Nick Leahy closes Atlanta restaurant, poised to open Johns Creek butcher shop

Replacement for Nick’s Westside to be announced soon
The exterior of Vice Kitchen, a butcher and retail shop in Johns Creek. / Courtesy of Vice Kitchen

Credit: Courtesy of Vice Kitchen

Credit: Courtesy of Vice Kitchen

The exterior of Vice Kitchen, a butcher and retail shop in Johns Creek. / Courtesy of Vice Kitchen

Chef Nick Leahy has closed his neighborhood eatery Nick’s Westside after just over three years in the west Midtown neighborhood.

In an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Leahy said that while the closure is bittersweet, it was time for the concept to come to an end.

”It was so up and down,” he said. “We’d have a good week followed by a bad week or a good month followed by a bad month.”

Pasta of the Day from Nick's Westside. / Courtesy of Premier Agency

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A new dining concept from another owner will take over the space, with more details to be released in the coming days.

Leahy first opened French restaurant Aix and adjoining wine bar Tin Tin in the space at 956 Brady Ave. NW in 2018. He closed the businesses in 2020 before opening Nick’s Westside in the same building that year, with a menu of small plates, bowls and Southern dishes made with locally-sourced and sustainable ingredients.

The closure of Nick’s marks the first time in more than a decade that Leahy hasn’t been affiliated with an Atlanta restaurant; he previously owned and operated the now-shuttered Saltyard in Brookwood Hills and also served as the culinary director for Dash Hospitality Concepts, which operates several Dunwoody eateries.

Leahy said closing Nick’s will also allow him to spend more time with his family, as well as pursue other opportunities in the food and beverage industry.

One of those opportunities includes the opening in the next few weeks of Vice Kitchen, a butcher and retail shop located at 6000 Medlock Bridge Parkway in Johns Creek. The first of four planned locations, Vice Kitchen is set to open by the end of January.

Leahy has four other partners in the venture. His high school friends Jorge Bazan, an architect and builder for Flux Architecture, and Daniel Barbalho, who works for Atlanta-based global meat importer Han Feng; former Atlanta resident Bart Sasso, who has worked with several other Atlanta restaurants including Ticonderoga Club, will handle Vice’s branding and marketing; Jian Geng, the owner of Han Feng and North Georgia Meats; and Clay Darden, who will serve as general manager and previously worked with Leahy at restaurants including Aix and Saltyard.

A rendering of Vice Kitchen in Johns Creek. / Courtesy of Vice Kitchen

Credit: Courtesy of Vice Kitchen

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Credit: Courtesy of Vice Kitchen

The shop will serve a variety of meats from local farms, many of which Leahy worked with as a restaurateur, as well as wagyu steak sourced using Barbalho and Geng’s connections and seafood. Other offerings will include sauces; prepared sides and take home dinners prepared by Leahy like lasagna and pasta with meatballs; products from local makers including salt company Beautiful Briny Sea and Yom ice cream; and wine and beer displayed listed by suggested protein pairing, as well as non-alcoholic beverages.

Vice will also sell products from locally-based Gather Grills and Big Green Egg, and do cooking demos and in-store wine and beer tastings.

Delivery will be offered within a 10-mile radius of the store, with the hope of opening three more locations that will cover delivery for most of the metro Atlanta area.

Leahy said the shop will “allow me to work with a lot of the same ethos and products, and scratch the cooking itch, but also allows me to not work at a restaurant late at night. I still love restaurants, this is just a slightly different format.”

In additon to Vick Kitchen, Leahy has also launched Harvest Hospitality, a restaurant consulting firm that helps businesses with mock health inspections, branding and mission statements and design. Harvest also caters private events and in-home dinners.

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