Looks like Dante's Down the Hatch may not be closing at the end of March as originally expected.
Atlantic Realty Partners, Inc. planned to redevelop the site of Dante's and build a new high-rise apartment building, but Dante's owner Dante Stephensen said the deal is on hold.
The closing date in mid-January for the deal never happened, Stephensen told Atlanta Magazine, so he is no longer under contract with the development group.
Stephensen said he's not ready to retire, but would accept an offer if the price is "high enough."
He told Buckhead Patch back in November that he is often approached with offers.
Currently, he is in talks with an interested party that would like to purchase the land, but wouldn't redevelop it for about five to 10 years, which would allow Stephensen to pay rent and keep the restaurant open during that time, reports Atlanta Magazine.
However, Richard Aaronson, president of Atlantic Realty Partners, said from the conversations he's had with Stephensen and Stephensen's "real estate representatives," they are "still on track to get the closing done in February."
If the deal is closed in February, the restaurant's closing date of March 31 may be pushed to April, Aaronson explained.
Aaronson told Buckhead Patch on Wednesday afternoon that although they've experienced zoning setbacks, ARP still intends "on moving forward with the redevelopment with the site."
"Dante's always wavered on whether he wanted to retire or not. I think that's very appropriate for someone who's operated a restaurant for as long a he has," Aaronson said.
As for the other parties talking with Stephensen about development, "we haven't been made aware of any specific details," Aaronson said.
What do you think about Dante's possibly staying open for another five to 10 years? Tell us in the comments below.
Correction: The article originally stated that the Buckhead CID made suggested changes for ARP's design. That has been changed to correctly state that the Development Review Committee for SPI-12 (special public interest district) suggested those changes.