After losing her restaurant to a fire, entrepreneur Shema Fulton joined forces with R&B singer K. Michelle to form Puff & Petals in Atlanta's West End. Video by Ryon Horne and Rodney Ho

K. Michelle opens pop-up restaurant  Puff Meets Pearl with Shema Fulton at Garden Parc

Originally posted Tuesday, January 28, 2020 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Two popular Atlanta restaurants are joining forces after a nasty fire burned one of them down. 

R&B singer and former “Love and Hip Hop Atlanta” star K. Michelle has been running Puff & Petals on Edgewood for three years while veteran restaurateur Shema Fulton has run Pearl Restaurant and Lounge for 14 years. 

But last September, Pearl went up in flames after a fire spread into her location from a neighboring tapas restaurant. 

“Pearl was such a staple in the community,” K. Michelle said at a recent interview at the AJC. 

“It was like losing a child,” Fulton added. “I walked in and you didn’t even know where you were. Everything was just scorched.”

Fulton, who consulted with K. Michelle on Puff & Petals, said she decided it was better to relocate than rebuild. 

12/17/2019 -- Atlanta -- "Love and Hip Hop" alum K. Michelle (right) and Shema Fulton talk about their new restaurant Puff & Petals Lounge. The pop up eatery is located in West End Atlanta.. Ryon Horne/RHORNE@AJC.COM
Photo: Ryon Horne/rhorne@ajc.com

At the same time, this gave them an opportunity to work together on a restaurant that would combine the best of both.

First, they closed Puff & Petals, which she said had outgrown its location.  “It’s only 1,200 square feet, no waiting area, limited parking. We’ve been struggling for a long time and decided to move on,” Fulton said.

They have been fishing for a new permanent restaurant space in the next 90 days, hopefully in West Midtown, which is unfortunately pricey. (A new name forthcoming.)

In the interim, Fulton owns Garden Parc at 792 Cascade Ave., a relatively new event space with 5,000 square feet. So earlier this month, they debuted a pop-up restaurant called Puff Meets Pearl on Saturdays. 

“We’re taking the top menu items from Pearl, top menu items from Puff and putting them together,” Fulton said. “We’re going to have a great experience. It’s like a party every Saturday.”

“I’m excited that two women can come together and do something creative,” said K Michelle.

Fulton: “This pop up will give us the game plan, the road map for what to do next.”

12/17/2019 -- Atlanta -- Inside musician and "Love and Hip Hop" alum K. Michelle's and Shema Fulton's new restaurant Puff & Petals Lounge. The pop up eatery is located in West End Atlanta.. Ryon Horne/RHORNE@AJC.COM
Photo: Ryon Horne/rhorne@ajc.com

K MIchelle said her drinks are what makes her place special: “The drinks are over the top. Her favorite is called “K’s Bath Water.”

It’s in a bathtub-shaped cup with vodka and mixes and appears foamy blue. “It has a Hawaiian Punch kind of feeling to it and it’s very strong,” she said. (The video above shows a bartender creating it.)

Fulton said the pop-up menu includes Puff’s lamb chops and Pearl’s crab legs and kale with smoked turkey. ”The kale you would not know is healthy,” K MIchelle said. “It tastes amazing.” 

K Michelle tours but will try to be at the pop up on Saturdays as much as possible. Fulton will be there every Saturday when it’s open noon to midnight. 

12/17/2019 -- Atlanta -- Inside musician and "Love and Hip Hop" alum K. Michelle's and Shema Fulton's new restaurant Puff & Petals Lounge. The pop up eatery is located in West End Atlanta.. Ryon Horne/RHORNE@AJC.COM
Photo: Ryon Horne/rhorne@ajc.com

K Michelle has a fifth album coming out called “All Monsters are Human” on January 31. “Nobody is perfect. I’m a villain to someone. I’m an angel to others,” she said. “We all have our own flaws people see. We hurt people and have been hurt. That’s what the album is about.” 

The first single “The Rain” is already top 10 on the urban AC charts. It’s a sequel of sorts to New Edition’s “Can You Stand the Rain,” one of her favorite songs she used to cover in concerts and features a sample for the original tune. 

She got to perform her new song before the writers of the original Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. “That was an honor,” she said. Plus, Johnny Gill of New Edition hit her up and gave his compliments. 

Her next album she plans will be country. She is thrilled that fellow Atlantan Lil Nas X got a break but she is aware no black female has ever broken it big in that genre though Mickey Guyton has been trying for years.  “It’s a difficult thing, a battle I’m about to face,” she said. 

IF YOU GO

Puff Meets Pearl at Garden Parc, 792 Cascade Ave., Atlanta, noon to midnight Saturdays

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About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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