Chef Tony Morrow, owner of the award-winning upscale Southern resto, The Pecan, has a new project located just a couple of blocks south of his company’s flagship in downtown College Park. The spot will not only serve up some serious barbecue, but will add another neighborhood bistro to the Southside dining scene.
Tony Morrow’s Real Pit BBQ is located at 3807 Main Street in a building built in the 1920’s. It will feature old school Southern barbecue combined with nouveau design features like Coca-Cola stained floors, cowhide covered booths, and an exhibition barbecue pit where customers can watch the pit master create edible magic.
For three years, Morrow has been planning his ode to the pit barbeque he enjoyed as a kid at his family’s business in Decatur, Alabama. The New York native was raised in Atlanta, and has an impressive culinary CV that includes a stint at Buckhead Life Restaurants. He is also an MBA and a retired Air Force officer who is, in addition to running a restaurant, a catering company, and writing a cookbook, opening two restaurants at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
Morrow took some time from his hectic schedule last week to talk about his latest venture and how he plans to add something special to the Southside’s barbecue offerings.
Q: What is it about Tony Morrow’s Real Pit BBQ that will make it special?
TM: My parent’s family owns a barbecue pit restaurant in Decatur, Alabama, and our restaurant will barbecue our meat just like they do over there. It is a real pit style barbecue; the fire will never touch the meat. There will be an exhibition pit like nowhere else in Atlanta that will allow our guests an opportunity to watch just how their barbecue is being prepared. We will also be using a local meat supplier that will allow us to offer a premium product to our customers. In addition, we are offering a humidor and cigar locker service and a portion of our 3,000-square-foot covered patio will be sectioned off to permit cigar smoking.
Q: When will it open and what will be the hours of operation?
TM: We are planning on opening by early May. We will be open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Breakfast will be served on Saturdays and brunch on Sundays with earlier opening times. Customers can also enjoy dine-in or takeout.
Q: Who designed the restaurant? It doesn’t look like a typical barbecue joint.
TM: I started out wanting to do a shack, but as I got into the project, my creative juices kicked in. I added some artwork for the walls, some reclaimed wood, and some dramatic light fixtures. We want to offer our customers a relaxed atmosphere with comfortable seating at either a table on the patio, or our cowhide booths inside. We put in some flatscreen televisions so that our customers can check out sporting events while dining with us as well.
Q: Describe some of your menu items.
TM: We will offer both Memphis-style dry rub and Carolina-style barbecue. We will source everything locally: our soul food sides like collard greens come from a local farmer. We will have some lighter fare like our barbecue chicken salad as well. We probably will not have our liquor license until June, so until then we will be BYOB.
NEWS AND NOTES:
Thrillist notes that Happy Belly, featuring a Big Green Egg that allows it to fry, sauté, bake and flat top grill its menu items, is the newest food truck in Atlanta. No menu items cost more than $10 and the food orders are taken via iPad.
Restaurant Informer reports that Alan Palmieri, a 37-year veteran of the restaurant business, has joined the team at Marlow’s Tavern as a partner to help guide the next phase of the growing concept’s expansion in the Atlanta market.
Local frozen treats royalty King of Pops has teamed with caffeine cult faves, Batdorf & Bronson, to create a line of coffee based frozen treats, reports the AJC.. The special pops will come in three flavors: coffee, latte and mocha. Coffee pops are made with freshly brewed Dancing Goats coffee, and the mocha version incorporates a chocolate syrup made with Cacao Atlanta’s chocolate.
Do Restaurant at The View, Twist, and Two Urban Licks are on Open Table’s 2012 100 Top Restaurant list. The list is based on nearly five million restaurant reviews submitted by Open Table diners for more than 12,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Buckhead. The AJC is reporting that Decatur Northern Indian cuisine resto, Bhojanic Restaurant, will open a location at 3400 Peachtree Road in the Shops Around Lenox retail center this summer. The 135-seat spot will feature a full bar, outdoor seating, and a private event area.
Online food, wine, and hotel publication, Gayot.com has named Restaurant Eugene as one of its Top 40 Restaurants for 2012.
Decatur. Chef Julia LeRoy and mixologist T. Fable Jeron are the creative team behind the recently announced Pinewood Tipping Room. Their concept is described as “part cocktail bar, part Deep South diner, The Pinewood aims to take the pretension out of the craft bar/gastropub model with a creative, yet relaxed approach to food.”
Downtown. Joystick Gamebar, a bar and lounge featuring games, cocktails and food, is slated to open at 427 Edgewood Avenue in the former Dynamic Dish space.
Druid Hills. West Egg founders Ben and Jennifer Johnson will open a second eatery later this fall in Emory Point on Clifton Road, near Emory University. According to Tomorrow’s News Today, the new eatery may offer a number of bagels and a larger assortment of breakfast beverages.
Marietta. The AJC is reporting that locally-owned Moxie Burger has opened at 255 Village Parkway.
Midtown. Eater.com has named The Spence as one of the country's 25 most anticipated restaurant openings of 2012. No pressure now.
Eater Atlanta notes that Campagnolo, the rustic Italian spot from the Peasant Group, will open for a fundraiser on Saturday, April 7 and will open its doors for business on Monday, April 9.
Lime Fresh Mexican Grill at 903 Peachtree opened March 28.
Poncey Highland. Gayot.com named Babette’s Café as one its 2012 Top 10 Romantic Restaurants.
Question of the Week: What soon-to-open OTP Mexican restaurant is promising to bring a completely different type of Mexican cuisine to Atlanta?
PS. The answer to last week’s QOTW—What ATL resto that is nationally lauded for its take on New South cuisine is now being recognized for its coffee?—is Empire State South.