Atlanta Restaurant Scene

Here to Serve Restaurants closed

On Monday, Here to Serve Restaurants (Noche, Twist, Coast, Prime, Shucks, Smash) made a brief announcement via its website confirming reports that its multiple Atlanta concepts were closing en masse.

“We apologize for the inconvenience, we are working on reorganization. Hopefully we will be Here to Serve you again soon.”

The troubled restaurant group previously closed several concepts, including Shout in Midtown and Aja in Buckhead, and was the subject of a federal court lawsuit by the owners of Phipps Plaza and Lenox Square in Buckhead, seeking to have Twist at Phipps and Prime at Lenox evicted from the malls.

The claim was that well known Atlanta chef Tom Catherall had breached the leasing agreement after the restaurants’ ownership was transferred in 2012 to Catherall’s wife, Leigh, as part of a divorce settlement.

Chef Tom Catherall (Photography by Renee Brock/Special)

In late 2014, the news hit that Leigh Catherall would be the full owner and CEO of Here to Serve, and that chef  Catherall would retire.

In emails obtained by WSB Radio, Leigh Catherall wrote to Here to Serve employees on Friday: "Please accept our apology for the grave inconvenience of late paychecks this week. We have been working on this issue since 6 am today. All staff should anticipate paychecks Monday morning for direct deposit and afternoon for paper. We are working diligently to prevent this from happening again."

On Monday, Here to Serve director of operations, Phil Handley, wrote to employees: "We have placed an insane burden on you and your staff. I am so incredibly saddened by our inability to get us out of this mess. I want to thank each of you for holding your heads up as we tried to rectify this and move forward. There may be opportunities for people interested in re-organizational efforts. Please reach out to Leigh."

Some employees took to Facebook on Monday to respond to the news of the closings. The last post on the Noche Vinings Facebook page, “Today’s special nothing.” is followed by a blank/black photo of nothing. A couple of the Here to Serve restaurants also responded to the closing on Twitter:

Check back for more updates.

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The Food & Dining Team offers reviews, previews, food news and fun bites food trends for metro Atlanta’s vast food and dining scene.

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