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Beginning at 9 this morning, Dante’s Down the Hatch owner Dante Stephensen will auction off 43 years of artifacts from one of the most eclectic array of collectibles to be found outside of a Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum. From a Madame Tussauds wax figure of Albert Einstein and a 1933 vintage Rolls Royce to cases of martini glasses and a 1970 bottle of Taylor’s Vintage Port, it’s all got to go today. The building at 3380 Peachtree Road has a Halloween appointment with a wrecking ball. As Stephensen greeted old friends at the restaurant’s private auction preview party Friday night, the veteran Atlanta restaurateur was still trying to wrap his head around letting the place and his priceless array of antiques go.
At one o’clock today, Atlanta city councilman Michael Julian Bond will honor Dante’s Down the Hatch owner Dante Stephensen at city hall with a City of Atlanta proclamation in honor of the restaurateur and jazz promoter’s “contributions to Atlanta’s cultural and business life.” Bond, a regular at the now-shuttered Buckhead nightspot, followed in the footsteps of his civil rights icon father Julian Bond, who was a regular at the original Dante’s Underground Atlanta location in the 1970s. “Dante’s was an Atlanta tradition,” explains Bond. “Locals and tourists alike flocked this unique establishment to experience a taste of the city in a communal fashion. This proclamation is our small gesture to Mr. Stephensen for four decades of service to Atlanta.”