Say it ain’t so: Cakes & Ale closing on June 9

After a decade, the Allins are moving on
Chef Billy Allin

Photograph by Zack Arias

Cakes & Ale owners Billy and Kristin Allin announced in an email newsletter today that their much loved Decatur restaurant is shutting down. The final day of service is this Saturday, June 9. Kristin Allin confirmed the closure to Atlanta via email, saying “We decided to do some life simplification so we can spend time as a family and focus on our other two businesses, [Bread & Butterfly and Proof Bakeshop].”

Billy Allin moved to Atlanta in 2004, working as a sous chef at Watershed under chef Scott Peacock. He left in 2006 to start Cakes & Ale, which opened on West Ponce de Leon Avenue in 2008. The restaurant was popular from the start, quickly earning acclaim for its fresh, seasonal dishes. “You will fall in love with the desserts and the unpretentious atmosphere and wonder why so many other restaurants get by on drama rather than good old-fashioned attention to detail and fresh imagination,” wrote Christiane Lauterbach in our August 2008 Best New Restaurants issue.

The restaurant moved to Decatur Square in 2011. (Our then-restaurant critic Bill Addison gave it a 3-star review.) In 2016, we named it the best restaurant in Atlanta, writing that “we’d cross county lines for a bowl of Billy Allin’s fried okra or his stunning North Carolina trout glossed with bacon mayonnaise.” (It currently sits at No. 5 on our 50 Best Restaurants List.) He and Kristin, his wife, opened Proof Bakeshop in 2015 in Inman Park, followed by French cafe Bread & Butterfly in 2016, which quickly became one of Atlanta’s favorite brunch spots.

What will become of Cakes & Ale’s Decatur Square storefront? “A new restaurant will fill the space, and we are excited to see our corner in Decatur continue to serve and entertain families and diners. Details coming!” the email newsletter announcing the closure states.

We’ve reached out to Billy Allin for a comment.