Here to Serve Restaurants is pulling the plug on Lola Bellini Bar — its Italian spot in Buckhead’s Terminus building — after New Year’s Eve. The restaurant opened in 2007 with a bounteous display of antipasti, a rolling gelato cart and a variety of champagne cocktails.
But Here to Serve isn’t giving up the space. After a quick changeover, it will reopen in early January as Cantina Taqueria & Tequila Bar. Look for margaritas and the kind of absorption foods that go with: guacamole, cheese dip and posole stew. The restaurant will also issue a 5-pound burrito challenge. If you can eat the chihuahua-sized tube, it’s on the house. You can supply your own inappropriate-for-a-food-blog jokes.
This is the latest example of an interesting trend. Restaurateurs are no longer simply closing shop when a place fails to keep its business. Instead, they’re swapping out concepts. Riccardo Ullio also went the taco route earlier this year and turned his stylish Midtown Spanish venture, Cuerno, in Lupe Taqueria. Then Rick Chey announced he was transforming Grant Park’s once-popular Stella into another outpost of Doc Chey’s Noodle House.
Here to Serve, which is owned by Tom Catherall, runs many popular local watering holes and restaurants, such as Twist, Shout and Goldfish.