Permanently Closed - The Spence

4.2
1175 reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American
Top Tags:
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Hot Spot
  • Notable Wine List

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About

This restaurant is permanently closed.

The Spence is a contemporary American restaurant that is popular for its seafood dishes. The restaurant's interior is trendy and modern. One of its most striking features is its extra-high ceiling. Guests can choose to sit outside in the open dining area when the weather is nice. A full-service bar is also available at The Spence, complete with a wide range of wines, cocktails and other spirits.

For starters, try an appetizer like the Mexican street corn with chili, lime and queso fresco, oyster mushroom tartine with lamb chopper, pickled ramp and turnip, fried chicken liver with guava mustard or meadow creek Appalachian cheese served with an apricot scone and marmalade. A number of main course items are also available at The Spence for guests to choose from, including braised short rib with corn, red onions and horseradish and Long Island duck breast with dates, onion soubise and lemon cucumber.

Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Contemporary American
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Hours of operation
Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 11:00pm, Sunday CLOSED
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Phone number
(404) 892-9111
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Neighborhood
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Public transit
Complimentary valet drop off directly in front of the restaurant on Fifth Street.
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Special events & promotions
We have a private dining room with a 36 person capacity. We also have feasting menu options available at our chefs tables which can hold up to 22 people. Our feasting menus consist of selecting a whole animal for your main protein to be broken down alongside side dishes, appetizers and dessert for $65 a head. Must call the restaurant and book a contract for the feasting menu options.
Additional
Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Outdoor dining, Private Room, View, Wine
What 1175 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.2based on all time ratings
4.3
food
4.2
service
4.1
ambience
3.7
value
Noise · Moderate
86% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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AC
Atlanta
14 reviews
Dined on June 28, 2016
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 1

closed . The restaurant is closed. The restaurant is closed.

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OT
Atlanta
3 reviews
Dined on June 23, 2016
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

This was our first time at The Spence and we really enjoyed it. With Georgia Tech summer break it was a quiet evening, but we loved the attention from our servers and the manager. The recommended starters (duck spring rolls and sautéed cauliflower) were fantastic. We split a whole Bronzino as an entree and it was perfectly prepared. A great overall experience and we will be back.

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JB
Atlanta
6 reviews
Dined on June 17, 2016
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Excellent place to take clients.

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TS
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on June 11, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The server we had was great. She introduced us to a great Riesling that I now keep on hand. The yellow Jacket cocktail is wonderful and the Risotto is just the way it should be. I will definitely go there again!

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CT
Chicago
26 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2016
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

Great outside space, fun environment and good food.

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OT
New Orleans
3 reviews
Dined on May 27, 2016
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Excellent from the moment we walked in the door! Service, food, and ambience were top-notch! We would definitely return to this place when back in Atlanta! Highly recommended!

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s
Atlanta
17 reviews
Dined on May 20, 2016
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

The food was very good and the service was top notch.

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OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on May 20, 2016
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 3

Went here on a date night expecting a nice, upscale neighborhood gem but instead we entered an empty restaurant with 3 other tables. We had a server and a trainee and we have never been treated with such attitude. Luckily, the hostess was great and and helped make the night better. The food is okay, it's definitely better quality than a chain restaurant, but it's very much overpriced. For the lack of patrons, always open availability and terrible service, we would not recommend to any friends especially when expecting service and food on the level of many other high quality restaurants in the area given the price point.

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R
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on May 8, 2016
Overall 1food 4service 1ambience 1

- TERRIBLE service, took an hour to get our food
- Appetizers came out after our main plates
- Not all dishes came out at the same time - one 10 minutes after the others
- Refills were never offered and we have to ask - even for water

When you pay that much for lunch, you would like the staff to give you attention and care that you are there, especially on a day like Mother's Day

I would not go back or recommend The Spence unfortunately.

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a
Atlanta
9 reviews
Dined on May 8, 2016
Overall 3food 1service 3ambience 3

I've had some very nice meals at The Spence, especially early in its run, but this visit, for Mother's Day brunch, was pretty awful. The entrees ranged from mediocre (in the case of eggs Benedict), like something you'd expect to get in a hotel ballroom, to just plain bad (in the case of a quiche that my wife couldn't even finish). The "cheese grits" two of us ordered on the side arrived cold and solidified in the bowl -- even the cheese on top had hardened into a solid squiggle. The only truly nice thing I had was my cocktail, so I had two. Service was fine, but couldn't make up for the poor food. It was just thoroughly disappointing, especially given the prices. I know founding chef Richard Blais is long gone, but I planned Mother's Day brunch there expecting that the restaurant was in capable hands and that the food would be better than barely passable. Unless I hear that things have improved dramatically, I won't be back.

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OT
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on May 8, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Spence is definitely one of the best restaurants in town. I visited The Spence for Mothers Day with my family from out of town. Before my visit, the staff provided me with the brunch menu via email in order to prepare. Upon our arrival, the staff were polite and courteous and seated us immediately. Soon after being seated, our waitress arrived and provided very quality service. The manager (Mike) was one of the most personable managers I've experienced. He was attentive, open to feedback, and went above and beyond to ensure everyone had a positive experience.

I was also impressed with the ambiance. The decor was tasteful and the atmosphere was upscale casual. The Spence is my new favorite place in town. I plan on visiting The Spence very soon - so should you!

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M
Greensboro
9 reviews
Dined on May 7, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My favorite place to eat in Atlanta! Relaxed, but excellent food choices and preparation. Great small plates and appetizers as well as entrées. Innovative cocktails and exquisite desserts. Food is always fresh and creative. Plus they change the menu so you don't get tired of it.

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t
Atlanta
100 reviews
Dined on May 3, 2016
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

This was our first time to this restaurant prior to a concert at the Fox. This was also a great location being close by and gave us the opportunity to try somewhere new. We found the food, service and selection to be great! We really enjoyed the tiny buns as the bread course and all that followed. It got quite noisy over time as people rolled in, but luckily we chose a table into the corner. Really enjoyed our whole experience!

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OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on April 29, 2016
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

I thought the Duck was not too tasty and a little difficult to eat. The sides
of julienne carrots and tortillas, made no sense and did not make the
plate look any more appetizing. I could have made tacos if I got
shredded duck, but I basically had to mutilate the duck to get
to the meat, and by that time, I wasn't going to make a taco with
julienned carrots.
My guests seemed to enjoy the Salmon, so some positive points for that.
Should have tried the Pizza or Pasta, as they looked pretty good.
A little bit pricey on the Entrees for what they are.

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r
Portland
16 reviews
Dined on April 23, 2016
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 4

Took an hour to get our food and it wasn't crowded.Branzino was great. Few veggie options. Fiddlehead was good but too much batter.

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RF
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on April 23, 2016
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 2

The staff was friendly, however dEspite the fact that there were only approximately three other tables in the entire restaurant during the time of our visit, our food and beverage service was very very slow. Drinks came out after appetizers. This is somewhat ironic b/c we advised our server to try and keep us moving along as we had tickets for a show. We ended up missing the start of the show.

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OT
New York Area
310 reviews
Dined on April 23, 2016
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Very impressed with several items we ordered. Very personable, friendly and courteous waitress, manager (Mike), and chef. We were pressed for time since we had tickets to a show. Service was excellent, not too rushed, yet concerned for our time constraints. We tasted many items, the warm artichoke dip was excellent, as was the sausage and pimento cheese small plates. The kale caesar with smoked salmon was another winner. The spicy mussels were among the best we had worldwide! Can't wait to dine at The Spence again, hopefully when we have more time to enjoy.

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L
Atlanta
9 reviews
Dined on April 12, 2016
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

The extremely hospitable staff, great ambiance and enjoyable food.

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M
Atlanta
25 reviews
Dined on April 9, 2016
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

Seems stake like no one cares. Just going thru the motions

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l
Atlanta
76 reviews
Dined on April 8, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is my new favorite resturant in Atlanta! It's perfect. Interesting and good cocktails, & the best wild mushroom risotto around.

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M
Austin
7 reviews
Dined on April 2, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was excellent. I'm at a loss on why it wasn't packed with people, but not going to complain, as more room for us. Food was absolutely great!

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OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on April 1, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place before a show at the fox theater

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OT
Atlanta
3 reviews
Dined on March 31, 2016
Overall 2food 1service 3ambience 4

We ordered 3 different dishes plus desert and NONE of them were any good. No flavor, meat was dry, polenta was undercooked!!! Upon reading more about The Spence after our bad experience, I found out that both of the Top Chefs who started there are no longer In staff.
Unfortunately, whomever they hired as their replacement has really dropped the ball!!!

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on March 30, 2016
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

The food was good but not the menu we looked at online.

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OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on March 30, 2016
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

The Host that seated us was very nice and professional.
Our food and the presentation was Excellent.
The server could have been more friendly. He had no personality, and barely spoke.
He never asked if we wanted an appetizer.
He did keep our water glasses full at all times though.
We would definitely eat there again, with the hopes of getting a different server.

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OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on March 11, 2016
Overall 3food 2service 1ambience 2

Wait staff was terrible. Took my drink order and forget everyone else. After everyone did get service after our first drink the waitress took our glasses without asking if wanted more. Won't be going back.

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TG
Atlanta
13 reviews
Dined on March 5, 2016
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

Food at The Spence was solid, although a lighter touch with the salt shaker would be preferable. The entree portions were on the small side but nicely presented; salads were terrific. The service was outstanding - attentive but not cloying. Definitely would go back.

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KC
Atlanta
15 reviews
Dined on February 27, 2016
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

I booked this as a last minute dinner reservation on a Saturday night. I am surprised I was able to get in on such short notice. The restaurant had many groups of people dining, but not many small tables of people. It was hard to pick what to order since so many dishes were tempting. I went with the burger, and although it was good, would probably choose another dish next visit. Portions were great. Our waiter was awesome, and all the staff was helpful and accommodating. I would visit again, especially when the weather is nice outside since it looked like they had good outdoor seating area.

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l
Atlanta
76 reviews
Dined on February 18, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My new favorite place! I loved everything. Service was spot on, wine selection fabulous, and divine food. Had the mushroom risotto & it was a treat.

I'll be back!

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OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2016
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 3

We were excited about visiting the Spence – I friend of ours told us it was really good. We have sense learned that that was a while back. Food was expensive and not remarkable. The cheese appetizer was the exception- it was delicious. I was also surprised at how little the staff knew about wine and pairings. I really hate that our visit was on a special occasion as Valentines day.
I sure hope the restaurant turns things around. It was an attractive space.

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OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2016
Overall 2food 2service 5ambience 3

The food was bland. I got the risotto and it tasted like watered down porridge.

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OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2016
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

We were there early on a week night, and we were seated close enough to the oven to feel the a little of its heat and see the chef cooking in it. The wood fire oven is the special feature and it is used extensively to impart its lovely flavor and aroma, such as for toast in a starter and browning French onion soup. My savory duck dish was very good. Music was nice but a bit too loud.

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E
Las Vegas
5 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2016
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

I ate there with colleagues a year ago and the food was excellent. Good enough to return.
This year was just average.

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J
Cleveland
2 reviews
Dined on January 22, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were impressed with the staff, the food was delicious, some great choices on the menu and it was surprisingly all affordable with a nice wine list.

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F
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2016
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

This was our second visit and once again the food was delicious. We love the small plate concept and the combinations of flavors was inspired.

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C
Atlanta
3 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2016
Overall 1food 2service 2ambience 3

The food quality is poor at the Spence. What makes this even more disconcerting is that it takes a really long time to get your food. This was my second time dining there and both times were disappointing.

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JW
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on January 16, 2016
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 4

I had been looking forward to checking The Spence off of my ATL restaurant bucket list for the last couple of years, and honestly--I was underwhelmed. First of all, I was imagining that our small plate would arrive ahead of the main course, but it did not. It came when the rest of our food was served. That totally could have been a misunderstanding on my part, user error if you will, but it was weird to eat spinach-artichoke dip at the same time I was eating my main course. My sister and I shared the risotto and the stroganoff. The risotto was way too tangy and citrusy, not at all the earthy, creamy taste I was imagining. The stroganoff hardly had any meat, the meat it did have was rubbery in texture, the dish was served lukewarm/cold, and was bland in flavor. 0 for 2 on the main courses. I will say that the brussel sprouts were delicious. All in all, with the amount of incredible restaurants there are in ATL, this one was not one I would try again, nor would I recommend it to a friend for a nice night out.

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K
Atlanta
4 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

First trip to the Spence, went based on Open Table recommendation in the area we were seeking. Went for dinner prior to a Fox Show. Within walking distance of the Fox theatre parking areas. Food was great, service was great, a very enjoyable experience and a place I will be sure to visit again.

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m
Atlanta
6 reviews
Dined on January 9, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything about our night at The Spence was delightful - from the food to the service as well as the ambiance and the wine list. Start with the St. Hilaire bubbly! We ended with beef short ribs - too full for dessert.

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JF
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2015
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 5

Great last minute find for New Years Eve. The noise was expected. The service was impeccable as well. The pizza..however was horrific in every sense of the word. Cold, burnt(not tastefully charred) from the hearth bed and void of seasoning. The bacon was hours old and the Brussels sprout had the same texture as dried November leaves. My one regret was not ordering the burger(which is always good). As a chef, my feelings were hurt, a pizza without a speck of love(which shouldn't have been difficult, it as not V-Day busy). Also, as a fellow industry professional, New Years Eve or not...seeing the staff drink repeatedly with patrons was interesting. In my years of working around the city...I've never seen that. But it may be a change in an unspoken policy. But we did have a good time, no doubt about it.

P.S. Had to hunt the waiter down, who was on his 2nd drink...to pay my tab. Made me wonder how many times he's had to cover a table after a walk-out.

I'd recommended the place, but it always provides interesting stories the next day.

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