Bar Mercado closes at Krog Street Market

Plus several other recent metro Atlanta restaurant closings
New menu items from Bar Mercado after shifting from traditional Spanish tapas to a Latin American menu. COURTESY OF BAR MERCADO

New menu items from Bar Mercado after shifting from traditional Spanish tapas to a Latin American menu. COURTESY OF BAR MERCADO

Latin American restaurant Bar Mercado, part of the Castellucci Hospitality Group restaurant group, closed last month at Inman Park mixed-use development Krog Street Market.

The closure, first reported by Eater Atlanta, was confirmed to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution by Fred Castellucci.

“Ultimately, it just wasn’t successful,” Castellucci said. “When you open a restaurant, you make 10,000 decisions along the way with the information that you have. Sometimes you turn out to be wrong, and while that’s very painful, it’s not shameful.

Full-service eatery Bar Mercado opened in September 2017 in the former Cockentrice space with tapas-focused menu. The menu shifted, under the guidance of executive chef Raul Dominguez, to more broadly Latin American at the beginning of 2020.

In response to COVID-19, the Castelluccis consolidated the operations of Bar Mercado and adjacent sister restaurant Recess, which will continue to operate at Krog Street Market and also has a location in Buckhead. When the pandemic started, most of the restaurant group’s eateries saw sales drop by 15 percent to 50 percent, while Bar Mercado’s sales were up 25 percent. “One of our worst businesses became one of our best,” Castellucci said at the time.

He said while the restaurant was successful when it focused on takeout and merged operations with Recess during the pandemic, “the transition back to in-person dining, along with the macroeconomics and the neighborhood changes around us” negatively impacted the business.

All Bar Mercado employees have accepted transfers to other Castellucci restaurants.

In addition to Recess, Castellucci Hospitality Group also owns and operates two locations of Iberian Pig in Decatur and Buckhead, Cooks & Soldiers in West Midtown, Double Zero in Emory Village, Sugo in Johns Creek. During the pandemic, the group launched sushi pop-up Mujo adjacent to Cooks & Soldiers, which has since become a popular brick-and-mortar concept. The group is also working on opening an Iberian Pig location in Nashville.

While Krog Street Market is home to several food stalls, only Superica, Makimono and Ticonderoga Club remain as full-service restaurants in the food hall, though Ticonderoga Club is closed indefinitely due to a burst pipe. Seafood restaurant Watchman’s closed last year and is set to be replaced by vegan concept Planta.

Several other restaurants have closed in metro Atlanta in recent weeks.

Guac y Margy’s closed its location in the Amsterdam Walk development in Midtown, just a little more than a year after opening.

“We made the very hard decision to close our Midtown location,” co-owner David Barton said in a prepared statement shared with the AJC. “We put a lot of work into the space and made a lot of great memories, but it ended up not being the right fit for our concept.

Locations in Old Fourth Ward and West Midtown remain open.

In addition, Greater Good BBQ appears to have closed at 4441 Roswell Road NE in Buckhead, Tomorrow’s News Today reports. The restaurant, which closed its East Lake location in 2019 and Tucker in 2020, was owned by the team behind Fellini’s pizzerias and La Fonda Mexican restaurant.

On a related note, What Now Atlanta reports that La Fonda has closed its location at 1025 Howell Mill Road in West Midtown after a decade to make way for further development of the Star Metals project. The restaurant will relocate to a space at 2nd + Hosea development in East Lake, which was previously home to Greater Good BBQ, followed by Lake + Oak BBQ.

Four La Fonda locations remain open in metro Atlanta.

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