It’s a big year for South African restaurateur Justin Anthony. In addition to opening Biltong Bar in Ponce City Market last week and Cape Dutch in the former Woodfire Grill spot in November, he plans to move Yebo from Phipps Plaza to the old Coast space on West Paces Ferry Road in a few months. The new location will have a more sophisticated vibe as well as an expanded menu, says Anthony, who also owns 10 Degrees South. “The concept has grown up and really proved itself,” he says. “I’m excited to take it to the next level.”
As for the choice of location, Anthony reasons that all of his other restaurants are in old houses. “I’ve always been in love with the space. Some of the greatest chefs cooked there—[Guenter] Seeger, Richard Blais, Tom Catherall,” he says, noting that the larger kitchen and addition of a wine cellar will allow for new dishes and drinks to go with them.
Yebo favorites like bunny chow and shrimp and grits will remain, and new small plates like soft shell crab, orange and thyme-stuffed duck, red wine and rosemary ostrich, and peri peri prawns may be offered. Yebo chef Saul Montezuma will continue to lead the kitchen, working with Cape Dutch executive chef Phillippe Haddad on the menu. There will be a new cocktail list, possibly focused on rum, and 10 to 12 craft beers, from Creature Comforts to Sweetwater.
The space itself will be revamped to give off a beach-y Capetown-meets-Hamptons feel. The 50-seat patio will have lounge seating and umbrellas.
Anthony is not sure exactly when Yebo at Phipps Plaza will close, but he hopes the transition will only take two days at most. “We want to make it as seamless as possible,” he says.