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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Crescent Moon to reopen as Thumbs Up Diner

Here is the news about Crescent Moon and Thumbs Up Diner

Crescent Moon to reopen as Thumbs Up Diner
Popular Decatur eatery to open doors in two or three weeks

By CHANDLER BROWN

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Thursday, October 30, 2008

When Amber Wiley met a friend for lunch last week at Crescent Moon in Decatur, she was surprised to find the doors locked. A note on the door said the popular diner would reopen soon.

Founder and former owner Rob Atherholt “will be taking it back ASAP,” the note reads. “We will remain closed for some repairs and maintenance and reopen shortly.”
But there’s a little more to the story. While the restaurant on West Ponce de Leon Avenue is tentatively set to reopen late next month, it will not be Crescent Moon. It will be Thumbs Up Diner, which currently has locations in downtown Atlanta, Edgewood Avenue and East Point. Thumbs Up founder Lou Locricchio confirmed the plans this week.

Locricchio and Atherholt recently bought the restaurant’s assets from Crescent Moon’s parent company, which filed for bankruptcy last summer. The Crescent Moon name remains tangled in a legal battle related to the bankruptcy filing, Atherholt said.

“It could be six months before that’s settled,” he said Thursday. “I just don’t have that kind of time.”

Thumbs Up features a menu similar to Crescent Moon’s — from omelets with quirky ingredients like squash and black olives to more traditional fare like biscuits and fried chicken — but there will be some changes. The restaurant will no longer serve alcohol, and it will no longer be open for dinner.

“We’re going to be more like the original Thumbs Up,” Locricchio said.

The restaurant will employ most of Crescent Moon’s servers and cooks from before Atherholt sold the businesses a year ago. Atherholt said he hopes to reopen in two to three weeks.

“Well, I’m sorry to see Crescent Moon gone,” said Wiley, 31, a mother of two from Lilburn. “But I’m glad it’s coming back in some form.”

A brief history lesson: In 1984, Locricchio opened the first Thumbs Up Diner on West Ponce de Leon Avenue in Decatur. In 1995, he sold the concept to Atherholt, who changed the name to Crescent Moon and moved it a block up the street. For more than a decade, the restaurant attracted families, professionals, judges and others from around metro Atlanta.

“It was always a great place to meet friends and have a good meal,” said Julie Duggins, 32, who has lived just off the square for eight years. “I hope Lou and the old gang are able to get the place back up and running very soon.”

In October 2007, Atherholt sold Crescent Moon to Global Restaurant Group LLC. In recent months, the menu was altered, mirrors were installed and the general feel of the place changed. Global Restaurant Group filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in July and closed the doors of Crescent Moon on Oct. 19.

The futures of Crescent Moon’s satellite locations at Northlake Mall and the Mall of Georgia are uncertain, Atherholt and Locricchio said. The Northlake restaurant remained open Thursday, but Mall of Georgia was not. Phones at both locations were disconnected, and the Crescent Moon Web site (crescentmooneatery.com), which was functional Wednesday, was down Thursday afternoon. A message on the home page read: “We’re out to lunch! Check back often to see what we’re doing next.”

The attorney representing Global Restaurant Group, Paul Reece Marr, did not respond to phone calls and e-mails seeking comment.

Locricchio insists the restaurant — despite a new name and slightly different menu — will restore the funky, friendly atmosphere that made Crescent Moon Decatur a favorite for years.

“Crescent Moon just wasn’t Crescent Moon anymore,” he said. “People wanted a good, well-run breakfast and lunch place in that area, and that’s what we’re doing.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Crescent Moon at the Mall of Georgia has reopened as the Gold Medal Diner - www.goldmedaldiner.com - Breakfast all day in Buford Georgia