Business partners Matt Christison, Miles Macquarrie, Bryan Rackley and Jesse Smith have signed a lease to assume the space formerly occupied by Eli Kirshtein’s The Luminary with plans to open a seafood-centric restaurant and bar. The to-be-named concept is anticipated to open in the late spring or early summer of 2018.
As at Kimball House, which has developed a reputation for its raw bar since opening four years ago, food at the new venture will focus on sustainable Southern seafood in raw and prepared fish and seafood dishes.
“The sustainable part – and staying true to Southern sustainable – is very key. We feel it’s important to support the sustainable industry down here.” said Macquarrie. Diners should not expect mussels or lobster “because you can’t get that down here. Clams, crab, oyster, grouper – you can get that.”
As for beverages, cocktailians can anticipate the same quality of mixed drinks found at Kimball House, but conceived to pair with the food.
“(At) Kimball House, we try to keep things very elegant and classically structured still using fun ingredients. A ton won’t change there. We’ll have things that match the cuisine,” said Macquarrie, who doubles as beverage director. “We certainly won’t be a tiki bar. We don’t do a lot with tequila at Kimball House. You’ll see that – and a good bit of rum. Technique is a huge importance. That will carry over. I would not expect to see batched cocktails. We won’t crank drinks. There will be tropical things because I think that makes sense with that type of food.”
The space at Krog Street sits adjacent to Ticonderoga Club, another destination on the Atlanta cocktail circuit. Macquarrie does not see the proximity of the two concepts as competing for the same dine and drink dollars.
“We actually talked to them quite a bit before we signed a lease there,” Macquarrie said. “We feel that between the two places, we can create really good energy. People can go back and forth. I think we’ll see a lot of the same people in our space. More than competition, I think we can help create draw for one another for being so close.”
Besides the draw of opening a restaurant and swilling hole next door to colleagues, Macquarrie cited other factors that contributed to the group’s decision, including Krog Street Market’s “central location” and the existing raw bar from The Luminary days.
While The Luminary's raw bar will remain, the rest of the space will see changes. Among design plans, the space will take on darker tones and windows will be replaced. “We are building out the windows so it is not so open to the market. We want to be part of the market but to feel like it’s our restaurant as well,” Macquarrie said.
Macquarrie expects the name for the concept to be divulged in a week or so. “We aren’t ready to divulge it just yet. We have one that we think makes sense and we’re happy with, but it’s like naming your child – once it’s out there, you can’t go back.”