Owner Annelies McMorran thanked the cafe’s longtime regulars for their dedication to the restaurant and to her staff in an email earlier today, and provided further explanation behind the decision to close Anna Lee’s after more than three decades.
“After rearranging the restaurant to accommodate the 6 feet safety zone for two weeks and then just doing take-out for two more, we closed on April 3,” McMorran explains in a portion of the email. “Since the virus ‘numbers’ have not been going down, I have felt that I could not provide a safe environment for both employees and guests, as most of us are in the extra-caution-group. Since the future is not to be guessed, it has become financially impossible to continue the business.”
McMorran, a native of the Netherlands, worked at the restaurant as a server prior to purchasing and renaming it to Anna Lee’s in 1983. The quaint cafe built up a loyal following over its 36 years under McMorran, and was a favorite spot for many area residents and nearby office workers to meet for lunch. The menu always featured a $10 lunch special, which included a soup of the day, a choice of daily entrees, and desserts such as a slice of one of Anna’s Lee’s cakes.
Several Atlanta restaurants have permanently closed following a devastating loss of revenue and lack of rent relief during the health crisis. Earlier in July, Gio’s Chicken Siciliana closed at Battery Atlanta in Cobb County. Owner Giovanni Di Palma cited the “uncertainty and delay of baseball,” coupled with the dining restrictions caused by the pandemic. Genki Noodles & Sushi in Virginia-Highland closed after nearly a decade, and kosher Mediterranean and Middle Eastern restaurant Pita Grille closed after six years on Wieuca Road in Buckhead this month.
425 Market Place, Roswell. annaleesrestaurant.com.