At a media preview for the forthcoming Krog Street Market Tuesday afternoon, Kevin Ouzts of the Spotted Trotter announced it will be the location of his first restaurant, The Cockentrice. In addition to a charcuterie and cheese shop, the restaurant will feature an open kitchen with a full bar, a handmade grill, a butcher area enclosed in glass, and live-feed cameras showing the butchering process at the Spotted Trotter in Kirkland.
Located along the Beltline off Krog Street near Rathbun’s, the $70 million, nine-acre project will have more than 30,000 square feet of retail in a single-story warehouse. KSM has plans for a mix of restaurants and markets totaling thirty in number. Lily Heimburger, vice president of SRS Real Estate Partners, says that the greatest challenge was finding the perfect mix.
“We didn’t want anyone to overlap with the other,” Heimburger said. “And we lost vendors when we told them that they couldn’t serve a certain item.”
Those in attendance enjoyed snacks from vendors already on board with KSM, including Gu’s Bistro, Grand Champion Barbecue, The Spotted Trotter, and Pannus Bakery. Ford Fry and Kevin Maxey (Superica), Eli Kirshtein (The Luminary), the General Muir’s Ben Johnson (Fred’s Meat & Bread), and the Little Tart Bakeshop have also leased spaces.
George Banks, Paces Properties’ vice president and project leader, noted that KSM has been his most rewarding project. He also acknowledged that there was initial pushback when KSM announced plans for rental apartments. Banks says that the sentiment has since changed and that some Inman Park residents who considered moving out of the neighborhood have now chosen to stay because of KSM. The apartments are projected to cost $1000 for a 600 sq. ft. apartment.
Not too far away down the Beltline sits Ponce City Market, one of the largest revitalization projects this city has ever seen. Banks isn’t concerned, though, that the two will clash with each other.
“I think we’re doing our thing, and they’re doing their thing,” he said. “We’re not worried about each other.”
Heimburger added, “We’ve told vendors that they could probably open in both markets and do well. I think it’s wonderful that there’s room for both of us in this city.”
Based on the plans announced, I wondered why a wine and beer retailer had yet to fill a space. A source, though, acknowledged that developers are in talks with a local vendor.
As for Ouzts’ first restaurant, he says that it’s been in the works for about three years. With plans to offer classes and tastings, Ouzts says that the restaurant’s primary function will be to let customers taste as much food as possible. He’s already hired a certified cheesemonger who plans on featuring cheeses primarily from the Southeast. The challenge will be serving items different from that of local restaurants who use Spotted Trotter’s products, he says.
Ouzts had originally considered opening in Ponce City Market, but when KSM developers approached him, he knew he had to serve his clientele base and invest in his own neighborhood.
“When you look at what brought success to people like Anne Quatrano and Linton Hopkins and those who build in their neighborhood—if something happens and I need to get to the restaurant, it’s easier to do and to maintain quality.”