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This is a year when too many beloved spots had to shut down for reasons that transcend the standard ones (and for reasons that, at this time last year, would have been unimaginable), and I fear many more will follow.
Chef Kevin Rathbun's 17-year-old flagship American restaurant and nearby wine bar were due to shut down in early 2021 regardless because of a lease dispute, but the COVID-19 pandemic pushed up the timeline.
After being closed for more than two months, Rathbun’s will reopen September 23 at 5 p.m. The restaurant has been “brought back to life,” says owner and chef Kevin Rathbun, after a small kitchen fire broke out on July 4. Rathbun, who also owns Kevin Rathbun Steak, Krog Bar and KR SteakBar, revamped the ten-year-old restaurant’s menu, removing the “second mortgage” section and bringing back classic dishes from past menus. New cocktails are in the works, too.
The first Kevin Rathbun restaurant to open in five years, KR SteakBar is a sleek Italian-inspired spot focused on steaks and sharable plates, located in ADAC in Peachtree Hills. It's the only Rathbun restaurant to be open seven days a week (Rathbun’s, Kevin Rathbun Steak, and Krog Bar are open Monday through Saturday), and the first Rathbun restaurant to explore a craft cocktail menu.
Kevin Rathbun’s diminutive wine bar opened in 2005 and remains one of the city’s few casual post-work stopovers—a place to catch up with friends, predinner, over a glass of simple wine (from a list dominated by Spanish, French, and Italian varietals) while noshing on simple meats and cheeses.