Pulled pork BBQ sandwich at Food 101.
Photo: Becky Stein/AJC file photo
Photo: Becky Stein/AJC file photo

Food 101 closes in Sandy Springs after nearly 20 years

Longtime Atlanta restaurant Food 101 abruptly closed its doors over the weekend.

The restaurant, located at 4969 Roswell Road, closed on Sunday, Tomorrow’s News Today first reported

Food 101 was part of the 101 Concepts restaurant group, which also owns 101 Steak in Vinings, Smoke Ring in Castleberry Hill and four metro Atlanta locations of Meehan’s Public House, as well as a restaurant in Florida. Food 101 was located down the block from Cibo e Beve, the former 101 Concepts restaurant that was purchased last year by chef Linda Harrell.

“It was a big part of our lives,” said 101 Concepts partner Steve Buero. “We loved Sandy Springs, and we still love it there. Not many restaurants last 10 years, let alone 20.” 

The original Food 101 opened in 1999. A second location opened at 1397 N. Highland Ave. in Morningside in 2006, with Ron Eyester serving as executive chef. Eyester later bought the restaurant and turned it into the now-shuttered Rosebud. 

Eyester returned to the original Food 101 as executive chef in 2017. Prior to that, he owned now-closed concepts Diner at Atlantic Station and Timone’s in Morningside (as well as Family Dog, which he sold), oversaw the kitchen at Southern Bistro (formerly Nancy G’s) in Sandy Springs and had a stint on season 12 of “Top Chef.”

Buero said Eyester, who serves as director of operations for all of 101 Concepts, was “instrumental” in getting Food 101 back on its path, but that a changing neighborhood and shifting diner preferences led to the decision to close the restaurant.

“At the end of the day, we had to be strong enough to make decisions on behalf of our six other restaurants,” Buero said.

Eyester said he noticed a trend toward healthy eating in the past five years, and that changes in the menu reflected that trend, but that ultimately, “it’s challenging to make adjustments to American classics like fried chicken and pot roast.”  

Food 101 employees will either be shifted to other 101 Concepts restaurants or assisted in finding new jobs, according to Buero. 

Eyester said he’ll continue to function as the conduit between the restaurant partners and managers, and “refine the systems we currently have in place.” 

Buero said he was encouraged by how many people have reached out to him, sharing their memories of the restaurant and their disappointment in its closure.

“It was a fun run for 20 years,” he said.  

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