On the heels of the news that the historic Summerhill neighborhood in Atlanta is getting a new coffee shop and brewery comes the announcement that the team behind The General Muir is set to bring barbecue to the area.
Todd Ginsberg, Shelley Sweet and Jennifer and Ben Johnson will open Wood’s Chapel BBQ at 85 Georgia Ave. in late 2018. The four are also partners in Fred’s Meat & Bread, Yalla, The Canteen and TGM Bread, and Sweet and the Johnsons are also partners in West Egg Café.
Named for one of the first churches to serve the Summerhill community immediately following the Civil War, Wood's Chapel will use wood-fired pits to prepare an extensive barbecue menu including whole hog and brisket barbecue.
"I think every chef fantasizes about doing a barbecue place," Ginsberg said in a prepared statement. "It is that basic relationship between wood, fire, and meat. Our goal with Wood’s Chapel is similar to what we have done at The General Muir: honor traditional dishes with a high level of execution while at the same time pushing some boundaries with peoples’ expectations of what this type of restaurant can be."
Ginsberg plans to highlight the best of each meat -- for instance, the whole hog barbecue will reflect a North Carolina style, while the brisket will reflect a Texas style. In addition to barbecue plates with meat and sides, Wood's will offer a sandwich menu that will potentially include fried smoked catfish, a barbecue version of a Cuban, a lamb belly cemita and a brisket grilled cheese on bread from TGM Bread.
The restaurant will also feature a special weekend brunch menu and desserts using recipes from Ben's family, including TwoMama's Peach Pie during peach season.
Jennifer said Ben, who she's been married to for 20 years, was largely the impetus behind wanting to open Wood's.
"He's been wanting to do a barbecue restaurant all his life," she said. That dream became a possibility a year ago when the restaurateurs were approached about getting involved in the Summerhill development.
The 5,200 square-foot restaurant will also include a "really active" patio "that will animate the street area," Jennifer said.
Wood's will be part of a 72-acre site being redeveloped by Carter, Oakwood Development and Healey Weatherholtz Properties with Georgia State University as the anchor. Part of the project will turn 35 acres into a mixed-use area including offices, multifamily apartments, student apartments, and neighborhood restaurant and retail.