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Whatever happened to Baby Doe’s?

Long before steampunk and faux speakeasies, there was Baby Doe’s Matchless Mine. This three-story restaurant and bar jutted out over I-285 above the Chattahoochee River in the 1980s—during the dying days of the bacchanal that was the nearby Riverbend apartments. With its tin roof, water tower, and tipple cars, the ramshackle wooden structure looked like a theme-park attraction. The entrance resembled a mineshaft, which led either up to the dining room or down to the bar and dance floor. Decor was fringed Victorian lampshade–meets–rusting pickax. This location at Powers Ferry Road was actually part of a seven-city national chain named for Elizabeth “Baby Doe” Tabor, an infamous gold-digger (silver, to be accurate) who married a wealthy Colorado mining mogul twice her age in the late 19th century. The kitchen’s specialty was beer cheese soup. The long-abandoned structure was demolished two decades ago to make way for an extended-stay hotel.

This article appears in our November 2019 issue.