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.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Animation genius of Chuck Jones on display at Museum of the Moving Image

    Animation genius of Chuck Jones on display at Museum of the Moving Image

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 7:35 PM EDT2014-07-30 23:35:59 GMT
    Chuck Jones -- the genius artist, animator, and director who created Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny and many more -- is the subject of a new exhibition at Museum of the Moving Image in Queens. "What's Up, Doc? The Animation Art of Chuck Jones" runs from July 19, 2014, through January 19, 2015.
    Chuck Jones -- the genius artist, animator, and director who created Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny and many more -- is the subject of a new exhibition at Museum of the Moving Image in Queens. "What's Up, Doc? The Animation Art of Chuck Jones" runs from July 19, 2014, through January 19, 2015.
  • Astorino blasts Cuomo over Moreland Commission

    Astorino blasts Cuomo over Moreland Commission

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 6:54 PM EDT2014-07-30 22:54:36 GMT
    In 2013, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo created a state panel to investigate public corruption, called the Moreland Commission. But the governor is accused of interfering with investigations and compromising the commission's work. Republican Astorino, who is running against Cuomo, claimed Cuomo didn't hand over evidence to State Police. Astorino wants a special prosecutor to find out if any state and federal laws were broken.
    In 2013, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo created a state panel to investigate public corruption, called the Moreland Commission. But the governor is accused of interfering with investigations and compromising the commission's work. Republican Astorino, who is running against Cuomo, claimed Cuomo didn't hand over evidence to State Police. Astorino wants a special prosecutor to find out if any state and federal laws were broken.
  • WTC shipwreck mystery solved

    WTC shipwreck mystery solved

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 6:08 PM EDT2014-07-30 22:08:14 GMT
    Archeologists say they've solved a mystery that started with the rebuilding at ground zero. During the excavation at the World Trade Center Site, workers uncovered part of an old ship. No one knew where it came from. Now after years of study, researchers believe the sloop dates back to 1773, built from wood harvested from Pennsylvania, the same kind used to build Independence Hall.
    Archeologists say they've solved a mystery that started with the rebuilding at ground zero. During the excavation at the World Trade Center Site, workers uncovered part of an old ship. No one knew where it came from. Now after years of study, researchers believe the sloop dates back to 1773, built from wood harvested from Pennsylvania, the same kind used to build Independence Hall.
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