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Solstice Cafe in Grant Park closes

15366_202438008884_46561233884_4139186_2457118_nA neighborhood favorite, Solstice Cafe in Grant Park announced its closing on Facebook with this message:

“hello everyone. want to thank you for all the great times we had and helping us live our dream. it is with a sad heart that we must close the door on this place. we will miss all of you.”

I’m sounding like a broken record here, but it’s another place that I never made it to. Grant Park neighbors: will you miss it?

42 comments Add your comment

localgirl

January 29th, 2010
12:47 pm

yes! :( the fried green tomato BLT was delicious. i was really pulling for ‘em.

Kristin B.

January 29th, 2010
1:20 pm

Their “Green Eggs and Lamb” on the brunch menu was absolutely to die for. Of course, anywhere with a decent brunch and no wait in Atlanta is deserving of high praise! Guess it needed to be a bit more crowded though…

[...] the original post here: Solstice Cafe in Grant Park closes | Food and More with John Kessler Posted in Cafe Address | Tags: broken-record, close-the-door, door, dream, facebook, grant, [...]

Stephanie

January 29th, 2010
2:34 pm

Hey John,
Spoke with you for a brief minute last night during your meal- so sorry to interupt it:( I just moved down the street from solstice and just went there a couple of weeks ago for a meal. I really liked their vibe and feel awful that another local restaurant has closed.

JATL

January 29th, 2010
3:02 pm

YES! I hate this. Unfortunately we and lots of people like us are the reason they’re closing -we just can’t eat out like we used to, and until I’m gainfully employed again, we’re on a really tight budget. These are neighborhood folks who ran a great little restaurant. It managed to be kid-friendly, date-friendly, adult-friendly and a decent bar all at the same time!

Pete

January 29th, 2010
3:11 pm

Just the tip of the iceberg.
With the mentally unbalanced lunatics in Wash. DC dismantling our once great country, restaurants like this and thousands of other small businesss will be a thing of the past, only to be visited in history books.
Pathetic.

Mark C.

January 29th, 2010
3:23 pm

Will totally miss it, but like JATL we just can’t afford to go out much anymore, as I’m out of work, too. We used to walk there every other Sunday from our house for Brunch; loved the food, the coffee drinks, the atmo, the free WiFi. It was so laid-back and yummy. They had improved so much from when they first opened, too. Damn, I miss it already.

I stopped by there last time in November, walking home from the Stomp & Chomp. We had a few beers and just hung-out at the bar, talking to one of the owners. I asked them if they were concerned about low business volume and they insisted it was still busy every day. They weren’t worried at all.

BobDog

January 29th, 2010
3:25 pm

People were feeding their restaurant frenzy with credit card debt. Now with having to get spending under control, unemployment, and the economy as a whole, we may never see the restaurant scene that we have had for the past ten years. It’s a shame, but it was fun while it lasted.

Kelly B

January 29th, 2010
3:27 pm

I wish I could agree with everyone else! HAPPY does not describe the emotion when I learned of it’s closing. The vibe was great the food was good but the inconsistency was becoming what it was known for. Late night crowds of people unaware of their neighborhood surroundings. This cute neighborhood cafe turned into a bizarre late night “burlesque show” after dark. Odd to say the least. We learned Solstice will reopen (by the management who brought it back to it’s feet) destined to be what it should be. A quaint neighborhood dinner, brunch and wine spot. I am excited about this news and hope everyone will support it and and make it a HUGE success!!

Mark C.

January 29th, 2010
3:27 pm

Oh, and one more comment:
I really think Grant Park doesn’t treat restaurants that well, excepting Grant Central and Dakota Blue. In the last year we’ve lost Zocalo, Jus’ Loafin’, Grant Park Cafe (where Hank’s was), and now Solstice.

Plus, the space at Ormewood & Confederate that Brick Store owns has been empty for over 3 years since they first considered opening a gastropub there. At first it was zoning, then neighbor opposition (parking, noise), I believe. The owners held onto a Chef and Manager for over a year before finally deciding to create Leon’s Full Service in Decatur…imagine amazing food, frittes, and belgian beer in Grant Park. I know I dreamt about it daily!

I’ve considered opening a small restaurant over the years here, but can’t figure out what the neighborhood would support. I had actually considered a po-boy shop before Jus’ Loafin’ opened or a bagel/coffee place or brunch/crepe place, but don’t think it makes sense.

RMJ

January 29th, 2010
3:31 pm

Oh, no!!! This restaurant was one of the reasons I moved to Atlanta. I would bring all of my out of town guest to it. This is just ridiculous. Atlanta will be left with just chain restarants.

RMJ

January 29th, 2010
3:35 pm

Man Mark,

I didn’t know Just Loafin closed. Wow!!!

David S

January 29th, 2010
3:56 pm

The closing of any business is certainly a sad thing, but a natural result of market forces at work. Some places can sustain sufficient business to cover costs, etc. and others can’t. Like the banks, it is wrong to take money from one that is successful and give it to one that is failing, and it would be wrong to prop up restaurants that cannot sustain themselves by penalizing those that can. But this is certainly no free market at work in this country.

When the Federal Reserve lowers interest rates to ridiculous levels and prints massive amounts of money, it encourages malinvestment. The low interest rates should come only from an excess of savings, but instead they come from an excess of credit (not the same thing). A higher savings rate would signal that longer term projects will be able to be sustained because folks have put off current spending in favor of savings and will have money to spend later. With restaurant after restaurant we see the reliance on what was credit, not savings, and now that credit has dried up and the bills are due, there is no savings and no money to spend.

Folks who are saddened by the collapse of our economy and the havoc it is causing in the restaurant industry would do well to take this to heart. Government monetary policies, the existence of the Federal Reserve, and the lack of a sound currency (gold standard, etc.) are the root causes of all this suffering. Current policies are only serving to worsen those conditions with the result being that the necessary correction will only be far more severe down the road.

Hope you all enjoy cooking at home. Unless of course you like the “soup kitchen” and bread lines concept.

Grant Park

January 29th, 2010
3:58 pm

obviously not. went there once 2 years ago for a cup of coffee and didn’t like the attitude. the hipster artsy fartsy vibe is overplayed, especially in trendy Grant Park.

RK

January 29th, 2010
4:04 pm

http://news-briefs.ew.com/2010/01/29/top-chef-finalist-kevin-pulls-out-of-bocuse-dor-competition/

Top Chef season six finalist Kevin Gillespie has pulled out of the Bocuse d’Or

Steve

January 29th, 2010
4:07 pm

I write restaurant reviews for the Porch Press in Grant Park. I am sad to see Solstice go, but honestly, they just didn’t have the right price point, interesting menu, or consistent food quality and service to make it work. Also, parking is a bit tricky over there. Something was missing to make this place work. I hope the new management can figure this out, as we have very few food options in the neighborhood itself.
I liked being able to walk up with the dogs and grab breakfast, but it really wasn’t as amazing as say going to Stone Soup Kitchen, Ria’s, or Thumbs Up nearby.
I hate to say it, but I would bet Painted Table Cafe is next to go.

Angus

January 29th, 2010
4:13 pm

Mark C. –

I’m not sure Boulevard is ever going to be a good spot for a restaurant – primarily b/c of traffic noise and lack of parking. Zocalo had more problems than that spot and shut down all but one. The Hank’s spot may never make it as a cafe – there’s no room for a kitchen and you can’t serve just ice cream anywhere.

The Painted Table Cafe is good but not kid-friendly – I don’t like their chances. I say if you’re a restaurateur looking at Grant Park, you’d better be kid friendly (like Grant Central and Dakota Blue).

I’ve heard a lot of differing info about the Brickstore offspring. My guess is that all the COA red tape slowed progress so they opened Leon’s instead and now they’re going to take they’re sweet time with it hoping the economy rebounds a bit. From what I do know, they still own it and are still proceeding with all necessary permits.

And to Grant Park, that wasn’t the norm, but did exist. I got the too-cool-for-school treatment at Solstice once…..told her if she didn’t want to wait on us to get us another waitress….. fortunately, I never saw her working there again after that day.

Sean M

January 29th, 2010
4:23 pm

wait what? burlesque show? can’t believe I missed out.

Carl

January 29th, 2010
4:31 pm

I really loved Solstice when it first opened (with two owners) and found it to be unique and interesting. The brunch specials were creative, the coffee was top-notch, and it always felt comfy (albeit sometimes a little chilly on cold days). This was before they served alcohol and before the other owner (Eric) left to start the Lamplighter (also RIP). Ever since they started focusing on the bar business, it seemed that the food took an increasingly-further step backward. Gone were the homemade scones and creative dishes. Brunch became either very basic or contrived (things like some sort of stuffed French toast that would take nearly an hour and might be served cold). As I’m not a neighborhood resident, the alcohol aspect was of no interest to me. The owner added me as a friend on Facebook and began sending out numerous alcohol-focused faux “Events” that were really recurring weekly promotions (Bottomless Sangria Mondays, Bloody Mary Sundays). After experiencing that type of marketing, I never had any desire to return. I’m sure that sort of focus works for a lot of folks, but it just wasn’t for me.

Painted Table Cafe is a decidedly different chef-owned concept that seems to be flourishing; there was a wait when we went last week. The chef is very eager to serve the needs of the community, so by all means let him know if there’s something you think he could be doing differently.

Don D

January 29th, 2010
4:43 pm

This is interesting to read, when I lived in the Grant Park area, we had two choices, the shoot’em up Taco Mac and the Grant Central Pizza on Cherokee. Loved the Grant Central, didn’t know if it was still open. Taco Mac got robbed about every 3-4 weeks, so they finally gave up and closed it.

John

January 29th, 2010
4:55 pm

Sucks to see them go but they were way too expensive … we could walk there but always felt ripped off for what we got, like i overpaid by 25%. Painted table seems identical, another expensive breakfast place that has weird hours, only difference is they don’t have the bar revenue. GP needs a burrito joint … or a great beer bar — our fingers are still crossed that Brick Store works out, they would kill it & be a huge boost for the ‘hood

Kate

January 29th, 2010
9:28 pm

Yes, we will miss Solstice…RIP

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Jason

January 30th, 2010
11:44 am

Wow there are some paranoid teabaggers here. If you’re going to talk wacko right wing theories do it on a teabagger blog and don’t troll the comments on a food blog.

MrLiberty

January 30th, 2010
12:27 pm

Aside from folks like Jason who obviously believes everything the government tells him about this depression and its causes/solutions, it is nice to see some folks on this blog who get it. When a restaurant or any business closes it should be about bad product or horrible service. These days it is about much more and a deeply rooted problem that starts in Washinton but also extends to the government right here in GA and Grant Park. Decisions are being made that have nothing to do with a business’ abilty to make customers happy. Zoning, sign regulations, alcohol regulations, license fees, parking regulations, building regulations, permit costs and requirements, and the like are all the cost of government, not the cost of making customers happy.

Yes Jason, discussions like this absolutely belong in a blog like this because this restaurant’s closing like many before it and many more to come will be about government actions beyond its control. If people who read this blog can make this connection, maybe they can demand the kind of free market, sound money, tax and regulation-eliminating reforms that will restore the kind of prosperous economy that can support wonderful restaurants like this one. By the way, don’t look to either the republicans or the democrats in office for any of these.

Jason

January 30th, 2010
1:21 pm

I’m not going to get into this on a great food blog. I do agree that there are many onerous local government regulations that get in the way, but for the broader picture I’ll let the results of years of conservative policies speak for themselves.

Amanda

January 30th, 2010
1:55 pm

I think David S. is just Ron Paul in disguise.

Rick

January 30th, 2010
10:18 pm

yes this was our favorite spot. I think that us grant park resiidents need to look at how hostile towards restaurants we are. After 3 years brick store gave up on trying to open what became leons in our nieghborhood. I saw that there even more nasty articles about solstice and other places in this blog. We need to look in the mirror if want to know why so many store fronts are empty in our community.

loni

January 30th, 2010
10:32 pm

yes . My parents insisted on going there when they came. It was special little place. Boy as far as some people in the nighborhood being sour ninnies. Amen

Jenni

January 31st, 2010
8:14 pm

We will miss the atmosphere and the house salad.

Rosalia Neighbor

February 1st, 2010
10:13 am

Miss the take-out trash found in our yards, loud music, lack of parking on our street and bad to medicre food? I don’t think so.

John Kessler

February 1st, 2010
10:47 am

Hearing rumors that a former Solstice waitress will take over the lease and reopen with a new concept. Stay tuned…

rosalia nieghbor 2

February 1st, 2010
11:33 am

rip solstice. Best wishes to the new place too. My friends and I were big fans of solstice and the owner. I have lived on the block for 15 years and loved trading getting rid of all the gross stufff that used to be on that corner for less street parking spaces. I hope we can all support our local retail and not rip them down. I hope thw next place is even busier. I thought that solstice was a sweet little artsy place. Nothing wild about it. Wishing for more that are like it.

John Kessler

February 1st, 2010
2:55 pm

Stephanie – No bother at all. I appreciate your introducing yourself! Hope you had a great meal.

Egger

February 1st, 2010
5:58 pm

I thought the atmosphere at Solstice was adorable but never thought the food was particularly good. I am sad, though, to see yet another neighborhood restaurant close. I hope that if the rumors are true and there are plans to reopen that it will be an improvement on Solstice.

DRB

February 2nd, 2010
12:24 am

Visited a few times, just a short walk from the house…but zero incentive to return. Sub-par food, and overpriced. Not surprised to see it fade away. No way it was in the same category as neighborhood favorites Rias, Stone Soup, 6FU, and Grant Central.

CAB

February 2nd, 2010
9:43 am

I’m sorry to hear of any local business closing, but Solstic’s vibe really didn’t fit the neighborhood, which in case you haven’t noticed has entered a more grownup phase in the last few years. Mediocre food, not really kid-friendly, and too loud for adult conversation. I much preferred the Lamplighter — and the Nayarit restaurant that formerly occupied the space.

bella

February 2nd, 2010
8:57 pm

gonna miss you solstice. Many good times. Don’t listen to the haters, they are everywhere. I am gonna miss that chimi changas. My boyfriend and I went on our 1st date there and had a great time. Ginger was our bartenter. Good luck to all . What happened to that elvis. Did it stay I wonder.

Rosalia Neighbor

February 3rd, 2010
3:31 pm

If it reopens as a quality restaurant, I’d support it and wish it well as long as they show some consideration to their immediate neighbors. The signs in the windows indicate it will reopen the first week of March, so we’ll see.

Waldo Neighbor

February 4th, 2010
8:43 am

My wife and I visited Solstice a few times since we have lived in Grant Park. As a lot of you have said, the food was always okay, but nothing to get really excited about and their pricing on most items was a little high. I hope the new owners keep this in mind…

I’m still pulling for the Brick Store to work out and hoping that Doc Chey’s will last once they open next week.

I’m all for eating at neighborhood restaurants and supporting the local economy, but I won’t go somewhere that I can’t find to be a good value. The spots in the GP that have lasted like Ria’s, Dakota Blue, Grant Central, Six Feet Under and now Tin Lizzy’s offer good value in what you’re getting.

Owned by 3 huge dogs

February 4th, 2010
11:20 am

I have been there several times…yes, the choices were kinda limited, and a bit pricey, but I liked it anyway. I would have stopped by more often but parking was so limited and if I couldn’t find a spot, I would just drive right on by and go elsewhere.

Conrad & Debbie

February 6th, 2010
10:32 am

Worth visits from Norcross. Surprised it’s gone.

Pat Dusenbury

February 6th, 2010
6:58 pm

I hate it that Solstice has closed – the neighborhood is less without this great restaurant.