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The Branded Butcher is Rebranding, Preserve Is Closing, and Cinnaholic Is Open

The Branded Butcher, on Lumpkin Street downtown, recently announced that it’s doing some rebranding, meaning the current menu and name are going bye-bye.

Since it opened about five years ago, the restaurant has focused on housemade charcuterie, creative small plates and refined but adventurous preparations, as well as a thoughtful bar program. The new direction is a swerve away from the more high-end model for which the restaurant was striving and toward what seems to be more accessible stuff—”mind-blowing burgers, sandwiches and seasonal salads” and “in keeping with a nationwide trend toward casual, playful food that’s affordable and accessible to a broader swath of diners,” as the announcement reads.

That’s great and all, but there’s also a good bit of it out there already in Athens; these new goals are less exciting. Chef and co-owner Matt Palmerlee and executive chef Trey Rayburn are staying on. The official closing date hasn’t been announced, but it’s some time this month so you’d better hustle if you want that Scotch egg one more time.

Perhaps more depressing is the fact that Preserve, at Hancock and Broad, which had consistently excellent food, is also closing at the end of the year. Until then, it’s still doing weekend brunch, but lunch and dinner are off the table, unless you email to make a dinner reservation for a party of six or more.

But, uh, Cinnaholic is open on the ground floor of the Georgia Heights building on Broad downtown.