‘Retirement for Now’ for Brickery Owners

‘Retirement for Now’ for Brickery Owners

Restaurant’s last hurrah will be February burger contest.

David R. Cohen

David R. Cohen is the former Associate Editor of the Atlanta Jewish Times. He is originally from Marietta, GA and studied Journalism at the University of Tennessee.

The Brickery's iconic Caesar burger will compete for top honors at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival in Miami
The Brickery's iconic Caesar burger will compete for top honors at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival in Miami

Since 1992, the Brickery Grill & Bar has served as a community gathering place and source of comfort food in Sandy Springs, but the Jewish-owned eatery announced Monday, Aug. 24, that it will close in December.

“Finding a new location for the restaurant became difficult primarily because of the timeline,” Bruce Alterman said. “There are a lot of moving parts getting from Point A to Point B. Because we knew we had to be out of here in December, it took almost a Hail Mary approach to see if we could put all those parts in place, and we weren’t able to. As soon as we realized that, we went to all of our wonderful preferred customers and let them know.”

In the three days after the announcement of the closing by email and Facebook, Alterman said, he received over 1,900 email messages from customers thanking him for two decades of memories.

The restaurant’s catering operation, which under Sally Alterman’s leadership has long served the High Holiday, simcha and shiva needs of nonkosher members of the Jewish community, will also cease operations in December. The 65-year-old couple thus will be out of work for the first time in 24 years.

“Closing the Brickery means retirement for now,” Bruce Alterman said. “But we are entrepreneurial people and always have been. Now that the pressure of finding a new location is over, it’s a great opportunity to spend these next four months closing this thing down with the kind of energy and celebration it deserves. If something were to happen and present itself after that, we would be wide open.”

Besides going out with a bang the next four months, the Altermans have an opportunity to add an exclamation point to their legacy. The day after announcing its closing, the Brickery learned that its iconic Caesar burger was voted best burger in Atlanta as part of a nationwide contest run by Hellmann’s and Best Foods mayonnaise. Despite losing its home, the burger will compete for top national honors at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival in February in Miami.

The Brickery has not set an official closing date, but Alterman said he aims to keep it open as far into December as possible.

“I think you can look back and say we were very fortunate,” he said. “Sally and I were able to create a genuine restaurant that the community saw and appreciated for all these years. There were no animal heads on the wall, and nobody in short-shorts. We just ran a genuine neighborhood place.”

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