Chef Smokeys opens tomorrow in Austell for birria pizza, tacos

The birria taco plate from Chef Smokey ATL / Courtesy of Chef Smokey ATL

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The birria taco plate from Chef Smokey ATL / Courtesy of Chef Smokey ATL

Chef Smokey ATL, which started last year as a pandemic pop-up slinging birria tacos in an Austell parking lot is about to make its brick-and-mortar debut.

Chef Smokey’s will open March 2 at 2805 Veteran Memorial Hwy in Austell in a space previously occupied by Isabella’s Pizza and Wings.

The restaurant will be a collaboration between Mauro Cruz, aka Chef Smokey, and Carlos Bickers, the former owner of Isabella’s.

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The menu will offer a variety of dishes highlighting birria, a traditional Mexican stew, including birria tacos, fries, burgers, nachos, quesadillas and pizza, as well as a selection of wings and other pizzas and burgers.

A full bar will offer beer, wine and liquor, and Cruz said he and Bickers hope to be “home of the margaritas.”

The space, which Cruz describes as “an older brick buidling with old-fashioned fans,” didn’t require much remodeling from its Isabella’s days. One notable addition is the clear plastic dividers between tables to decrease the spread of coronavirus for those who choose to dine inside. Masks are required for staff and customers.

The restaurant, which will provide seating for about 80 with two outdoor tables, also features a walk-up window for to-go orders.

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Cruz, who said he will suspend the Chef Smokey pop-up to focus on the restaurant, will continue to provide catering for special events. In the near future, he said Chef Smokey’s will begin offering lunch and weekly specials.

Chef Smokey’s opening hours, which Cruz said will likely change, are 4-10 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays, 4 p.m.-midnight Fridays-Saturdays and noon-4 p.m. Sundays.

2805 Veterans Memorial Hwy, Austell.

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