Team behind Brush Sushi, Momonoki bringing cocktail-focused Lucky Star to Westside

Credit: Star Metals District

Credit: Star Metals District

The team behind popular metro Atlanta restaurants Momonoki, Cafe Momo, Brush Sushi and Cuddlefish plans to open cocktail-focused Lucky Star later this year.

Located in the lobby of the Star Metals Offices building, part of the Star Metals District development on Howell Mill Road, in the booming Westside neighborhood, Lucky Star will offer two concepts in one.

The L-shaped front bar will serve coffee, matcha drinks and draft cocktails throughout the day. Food offerings will include Momo Cafe-style items including filled croissants and mille crepe cakes, as well as Taiwanese fried chicken sandwiches.

Credit: Courtesy of Momo Cafe

Credit: Courtesy of Momo Cafe

“I thought of making them during COVID-19 and didn’t do it,” said Jason Liang, who co-owns Lucky Star with his wife, ChingYao Wang, and business partner John Chen. Liang said he plans to offer two or three Taiwanese-style fried chicken sandwich renditions, including a spicy option.

When patrons walk down a hallway and through an archway, they will find a reservation-only back bar whose cocktail menu was developed by bar consultant and partner Kirk Gibson, who also works at Giving Kitchen and has overseen bars at Brush Sushi, C. Ellett’s and former pop-up Eat Me Speak Me.

Several drinks will ”turn classic dishes into cocktails,” Liang said, including a mapo tofu-inspired drink made with soy milk and a Szechuan peppercorn syrup; a tomatillo-based margarita; and a sweet white corn option.

The pair also hope to offer a cocktail omakase experience, featuring cocktails that “let us play around with flavors that would be good in just a few sips rather than a whole cocktail,” Gibson said. It’s also a way for bartenders to flex their mixology muscles and concoct their own drinks.

Gibson said he’s excited about the opportunity to get back to his own creative roots serving as a bartender at Jarrett Steiber’s former pop-up Eat Me Speak Me while finalizing the cocktail menu for Lucky Star.

“It was so wonderful to be able to do a one-off menu where you got to do all of the things you want to do at a restaurant but couldn’t because of the clientele or because it wasn’t scalable. I’ve been chasing that high ever since. I’d very much like Lucky Star to be fun and experimental in a way where we use ingredients that a lot of people don’t try using in cocktails.”

A small bites menu will also be offered at the front and back bars.

Lucky Star will join several other food and beverage concepts in the 8-acre, $350 million Star Metals District development, including sushi restaurant Hayakawa, Prevail Coffee, Sweetgreen, Savi Provisions, Flight Club and Wagamama. Still to come is a new location of Persian restaurant Delbar and rooftop bar Patina.

In addition to the Star Metals Offices building, the development also includes Stella at Star Metals, which will soon be home to a third location of Fishmonger as well as an unnamed Miami-based restaurant concept; Sentral at Star Metals residential building; and Star Metals Hotel.

Liang and his team are working on opening Brush Sushi in Buckhead and a second location of Cuddlefish in Sandy Springs, adding to Lucky Star, Momonoki and Momo Cafe in Midtown and Cuddlefish in Decatur,

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