Highland Bakery to close Old Fourth Ward location after 20 years

Breakfast BLT at Highland Bakery / AJC file photo

Breakfast BLT at Highland Bakery / AJC file photo

The original location of a longtime metro Atlanta restaurant known for its breakfast and baked goods is closing at the end of January after two decades.

Highland Bakery is set to close at 655 Highland Ave. NE on Jan. 31. Owner Stacey Eames shared a statement regarding the closure on the restaurant’s social media accounts.

The eatery’s catering arm and specialty cake business will continue to operate. A Highland Bakery location at 25 Park Place NE on the Georgia State University campus will remain open, as will Eames’ coffee shop Press & Grind in the Virginia-Highland neighborhood.

“The building is being sold and we are approaching the end of our lease,” Eames’ statement read in part. “The closing is bittersweet. We want to take this opportunity to express our deepest gratitude to each and every one of you who have been a part of our journey. ... As we embark on this transition, we want to express our heartfelt appreciation for your understanding, support, and continued patronage. We look forward to the future with optimism and excitement, and we hope to continue sharing some of Atlanta’s most beloved comfort food with y’all.”

Eames purchased the year-old Highland Bakery, which sells coffee, fresh baked goods and sit-down sandwiches and meals, from its original owners in 2004. She expanded over the years, opening locations in areas including Decatur, Georgia Tech, Midtown and Emory that have all since closed. She also opened Press & Grind in the former Aurora Coffee space in 2016.

Before taking over Highland Bakery, she owned a coffee business called Java World that had kiosks at various locations around Atlanta including at Piedmont Hospital. She was introduced to specialty coffees through a sponsor in a 12-step rehab program she participated in while struggling with addiction in her early 20s.

Her father, Paul Eames, was a minor league baseball player/coach in Albany, Ga., and, with Eames’ mom and grandmother, ran a restaurant called “The Hit and Run.”

“It is all about the care and the passion that you put behind something,” Eames said in a 2015 interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “If I can instill that in our employees, then I’ve done a good day’s job. It’s not just about making money. That’s probably the last thing I think about.”

Eames did not immediately respond to the AJC’s request for more information.

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