Nick Leahy dishes on closing Nick’s Westside, turning his attention to Vice Kitchen butcher

The former Aix chef launches his new venture on January 20

Vice Kitchen

If the name Nick Leahy sounds familiar, it’s because he’s done it all. He ran Saltyard, the Brookwood small plate restaurant for many years in the 2010s, opened the now-defunct American pub the Usual in Brookwood, and launched fine dining French spot Aix and accompanying wine bar Tin Tin pre-Covid. In 2020, he transformed Aix and Tin Tin into a more casual restaurant called Nick’s Westside. Last week, Leahy shuttered Nick’s, choosing instead to spend more time with his family and turn his attention to other opportunities—namely, a butcher and retail spot in Johns Creek. Called Vice Kitchen, it is slated to open January 20 on Medlock Bridge Road.

We spoke to Leahy to learn more.

Chef Nick Leahy

Why did you close Nick’s Westside?
I live far away from it. It was a lot of work and up and down in sales. We’d have good months, bad months, a good week, a bad week. I felt like it was time for me to reprioritize, be more present for my family, and work on some new opportunities.

How’d Vice come about?
A couple guys I’ve known since high school were talking about the concept. It’s a great opportunity in a great area—something that’s missing in that market. I designed the menu and offerings. We’ll be working with local farms and specialty imports, like I did at Nick’s.

What is the concept?
It’s a butcher shop and retail market. We’ll have a butcher counter with a meat—and marinated meats like chimichurri rubbed chicken to make things easier for people cooking at home. We’ll have a lot of seafood, prepared foods, sauces, and rubs. We’re partnering with local and regional companies who fit the ethos we’re going for, companies like Yom, Sweet Grass Dairy, and Beautiful Briny Sea. We’re making take-home meals like meatballs, lasagna, stuffed cabbage, and vegetable sides in two sizes: feeding two and four. We’ll sell fresh produce too.

We’re an official retailer for Gather Grills and Big Green Eggs and their accessories too.

Where did the name come from?
We sell all the vices: meat, wine and beer, chocolate, ice cream, and cheese.

What kind of beer and wine will you sell?
We’ll going for a unique and interesting wine list organized by suggested protein pairing rather than by varietal. The beer will emphasize local and regional. We’ll be able to pour tastes and hold complimentary wine tastings and cooking demos to introduce our guests to whatever we’re excited about. We’ll also sell kombucha and [other] non-alcoholic drinks. 

A rendering of Vice Kitchen

What will Vice look like?
It’s about 2,000 square feet with light wood and brass touches. We wanted it to feel warmer than a lot of the butcher shops—not so masculine so it has a broader appeal. It’ll have butcher cases, dry retail, and a refrigerated section. We’ll offer complimentary coffee when you come in.

Where are the other locations you have planned?
We’re offering free delivery (same day or next day depending on when you order) with no minimum purchase within a 10-mile radius. The idea is to spread the footprint around to cover more area. We’re looking for locations now: Westside, northern suburbs, Chamblee or Brookhaven.

How does your new consulting company Harvest Hospitality fit in?
I was doing it anyway. I just made it official and more public. It’s nice to go into different places or concepts and each day have different challenges