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TEN Atlanta, the seven-year-old gay bar that replaced the short-lived Five Napkin Burger (Nikimoto’s before that), over the weekend took down its marquee signage fronting 10th Street and Piedmont Avenue.
The popular nighttime destination’s Facebook, Instagram, and website have also gone dark as of Sunday, April 5.
It’s unclear why the Midtown hotspot’s presence vanished overnight without a trace.
There are a few working theories but without comment from TEN Owner James Nelson, nothing is confirmed.
Here’s what we know.
The entrepreneur’s “Work and Education” summary on his personal Facebook page does not mention TEN but lists Nelson as “Owner of Hidden Dragon” and “Owner at Coq et Oeufs,” a quick-service restaurant neighboring the bar.
Hidden Dragon is a speakeasy concept Nelson first started teasing in late-2019 on social media.
“We are so grateful and excited to be able to bring an establishment of such class and elegance to Midtown in 2020,” Nelson wrote in a social media post.
“The Hidden Dragon will be like no other in the prime area of Midtown.”
Nelson would not disclose where Hidden Dragon will be situated.
“It’s going to be a speakeasy-style craft cocktail bar therefore it will be literally hidden.”
Hidden Dragon will be a “bar in general,” not specifically catering to the LGBTQ community, Nelson wrote.
“Reservations will be required, along with other criteria.”
Nelson registered Hidden Dragon, LLC with the Georgia Secretary of State in early March, but there aren’t any known plans filed with the City of Atlanta for the speakeasy.
A Hidden Dragon Facebook page indicates a summer 2020 opening but does not list an address or website.
Walter Ray Davis, III of Davis Associates, TEN Atlanta’s landlord, was surprised to hear signage had come down at the space when reached over the telephone by WNA Sunday.
Davis said the status of his tenants were not completely known with the COVID-19 pandemic but as far as he was concerned, TEN wasn’t going anywhere.
So why would Nelson take down the signage?
It could be that TEN is undergoing a brand refresh and one that could include Hidden Dragon as a secret component of the “new” TEN.
Sources familiar with the project said to expect a new name, interior redo, tiki bar, and “even more rainbows then before.”