The death of a popular employee at Blake’s unleashed an outpouring of support, fond memories and prayers from the Midtown nightspot, patrons and former co-workers.

Blake’s announced the death of Gary Schwartz on Monday.

It’s with great sadness and heavy heart that the Blake’s On the Park family is mourning the passing of our beloved Gary Schwartz. He bought so much love and light to all that he encountered. Please keep his father and his family in your thoughts and prayers. And send your love to Greg Reichart. Rest in peace, sweet prince…the universe will miss you.

Schwartz apparently died on Sunday, according to former employer Gilbert’s Café & Bar. The cause of his death was not announced. A memorial service – an event Gilbert’s called a “celebration” – is being planned for late this week.

His death prompted an outpouring of reaction from friends, customers and former co-workers.

Gilbert’s says Schwartz played a large role in the success of the Midtown restaurant.

Gilbert’s family is sad to learn the passing of our dear friend and former employee Gary Schwartz. We will miss him tremendously. Sending our love and condolences to his family. Gary was a big part of our success building Gilbert’s. He will always be in our hearts and minds with all the wonderful memories.
Rest in peace GaryBear.

Eric Kinnell says Schwartz was friendly to him when he first moved to Atlanta.

Like so many others; Gary you were so good to me when I moved to Atlanta and did not have one friend or family member. You were always someone who made me laugh, gave me hope and made being alone so much easier when I first moved there. As you head back home to Ohio and join me I wish you rest in peace. I truly found a new family with the staff at Blake’s, Sean & Gilbert and the staff and customers of Gilbert’s and of-course you!! Thank all of you for your friendship I miss you all and will miss you Gary !!

Ruff Bear offered prayers to his family.

What a tragic loss of such a fine man. Prayers for his family to be strong.

Cockpit Atlanta, like many friends, offered sympathy.

The Cockpit staff is saddened and shocked by the news of the untimely death of our friend and colleague, Gary Schwartz. His was a face we loved to see when we hung out at Blake’s on the Park. Our hearts and deepest sympathies are outstretched to the friends and relatives he leaves behind.

Christopher Dean says he first met Schwartz when he worked at Joe’s.

Atlanta will never be the same! I’ve known Gary since his days at Joe’s on Juniper 12 some odd years ago. I loved him to death and am beyond sad to hear about his passing. It just doesn’t seem real…and it’s certainly not right. Gary, rest in peace, my friend :(

UPDATE: ‘Celebration’ on Friday for Blake’s employee who died

Photo of Schwartz via Gilbert’s