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French American Brasserie closes

courtesy French American Brasserie

courtesy French American Brasserie

Over the past few months, rumors have been swirling about downtown’s French American Brasserie. The rumor mill suggested that it was closing in order to open a new restaurant in Buckhead. And, indeed, owners Fabrice Vergez and Cindy Brown will open a new restaurant concept called F&B at the Ritz-Carlton Residences.

At the time of the F&B announcement, however, F.A.B. representatives insisted that it would remain open and that the new restaurant would not be a replacement. However, as What Now Atlanta reported, yesterday F.A.B. posted a notice of closure on its Facebook page and today the phones remain unanswered. The Facebook post reads:

We want all of our loyal fans and patrons to be the first to know that as of last night, we have closed our doors downtown. Thank you to our incredible staff and all of those who have supported us over the years. With the current economic climate, we felt it best to focus all of our attention and efforts on the new location. We are very excited to return to Buckhead and look forward to a new beginning in the Ritz Carlton Residences in the Spring of 2012.

As John Kessler reported back in August, shortly after F&B’s announcement, F.A.B. unveiled a lower-priced menu with “brasserie bites” and an updated and more casual interior in an attempt to appeal to a broader market. At the time, Vergez said, “This economy isn’t going to change, so we’ve got to adjust.”

F.A.B. was originally known as Brasserie Le Coze and was located at Lenox Square Mall. When Neiman Marcus expanded in 2006, the restaurant relocated to its current downtown spot in the Southern Company building, near the Georgia Aquarium.

F.A.B.’s sister restaurant, the new F&B in Buckhead, will be a neighborhood bistro featuring French and Mediterranean flavors using a farm-to-table approach. It will join Tomo Japanese Restaurant and To-Go Bistro at its new 3630 Peachtree address.

–by Jenny Turknett, Food and More blog

29 comments Add your comment

jack trent

December 19th, 2011
2:02 pm

who keeps giving money to these people?!

Jim S.

December 19th, 2011
2:28 pm

I guess the ‘Real Housewives’ crowd will have to find a sidewalk in front of a new place to pull one another’s weaves and wigs out;-)

george

December 19th, 2011
2:29 pm

i hope that they are receiving money from sophisticated investors who understand that even more restaurants than marriages fail and can afford to lose all of their money on the slight chance that they get a huge return. they may also get money from people, like a late friend of mine, who have always had a restaurant dream and love the idea of hanging out there and trying to impress their friends/families. either way job creation, even in the service sector, usually requires expertise, sweat equity, capital and luck.

Peter Cellino

December 19th, 2011
2:38 pm

This is not about giving anyone money. It is about the current economic conditions downtown. Perhaps if things were the way they were in 2006 we would still all be enjoying afternoon cocktails on the wonderful rooftop this spring and summer. The harsh reality is time changes, conventions and businesses move elsewhere; and thus astute business people sometime have to make difficult decisions. The upside is all of us who live in Buckhead will not have to travel downtown for FAB’s wonderful food and ambience anymore. We should all welcome them with open arms back to the neighborhood in the Spring. Thank you to the owners for bringing what will undoubtedly be another hotspot back to Buckhead. You have been missed, and welcome home.

JD

December 19th, 2011
2:40 pm

No free parking=another failed restaurant

LawDawg

December 19th, 2011
2:45 pm

This is too bad, I really enjoyed the restaurant.

JD: If you cannot pay $2 to a valet, you are probably not the target audience for fine dining.

Peter Cellino

December 19th, 2011
2:47 pm

No one gives anyone anything but their business and no matter what these restauranteurs run phenomenal establishments. The harsh reality is economically downtown has not experienced the resurgence everyone hoped for several years ago. Times change, conventions and businesses and expense accounts shrink. This is simply not about the product but about the economics of downtown. The reality now is that all of us in Buckhead should be privileged to have this Atlanta institution returning to it’s roots; where it belongs. Everyone in Buckhead should open their arms to what will undoubtedly be one of the years best editions to the neighborhood. I will guarantee that as Spring breaks the next incarnation of the FAB patio will be the place to be and be seen.

Candice R.

December 19th, 2011
2:48 pm

A huge loss for this city!

Sara

December 19th, 2011
3:25 pm

pete’s a poser

Chubby in my pants

December 19th, 2011
3:30 pm

Too many homeless people hanging out near by.

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

don

December 19th, 2011
3:47 pm

Why open a restaurant in what is a ghost town after 5:00p.m.? The old Brasserie Le Coze was perfect and I hope the new location will succeed.

Vladimir Sonovabitch

December 19th, 2011
3:57 pm

The what’s closing? Huh? Never heard of it. No loss for us northern suburbinites.

pat

December 19th, 2011
3:59 pm

If Hal Barry’s plans for that area had come to fruition, it would have been a huge success. We will miss the skate wing!!!!!

gg

December 19th, 2011
3:59 pm

its a shame the downtown is allowed to be populated by vagrants instead of those with the ability to support business

jack trent

December 19th, 2011
4:09 pm

yes, i dream about opening a restaurant so i can hang out there with a glass of wine in my hand and smooze my friends. people who think this are idiots. restaurants are the most labor intensive jobs.

jack trent

December 19th, 2011
4:11 pm

who has tried to open a restaurant and can give some insite on how fun it is?

markm

December 19th, 2011
4:14 pm

Not the news I wanted to hear – I will miss this spot. Does Downtown have any restaurants left that are not chains?????

pb

December 19th, 2011
4:44 pm

Peter Cellino,

Who do you work for ? The restaurant in question?

RK

December 19th, 2011
5:04 pm

BLT is superior; glad Chef Holata is there now.

Butch

December 19th, 2011
5:07 pm

buchhead’s a dump.

Elliot Garcia

December 19th, 2011
5:11 pm

Is Buckhead done with it’s big dig yet??

RC

December 19th, 2011
6:12 pm

I look forward to the new concept. We will be there!

Rogers

December 19th, 2011
9:53 pm

Too many great establishments have closed in the past few years!

Baltisraul

December 20th, 2011
6:26 am

Someone was not paying attention when this place was opened. Bet they didn’t do their homework in school either!

FoodFan

December 20th, 2011
11:25 am

Hate to see this place close, but is Buckhead really the best location for yet another french restaurant (Cafe Anis, La Fourchette, Bistro Niko, to just name a few?)Hoping they do well at the Ritz Residences there – maybe there will be a bonus now that they are on the edge of Brookhaven, a neighborhood that has seen every new restaurant that’s opened actualy STAY open!

Stephanie

December 20th, 2011
12:24 pm

FAB was great and F&B will be even better. It’s a sad end; but, all good things must end. It’ll be great to have this concept in Buckhead, where it can truly excel. I can’t wait for a new patio this Spring to enjoy myself on with some amazing food and wine! Bon Voyage FAB!!

P.M. Lyndon

December 23rd, 2011
11:02 pm

No one could have predicted the crushing economic downturn that took place one year after FAB opened. It’s a wonder it survived as long as it did under the circumstances. Good luck with the new place! We are looking forward to it. Pay no attention to the negative lurkers on this website. Seriously doubt they could start a successful restaurant themselves.

Timothy Pettus

December 24th, 2011
2:46 am

I live just up the street and will certainly miss Fabrics, Kevin an the bar and the skate wing! Also the great wine list and ganuine hospitality I always experienced. I will be glad to see the resurgence in Buckhead in the Spring. Good luck Fabrice!