Syrup and Eggs in Chattanooga’s Dwell Hotel to close at year’s end

Staff photo by Dave Flessner / The Syrup and Eggs restaurant, seen Friday, at the back of The Dwell Hotel on 10th Street in downtown Chattanooga is closing at the end of December.

A popular breakfast eatery in the downtown boutique hotel The Dwell will close at the end of the month.

Syrup and Eggs, which began in a St. Elmo fire hall in 2017 and has been located at The Dwell Hotel for the past three years, will shut down on Friday, Dec. 30, according to owner and chef Ocia Hartley.

With both inside and patio seating, the downtown eatery featured a popular brunch menu. But in an Instagram post, Hartley said she has struggled to keep the downtown eatery going after suffering "a huge financial hit" when the Night Pearl tiki bar, which Hartley and her husband Luke Pigott previously operated in The Dwell Hotel, closed in August.

The Night Pearl opened in June 2021 and operated for 14 months before closing this summer. That resulted in an overnight cost of $25,000, Hartley said.

"Closing a business is really expensive," Hartley wrote in her Instagram post. "We had the same immediate expenses, but no cash flow. Syrup and Eggs and Night Pearl had their busiest month ever in July, so I was able to pay off vendors in August and September, but I never recovered financially."

  photo  Staff photo by Dave Flessner / The Syrup and Eggs restaurant, seen Friday, at the back of The Dwell Hotel on 10th Street in downtown Chattanooga is closing at the end of December.

The Syrup and Eggs restaurant leases the back half of the first floor of The Dwell. Hartley said the hotel space only allows for a 40-seat restaurant indoors, an additional 20 patio seats outdoors and limited kitchen space for food preparations.

"The fact that I can't do to-go food, large parties, and the lack of innovation is eroding the business, and frankly the staff too," Hartley said. "I can't give them the raises they deserve, and I can't compete with new businesses."

In an interview at the restaurant Friday, Hartley said she has no immediate plans to relocate Syrup and Eggs elsewhere, but she said she is looking around at different business options for the future.

"I could use a partner and investor," she said.

Syrup and Eggs is the third restaurant to locate in the hotel site. The Dwell Hotel took over the former Stone Fort Inn and its Terra Mae restaurant in 2016, three years after the Stone Fort Inn opened with an Appalachian bistro eatery. In 2018, the restaurant was converted to the Solarium, which operated until Syrup and Eggs opened a year later.

Born and raised in Oregon, Hartley worked in the fine dining industry for 15 years, even serving as a chef in Alaska for a short time, before moving to Chattanooga and becoming the sous chef at Terra Mae. After working there for two years, she opened Syrup and Eggs in 2017 in St. Elmo. She began by hosting pancake pop-ups across town. As her popularity grew, she decided to open an official location at the fire hall.

The Dwell Hotel was one of Chattanooga's first boutique hotels and includes 16 rooms in a renovated building that was originally erected in 1909 as the Colonial Hotel. The boutique inn was purchased in April 2021 by the Chattanooga-based hotel chain MD Hospitality, which earlier this year converted the former Night Pearl back to the Madilta Midnight bar.

Contact Dave Flessner at or 423-757-6340. Follow him on Twitter @DFlessner1.

  photo  Staff Photo by Matt Hamilton / Owner Ocia Hartley and general manager Luke Pigott at the Night Pearl bar in Chattanooga on June 23, 2021. The Night Pearl closed in August.