Smith's Olde Bar, that classic Atlanta dive and launch pad for musicians, is charging back from the brink of rumored extinction toward a future that its owners say will be stronger than ever. Atlanta real estate developer (and self-described music nut) Charlie Hendon, president of Hendon Properties, is stepping in as a 50/50 partner with Smith's longtime owner Dan Nolen.
Last week, Hendon and Nolen signed a lease with new property owner Selig Enterprises that seals the deal "to not only keep Smith's open in its original Morningside location, but to make some operational improvements," reps tell Curbed.
But don't freak out: The planned improvements won't involve frozen yogurt or Bieber Nights, but rather enhancements to the bar and food menu and some structural upgrades (a new roof and HVAC system) that should keep Smith's rocking for longer — and won't even require temporary closings. "We are keeping what's great about the venue and subtly improving upon it," Nolen said in a statement.
Last year, Selig bought the Morningside Strip Center that houses Smith's and announced intentions to keep the local institution in place, assuaging fears it would all be demolished.