Pop-up Gigi’s to take over Gato space in Candler Park

Three nights a week, Gigi’s Italian Kitchen & Restaurant transforms Candler Park’s Gato into a classic Italian-American diner.
Wendell Brock for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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Three nights a week, Gigi’s Italian Kitchen & Restaurant transforms Candler Park’s Gato into a classic Italian-American diner. Wendell Brock for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Longtime Candler Park restaurant Gato is closing next month, with the pop-up its been hosting for almost a year set to take over the space.

Atlanta chefs Eric Brooks and Jacob Armando will go brick-and-mortar with their Gigi’s Italian Kitchen & Restaurant pop-up at 1660 McClendon Ave. NE in early August, a few weeks after Gato’s last day on July 23.

Gigi’s will operate from 5-10 p.m. Fridays-Tuesdays, adding two days to its current three-day rotation. Fu-Mao Sun, who currently offers a weekend breakfast menu at Gato with his Mighty Hans pop-up, will shift to serving dinner either Wednesdays or Thursdays.

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Combined ShapeCaption
Gigi’s Italian Kitchen & Restaurant sometimes riffs on classics — like this shrimp scampi with focaccia and red-veined spinach. Wendell Brock for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Wendell Brock

Gigi’s Italian Kitchen & Restaurant sometimes riffs on classics — like this shrimp scampi with focaccia and red-veined spinach.
Wendell Brock for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Wendell Brock

Combined ShapeCaption
Gigi’s Italian Kitchen & Restaurant sometimes riffs on classics — like this shrimp scampi with focaccia and red-veined spinach. Wendell Brock for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Wendell Brock

Credit: Wendell Brock

Brooks said the Gigi’s menu will remain the same for the foreseeable future, with dishes like carpaccio, caviar and polenta, and fish Milanese and a tight selection of cocktails, wines and amaros.

Patterson Brown opened Gato Bizco in 1999 as a breakfast and lunch spot. Nicholas Stinson, who joined Gato Bizco in 2009 as a short-order cook, later took over the restaurant and shortened its name to Gato, often opening up the kitchen to pop-ups including Parnass Savang’s Talat Market, which eventually opened as a brick-and-mortar in Summerhill.

Stinson, who is moving to New Mexico, told Brooks that the “cosmos were aligned” with the timing of his departure and Brooks and Armando ready to turn Gigi’s into a full-time gig.

The Gato space is “perfect for what we’re trying to do,” Brooks said. “Everything in Atlanta right now feels like it’s so new and so cookie-cutter. This is one of the last places that still feels like old Atlanta.”

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