Acclaimed Decatur restaurant Cakes + Ale is closing this weekend

Cakes + Ale pairs artichokes with nardellos, a sweet Italian pepper, as well as roasted tomato and green harrissa. / CONTRIBUTED BY HENRI HOLLIS

Highly-lauded Decatur eatery Cakes & Ale is set to close its doors after dinner service Saturday night.

Owners Billy and Kristin Allin addressed the closure in an email to customers:

The restaurant, located at 155 Sycamore St., has consistently been named to "Best of" lists since it opened in 2008 ( AJC food edtior Ligaya Figueras named it her favorite restaurant in Atlanta last year ). Billy Allin has been a semifinalist in the Best Chef: Southeast category for the James Beard Awards several times.

Billy Allin told the AJC the closure can be chalked up to "me making up for lost time with my family after 18 years of being a full-time professional chef."

He said Cakes + Ale has "done it's thing and made it's mark. I''m proud of everything it's done."

He plans to focus on his other two businesses, Proof Bakeshop and Bread & Butterfly , both in Inman Park.

"They're still young, and they need more focus from me as an owner and chef. Everyone's been doing a wonderful job keeping things going, but it's always helpful when I can spend more time there."

He said he is talking to each Cakes + Ale employee to try to slot them into a job at the other locations or help them find employment at other metro Atlanta restaurants.

For those with Cakes + Ale gift cards, Allin said the restaurant is working on allowing them to be transferred for use at Bread & Butterfly.

And if you're hoping to score a Cakes + Ale reservation before it closes, you're likely out of luck -- Allin said the restaurant is fully booked through closing.

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