Aside from a Facebook post about the death of fellow chef Ria Pell, the outgoing and outspoken chef and one-time mayoral hopeful has been uncharacteristically silent. He did not respond to a late September email asking whether the chatter was true.
It turns out that it was. On Sunday, Luna sent us a brief line apologizing for not saying goodbye and included a message, addressed to the city, saying that he has moved to Europe.
"I did not leave Atlanta in search for a better place to live or where the grass may be greener," he wrote. "I left Atlanta to be with my lovely wife. She moved to Switzerland and I decided that life without her was meaningless. Happiness is what we should be seeking. The purpose of life is found, discovered in life's freedom. At least for me it is."
In the email, Luna talks about his love for Atlanta, the meaning of life, prejudice, and his ego, among other things. In addition, he also suggests that Atlanta honor Pell's life with a space inside a park "where people of all walks of life can sit, laugh, drink and cry."
He also asks customers to continue visiting LBM, which in recent weeks has relaunched its website and become more active on Twitter and Facebook, as he still supports and stays in touch with the management team. We've asked him what his relationship with the restaurant will be moving forward and will update if we hear back.
Luna's full letter follows after the jump.
Little's Food Store, the Cabbagetown grocery store and grill that celebrated the vibrant neighborhood's blue-collar history while dishing up burgers and breakfast and one's daily essentials, will close at the end of the year.
Yesterday afternoon, word started spreading on social media that the general store, which CL contributor Brad Kaplan last year said kept "one foot planted firmly in the past, and one stretching and tapping into the here and now," would shut down at the end of December. Co-owner Brad Cunard told CL yesterday afternoon that the rumor was true but declined to comment further. Last night, the store posted this on its Facebook page:
In the comments, the store said its building, which dates back at least to the 1920s, "needs major repairs that [building owner] Leon just can't supply. It has become impossible to continue without them." In a later comment, the store said those include "a new roof, new bathrooms for the upstairs apartments, new siding, some foundation and drainage work, and other projects. I don't have the funds to make this happen, and I'm pretty sure Leon is in no place to tackle these repairs."
Fans of the store, which has a strong following in the neighborhood and across the city, have asked if a fundraiser or new investors could help the store keep its doors open. Little's owners say they welcome suggestions and any help - including new jobs for the store's current staff. Stay tuned.
Following pressure from a food blogger, Chick-Fil-A has begun removing high fructose corn syrup from sandwich buns and artificial dyes from its chicken soup.
In case you missed it, a mysterious tipper, known only by the Instragram handle @tipsforjesus, has been sharing the gospel by leaving outrageously large amounts of money for servers all over the country.
Just in case you aren't sick of hearing about Sriracha, UV Vodka has released a new Sriracha flavored vodka.
Ever wonder where we fit in the world? According to NPR, ecologists have decided humans sit between pigs and anchovies on the global food chain.
Pass the caffeine, please. CaffeinAll is a new, dirt cheap caffeine powder that comes in 100 and 200 milligram bottles - the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee or a shot of espresso. Each powder boost will set you back 10 cents and 20 cents respectively.
A Vermont woman was cited for selling beer without a license after her Craigslist ad was reported to the Vermont Department of Liquor Control. The beer in question was Heady Topper, a notoriously rare brew heralded by Beer Advocate as the world's best IPA.
Mihoko Obunai's ramen lunch pop-up, Mibo Ramen, has ended its run at So Ba in East Atlanta Village. Obunai's ramen service got a new lease on life back in November, managing to stay open for another four weeks before ultimately closing up shop last Friday.
Obunai went public with the announcement on Facebook Thursday afternoon:
Keep your eyes peeled for Obunai to resurface with a new project soon. Details as they arise.
In case you missed it, the Sriracha plant in Irwindale, Calif., was ordered to partially close last week. While the plant can technically continue its normal operations, it must refrain from producing more of the airborne chili mace that was disturbing Irwindale's residents.
Pizza Hut General Manager, Tony Rohr, was fired for not making his employees work over Thanksgiving. Rohr was later offered his job back, but has yet to decide whether or not to take it.
Former Trader Joe's president, Doug Rauch, is launching a new project that will sell fruits and vegetables that are past their shelf date but still safe to eat. Dubbed the Daily Table, the project is geared toward helping feed lower income citizens
Ever wanted to date Martha Stewart? Find her on Match.com and you might have a shot.
Pell was a pillar for Atlanta's food and punk music scenes, and gay rights activism, who after four years had recently closed down her Inman Park restaurant Sauced to focus her attention on Ria's Bluebird.
Pell had recently misplaced her cell phone. On Sunday afternoon (Nov. 24), Ria's Bluebird manager Julie Pender went to Pell's Grant Park home to ask her a question, when she discovered that Pell had passed away. The cause of death is yet to be determined. Pell was 45 years old.
Chefs Angus Brown and Nhan Le of Octopus Bar are gearing up to open a new restaurant, Lusca, at 1829 Peachtree Road in South Buckhead. Unlike the duo's late-night East Atlanta industry hang, Lusca will be a full-service, lunch-and-dinner operation. Like Octopus, however, Lusca's menu will feature "seasonal, ingredient-driven foods" that Brown and Le "enjoy eating, cooking, and creating." Under Le's direction, Lusca will also have an extensive raw seafood program. Think oysters, geoduck clams, hamachi belly, and live scallops. (Octopus Bar will remain open as usual with newly appointed executive chef Duane Kulers at the helm.)
The restaurant's namesake, the lusca, is a legendary sea monster/gigantic octopus reportedly spotted in the Caribbean. "Sort of like the Loch Ness Monster," Brown says.
On Oct. 10 and Oct. 24, an undercover agent from the Georgia Department of Revenue visited the Terrapin Beer Company in Athens. The visits resulted in citations for improper signage and improper serving sizes during Terrapin's weekly brewery tours. According to the citation, Terrapin committed "an act which is in violation of law or regulation ... by providing 32 ounces of beer or malt beverage to attendees without conducting a full two hour tour ... "
What is clear is that the undercover agent was served 32 ounces of beer. What is not clear is how the department interprets tour length.
According to the law, tours can be either educational or promotional, and, as the citation states above, must be two hours long in order to serve 32 ounces of free beer. While the lines defining the difference between "educational" and "promotional" are fairly blurry, one might interpret "educational" as strictly the part where tour goers are walked past machinery and "promotional" as, well, just about any other part of the process. In Terrapin's case, it seems the agent decided that the educational portion (about 30 minutes) needed to be two hours long by itself.
The fire, which occurred before lunch service the morning of Wednesday, Oct. 23, was caused by a grease buildup in the hood vent. No guests were present and no one was injured. According to the restaurant, the hood had been cleaned three days prior.
Currently, the Optimist is "waiting for the hood cleaning company's insurance adjuster to review the damage and is in the process of submitting a permit with the City to install a new hood."
Owner Ford Fry said on Tuesday:
"As soon as we get a couple of sign-offs we will be back up and running. For now we are focusing on taking care of our guests and staff."
Note: After this post was published, the Mibo Ramen pop-up was extended and will operate out of So Ba through November 15, 2013.
Chef Mihoko Obunai's Mibo Love Ramen pop-up is closing up shop at the end of the week. Obunai's post-Joli Kobe ramen and yakitori pop-up began serving lunch out of East Atlanta's So Ba in mid-September. Last chance to score a bowl of Obunai's tonkotsu, shoyu chicken, or mabo-nasu ramen at So Ba is this Friday, November 1.
Obunai says she is currently searching for another (presumably more permanent) home for her restaurant. Inquiries regarding the new space have been made. Details as they arise.
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