Atlanta chef hopes to breathe new life into site of Ludacris' old restaurant with Simon's


UPDATE, 8/23/17: Allysa Storms has replaced Marvin Woods as executive chef at Simon's. Read more about the opening of the restaurant, and the new chef, here.

A well-known Atlanta restaurant space with a hip-hop pedigree is getting a makeover with a new concept, look and menu.

Chef Marvin Woods, who owned and operated the now-shuttered Asante in downtown Atlanta , is set to open Simon's this spring at 793 Juniper St., the former home of Ludacis' Straits restaurant, which then became Time Restaurant & Lounge ( Luda went on to open Chicken + Beer at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport ).

Woods will serve as executive chef and operating partner along with owner Simon Guobadia, the restaurant's namesake, who operated Time and the popular Buckhead Bottle Bar, which closed in 2014.

Simon's menu will be "global cuisine" with "influence from all over," according to Woods, with a focus on small, sharable plates. The restaurant will also feature a raw bar that will rotating East and West Coast oysters, as well as a variety of shellfish cocktails.

The menu will also offer rolls "in the vein of sushi, but not quite sushi" made with Carolina gold rice and cooked ingredients. A full bar will offer craft cocktails, beers and wines with a focus on rums.

The vibe at Simon's boils down to one word: neighborhood. Woods said he hopes to create a "Cheers-like" atmosphere that will appeal to residents of the neighborhood.

"It's influencing how I'm building the menu," Woods said. "Everything's going to be affordable. The service is going to be good but not pretentious. Give me good food, give me good drinks, but make it affordable and fun. That's the idea throughout."

Woods -- who struggled with parking issues at Asante -- said a large  lot across the street from Simon's should provide ample parking for customers and provide an opportunity for valet parking.

Projects he previously discussed -- including opening the Southern-inspired Aunt Tiny's and reopening Asante -- are on hold as he focuses on Simon's and some out-of-state projects.

In addition to his restaurants, Woods has made a name for himself as the chef who helped spearhead Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign , as host of the Turner South program “Home Plate” and for his cookbooks.

 

MORE:

Black chefs in Atlanta see a gap between dream and reality

Celebrity chef in the house

 

Click here to read about dining in Atlanta around the clock

Read more stories like this by liking Atlanta Restaurant Scene on Facebook, following @ATLDiningNews on Twitter.


Reader Comments


Next Up in Atlanta Restaurant Scene

Puff pastry caps creamy mushroom soup
Puff pastry caps creamy mushroom soup

From the menu of … Chicago’s Steak and Seafood, 4401 Shallowford Road, Roswell; 770-993-7464. chicagosrestaurant.com My husband and I love the mushroom soup at Chicago’s on Shallowford. We would really like to make it at home for company because it’s so unique and delicious with the puff pastry top. We would be very grateful...
Atlanta chefs’ international holiday recipes
Atlanta chefs’ international holiday recipes

The traditional American Christmas dinner calls for a table laden with turkey or ham and all the trimmings, from stuffing, potatoes and gravy to casseroles and cranberry sauce. But American immigrants have always introduced international flavors into the mix, brightening the holidays with dishes from around the world. To celebrate this year, we asked...
Take a load off at some Atlanta's best hotel bars 
Take a load off at some Atlanta's best hotel bars 

There's something special, something iconic, something romantic about hotel bars. Perhaps it's the feeling of exclusivity or maybe it's being treated like a guest − whether you’ve reserved a room or not. Maybe it's the allure of people from all over the country (and perhaps world) coming together inside the city’s finest inns to toast...
Jingle Ball at Krog Street Market, photos with Santa and more in metro Atlanta this week
Jingle Ball at Krog Street Market, photos with Santa and more in metro Atlanta this week

Families can enjoy everything from free cookie decorating to photos with Santa this week. Put on your ugliest Christmas sweater and win a prize. There are several fun, food events happening in metro Atlanta, so add one or all four of the following activities to your calendar. Be prepared to eat, drink and be merry.    Now through Dec. 16...
Try something new with an Australian specialty from this Atlanta eatery
Try something new with an Australian specialty from this Atlanta eatery

What the whitetail deer is to the American South, the kangaroo is to Australia. Despite the fact that they’re both relatively large animals that appear exotic from afar, they’re very common in their native regions. In some areas, they’ve become so common that they’re almost considered pests. Local government often encourages...
More Stories