ATL food personality Grace Lee purchases Las Palmeras

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Restauranteur to re-invent Midtown's 20-year-old Cuban restaurant.

One Atlanta food critic finally found her "G Spot." And it was by accident, mind you.

Grace Lee, known in Atlanta for her restaurant review site "Atlanta G Spots," which identifies the city's finest eateries as such, purchased Las Palmeras Tuesday, she told What Now Atlanta in a telephone interview.

But when the 20-year-old Cuban restaurant, at 366 5th Street, was first put up for sale by Felipe Alvarez, Lee had no idea she would be its new owner.

"It's always been a dream of mine to own a restaurant, but it wasn't something I was actively working towards achieving," Lee said. "The opportunity presented itself and I fell in love with the restaurant's potential and charm."

On Wednesday, June 27, Lee will take ownership of Las Palmeras to keep the doors open for business. But she won't stop there, she said.

Lee plans on giving the Cuban restaurant a "facelift" including a "menu refresh" and some cosmetic upgrades such as a paint job. Other planned changes have not been disclosed.

"I'm going to bring something very casual, comfortable and fun to the space but my priority is to the neighborhood," Lee said. "Patrons can dine in flip flops straight from Piedmont Park if they'd like to. I want people to feel like they're coming over to my house for dinner."

Lee hopes to have the restaurant fully operational to her specifications by August, 2012.