DAS BBQ opening a second location in Grant Park

A popular West Midtown barbecue restaurant is expanding later this year with a second location in Grant Park.

DAS BBQ is slated to open at 350 Memorial Drive this fall, Eater Atlanta first reported. The space was previously home to the Harp restaurant, which closed earlier this summer after a rent dispute, What Now Atlanta reported.

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Owner and pitmaster Stephen Franklin said expanding onto the East side of Atlanta was always the goal when he opened the first DAS BBQ location at 1203 Collier Road NW at the end of 2016 after a career in insurance and brand-building.

“When we first drew the map for what we were hoping to do 5 years ago, we knew we wanted to have another permanent location on the Eastside,” Franklin told the AJC. “We drew a triangle between East Atlanta Village, Grant Park and then over where Ponce City Market would be. We didn’t know when it would happen, but that was the plan.”

Franklin, a native of Decatur, said that while he loves living and working in West Midtown, “my heart still pumps for the Eastside.”

The Grant Park eatery’s menu will be identical to the original’s, with a variety of meats including pulled pork, sausage and ribs as well as vegetarian sides such as mac and cheese, creamed corn and collard greens. Franklin said there’s the possibility of offering a few new items in the future, including an Impossible bratwurst and beer cheese that have been popular at DAS BBQ’s pop-up at Monday Night Garage in West End.

The Memorial Drive eatery will feature an expanded smokehouse and a full bar, as well as seating for about 50 inside and 75 outside on a covered patio and on the side of the building.

Franklin is also planning on a 10-seat “smokebar,” where customers will be able to interact and do workshops with pitmasters.

“We want everything to be collaborative and interactive,” he said. “We want to teach people as much as we want to sell them barbecue.”

As for the restaurant’s proximity to Daddy D’z, a longtime Grant Park barbecue restaurant, Franklin said there’s more than enough barbecue love to go around.

“They’re one of our heroes,” he said of Daddy D’z. “When we were planning the first location, they were one of the only barbecue places in the city with more than a decade under their belts. With barbecue, there’s not the same type of competition. There’s more of a collaborative spirit.”

So what’s next for DAS BBQ? Down the road, he sees a commissary kitchen in between the two restaurants that will enable him to take on large-scale orders regularly. In the meantime, he’s proud that he’s been able to keep all of his employees on the payroll with the take-out and delivery business from the Collier Road location, as well as the recent reopening of dine-in and patio service and working to provide meals to local non-profits and first responders.

“The harder we worked, the luckier we got,” he said.

When it opens, the Grant Park DAS BBQ will be open from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily.

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