Is Ron Eyester About to Close One or More of His Restaurants?

'The Angry Chef' releases touching letter about his struggles as an Atlanta restauranteur.

‘The Angry Chef’ releases touching letter about his struggles as an Atlanta restauranteur.

Ron Eyester, the entertaining owner and Top Chef personality behind restaurants like Diner in Atlantic Station and Rosebud and The Family Dog in Morningside, opened up in an email to his patrons Tuesday outlining his recent struggles.

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Nicknamed “The Angry Chef” for his often humorous takes on restaurant etiquette on Twitter, Eyester shuttered his pizza and deli concept in Morningside, Timone’s, this past July.

Is this letter a sign of additional closings to come? Read Eyester’s open letter in its entirety below and decide for yourself:

I remember standing in the middle of North Highland Avenue on a late January night in 2005 just staring in amazement at the newly renovated Food 101.  It was bitter cold, and I remember laughing at how quite unimpressive our exterior sign was in comparison to the lavish build-out the interior had just received.  In fact, I also remember how after years of sheer neglect the wisteria had literally overtaken the circus-like tent that used to cover the patio.  I remember in the weeks that followed, some folks just freaking out about us removing that wisteria.   It took some time to get adjusted to Morningside…And to this day we still haven’t quite figured out that patio.

During those days, I was just the chef and a sweat equity partner (a lot of sweat); but I had a foot in the door and I formed a connection to this space that has never been rivaled by another restaurant space in which I’ve set foot.  For the next decade it would be a thrill to unlock the front doors each morning of this iconic restaurant space (did you know that Indigo and Partners used to be here); I’ve always been especially grateful for the mornings in which I was greeted with the rich aromas of a simmering chicken stock.   Fast forward about 4 years, some good, some not so good; I find myself ready for the next steps of a budding restaurateur, and take on a more significant piece of ownership.  Although a trying process, with the guidance of my former 101 partners/mentors and the faithful investment of a local neighbor; my creativity and passion blossomed further and ultimately Rosebud was brought to life.  Most of you know the rest of the tale, The Family Dog bursts onto the scene in 2010 (damn, what’s in that mason jar drink), Morningside has it’s own bar and people laugh about how often I’m seen crossing the street.  The long strange trip continues and then comes Titanic Pizza…I mean Timone’s Pizza.

Now for the current chapter.  The intention of this letter is not to venture down memory lane, nor is it an attempt to evoke sympathy.  I really just wanted to take some time to reach out to everyone and let you know what indeed is going on, because I am more than the aware of many of the rumors circulating.   In this day and age, we’re all accustomed to giving and receiving information almost instantaneously and I think we’ve always done a great job at staying engaged with you all and I really believe that our willingness and ability to share information with you all removed a certain barrier that might exist between guests and the help in an ordinary setting.  We have truly cultivated a unique and genuine environment here on North Highland Avenue, and no matter what our fate, we’ll always be grateful for that.

It’s no secret we’re struggling…we ended biting off more than we can chew.  We ended up encountering some scenarios that we obviously could not have and did not forecast.  After all, who the fuck closes the same restaurant twice…This guy!  And who likes discussing matters of this nature anyway.  Well, it’s time to share some details. What once was a haven of consistency and stability is now somewhat a tumultuous road of uncertainty and sometimes, unpleasant surprises.  And while we have endured more than you can imagine, we have suffered a series of consequences.  Nonetheless, it’s our current state of reality and we are dealing with it, everyday.  What’s the final outcome going to be?  I wish I knew…But no matter what transpires, I am making every plausible effort to preserve what we have established and maintained for many years now. I thank you for the continued support and vibrant sense of community that we have all helped create over the years. And I thank my entire staff, both past and present…none of the success that we have enjoyed could have ever been imagined without your tireless efforts to bring my ideas to life…Thank you! -Ron Eyester

Photo Credit: Jena Anton

Colin Sylvester

Colin has also written for TheWrap, CNN, Bleacher Report, and Today's U. An Atlanta native and USC film school graduate, you'd probably catch him talking all things film, tv, and pop-culture. Oh, and the soon-to-return glory days of Trojan football and Atlanta Braves baseball.

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  1. The Timone’s site was SO popular when Caramba Cafe was there. Morningside desperately needs another place like Caramba, which provided multiple eating/drinking functions for the neighborhood. Early evenings drew families (it was a great gathering spot for local families who would walk up on Friday nights); later hours drew people out for dinner and drinks; and the bar always drew its regulars and people looking for a neighborhood place to hang out. The food and the margaritas were good, and affordably priced. The bar was in front, the restaurant a cohesive space in the back (with the great balcony patio), and the kitchen was enclosed behind walls off to the side. When the new owners took out the wall and exposed the kitchen, it created a noisy distraction smack in the middle of the space; totally disrupted the ambiance so it no longer feels like a pleasant place to eat or hang out. Most of us don’t want to see or hear people working in a kitchen when we are out to eat. A place like Caramba, with good food, drinks, and atmosphere at a reasonable price, would be successful. Not gourmet, over-the-top, latest-trendy-creation food — just tasty good food with broad appeal.
    I rarely go to Rosebud because I assume it’s still too expensive and fou-fou for a casual meal. I rarely go to Family Dog because the noise level inside is deafening (you can’t hear yourself talk to your friends) and the menu doesn’t have enough healthy food. More salads and vegetables would be good. They need to hang some fabric (tie-dyes?) or other sound-absorbing materials in Family Dog to lessen the din.

  2. I agree with Betty. I’ve been to Rosebud a handful of times, but at the price point it competes with a lot of other restaurants.

    The Family Dog looked promising and I went there when it opened, but it seems to cater to people from outside the neighborhood. The lack of healthy items keeps me away. The noise level is also a valid challenge.

    I go to neighborhood restaurants regularly – just not these places. I’m looking for some options for healthy, lower priced items or specials. I’m eating at Murphy’s, Doc Cheys, Floataway, Babette’s, Tavola, etc.

  3. Rosebud is closed. I had a brunch planned there for Sunday and just got an email saying they are closing effective immediately.

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