The eatery in the Buckhead Life Restaurant Group is closing tonight after dinner.
The Southwestern cuisine restaurant, located at 3060 Peachtree Road in Buckhead and open since 1996, will shut its doors nearly four weeks before its lease expires at the end of the month. In a phone interview Monday morning, Jennifer Parker, a spokeswoman for Buckhead Life, said Nava’s executive chef, Ryan Delesandro, is moving to nearby Chops and the staff will have the opportunity to be reassigned to other restaurants in the group.
“It’s really just a business decision,” Parker said of Nava’s closing. “We’re focusing on developing some new properties. Lobster Bar Sea Grille [is] to open in December on Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale and the reopening of Pano’s is coming up.”
Nava’s location at Philips Arena, which is in partnership with Chicago-based Levy Restaurants, will stay open.
Parker said Pano’s, which will open in the current company-owned 103 West event space in Buckhead, will not open until at least a year after Lobster Bar Sea Grille opens, as it works with the city of Atlanta on turning the property into a restaurant. The eatery is named after Buckhead Life co-founder Pano Karatassos, who opened Pano’s and Paul’s, the group’s first restaurant, with fellow co-founder Paul Albrecht in 1979. Years later Albrecht left the company to start his own venture. Pano's and Paul's closed in 2009 with plans to reopen as Pano’s at a later date.
Ford Fry, chef/co-owner at JCT Kitchen, No. 246 and The Optimist in the Westside community near Buckhead, will open a new restaurant in the current Nava space. The unnamed eatery will have a Colonial American style and is expected to open in late January, Melissa Libby, a spokeswoman for the restaurant, wrote in an email Saturday.