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Cracker Squire

THE MUSINGS OF A TRADITIONAL SOUTHERN DEMOCRAT

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Location: Douglas, Coffee Co., The Other Georgia, United States

Sid in his law office where he sits when meeting with clients. Observant eyes will notice the statuette of one of Sid's favorite Democrats.

Friday, November 16, 2012

A point of personal privilege (or some such): I sure hate this, having been a customer from time to time since 1970: Dante’s Down the Hatch to make way for apartment tower

(I also was a fraternity brother at Davidson College with one of its managers at the Underground location after its second opening there.  Again, I sure hate this for you guys up there.)

From the AJC:

Buckhead’s iconic Dante’s Down the Hatch restaurant is closing to make way for luxury apartments.

Atlantic Realty Partners announced this week it reached an agreement to buy the eclectic jazz and fondue hotspot on Peachtree Road and build a 10-story luxury apartment tower in its place.

If the deal goes through, Dante’s would close its doors to the public in March after decades as a draw for Buckhead party crowd, the Valentine’s Day rush and countless prom dates.

The terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but the development firm is getting some of Atlanta’s most exclusive land. The 2-acre lot sits across from Lenox Square Mall and near a string of swank hotels and trendy restaurants. The developer expects to submit plans to Atlanta officials within the next few weeks and to break ground in the spring of 2013.

Dante’s owner Dante Stephensen didn’t immediately return phone calls on Friday. But earlier this year he warned that the restaurant and nightclub could go belly up because of a Fulton County tax bill that he said topped $90,000 because of the skyrocketing value of the property.

Stephensen opened the original Dante’s Down the Hatch at Underground Atlanta in 1970, but after business declined in 1981 he moved the restaurant to Buckhead. He opened a second branch in the renovated Underground in 1989, but it closed after a decade.

The Buckhead location, meanwhile, thrived as office towers, luxury condos and apartment buildings sprung up around it. Stephensen has turned down several lucrative offers for the valuable property over the years, but this week apparently got an offer he couldn’t resist.

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