem. So many that I ate with my feet up in my chair. We finished up and got out of there in a hurry. That was it for me.

  8. I hate to see anyone lose their job, and hope everyone finds new employment soon. That said, I was never impressed with Carpe Diem. I found the food to be just ok, which is tough since the bar is set pretty high in the Decatur restaurant scene.

    Of course, I also gave up on Wahoo after 2 rounds of horrible service from everyone from the host to bartender to waitstaff. They seem to be going strong, so I may not be the best judge! 🙂

  9. No big loss to Decatur. Tried it twice in the last 6 years. Both times, it took forever for anyone to notice us, much less ask if we would like to order. Food was boring and wine list pitiful. Great location and decor – too bad it was so poorly managed. Looking forward to seeing someone put the space to better use.

  10. i celebrated my 50th birthday there. Had a swell brunch. I loved that i could always get a table there.
    I hope someone takes it and makes it

  11. So sad to see Carpe Diem go. We just had lunch there on the 22nd and it was wonderful, as always. Lots of good memories there. I had no idea they were closing, but glad I had one last lunch. Loved the salmon ciabatta!

  12. Had the best patio and Salad Nicoise in the city. Hate to see it close but there was never a soul in the place.

  13. I could never decide what kind of place it was. Formal? Informal? Bar? Restaurant? Patio? Adults mostly? Family friendly? Therefore I never thought of it when I was thinking of where to go out to eat or drink. But once there, my food and drink were always fine.

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