Dante's Down the Hatch closing its doors after 43 years - New York News

Dante's Down the Hatch closing its doors after 43 years

Posted: Updated:
ATLANTA -

An Atlanta institution is closing its doors after four decades. The owner of Dante's Down the Hatch, Dante Stephenson, says the Buckhead landmark has run its course.

The jazz, the pirate ship and the fondue are all part of the one-of-a-kind dining experience at Dante's, but many said it's the owner himself who kept people coming back for 43 years.  

"The restaurant is my wife. The staff are my children and they're both being taken away from me for a high rise," Stephenson said.

Rising taxes have forced Stephenson to sell to developers.

Regulars have been booking reservations for weeks to have one final meal at a favorite place.

"My husband and I came when we were high school sweethearts in 1994," said Corrie Madlem.

Corrie and Mark Madlem celebrated junior and senior prom at the restaurant, and just about every anniversary since. They brought their four girls to say goodbye on Tuesday.

"It's just our special place. It's19 years' worth of special memories now we get to share it with them on the final night," said Corrie Madlem.

One of the things Dante's is most famous for are the live crocodiles that live in its moat.  They are rescues; Dante's is an official crocodile refuge.

The restaurant's closing will wrap up 43 years' worth of memories for longtime customers and especially the man whose name is on the door.

"Money does not replace fulfillment. It never has, it never will," Stephenson said.

Tuesday was the final night the restaurant was open to the public. They will hold a private gathering on Wednesday for longtime regulars and past employees.

Stephenson said that he's entertaining the idea of opening another restaurant somewhere else.

As a parting gift, Stephenson is giving his employees a full year of severance pay.

  • More Local NewsMore>>

  • Man back in jail on rape charges after previous peeping tom arrest

    Man back in jail on rape charges after previous peeping tom arrest

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 8:28 AM EDT2014-04-23 12:28:00 GMT
    Cobb Police say a young Kennesaw man, who was arrested earlier this month on trespassing and felony peeping tom charges, sexually forced himself on a young woman last week.
    Cobb Police say a young Kennesaw man, who was arrested earlier this month on trespassing and felony peeping tom charges, sexually forced himself on a young woman last week.
  • Use of force 'not justified' in officer shooting of Bartow teen

    Use of force 'not justified' in officer shooting of Bartow teen

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 7:00 AM EDT2014-04-23 11:00:43 GMT
    A Bartow County Grand Jury has stated that the use of deadly force in the February shooting of a teen was 'not justified'. Christopher Roupe, 17, was fatally shot by Euharlee officer who claimed the teen answered the door with a gun.
    A Bartow County Grand Jury has stated that the use of deadly force in the February shooting of a teen was 'not justified'. Christopher Roupe, 17, was fatally shot by Euharlee officer who claimed the teen answered the door with a gun.
  • Henry Co. teenager working on cancer cure

    Henry Co. teenager working on cancer cure

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 6:43 AM EDT2014-04-23 10:43:26 GMT
    A Henry County teenager is working on a cure for cancer.
    A Henry County teenager is working on a cure for cancer.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Weather conditions ripe for brush fires in NJ

    Weather conditions ripe for brush fires in NJ

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:08 AM EDT2014-04-23 13:08:34 GMT
    Forecasters have issued a red flag warning and fire weather watch for most of New Jersey.
    Forecasters have issued a red flag warning and fire weather watch for most of New Jersey.
  • NYPD Twitter hashtag backfires

    NYPD Twitter hashtag backfires

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 6:23 AM EDT2014-04-23 10:23:11 GMT
    A NYPD plan intended to better connect with the community seems to have backfired a bit. The police department asked its twitter followers to share pictures of themselves with New York City police officers using the hashtag "myNYPD." Some did share nice pictures, but others not so much.Some of the first pictures posted showed regular citizens standing with very friendly looking police officers.
    A NYPD plan intended to better connect with the community seems to have backfired a bit. The police department asked its twitter followers to share pictures of themselves with New York City police officers using the hashtag "myNYPD." Some did share nice pictures, but others not so much.Some of the first pictures posted showed regular citizens standing with very friendly looking police officers.
  • Caesars enters New York casino competition

    Caesars enters New York casino competition

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 10:52 PM EDT2014-04-23 02:52:22 GMT
    Caesars Entertainment entered the competition to open a casino in upstate New York on Tuesday with a proposal to build a $750 million complex 50 miles north of New York City. The complex would include a casino, a hotel and a meeting space and would be located in Woodbury, in Orange County. The Las Vegas-based Caesars, which operates 52 casinos around the world, has submitted a $1 million casino license application fee to state gambling regulators.
    Caesars Entertainment entered the competition to open a casino in upstate New York on Tuesday with a proposal to build a $750 million complex 50 miles north of New York City. The complex would include a casino, a hotel and a meeting space and would be located in Woodbury, in Orange County. The Las Vegas-based Caesars, which operates 52 casinos around the world, has submitted a $1 million casino license application fee to state gambling regulators.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices