James Beard Award-winning chef Marcus Samuelsson is someone who makes his name known. He competed on Top Chef, Chopped, and Iron Chef; partnered with restaurateur/chef Jonathan Waxman on a cookbook, and opened restaurants across the country. Red Rooster Harlem, Marcus B&P, and Hav & Mar are all brainchildren of him. Come March 17, he’ll add another restaurant to that list as he brings his craft south. Marcus Bar & Grille will replace Adele’s in Old Fourth Ward at 525 Edgewood Avenue Southeast. Designed to be lively and welcoming, it will celebrate comfort food and soul food while incorporating touches of seafood from Samuelsson’s background.
“I’ve been thinking about Atlanta for a long time,” he says. “I like to create restaurants and jobs in historically African American communities. This is just perfect for us.”
The long, boxy restaurant features a bar that runs nearly the length of the building. At the back is an open kitchen with a hearth for open-fire cooking. A dining counter looks in the kitchen. Expect a retro roller skate-embellished wall, brick, and vintage records. The scene is social with wide windows overlooking a front patio and tables around the dining room situated in a way that allows mingling.
“I’ve been inspired by the music scene, entertainment, and the culture of roller skating in Atlanta. It’s fun and social,” Samuelsson explains. “We’ll display artwork inspired by African American artists and have partnerships with local galleries to hang their art in our restaurant. I want to create an elevated but comfortable experience.”
With executive chef Hannah Young at the helm, the menu features an assortment of dishes designed to offer something for everyone—whether you’re stopping by for a drink and snack or interested in a multi-course meal. Most of the food is communal. Signature items include everything wings, Old Bay crab cakes, shrimp and grits, and brisket and fries. There will be oysters, fried chicken with cornbread waffles, wood-grilled ribeye, shrimp ceviche, jambalaya (called “seafood Piccadilly”), and more.
“It’s fun, festive, delicious dining inspired by Red Rooster,” Samuelsson says. “A lot of these things we’ve cooked there, but we want to focus on the bar more and use the grill more here.”
General manager Isaiah Kelsey is leading the beverage program, creating a concise list of cocktails utilizing different spirits—primarily bourbon. Try the Old Fourth Hooch made with blackberry moonshine, Sheba Tej honey wine, and lemon juice, or the Ole Unc’ with Uncle Nearest 1884, spiced brown simple syrup and orange bitters. The wine list will highlight African American winemakers, while beers will steer local.
The restaurant will open for dinner initially, with brunch and lunch to follow. Limited reservations and walk-ins will be available on March 17 and 18 before the restaurant officially welcomes the public March 21.
Tap to view the full menu below.