- Stephanie Toone The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
There is nothing like a classic. That sentiment especially applies to some of America’s oldest, most esteemed restaurants.
Atlanta happens to hold claim to two of the most tried-and-true places to eat in the U.S., according to FSR Magazine. Atkins Park and Mary Mac’s Tea Room both made the magazine’s annual list of Top 100 Independents, a list of legendary restaurants that have garnered − and sustained − success for decades. FSR decided its list by selecting the oldest, highest-grossing restaurants in the industry.
"Building relationships across generations is a common denominator among the restaurants honored in this year's Top 100 report,” FSR editor Connie Gentry, “Each has stood the test of time because, like families and lifelong friends, the relationships have endured for decades. The restaurant becomes not only a place to eat and celebrate but also a place to remember all the special times of years gone by."
Atkins Park, which opened in 1922, rakes in between $1.2 and $2 million every year, according to the food industry magazine. FSR said of Atkins, which has locations in Smyrna and Atlanta: “With claims as the oldest continuously licensed tavern in Atlanta, the restaurant focuses on fresh by partnering with local farmers in the spring and summer to source its produce.”
Mary Mac’s Tea Room came along about 20 years after Atkins in 1945, and has become a staple in its own right. The Ponce De Leon restaurant brings in $8 to $9 million annually, according to FSR. The restaurant’s “veteran staff” and distinction as “Atlanta’s dining room” gave the tea room an edge on the list.
Read the entire Top 100 list here.