A fundraiser to save The Colonnade, an Atlanta dining institution for nearly 100 years, has surpassed its $100,000 goal.

The GoFundMe account for the Cheshire Bridge Road restaurant was set up on Dec. 16 and donations on Sunday night totaled $108,990.

The Colonnade was hoping to replicate the success of a fundraiser that saved another icon, Manuel’s Tavern, from imminent closure earlier this month. More than $180,000 has been raised for Manuel’s so far after an outpouring of donations from the community.

Famous for its diverse clientele from the LGTBTQ community to senior citizens – affectionately known as the “gays and the grays” – and its southern menu of fried chicken, turkey and dressing, pot roast, salmon croquettes, and the famous Parker House rolls, the restaurant is about to enter its 94th year of continuous service.

The fundraiser for The Colonnade, started by a couple calling themselves Suzi and Robbie, said “many of The Colonnade’s most loyal customers are also among the most vulnerable to complications from COVID-19. The owners have taken great steps to protect customers and employees, however sales are down about 60-70% while costs have increased. We can’t lose this important Atlanta institution that’s approaching 100 years in business.”

The Colonnade was closed from March through July (except opening for Mother’s Day to offer the famous fried chicken for take-out) due to the pandemic, then reopened with expanded outdoor seating, socially-distanced tables, and take-out and curbside pick-up options.

Jodi Stallings bought The Colonnade from her father, who had operated the restaurant for more than 40 years, in 2019.

Read Megan Volpert’s homage to The Colonnade written for Intown’s 25th-anniversary issue at this link.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.