Bone Lick Southern Kitchen closes in Old Fourth Ward

Smoke 'Em If Ya Got 'Em- 48 hour marinated wings, slow smoked, double dipped or naked from Bone Lick BBQ.
Smoke 'Em If Ya Got 'Em- 48 hour marinated wings, slow smoked, double dipped or naked from Bone Lick BBQ.

Credit: Becky Stein

Credit: Becky Stein

The Music Room, SPKEZ also shutter

Popular Old Fourth Ward barbecue restaurant Bone Lick Southern Kitchen has closed, the latest food and beverage casualty of the coronavirus pandemic.

Along with the restaurant, which was located at 327 Edgewood Ave., its adjacent sister concepts, music venue the Music Room and cocktail bar Edgewood SPKEZ, are also permanently closed.

A Sept. 11? announcement on the Music Room’s Facebook page addressed the closures:

The venue that comprised Edgewood SPKEZ, Bone Lick Southern Kitchen and The Music Room will live on in Atlanta folklore. But today it is already a thing of the past. And because of that we must celebrate. We must move forward with our heads held high because what we accomplished together was incredible. It was inspiring. It was about love and unity. It was about community and about fellowship. It was a place where we could all get down together as one. AS ONE. That’s right. It’s undeniable and we will never forget what it was like cos it has been burned into our souls….This might be the end for us at this location but we are not done. We will be back. Until then please look out for each other. Please continue to support local businesses. They need you. They NEED your help 'cos we won’t be the only ones to experience this demise right now. We want to thank everyone who was part of our team at the venue. You were our family and part of the heart and soul of the place and we could not have done what we did without you. We want to thank all of the amazing talents that worked so closely with us to help provide the ongoing experiences that we created together. Keep doing what you are doing. Good luck to all of you. We are down but we are definitely not out. Until we meet again. MR327 Forever.

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Co-owner Mike LeSage, who also served as Bone Lick’s pitmaster, helped open the restaurant in 2015 in the former home of Vesuvius Pizzeria. The 1,800-square-foot, shotgun-style spot featured an open kitchen, retro booths, and a wraparound bar.

Bone Lick was originally located in West Midtown. It opened in 2012 and closed in 2016, replaced by Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours.

After the pandemic caused Bone Lick to close in mid-March, LeSage pivoted to offering pop-up SOS Pop Up Kitchen out of the Bone Lick space, with meals including miso-brined fried chicken with side options like garlic-chili edamame and Japanese onion soup and paired cocktails Gin Dragon and Sakecillin.

Photo credit: Bone Lick BBQ
Photo credit: Bone Lick BBQ

Credit: Carolyn Desalu

Credit: Carolyn Desalu

LeSage discussed his approach to barbecue in a 2019 interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“I tend to play around with what I find (from) the best of them, and create something that is unique to the Southern food scene. Food should always be evolving … for the flavor of good meat, do your best to enhance it, highlight it, showcase it, but don’t cover it up.”

Former AJC food writer Jon Watson gave Bone Lick’s West Midtown location a three-star review in 2012.

“Overall, Bone Lick BBQ executes the foundations of barbecue extremely well, while injecting some fun and innovation into an otherwise tradition-steeped cuisine," he wrote. "If you want to expand your barbecue horizons, this West Midtown smokehouse is worth a trip.”

Bone Lick and its sister concepts are the latest food and beverage concept casualty due to the coronavirus economic impact. Other recent closures include Amsterdam Cafe in Midtown, Hazel Jane’s on the Eastside Beltline, Bogartz Food Artz in Sandy Springs and the Virginia-Highland location of Yeah Burger.

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