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Anna Lee’s closes in Roswell after more than 30 years

Butter almond cake. from Anna Lee's in Roswell.
Butter almond cake. from Anna Lee's in Roswell.

Credit: AJC

Credit: AJC

A longtime Roswell restaurant has decided to close after more than three decades.

Anna Lee’s, located at 425 Market Place, sent an email to patrons addressing the closure, written by owner Annelies McMorran.

Hello! Life has been strange, hasn’t it?

After rearranging the restaurant to accommodate the 6 feet safety zone for two weeks and then just doing take-out for two more, we closed on April 3.

Since then the crew has been furloughed, their compensation has been generous, and I have been wondering how to proceed and trying to reinvent myself.

Other than orders for some coconut cakes or gallons of gazpacho, the restaurant has been asleep.

Since the virus “numbers” have not been going down, I have felt that I could not provide a safe environment for both employees and guests, as most of us are in the extra-caution-group.

I found out that I enjoy having more time to be home, with family and friends, in the garden and my neighborhood, but sorely miss the contact with the Anna Lee’s community. Many of you have been a large part of my life and come to mind often. Your friendship and support are what made Anna Lee’s a labor of love for me and the long-time employees. Ellen is moving to Florida. Renate and Jutta, Dolly, Sharry and I meet regularly for coffee or a glass of wine.

Since the future is not to be guessed, it has become financially impossible to continue the business.

After more than 36 years, I have made the tough decision to close.

The restaurant will stay intact, waiting for better times and a new, younger, enthusiastic owner.

425 Market Place was - and can be again - a special place in Roswell.

If your ears are burning, I am remembering you fondly. I feel a glow myself now and then….

Thank you for your generous support and love,

Annelies

McMorran purchased the restaurant in 1983, after previously working there as a waitress, and renamed it Anna Lee’s.

A native of the Netherlands who attended college in Indiana, McMorran moved to Atlanta in 1976 and worked in several area restaurants.

While working in a now-defunct Cobb County cafe in the late 1970s, she started making desserts because “we had a bunch of things on the menu we never seemed to have and I thought that was deplorable,” she told the AJC in 1989. “People appreciate it and I get a kick out of doing them,” she said.

The 60-seat restaurant offered a variety of sandwiches, salads and rotating lunch specials. Anna Lee’s also provided catering services.

Anna Lee’s is the latest food and beverage concept casualty due to the coronavirus economic impact. Other recent closures include Gio’s Chicken at The Battery Atlanta, Highland Bakery in Decatur and Genki Noodles and Sushi in Virginia-Highland.

McMorran did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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