Phalen told the Atlanta Business Chronicle that although sales had dipped to 30% below normal, financial issues were not the primary reason the decision was made not to renew the lease.
The decision to close, Phalen said, was primarily due to burnout from the pandemic. In addition, Brent Quick, a third partner in One Eared Stag who Phalen described as his best friend, died in a car accident in January.
Phalen said he and Bailey might partner on a new restaurant in the future. He previously owned Mary Hoopa’s House of Fried Chicken and Oysters in East Lake, which closed in 2019 after about a year.
One Eared Stag received much critical praise since its 2011 opening. Former Atlanta Journal-Constitution food critic John Kessler awarded the restaurant three stars in a 2011 review, writing that it was “often a terrific place to eat and a true destination.”
The restaurant’s Meat Stick, a grass-fed double smoky cheeseburger with bits of bacon ground into the meat, often made lists of Atlanta’s best burgers.
A representative for One Eared Stag was not immediately available for comment.
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