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Pacci Ristorante to close

Chef Keira Moritz with a friend in front of Pacci (credit: Frank Lazaro)

Chef Keira Moritz with a friend in front of Pacci (credit: Frank Lazaro)

A change in ownership for the Hotel Palomar Atlanta has signaled the end for its prominent street-level restaurant.

Pacci Ristorante will close sometime next month.  All staffers were called into a meeting on Thursday and informed that they would need to look for new jobs. The Thayer Lodging Group, which recently acquired the luxury Midtown property, has ousted the hotel’s management firm, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants. Kimpton not only owns the Palomar brand, it also staffs and runs the restaurant.

Word spread quickly through the restaurant community after chef Keira Moritz sent a note out to a few high-profile local chefs, looking for job placement for her staff. Pacci publicist Melissa Libby confirmed that the restaurant will remain open until “late March.” There is no word yet on what — if any — dining concept will replace Pacci.

53 comments Add your comment

Jason

February 26th, 2011
5:08 pm

Wonder if this also means the hotel will be reflagged.

TDub

February 26th, 2011
5:27 pm

That’s a shame. It was a fantastic place.

Marina

February 26th, 2011
5:36 pm

Wow! this is terrible! I loved that place and cannot imagine what else could possibly replace Pacci’s concept! I don’t think that the food and service will be quite up to par – That’s a shame!

Steve

February 26th, 2011
6:38 pm

The Palomar was a nice hotel, but we found Pacci to be highly overrated.

atlfood

February 26th, 2011
7:17 pm

What’s wrong with Atlanta that we can’t support good restaurants? The best spenders are staying away from public areas, especially Midtown and now Buckhead, because nobody feels safe at night any longer. Atlanta’s thugs roam the streets and threaten us without worry of arrest.

Whites are fleeing Atlanta, and more restaurants will close, even big names.

Kev

February 26th, 2011
7:23 pm

“The best spenders are staying away from public areas, especially Midtown and now Buckhead, because nobody feels safe at night any longer. Atlanta’s thugs roam the streets and threaten us without worry of arrest.”

You must not have lived in the city very long. When I moved here in the mid-80s the city proper had 150,000 less people but twice as many murders as we have now. Plus, robbery, rape, theft, etc… were also much higher. The city is much safer than it used to be.

“Whites are fleeing Atlanta…”

Again, you don’t know what you’re talking about. The percentage of whites in the city has greatly increased in the past ten years.

samsem

February 26th, 2011
7:43 pm

I agree Kev. What a ridiculous statement by atlfood. It’s called the economy. Money’s a lot tighter these days. Either restaurants will adapt, or they will close. Pretty simple.

Jenna

February 26th, 2011
7:50 pm

This is shocking! this hotel is brand new to our city and they have made the news for the wrong reasons! This new Management Company leaves a lot to be desired! a direct quote from their webiste “Thayer is currently seeking acquisition opportunities for hotels that would benefit from the application of its repositioning strategies, including re-branding and capital improvements” or what I like to call the squash a good thing mentality. oh well! on to the next one….
@atlfood – Let me guess? you are new to the city?..this white girl has been in ATL for 12 years and I am not going anywhere! Each area has it’s own set of problems and your ignorant comments are a tad funny! :-)

Debbie

February 26th, 2011
7:54 pm

What a shame! This was an awesome restaurant.

kmb

February 26th, 2011
7:59 pm

Maybe Chef Moritz can take over the Craft site. Another casualty of hotel wars.

Larry

February 26th, 2011
8:06 pm

So what? There’s a Waffle House right down the street!

Sam Zamarripa

February 26th, 2011
8:38 pm

This was an exceptional restaurant, well done and great food. This is a huge loss for midtown.

Cissy

February 26th, 2011
8:49 pm

Amen, Kev. My thoughts exactly. No whites fleeing my neighborhood….I know several [white] families who have moved in from the suburbs in the past year.
But they are not eating with their kids at the likes of Pacci.

Midtown Res

February 26th, 2011
8:51 pm

atlfood: I agree. I have lived in midtown for 8 years. Since the end of 2008, we have seen a marked downturn. We love Pacci, but we have to walk through Cypress and 8th to get there. No thanks. We choose restaurants on Peachtree instead of dealing with the male prostitutes and drug dealers on the way to Pacci.

Joseph

February 26th, 2011
9:17 pm

Pacci was an excellent restaurant for special occasions. The food and service were both consistently good. I will miss it.

As for the comments about whites feeling the city: first, Midtown and Atlanta need young professionals (whatever their race or ethnicity), and I think the reality is that the economic downturn has put a stall in the trajectory of the city.

Bubba

February 26th, 2011
9:29 pm

Kev:

The vast majority of the murders and related crimes back in the mid ’80’s were not in the city, but in the ghetto areas of Atlanta.

Bottom Feeder

February 26th, 2011
10:02 pm

Maybe the chief and staff could move into the old Vickery’s. I was surprised Vickery’s closed. Always seemed busy just like Pacci. The recession continues apace despite what the federalies tell us.

Jeffrey

February 26th, 2011
11:14 pm

This white boy walked 9 blocks through Midtown last night to eat at Pacci then walked 9 blocks home. The crime in this city is way overrated. People watch the sensationalized news way too much and allow fear to dictate their lives. Stop watching the news! They are not providing you with reality.

atlfunlvr

February 26th, 2011
11:17 pm

Amazing! Only in Atlanta could a restaurant closing be framed in race. This city is lame

J

February 26th, 2011
11:27 pm

atlfood is right… Buckhead and Midtown are not nearly as safe as they were 15 years ago. I remember barhopping in Buckhead in the mid 90s without a care in the world. Now I don’t even like driving aroud there at night.

Pacci is a great eat, hate to see it go. Surprising that a hotel like that is changing hands in this economy… maybe it got foreclosed… LOL

Kev

February 26th, 2011
11:31 pm

“The vast majority of the murders and related crimes back in the mid ’80’s were not in the city, but in the ghetto areas of Atlanta.”

The crime rate figures are for the entire city, not just the “ghetto areas of Atlanta”.

Edward

February 26th, 2011
11:55 pm

I think Jenna hit it more closely. This isn’t about sales, it is simply another “investment” firm acquiring a property that is otherwise successful, getting rid of what works and then tearing it apart to somehow reap some benefits that only the twisted screwed up world of Wall Street can understand.

atlin83

February 27th, 2011
12:16 am

Here’s what I learned about my dear city in this thread:

1) We’re too unsophisticated as a city to support every fancy restaurant, because apparently sophisticated cities can support every high-end restaurant that opens. These things should never fail, because they dare. They have class. They have ambition. Blah blah blah.

2) Some folks still think that it’s the 1970s. And that apparently “ghetto” parts of the city (which, and I don’t think it’s a stretch to interpret that comment to mean non-white) aren’t actually part of the city, and are somehow isolated from the fantasyland areas where the fancy, too-great-to-fail eateries for white people are.

3) There’s a conspiracy among Wall Street to take out the good eatins’.

Just a few snarky comments from another white midtown resident (of three years). I mean, I see some sketchy stuff – I don’t live in the nicest building or anything – but nothing that makes me fear for my life. I’m certainly not afraid to walk the whole two blocks from Peachtree to West Peachtree, and yeah, I can understand being afraid to drive in Buckhead – because lots of idiots drive like maniacs – I’ll walk instead, without fear. I guess maybe the first step is to move in and start living in the city, and the second step is to stop being a pansy about it.

Can’t keep it just about food, can we?

Kurt

February 27th, 2011
1:15 am

Not a huge loss. For good Italian food in Atlanta, Pasta da Pulcinella is just down the street from Pacci, and way better. Or if you’re willing to drive five minutes to Va-Hi, La Tavola is amazing.

JP

February 27th, 2011
6:32 am

@atlin83 – This isn’t just about food you moron! changing hotel management companies can also impact the way the propterty is run! As a business traveller that has lived in our city for 25 years; i have seen restaruants come and go and I have also seen hotel chains change management companies – and trust me when i say this; most of the changes have not been for the best. The kimpton management company is known for managing hotels that have a boutique feel such as the Palomar and ofcourse Pacci (which was a favorite of mine) and thayer is much more of a real estate investment company with a special interest in hotels. I don’t see anything good coming out of this.

jimmie

February 27th, 2011
6:55 am

ATL is a homless, hug infested dump that is the heart of the financial meltdown. Divine justice for the huge gay population is arriving!

jimmie

February 27th, 2011
6:59 am

la tovola..right across the street from murphys..wheres thugs steal valeted autos..and right down he street from numerous rapes and assaults by the local thugs…wake up people..the monkeys are running the zoo!

Marina

February 27th, 2011
7:31 am

I see the race trolls are out in full force as always! I love this town! :-) Anyway! I appreciate most of the intelligent posts that stuck with the issue i.e. change of management companies and the closing down of a restaurant; hope the employees are able to find new jobs in this tough economy.

larry

February 27th, 2011
7:52 am

This is really funny.
As fat as people have become,as bad as the economy is,people are concerned about a company who sells a plate of soduim,fat,sugar loaded that costs $2 to produce for $30.Or how about a bottle of wine that costs them $10 and sell it for $50 ?
I’ll take my money to the Varsity.
Five minutes after you finished eating you forgot what you had anyways.
Plus,it all goes straight down the toilet the next morning anyways.
In ten years,midtown will have businesses that almost are exclusively supported by homosexuals and indian owned conveinience stores that sell blunts,single newports,single diapers.
Any white person with common sense whom seeks a peaceful safe existence will have left stinkpot Atlanta and move.

Wally

February 27th, 2011
9:53 am

My wife and I love this restaurant. We have been there around 15 time since it opened and loved every visit. We found this place well priced for the experience with our favorite flavorful dishes. This place had class only rivaled to restaurants like NY Prime, Chopes, etc. Those who are afraid to come in the city please stay OTP, so that all of us ITP residents don’t have to deal with your lack of driving skills or your ignorance. The city has changed drammatically in the past 11 years that I have been here and I can say that both Midtown and Buckhead are safer places now than ever.

Wally

February 27th, 2011
9:58 am

I forgot to mention that our business will follow Keira to her next endeavor. Her food is at the top of Atlanta’s best.

Dan

February 27th, 2011
9:58 am

Pacci was an extremely overated restaurant. Very ambitious, but far more focused on image than execution. Was there twice, the second only because their ambition warranted a second chance, but when the manager informs me that the risotto is supposed to be served in a pile?? Clearly this person has no idea what rissotto is

Jessica

February 27th, 2011
10:00 am

This is a great loss for Atlanta! Pacci was our absolute favorite restaurant! It shocks me that the Thayer Group would close a restaurant that is always buzzing, and always full! Chef Keira Moritz is extremely talented, and we will follow here wherever she goes!

Jessica

February 27th, 2011
10:02 am

I would only hope that Chef Keira Moritz would take over the Craft location – it would be closer to me :)

Dan

February 27th, 2011
10:33 am

Larry I assure you the Varisty makes a higher marging than a good restaurant

jim

February 27th, 2011
10:49 am

lets be frank..folks just dont have 100 per person to drop for dinner anymore. we are in a horrific economic situation in atlanta and surrounding areas..bravo chick fil a for bringing people what they want!

jim

February 27th, 2011
10:52 am

bravo larry..i’m straight and white and i got outta downtown/midtown years ago..

barney

February 27th, 2011
10:53 am

We loved Pacci! Great food and atmosphere and a staff that was always working very hard and being very pleasant. It was also very nice to see a chef so involved with the community. I truly hope she finds a way to stay in town.

With that said, what is up with so many folks here taking pleasure in the misfortune of others or trying to twist it to validate their own agenda? Why is there no tolerance anymore? If you don’t enjoy this fine dining can’t you simply not comment? Do you think we want to hear your petty little prejudices? I guess it is ultimately very sad that the only place you can express yourself is an anonymous forum such as this. You must be truly miserable people to take the time to vent your hate and intolerance anywhere you get a chance. I feel sorry for you.

Elliot Garcia

February 27th, 2011
11:29 am

Here is a news flash: the ghetto is coming to Alpharetta!

jim

February 27th, 2011
11:43 am

Elliot…duh…why you think there are so many foreclosures in alpharetta..

amy

February 27th, 2011
11:58 am

I see a blooming romance between Larry and Jimmie, just keep it in your mobile home somewhere far away from the city.

the watch dog

February 27th, 2011
12:13 pm

When I was in Atlanta, I always headed for a rib joint. The best around. I think one was downtown on lower Peach Tree St. I was a little surprised that Atlanta ranked so high for crime. It was second and St. Louis was first. That is the way it is. The suburbs is where all the action is. I may go down there and straighten everything out. The traffic is absolutely fierce.

jim

February 27th, 2011
12:33 pm

amy rocks…in her head only

jim

February 27th, 2011
1:24 pm

Hey Amy..can’t help it your intown property values have tubed..just look at the makeup of the atlanta coty government..a makeup that has always failed anywhere it has been tried..get out now…hurry..

Kev

February 27th, 2011
3:36 pm

All you OTPers please stay out in the burbs where you have to get in your gas hog SUV just to buy a gallon of milk. No wonder people out there are 10-15% heavier than folks who live intown.

West Peachtree Rocks

February 27th, 2011
7:15 pm

Midtown Alliance has done a wonderful job of beautifying, and overseeing the City’s re-development, of West Peachtree Street. Better connecting West Peachtree to Peachtree St is still a good idea though. A traffic light at 7th Street, more lighting along 7th Street from Peachtree to W. Peachtree and taking a re-freshed new look at one way 7th and 8th streets may all be worth review.
Now that GA Tech has taken possession of the historic Academy of Medicine Building directly across from Palomar, perhaps they can use their influence to improve lighting, traffic flow, and area buzz.
Personally, I think the new owners simply wanted their own fresh start in what will be remarketed as an even better boutique experience new again in Midtown.

Jim...

February 28th, 2011
8:21 am

Pacci closing is not a lack of business thing–simply a new owner of the property and a new management group (as noted by the article), which did not want to continue the restaurant. Several high-end hotel properties have sold in the last year: Buckhead Intercontinental, the Mansion, and the St. Regis. Just a sign of the times–presumably prices on properties are good, just like for other commercial properties and for residential properties.

Midtown is much safer and cleaner than it was 15 years ago; to say otherwise is lunacy. This straight white guy is amazed at some of the idiots posting here who live out in the suburbs and probably would wet their jeans shorts just riding MARTA because of the number of black folks. Pitiful. Just please stay out there in the burbs and enjoy your Olive Garden, Applebees and minor league sports.

AtlAffinity

February 28th, 2011
9:51 am

WestPeach,

I doubt this new management company is going to improve the hotel. Kimpton was about as good as it gets in the boutique world. My fear is we’ll see something like a Wyndham.

Pacci was good, not great. I hope she does well somewhere else.

John

February 28th, 2011
10:51 am

It would be nice to read this blog without hearing the never ending diatribe of the merits of living or not living OTP, references of the supremecy of the Varsity or Chick-fil-a vs. fine dining establishments, issues regarding race/crime. Seriously, this is 2011. Aren’t we over “You know that Delta is ready when you are Yankee” garbage and “OTPers need eat at Applebees”? Do you people actually speak to others using this jargon? If so, then you and the food picture taking people need to spend some quality time in the present.

Johnny

February 28th, 2011
12:23 pm

Pacci was sub-par even for Atlanta’s standards. Been there 3 times and every time barely passable even for “Italian” fare. No cook in their right mind leaves a great food town like San Francisco to come here. Since she’s looking for jobs for her staff and not herself, she will probably go back to San Fran. Best decision she will ever make.

You people’s comments about Applebees and real restaurants are a laugh riot. We should take a survey on everyone who commented and see who eats out how many times a week and where. I guarantee you the people who are defensive are the ones who never eats out to support the local businesses and not franchises. Out of the 4-5 million people in Atlanta, there is not even 1% of the population that spends more than $500 to eat out per week. It’s all lip service.