Hemingway’s Wine and Bistro closed this week, an employee who answered the south Columbia restaurant’s phone confirmed.
Responding to inquiries about the restaurant’s status on his Facebook page, owner Van Allen posted this reply: “Thanks Columbia. We’ll miss that great place, but we just couldn’t get the support to justify it being open.”
Attempts to contact Allen were unsuccessful.
Hemingway’s was known for its specialty cigar and liquor selection in addition to its food and the restaurant had been at the expanded location on 3910 Peachtree Dr. for several years.
I have heard elsewhere that a disintegration of the contractual relationship between co-owners Van Allen and Dawn and Dru Vaughn is what finally drove the stake through the heart of Hemingway’s. Legal action is reportedly being explored. Regardless, the food – Rocky Galloway’s arrival notwithstanding – had been mediocre for years (examples here and especially here) and the vibe was always vaguely creepy to me.
Still, there’s no joy to be taken in a local business – with all the hopes and dreams and hard work and money that go into trying to make that work – going under. I feel worst of all for Rocky, who had only recently returned to manning a kitchen and no doubt aimed to turn things around.