From Kyma to Watchman’s to the Optimist, Atlanta has its fair share of good fine seafood restaurants—especially for a landlocked city. But not everyone has the time or funds for a seated, upscale meal. That’s why Donna Lee is bringing her Chicago-based, counter-service spot Brown Bag Seafood to Midtown this summer. Located in Colony Square (1201 Peachtree Street Northeast) next to fast-casual newcomer Sukoshi, Brown Bag will sell fish tacos, salads, grain bowls, and seafood sandwiches in a casual environment.
Brown Bag will feature a similar menu to its Chicago locations, with some seasonal specialties and occasional regional twists. Lee says popular items include the daily catch and grilled salmon, as well as the Powerbox (an ancient grain blend with spinach, herbs, and choice of protein). The Greens and Grains option combines the Powerbox with the Veggiebox (sauteed Brussels sprouts, broccoli, green beans, spinach, kale, herbs, and a choice of protein.) On the more indulgent side, there are lobster rolls and fried fish and chips. Side options include truffle parmesan tots, lime cilantro slaw, sesame broccoli, and clam chowder.
Food can be enjoyed inside the restaurant, at the counter, or on the patio. To-go orders are packaged in—what else—a brown bag.
“We’re focused on sustainability,” Lee says. “The name pulls on the nostalgia of a brown bag lunch. Growing up in Chicago, I could get crispy shrimp in a brown bag.”
The daily special board also utilizes brown craft paper to display the fresh catch and soup du jour. The restaurant is designed to have a beachy, coastal look with white wood paneling, nautical rope, and turquoise and yellow accents.
“It has a fresh, bright vibe. It’s meant to feel extremely casual and friendly,” Lee says.
Batch cocktails such as peach sangria and spicy jalapeno margaritas will encourage relaxation, along with wine by the glass and bottled and canned beers.
“We’re committed to downtown urban growth,” Lee says. “We were looking for other markets with booming metropolitan areas, and have a comfortable feeling about Atlanta. Plus, there are other real estate opportunities [here] for us to grow into.”