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Aquaknox Restaurant Closes

Aquaknox (AJC Staff)

Aquaknox (AJC Staff)

The Atlanta Business Chronicle is reporting that Aquaknox — the 2nd-floor restaurant in Buckhead’s Terminus Building — has closed.

This sister establishment to a flashy Las Vegas restaurant got decent marks from local critics for its upscale seafood menu.

That said, I never went. Did you? As much as I love good seafood, there’s something about high-gloss seafood restaurants without any sense of place (there is some irony in it being a Las Vegas import) that doesn’t entice me.

Still, it’s sad to see any restaurant close.

The Terminus is batting .500. Of the original four restaurants, two have failed so far. Lola Bellini Bar has morphed into Cantina Taqueria, while MF Buckhead and Bricktops are still in business.

26 comments Add your comment


January 25th, 2010
6:52 pm

In all honesty, I’m shocked any of the restaurants are still there. I live on Pharr Rd. and wonder every time I pass Terminus why I would consider parking in a deck and walking 2-3 minutes outdoors through an industrial office awning just to get to a restaurant. There is no parking near Cantina/Lola, and I can’t think of any place in Atlanta (although I am sure there are many) where you have to do so much walking to get from the deck (or even the valet) to the restaurant.


January 25th, 2010
8:31 pm

not surprised, we went there in the past few months and it was dead…the food was OK but WAY that time I commented to the hubby that I was surprised they were still in business..


January 25th, 2010
10:18 pm

Steve – Seriously? Walking 2-3 minutes? Oh how I miss NYC, DC, Chicago, etc. 2-3 minute walk? I’ve been to Bricktops and Flying Biscuit. If memory serves, there was optional valet at dinner time. Is it as simple as pulling into a strip center? Of course not. Is it truly difficult? Nope. I really don’t mean this disrespectfully Steve, but you live on Pharr road. Do you walk to Atlanta Fish Market on occasion? Maybe to the Barnes and Noble on Peachtree? As for your comment about not thinking of any place where you have to walk – what about a restaurant in the mall? What about a restaurant in Virginia Highlands? Now if you don’t like a restaurant, of course, don’t go. But to park (for FREE) and walk 2-3 minutes, wow. That’s pretty much it – wow.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Atlanta INtown, Keisha McCotry, Marchello Atlanta, ATLANTA NIGHTLIFE, John Kessler and others. John Kessler said: Aquaknox Restaurant Closes: Aquaknox (AJC Staff) The Atlanta Business Chronicle is reporting that Aquaknox — the 2… [...]


January 26th, 2010
9:14 am

AquaKnox sucked in Vegas so I can’t imagine the Atlanta outpost haven been any better.


January 26th, 2010
10:31 am

My personal walking preference is really none of your business AJ. In fact, if you love those other cities so much-feel free to head on back. Just so you know, for me ‘walking’ is done in either in a wheelchair or my HoverRound. 2-3 minutes is a big deal when rolling through an industrial area where there is a decent bit of debris and nails. You see it’s pretty difficult when you hit a nail in a HoverRound and flip over onto a rock about half the size of Stone Mountain.

Thanks a lot though AJ for the lesson.


January 26th, 2010
10:33 am

Steve — one of the great things about big city living is being able to get out of the car and walk around the streetscapes under the tall buildings.

I’ve gotten to where I avoid going to restaurants where my only option is to park in a surface lot in front of the entrance and go directly from car to restaurant then from restaurant to car. Admittedly, I’m a little odd in this respect. It’s just that, being in the city, I enjoy having the opportunity to take a walk before and after dinner.


January 26th, 2010
10:45 am


Guess the “Jerk-Pack” just grew by one member. Good job, pal.


January 26th, 2010
11:07 am

Hi Steve — I just saw your second post. I didn’t realize you were speaking about access and mobility difficulties from the point of view of a disabled person. My apologies. If you have concerns about the Terminus building and parking facilities being non-compliant with ADA standards for accessible design, I hope you’ll take the time to file a complain on the site. I actually work with accessibility issues in my job and I can tell you that positive change takes place most effectively when people with real-world experience are not silent about access problems.


January 26th, 2010
11:34 am

I had a wonderful experience at the AquaKnox Restaurant in Atlanta for my birthday in October and it was very nice, even though they were out of lobster wow! But overall the scenery was beautiful the food and wine was great and we actually valet parked in front of the restaurant. I hate to see them go. I think it was a very up scale restaurant with a nice and professional staff.

John Kessler

January 26th, 2010
12:26 pm

Interesting point, Steve. I’ve always found the weird parking situation at Terminus gives a strange first impression. I think all those restaurants should offer free valet. Also, forgive Darin. I don’t know the dude at all, but in the comments on this blog he’s quick to find the thread of conversation, and he makes thoughtful comments.


January 26th, 2010
12:40 pm

Never ate there. Never heard any reason to bother. Hate seeing restaurants close but I also think these developers need to consider what goes into these buildings. You can’t just slap an expensive resto in a building and expect us to come.


January 26th, 2010
12:58 pm

Sorry for your situation but how was AJ to know of your situation.
I think you are being a bit sensitive.
The great thing about this board is that there doesn’t seem to be a “jerk pack”


January 26th, 2010
1:39 pm

Thank you McRibby. I could be plenty insensitive, but I was being honest. It’s Steve who was insensitive in his reply to me! That being said, and now I may be deemed insensitive, but seriously Steve read your post, you wrote “WALKING” twice in your message, you didn’t write “IN MY WHEELCHAIR/HOVERROUND”. Terminus, which I have no affiliation with, has elevators and is kept rather clean. I don’t know what you’re talking about with nails and rocks. Never seen random nails all over the place, and rocks are part of the world. They’re everywhere.


January 26th, 2010
2:15 pm

Thanks for the kind words, JK. RE: “high-gloss seafood restaurants without any sense of place,” it seems that a few of the higher-end restos that have closed here in the recession could be defined as lacking a “sense of place” in their menus and interiors. Unless, of course, that place is Luxurytown. Or maybe Swankyville.

I wonder if a silver lining to the recession-based shake up in the Atlanta restaurant scene might be that we end up with more places that emphasize local and regional tastes in their menus and presentations. There are certainly some notable restaurants that do regional cuisine well, but those kinds of places seem to have been the exception to the rule when it comes to serious dining in the city. It would be cool if creative interpretations of regional cuisine ends up being the long-term dominant trend in the Atlanta restaurant scene.


January 26th, 2010
2:48 pm


The great thing about this board used to be that you weren’t on it. You too are now in the “Jerk-Pack’. I guess anyone who doesn’t have the same tastes in restaurants and can’t walk is just bound to be persecuted; wish I was surprised.

And John, thank you for your insight, I agree about the valet. Also, you’re right, Darin is thoughtful and I have removed him from the “Jerk-Pack”.


January 26th, 2010
3:10 pm

I went last valentine’s day with a group of 8..the service was H.O.R.R.I.B.L.E. and the meal came to about $600. I wrote a complaint and got no response at all. To top it all off, i DID use to valet to avoid the weird parking garage and paid for the service…the valet slammed my car door after he realized i wasnt going to tip him anymore than the parking fee ($6?) after a $600 meal with poor service. Good ridance. I hate for people to lose their jobs though…


January 26th, 2010
3:52 pm

My bet is that Steve is not disabled …. just a jerk.


January 27th, 2010
7:29 am

My wife and I ate there two months ago. We were very underwhelmed, food was OK, and it cost 200.00. Too glitzy, empty, too bright also. We said at that time they were doomed.

VALET tips

January 27th, 2010
8:33 am

most valet systems are NOT affiliated with the restaurants they support… they don’t affect the food, prices, or quality of your meal.

If the PARKING response is not sufficient, by all means, don’t tip – but if your meal stinks, don’t blame the guy who parked your car!


January 27th, 2010
8:44 am

I was put off by the original AJC review of the place – although the reviews here are consistently negative, like the “Twilight Zone” episode where Elliot Gould has a little model graveyard at his desk with matchbooks from places he ran out of business.

They didn’t use the word “seafood,” as I recall. It was like “world ocean cuisine” or something.
There are too many other good restaurants of different types for the same price range for me to bother with trying Aquaknox. I did go to Bricktops once, and frankly I’d rather go to a REAL Houston’s.


January 27th, 2010
6:00 pm

I was hosted for dinner by others at Aquaknox this fall. I did not have to pay the bill, but did look at the prices, was shocked, and never visited Aquaknox on my own primarily for that reason. If the prices were lower, I would have reconsidered. Food was great, service could have been improved. Many others here have also commented on the price, too, so I think with a little bit of research Aquaknox would have found out about the price resistance – possibly worked to change that, and maybe been able to stay open. Does anyone know if restaurants conduct such research before they close?

Former Restaurant Employee

January 28th, 2010
1:05 pm

I am a little surprised due to the success that Aquaknox has seen in Vegas but I am not at all surprised that it didn’t catch on in Atlanta. I am a former employee of Aquaknox’s parent company and it is the only restaurant (out of the 5 total restaurants that were open during my years of employment) that I never made it to…mainly due to the cost. The other restaurants that make up the company provide pleasing meals and more reasonable prices than prices offered at Aquaknox. I feel that the company is just trying to grow faster than they should and this is the end result.

And Robert, in response to your question about closing research, yes and no. Most restaurants that I know of that have closed do conduct research into why, however the opinions of the clients and the employees are not a part of that research and I think they should be at the forefront of such a report. It usually is just composed of numbers, and numbers do not convey the real problems that the general public faces. Hope this helps a little. I agree with everyone else though…Aquaknox’s days were numbered from the moment they opened the doors.

Arabic TV Programs

January 29th, 2010
3:49 am

Massive Post!

The Real Foodie

January 31st, 2010
5:38 pm

What does it say when a foodie has not been to a restaurant that has been open for years?


February 3rd, 2010
6:22 pm

Went to AquaKnox shortly after it opened. It was pretty good, but Atlanta is overbuilt with upscale restaurants, and Atlanta Fish Market is a well-established place with more character, that serves the niche for a fine-dining seafood specialist very well in Buckhead. The second-floor location made it obscure, and they put a lot of money into the physical plant. MF Sushibar might not be making money either, given its sometimes sparse crowds and obviously heavy level of investment.