Saba Heads Back to Decatur’s Oakhurst Neighborhood, Soft Opens With New Name

Paolino Italian Restaurant and Geletaria is BYOB until alcohol license approval.
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The Saba Italian restaurant located in Emory Village has returned to the Oakhurst neighborhood southwest of downtown Decatur and has opened under the name Paolino Italian Restaurant and Gelateria, at 350 Mead Road.

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Paolino soft-opened this past weekend as BYOB while the restaurant awaits its beer and wine license, which may come the week of February 24, Owner Shane Mixon confirmed with What Now Atlanta over the phone Monday.

Mixon cited growing disrepair and increasing costs of maintenance at the Druid Hills location as the primary reasons for the restaurant’s closure and relocation back to 350 Mead Road, and a catalyst for the slight change in concept direction, new name.

“We wanted to go in a different direction and did not want to have the problems associated with the building at Emory, associated with us,” Mixon said.

“The building was deteriorating very fast so we had to make a quick and wise decision.”

Mixon previously closed the Decatur outpost of the restaurant at the end of 2016 after operating in that space for eight years, to focus on the Emory Village location which he said, after being open for 14 years, had an unparalleled clientele for dining and catering.

Early problems arose when in 2011, major road construction threatened the restaurant’s viability.

The menu at Paolino will be similar to its Saba iteration, save for several exclusions and a beefed-up wine selection, according to Mixon.

“This location will be purely Italian, we are not doing any of the fusion menu items.”

Paolino takes over the Son of a Bear Korean tavern space, which closed in September 2019. 

Kamille D. Whittaker

Kamille D. Whittaker is an Atlanta-based journalist, editor and researcher.
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