After two years, Sobban to close December 19

Cody Taylor and Jiyeon Lee are opening a second Heirloom Market BBQ in Songdo, South Korea
Pan roasted pork shoulder, Anson mills grits, kimchi, garden turnips at Sobban.

Photograph by Evan Mah

The last few months of 2015 are shaping up to be a bitter season for area restaurants. All 10 concepts by Here to Serve (e.g. Coast, Noche, Prime, Twist) abruptly shuttered in October, leaving hundreds of employees without jobs. A month later, Angus Brown announced he will close Lusca in January and open a new restaurant in Paris on Ponce. And now this: Cody Taylor and Jiyeon Lee have said that Sobban’s last day will be Saturday, December 19.

Taylor tells Eater Atlanta that they needed to downsize, now that they’re gearing up to open a second Heirloom Market BBQ in Songdo, South Korea. While I’m glad to hear that they’re moving forward with a new project, I hate that it came at the cost of this unique restaurant, which deftly merged southern cuisine with Lee’s Korean roots. Working out of a converted Arby’s on an empty stretch of Clairmont Road, they made fusion (the culinary f-word) not just functional but downright enchanting. In September they ditched formal table service and streamlined the menu, but that apparently wasn’t enough to jumpstart the business. In a heartfelt Facebook post from earlier today, Lee called Sobban her “little girl” and that she was “trying to express [herself] and speak with [her] food through Sobban.”

Here’s Lee’s Facebook post in full:

I am so sorry to say that I am closing Sobban…. Heirloom is my first son and Sobban is my little girl…it is…

Posted by Sobban on Wednesday, December 2, 2015