Iconic Atlanta restaurant Mary Mac’s Tea Room to reopen next month

Mary Mac's Tea Room, located in Midtown at 224 Ponce de Leon Ave, opened in 1945 as one of 16 tea rooms in the Atlanta Area.  The restaurant has expanded since then from a single dining room to the six they have now.
Mary Mac's Tea Room, located in Midtown at 224 Ponce de Leon Ave, opened in 1945 as one of 16 tea rooms in the Atlanta Area. The restaurant has expanded since then from a single dining room to the six they have now.

Longtime Atlanta restaurant Mary Mac’s Tea Room will reopen next month after being closed since March.

Located at 224 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE since 1945, Mary Mac’s will open Nov. 2 for to-go orders only, and will reopen its dining room on Nov. 9. The restaurant had been closed since mid-March due to coronavirus shutdowns. One of the eatery’s six dining rooms will be renamed Ms. Ellen’s Room, in memory of longtime Mary Mac’s server Ms. Ellen, who died recently.

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The meat-and-three menu will remain largely unchanged, with dishes including fried chicken, country fried steak, meatloaf, collards, yeast rolls and macaroni and cheese. The restaurant will introduce online ordering and curbside pick-up.

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Mary Mac’s will reopen under a new group of owners including Harold Martin, Jr., Michael Bodnar and John Michael Bodnar, who co-own Atlanta-based chain Taco Mac, as well as Bryan Rand. Day-to-day operations will be led by director of operations Chad Reynolds, with the restaurant set to retain its more than 100 staff members. John Ferrell had owned the restaurant for nearly 26 years before selling it to the group.

“I’ve been eating at Mary Mac’s for over 20 years, ever since I moved to Atlanta,” Martin said in a prepared statement. “As a longtime customer, I understand what makes Mary Mac’s special, and I look forward to working with our team members to maintain those traditions. Southern food represents family, and Mary Mac’s always makes you feel like family. Mary Mac’s traditions are the fabric of what Atlanta was built on; a place where we survive the test of time, where all are welcomed with open arms, and where each guest feels at home each time they return. We’ll be using the same recipes that Mary Mac’s has been using for decades and offering the same made-from-scratch dishes guests know and love, served up by the same staff who have become a part of our families over the years.”

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When it opened, Mary Mac’s was one of 16 tearooms in Atlanta and seated 75 guests. Today, the 13,00 square-foot restaurant is the only original tearoom that remains.

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