Photography by Evan Mah
Food hallway might be a more exact term. Quynh Trinh, the owner of We Suki Suki, is taking over the narrow Urban Cannibals lot next door and teaming up with seven (seven!) vendors to serve global eats like tamales, pasta, gluten-free cakes, and pho. Trinh, who goes by “Q,” expects to open either this Friday or the Monday after.
“This has been the plan all along,” she says to me, pointing to a sign above her front door that reads Buford HWY EAV. “This is going to be Krog Street Market with a Q, and everyone will make things that nobody else is in the village.”
Q says she’s knocking down a wall to connect the two spaces, which will be called “We Suki Suki: A global grub collective.” The project will house various vendors who’ve mostly been serving at farmers markets in the last year or so. On Q’s side, you’ll find banh mi during the day and street tacos under the name Chop Chop Next every Friday and Saturday from 11 p.m. until 4 a.m. In the new space: Q’s pho (the bar for which will be called Pho Ma); a bubble tea bar called Boborama; Tatsky’s frozen blended fruits; bagels and biscuits from Flora & Flour; custom wedding cakes and other baked treats from the Cake Hag; paninis, pastas, soups, and salads at Poco Pomodoro; and tamales, enchiladas, and tortas ahogadas at a place duly named “Mexican Restaurant.” Three picnic tables and a few tables will seat approximately 25.
The project came together quickly. When Q saw that her neighbors had plans to expand across Midtown, she asked about taking over their space. Within two weeks, they had a deal finalized and by July 6, Q had the keys to the front door. Q stresses that this project is a team effort. “We’re all partners. We’re not subleasing. We work under one umbrella, and when we go to the market, we’ll consolidate all of our buying power so that it’s better pricing [for ingredients] for everyone.”
Q, who has served the best barbecue pork banh mi in Atlanta since opening in 2012, has steadily been turning her sliver of a restaurant into an efficient incubator of pop-ups and start-ups. For the last six months, the restaurant, which is as narrow as an aisle in a grocery store, has served street tacos under the name Chop Chop Next on weekends, and early in the morning before Q opens for lunch, Tyler Charoen of Tatsky’s arrives to prepare products for both We Suki Suki and for his posts at area farmers markets. Two other concepts—fresh chicken and beef stock from the Atlanta Stock Market and Pyro Pop’s spicy, gourmet popcorn—have also been using Q’s space to develop their brand and following. “This is suppose to be a start-up point for everyone,” she says. “I’ve wanted to do this my whole life—to be a brand-builder and an incubator and to be part of the local food scene.”