In addition to our normal news coverage, What Now Atlanta is tracking ways Atlanta’s businesses are adapting to the novel coronavirus and the challenges it brings to brick-and-mortars.
Micro food hall The Canteen has permanently shuttered after the restaurant’s ownership was threatened with a lawsuit by its landlord for $20,000 in back rent, according to a report from Eater Atlanta Tuesday.
Jennifer Johnson, a partner in Rye Restaurants, the name for the family of eateries that includes The Canteen, confirmed the news in an email Tuesday to What Now Atlanta.
Here’s the statement in its entirety:
We first want to thank all of the wonderful staff members who made it possible, from preparing for the opening to the day-to-day operation to closing the doors. It has been a pleasure and privilege to work with all of you.
We look forward to continuing to work with many of you in our other restaurants.
We also want to thank all the loyal customers over the last several years. Our goal from the start was to prove that food could be both fast and high-quality. We appreciate all of the patrons who embraced and supported that vision.
The Canteen has been a challenge. We always enjoyed tremendous weekday support. Being in a business- heavy area, nights, and weekends never developed the traffic that we hoped they would. We were affected by seasonality to a much greater extent than any of our other university-adjacent restaurants. The Canteen ultimately operated on a very thin margin, relying on busier spring business to carry it through the slower summer months until traffic resumed in the fall.
When Georgia Tech and surrounding businesses closed down in March, business disappeared. With the pandemic taking out our spring business, surviving the summer would be difficult under the best of circumstances. We decided to close temporarily in mid-March, hoping to cut all expenses to the bone in the hope that we could come out of this intact. Closing only cuts the variable expenses like payroll and inventory.
It is the fixed costs, like rent and utilities, that remained. We recognize that our landlord was under no obligation to help–we had signed a lease–but the unwillingness to consider any rent relief during the past two months changed the path forward from uncertain to impossible.
The good news is that everyone can continue to enjoy Fred’s Meat & Bread and Yalla at Krog Street Market, and TGM Soup Co. and all the old TGM Bagel favorites at The General Muir at Emory Point. Those locations currently are open for takeout and delivery.
Thank you again for your support of The Canteen. We wish you all good health and happiness as we move through this difficult time.
Eater reports that the dispute has since been settled and as a result, The Canteen, LLC will relinquish the property by the end of May.
The Canteen, which debuted in Tech Square in 2017, housed Square Bar, Yalla, Fred’s Meat & Bread, and TGM Soup Co.
[Editor’s note 1: an earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that The Canteen, LLC was sued. The company was threatened with a suit but one was never formally filed.]
[Editor’s note 2: The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is rapidly evolving as is its effect on Atlanta, and the City’s businesses and its residents. Click here for What Now Atlanta’s ongoing coverage of the crisis. For guidance and updates on the pandemic, please visit the C.D.C. website.]