ATL food personality Grace Lee purchases Las Palmeras

By on June 26, 2012

Photo courtesy of

Restauranteur to re-invent Midtown’s 20-year-old Cuban restaurant.

One Atlanta food critic finally found her “G Spot.” And it was by accident, mind you.

Grace Lee, known in Atlanta for her restaurant review site “Atlanta G Spots,” which identifies the city’s finest eateries as such, purchased Las Palmeras Tuesday, she told What Now Atlanta in a telephone interview.

But when the 20-year-old Cuban restaurant, at 366 5th Street, was first put up for sale by Felipe Alvarez, Lee had no idea she would be its new owner.

“It’s always been a dream of mine to own a restaurant, but it wasn’t something I was actively working towards achieving,” Lee said. “The opportunity presented itself and I fell in love with the restaurant’s potential and charm.”

On Wednesday, June 27, Lee will take ownership of Las Palmeras to keep the doors open for business. But she won’t stop there, she said.

Lee plans on giving the Cuban restaurant a “facelift” including a “menu refresh” and some cosmetic upgrades such as a paint job. Other planned changes have not been disclosed.

“I’m going to bring something very casual, comfortable and fun to the space but my priority is to the neighborhood,” Lee said. “Patrons can dine in flip flops straight from Piedmont Park if they’d like to. I want people to feel like they’re coming over to my house for dinner.”

Lee hopes to have the restaurant fully operational to her specifications by August, 2012.

About Caleb J. Spivak

CJS is the Founder of What Now Atlanta. He was recently featured in The New York Times, Creative Loafing's "20 People to Watch in 2012," named "Lifestyle Blogger You Need To Know" by Rolling Out Magazine and highlighted as Atlanta's Metropolitan Male in fashion magazine, 944. WNA was named "Best of Atlanta" by Creative Loafing and Atlanta Magazine.


  1. Justin

    June 27, 2012 at 8:12 am

    If you have a blog that focuses largely on restaurant happenings, you might want to learn how to spell “restaurateur” correctly (no “n”).

  2. Urbanist

    June 27, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    “Patrons can dine in flip flops” – and I’m sure they will…

  3. midtownblue

    June 27, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    This place is a treasure. I hope the informal warmth of the restaurant and the high quality of the food continue. This is truly a neighborhood restaurant in an area that desperately needs them.

  4. Tim

    June 27, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Love this place…good food, great service, wonderfull neighborhood location. Welcome Grace! This is one of those businesses/restaurants that stand out in a good way and is a unique asset to our city. And thanks Caleb for letting us know!

  5. Missing Chicago

    June 28, 2012 at 8:25 am

    Merriam-Webster lists it as a valid variation. I am annoyed that I actually responded to this! Caleb, thanks for the all the info. I appreciate being in the know.

  6. jennifer

    June 28, 2012 at 11:18 am

    If she changes one molecule of this gem I will just die! Well not literally but I will shed a tear or two. Las Palmeras is perfect just the way it is. Oh, that pollo frito! My favorite meal in Atlanta.

  7. MasterBobby

    June 28, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Justin, Stop being an @$$

  8. laura

    June 29, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    Las Palmeras doesn’t NEED a menu refresh! :(

  9. Mall Flop

    July 10, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    “…mall attendees can walk in their flip-flops…” I am sure Urbanist does.

  10. Jason Killen

    July 11, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    I hope they don’t change the absolutely delectable rotisserie chicken!!!!

  11. jennifer

    July 13, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    I visited Las Palmeras recently and Grace was there. She was completely charming, and the place hadn’t changed a bit. Even the server was a hold-over from the prior owner. The pollo frito was as good as ever. Whew.

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