Mac’s Chophouse now open in former Shillings space in Marietta and more metro Atlanta dining news

This week’s restaurant news includes a soft opening for Mac’s Chophouse and a burger chain closing two Atlanta locations.

With big shoes to fill, Mac's Chophouse officially opens today on Marietta Square at 19 N. Park Square. The upscale steakhouse, owned by Randy and Kelly McCray, replaces the beloved Shillings on the Square, a Marietta landmark that served pub food for more than 40 years. Though this is the McCray's first solo venture, Randy also works with his brother, Scott, who owns LEAD Hospitality Group which operates several McCray's Tavern locations, the Mill Restaurant & Bar in Roswell and the Midtown duo of Foxtrot Liquor Bar and Tiki Tango.

The pressed tin ceiling, newly refreshed and brightened, is a holdover from the Shillings era, but nothing else about the interior of Mac's Chophouse is familiar. With a modern new look, the steakhouse opened for a preview party on Thursday evening and was packed with friends and family.

“He’s a very knowledgeable gentleman and he’s a real nice guy, so he knows what he’s doing and he’s done a wonderful job on the space,” Reardon said of Randy McCray. “I wish him luck and I think he’s going to do great there.”

With on eye on his new restaurant’s opening timeline, McCray told the AJC in April that he hoped the coronavirus pandemic would not derail his plans.

“I think people right now are extremely nervous, but at some point, we have to get back to our regular lives,” he said. “And we can do that, but we just have to do it in a different manner and a little more cautiously.”

AJC reporter Jennifer Brett contributed to this story.

More dining news from the week:

Little Rey has closed for a second time due to an employee testing positive for COVID-19. In an announcement on Instagram on June 18, the casual Tex-Mex restaurant owned by chef Ford Fry explained that it would be closing for more than a week and encouraging staff to self-isolate. The restaurant plans to reopen on June 29, "following a deep sanitation," according to the announcement.

Another Ford Fry restaurant, BeetleCat, closed earlier this month temporarily due to a positive COVID-19 test for one of its employees.

In addition, Kitchen Six in Oakhurst is temporarily closed because a staff member tested positive for COVID-19. An email from the restaurant said the employee doesn't have symptoms and hasn't been inside the restaurant for the past six days.

Several other local restaurants temporarily closed in the past few weeks due to positive employee coronavirus tests including Wood's Chapel BBQthe Chamblee location of GustoHattie B's in Little Five PointsForza Storico and Ray's on the River.

Stone Mountain coffee shop Gilly Brew Bar is opening a new location at Peters Street Station, a gallery and event space in Castleberry Hill, later this year as first reported by Eater Atlanta. The original location will also expand later this year with a new kitchen and plans to offer a larger food menu as well as beer, wine and cocktails.

Zinburger Wine & Burger Bar will close nearly all of its locations, including two in metro Atlanta, due to the coronavirus pandemic, as reported by What Now Atlanta. Three of the chain's 18 restaurants will continue to operate in New York and New Jersey, but the locations in Lenox Square Mall and Dunwoody are among the 15 that will close permanently. Zinburger Co-CEO and president Rick Barbrick shared the news in an email sent to participants in the chain's loyalty program. "Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant financial impact on the restaurant industry and we are unable to reopen your local Zinburger," he said.

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