Kevin Gillespie is known for his ambitious ventures—at Gunshow, where the chefs present dishes directly to diners to accept and reject, it’s all about sales pitch. He turned the backyard of his quentessential Southern restaurant Revival into a beer garden, then a taco cantina, then a private events space. He took on stadium food (and created his own version of Chick-fil-A’s famous chicken sandwich) at Mercedes-Benz Stadium with Gamechanger, and the soon-to-open Cold Beer will be a bar that is “very unlike a bar,” he says. Now, the chef and restaurateur is tackling on a new challenge: corporate office food.
“My wife is a lawyer and complains that in her building, the food is terrible and soulless,” he says. “As restaurateurs, we forget that for most of the day, our guests are at work.”
To provide a better option for corporate office workers—and anyone else nearby—Gillespie is opening a 200-square-foot, take-out-only venture called Ole Reliable in the Georgia-Pacific Center building Downtown. Opening June 3, Ole Reliable is planned as a pop-up, but if all goes well, Gillespie says he wants to expand it into a larger, sit-down restaurant.
“We recognize life is hard and busy and no one has time for everything. I need to make my hours and style of service work for [my customers],” he says. “All I ever wanted was to change people’s opinions about making really great food and drink in a [space] that didn’t make anyone feel like they weren’t welcome.”
To that regard, Gillespie and Red Beard Restaurants chef de tournant Andreas Muller are focused on creating an approachable breakfast menu of miniature frittatas, Anson Mill grits, house-made granola, coconut- and milk-based yogurts, and Scandinavian open-faced sandwiches (toasts). Docent Coffee is creating a custom blend to power Ole Reliable’s customers, and the lunch menu will include salads “with ingredients you don’t have to be creeped out by” and soup “made with real stuff,” Gillespie says.
“Ole Reliable is not about trying to be weird or different,” he says. “If everything goes to hell in a handbasket [at work], they can count on a nice meal downstairs.”
Ole Reliable will be open Monday to Friday, 6:30-7 a.m. for drinks, 7 a.m.-3 p.m. for food and drinks, and 3-4 p.m. for drinks. Download the menu.