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Julia LeRoy chats about her new fried chicken spot

ATL Food Chatter: May 31, 2011
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LeRoy’s Fried Chicken certainly sounds like a place that will put some South in your mouth. Julia LeRoy is opening her Westside fried chicken stand with Clay Harper and Mike Nelson, the owners of the Fellini’s Pizza and La Fonda Latina restaurants. Their first collaboration was a gourmet frozen yogurt concept called Three on The Tree, where LeRoy served as the “guest confectioner.” Leroy has been looking to open her own restaurant since she left the Bookhouse Pub last year. Since then, the Seeger’s alum has worked in several local spots, including Shaun’s and Woodfire Grill. But she enjoyed consulting with the Fellini’s team that she decided to partner with them on LeRoy’s.
 
Q: Can you describe the idea behind LeRoy’s Fried Chicken?
JL: A take-away-only fried chicken stand that focuses on providing an option for Atlantans who want their delicious fried chicken but would appreciate a better bird. We’re only using all natural local chickens [from Springer Mountain Farms]?to supply the stand. We’ll fry the birds in lard, the good old-fashioned way. You'd be shocked if you knew how much worse fryer oil is for you than lard!

Q: What went into the decision to go with a carryout concept rather than?open a sit down restaurant?
JL: I wanted to cook fried chicken, and it seems like everyone likes to get it to-go. The take-out model also allowed us to have a lot more fun designing the place. I love the way it’s looking. I think it's going to be a really fun space, and I'm so glad I don't have to deal with tables and?chairs right now.
 
Q: What else will you serve besides fried chicken?
JL: This is subject to change, but: coleslaw, mac ‘n’ cheese, collards, biscuits, and ?hand-cut fries as well as fried chicken hearts and chicken livers.

Q: Where are you opening and when?
JL: We are located on the corner of 11th Street and Howell Mill Road, right?next to La Fonda Latina. As far as a date, we've been saying we’re opening in?three weeks for about the last three weeks. All I can say is that it’s moving very quickly.

NEWS AND NOTES:
Congrats to Creative Loafing’s Besha Rodell, who has been named a finalist for the 2011 Association of Food Journalist Awards in the Best Food Essay category.

The Clermont Lounge, One Flew South, Manuel's Tavern and Holeman & Finch Public House were named to Esquire Magazine’s Best Bars in America 2011 list.

Alpharetta. Uncle Louie G’s, a New York Italian ice and ice cream chain, has opened its first Georgia store at 11730 Jones Bridge Road. The Italian ices are available in forty flavors, including chocolate dream and cotton candy, and the 29 ice cream flavors include apple pie a la mode and birthday cake surprise.

Buckhead
. The Atlanta Business Chronicle was the first to report that Atlanta radio host Frank Ski will open Frank Ski’s this June in the former Thirsty Dog Tavern space at 2110 Peachtree Road. Ski says that the retso will offer “sophisticated Southern food," live music and a Sunday Jazz brunch.

Decatur. Decatur Metro reports that Harbour Bar—featuring steamer baskets, lobster, sauteed clam cakes, and oyster shots with tequila-key lime butter—will open in the former El Tesoro location at 129 Church Street this summer. Ryan Aiken, Sean Keenan and Chris Blanchard, who operate Napoleon's Grill in Decatur’s Oak Grove neighborhood, are the owners.

Downtown. Downtown Restaurant Week remains in full swing until Sunday, June 5.

Druid Hills. Bad Dog Taqueria, featuring fourteen different flour tortillas stuffed with everything from slow-roasted brisket to Indian samosas, plus nine soft taco choices like “We’ve Got Seoul” (Korean BBQ pork belly with kimchi and salsa verde ) has opened in the Emory Village at 1579 North Decatur Road.

Inman Park. Rathbun’s will be celebrating its seventh anniversary on June 5 with its annual BBQ and Blues Party.
http://www.kevinrathbun.com/restaurants.html

Little 5 Points. The Wrecking Bar folks are planning their grand opening for Sunday, June 19, which also happens to be Father’s Day, according to their web page.

Marietta. Marc Taft, previously general manager at Pacci, will open a new restaurant called Chicken and the Egg at 800 Whitlock Avenue in Marietta in August. The press release describes the place as a “neighborhood gathering spot that will serve sophisticated yet approachable modern farmstead fare.” Seiber Design, Inc. is designing the modern farmhouse look.

Pino Gelato, a Hilton Head, South, Carolina-based chain, has opened its first Georgia store at 21 W. Park Square.

Reynoldstown. The long-awaited second Morelli’s Gourmet Ice Cream and Desserts will open Saturday, June 4th in the Edgewood Retail Center at 1220 Caroline Street. The new 1,500-square foot store, formerly a Cold Stone Creamery, also contains a milkshake bar and a sundae bar with rotating selections created by Woodfire Grill’s Kevin Gillespie, who is also a partner in this new Morelli’s location. Free scoops for the first two hours, noon–2pm!

Roswell. Look for Slate Table and Tap, featuring an American traditional menu of burgers and sandwiches, to open at 1132 Canton Street soon. Todd Hogan of nearby Indigo will be the top toque.

Virginia Highland. Urban Daddy reports that the team behind Goin’ Coastal has created the Mobile Pig Roast, a onsite whole hog roasting service available to feed 20 to 1,000 people. of the pork loving friends.

Westside. Bill Addison reported on Twitter last week that Giovanni Di Palma's Antico Pizza Napoleta will soon begin expanding into other markets (including New York and Los Angeles as well as Asia and South America), but that the original will be the sole location in Atlanta. Di Palma is also renovating the property across from the pizzeria into what he calls a "piazza."
 
Creative Loafing is reporting that the Howell Mill Food Park, a dedicated food truck gathering spot, at 1920 Howell Mill Road (behind Willy’s at Howell Mill and Collier) will hold its first event Tuesday, May 31, 6-10pm. The line-up: Westside Creamery, Tex’s Tacos, The Pup Truck, Hail Caesar, Tamale Queen, Yumbii, Sweet Auburn BBQ, Yum Yum Cupcake, Munch and King of Pops.

Question of the Week:
Name the American living in Paris who was a featured speaker at the recent BlogHer food conference.

PS. The answer to last week’s QOTW—Name the sister of a visiting Atlanta Food & Wine Festival guest chef who once owned a metro-area restaurant—was Alena Pyles, Steven Pyles sister, who opened SoHo in Vinings back in 1997.