Cowtippers – an iconic and popular LGBT restaurant for more than two decades – is shutting its doors and closing in late January, likely making way for new Beltline-adjacent apartments.
Popular Midtown eatery Cowtippers Steaks & Spirits will close at the end of business on Sunday, January 28. The restaurant, located on Piedmont Avenue near its intersection with Monroe Drive, has been in business since 1993. Cowtippers, like a number of other in-town eateries, is owned by Metrotainment Cafes. While a representative for the restaurant confirmed the closure, they did not shed any light on the reasoning or timing of it.
The closing of Cowtippers comes less than two years after nearby property that includes Smith's Olde Bar was sold, raising speculation that the restaurant would be next. Cowtippers wasn't included in that sale.
But the pressure and allure of a sale might have been too much for Metrotainment to resist. The company – which also owns popular LGBT haunts Joe's and Einstein's – paid $1.2 million for the property in 2002, according to Tomorrow's News Today.
Local sources indicate that the property was sold for the construction of a high-rise apartment building. While this has not been verified, it would not be shocking considering the multi-family construction boom across key intown markets. That said, the Cowtippers property reportedly lies within the Atlanta BeltLine planning area, and any planned redevelopment must therefore be presented to the BeltLine Design Review Committee. It's unlikely a sale would have closed on the restaurant site if the proper approvals for a redevelopment had not been received. As of today, no public submission for redevelopment has been made for the site. The Committee will meet for the first time in 2018 on January 17, with submissions due by January 10.
UPDATE | The property, which sits at 1600 Piedmont Ave., is being sold to a developer, though Metrotainment wouldn't say to which one, according to What Now Atlanta.
Until the sale is complete, Metrotainment Cafes' catering company Epic Events Catering will use the space for private events.
UPDATE | Metrotainment CEO Jeff Landau confirmed in a statement that Cowtippers is closing and that the company is "weighing options" on the future of the property. He also thanked patrons for more than two decades of support.
“Metrotainment Cafes can confirm that Cowtippers will unfortunately be closing at the end of this month. The restaurant has been a part of our restaurant group for a very long time, and we’re proud of the more than 20 years we have been in business, but with the changing climate of the city, we are going to close the restaurant and turn our attention to our other successful concepts including Hudson Grille, Einstein’s, Joe’s on Juniper, Hudson FC and Guaco Joe’s,” said Metrotainment Cafes CEO Jeff Landau.
“Metrotainment Cafes still owns the property and we are weighing several options including selling the restaurant and property. In the interim, we will use the space for private events handled by our catering company, Epic Events. We are thankful for the many years of patronage from Atlanta and looking forward to continued success with our other concepts as we continue to grow in this city.”