Che Butter Jonez is moving to Brookhaven

The Queens-inspired restaurant will nearly triple in size and offer Sunday brunch

The Arrogant sandwich is comprised of salmon, Halal beef bacon, lettuce, tomato, and spicy aioli on a brioche bun.

Courtesy of Che Butter Jonez

Che Butter Jonez—the Queens-inspired restaurant based on the food truck of the same name—is moving its flagship location from Southwest Atlanta to Brookhaven. Malik Rhasaan and Detric Fox-Quinlan opened their popular spot in the plaza of a Chevron station in 2021, bringing food that bridged conversation to a diverse area. Three years later, Fox-Quinlan says, they struggled with constant public disturbances, as well as property management issues that made it difficult to run the restaurant.

On June 21, Rhasaan posted on Instagram, “We’re likely going to have to close the Cleveland Avenue location. Too often, I find myself confronting grown men and women about activities they know are inappropriate … I can’t leave my establishment to handle other business because I can’t hire anyone to deal with the daily chaos … Local politicians won’t help, other tenants are indifferent or part of the problem, and the landlord may as well not exist … We’re currently searching for a new space for Che Butter Jonez. We’d love to stay in the area, but staying here isn’t an option.”

The post—which Fox-Quinlan says was motivated by passersby loitering, panhandling, and urinating in public—sparked others to bring new opportunities to Rhasaan and Fox-Quinlan’s attention. One of these is a 3,000-square-foot space in Brookhaven (1602 Lavista Road), the site of the new Che Butter Jonez, or “CheHaven,” as they lovingly refer to it. Last week, Che Butter Jonez announced its move on Instagram: “It is with sadness that we prepare to leave our flagship brick-n-mortar location. … We created the kind of community in these small walls that people always say they wish to experience. We’re proud of that, but we’re headed in a direction that brings about opportunities we could have never imagined. …”

The Bodega sandwich (beef hot link sausage, egg, and cheddar on buttery Texas toast)

Courtesy of Che Butter Jonez

However, Fox-Quinlan says she and Rhasaan are working with the new vice president of the management company at the Cleveland Avenue property to try to work out the issues. If they can’t come to agreeable terms, the original Che Butter Jonez will likely close in September. “I don’t want to go at all,” Rhasaan says. “We live in the neighborhood, but it’s hard to get staff because of the reputation of Cleveland Avenue. I work every day. It’s hard to give someone the burden to have to be security on top of their job.”

Either way, Che Butter Jonez Brookhaven will open in the fall. With a much bigger space—capacity is 81 instead of 15—the restaurant will be open six days a week, in contrast to its current three. It will serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as Sunday brunch. The menu will expand, giving select specials a permanent home. There will be more bowls (salmon, shrimp, Halal), and, of course, favorites like the lamb burger and pastrami-topped “Patti LaBelle” patty melt. Bodega-style sandwiches will be available for breakfast. There will be craft soda, bottled beer and wine, and a small grocery area with staples like eggs and milk, as well as grab-and-go items like chicken salad. Events like Singo (singing BINGO) and Wednesday night fish and spaghetti will continue.

Who Wants Beef Son sandwich

Courtesy of Che Butter Jonez

“It’s a great opportunity to bring what we have on Cleveland Avenue to our customers on the Northside,” Fox-Quinlan says. “It’s like the barber shop but with food. It’s a place people come and decompress and talk to strangers they’d never have a reason to have discussions with otherwise.”

“We’re not in the restaurant business; we’re in the people business,” she adds. “Food is such a connector of people.”

She and Rhasaan are also working on a more upscale restaurant and bar called Butter + Scotch, slated to open in a hotel on Mitchell Street in the fourth quarter of the year.