Restaurateur Justin Anthony, who brought South African cuisine to Atlanta with 10 Degrees South and Yebo , and will soon debut Biltong Bar at Ponce City Market , now has a fourth restaurant in the works.
Anthony recently signed a lease on the Cheshire Bridge Road space that was the longtime home to Woodfire Grill, which closed in May. Dubbed Cape Dutch, the new restaurant will feature grilled seafood and steaks, and should open sometime in the fall, if all goes according to plan.
During a phone call yesterday afternoon, Anthony said the name and inspiration for the concept came during a visit to the Cape Town home of winemaker Ken Forrester , famed for his South African Chenin Blanc.
“It’s an old Cape Dutch-style home and it was just a beautiful setting with a lot of friends around, and we were grilling these big steaks with vegetables and salads and wonderful wines,” Anthony said. “That’s where the creative idea came from.
“What we’re envisioning is a global menu tapping in from wine producing countries from around the world and focusing on great grilled steak and seafood. My other restaurants are more South African-centric. This will have a South African influence but it will definitely be more global, down to the wine list.”
Asked about his decision to acquire the Woodfire Grill space, Anthony said, “I was always a fan of the restaurant and the space, and dined there for years. When it became available, my wife was the one who said I needed to go look at it.
“I’d already signed on to do Ponce City Market, so I wasn’t really looking to do another restaurant. But when I walked into the space, I just fell in love with it all over again, and the vision just came to me immediately.”
The plan is to completely redo the interior, Anthony said. “Structurally, there’s only so much you can do. It’s an old house, built in early 1920s, I think. But interior-wise, it will be a completely new space. People probably won’t recognize the old space. We’re just really excited. We think it’s a great location, because we can pull from Buckhead, Morningside, Ansley, Virgina-Highland and Midtown.”
As to Biltong Bar, set to open this fall, it will offer all manner of South African-style jerky, savory hand pies, cheese and charcuterie, along with South African wines and cocktails.
“It’s going to be a small concept, but it’s one of first concepts of its kind in America,” Anthony said. “We were the first to open a South African restaurant in America, back 17 years ago with 10 Degrees South. So for us to introduce a new South African concept at Ponce City Market, surrounded by all these great James Beard Award-winning chefs, is very exciting, indeed.”