Marietta Melt Yard bringing melts and a retro van-turned-bar to Cobb County

Credit: Marietta Melt Yard

Credit: Marietta Melt Yard

After years of running someone else’s restaurant, Marietta native Matt DeBusschere is finally ready to launch his own concept in the community where he grew up.

DeBusschere and his business partners plan to open Marietta Melt Yard this summer at 800 Whitlock Ave. The space was formerly home to restaurateur Marc Taft’s Chicken and the Egg, which closed in 2019.

“I’m so excited to be back in the city I grew up in with the ability to, literally, serve my neighbor,” he said.

It took a few years for DeBusschere to find his career path, but once he did, he never looked back.

The self-described “former bad boy” dropped out of college and joined a few bands before taking a job 14 years ago at Sun In My Belly in Kirkwood.

Credit: Marietta Melt Yard.

Credit: Marietta Melt Yard.

It wasn’t long before he realized that he had more passion for the hospitality industry than music, and threw himself into his restaurant employment. He’s worked in various positions at Sun in My Belly, including as general manager for the past six years.

DeBusschere said his focus at Marietta Melt Yard will be on “creating a really great atmosphere. That is first and foremost what we’re going to do here.”

Patrons can expect dishes inspired by street food and food truck fare, including a variety of melts, tacos, wings, and fried pickles.

“I’m not a chef myself, but I know enough about what people are into and what’s popular or what’s easy to pull off and what makes no sense,” he said.

The restaurant’s full bar will include frosés and whiskey and coke slushies.

Credit: Marietta Melt Yard

Credit: Marietta Melt Yard

Elements that will create a “casual, not pretentious” vibe include a 1968 van turned into a bar in the back of the restaurant and a “happy, up-tempo” 40-hour playlist spanning all musical genres.

The 7,000-square-foot space, which will seat 200 people, will have sliding glass garage doors to create an indoor/outdoor feel in lieu of a formal patio. Playing further into the yard theme, DeBusschere plans to line the walls with turf and install cafe lights. There will also be TVs above the bar and via a projector on a large wall space.

When planning his concept, DeBusschere said he was inspired by established Atlanta restaurants like Victory Sandwich Bar and Ladybird Grove and Mess Hall and other “fun, lively, high-volume spots.”

DeBusschere, a father of four young children, envisions the space being family and dog-friendly.

Tied to his desire to give back, part of Marietta Melt Yard’s business plan is to support arts programs and disadvantaged youth in the Marietta school system.

“I want to actively find these needs and help fulfill them,” he said. “Just like in any neighborhood, the relationship is a two-way street. I can’t expect people to come and eat and that’s it. I want more than that.”

Marietta Melt Yard will be open from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays and 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays.

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