If you like barbecue food – and who doesn’t? – then you won’t want to miss out on a unique opportunity to try some high-end stuff from a place that isn’t even open yet this weekend.
Alan Natkiel, a renowned chef who ran the highly successful Georgia’s Eastside BBQ in New York City for years, is opening a take-out barbecue joint at the former Korner Kupboard location at 394 N. State St. While he doesn’t expect the business to be open until June, that doesn’t mean you have to wait that long to try some of his famous barbecue dishes.
On Friday, Natkiel is joining forces with the guys at Lithermans Limited at 126 Hall St., Unit B, to host a pop-up party to give everyone a little taste of what’s to come at Georgia’s Northside, the name of the restaurant that’s been in the works for months now. The pop-up event will feature your choice of either a pulled pork or smoked beef brisket sandwich with one of three market sides: Mexican corn salad with Cotija cheese, fresh broccoli with roasted garlic and chilis, or Texas caviar. Food is $12 a plate and will be cash only. The menu will be available from 4 to 8 p.m. at Lithermans. All of Lithermans’ mouth-watering beers will also be available, naturally.
As for the forthcoming restaurant, Natkiel looks to continue running the kind of business he ran in New York. Georgia’s Northside will offer traditional barbecue food and market sides on a to-go basis – there won’t be tables inside to sit down at. He also plans on being a hub for craft beer sales (again, only to take home with you), something that part of the city currently lacks. There may even be a custom, Georgia’s Northside beer in the works.
“After meeting them (the owners of Lithermans Limited), I plan on getting a proprietary brew done for us,” Natkiel said.
The one tweak to the formula that worked so well in New York is the name. The new venture retains the Georgia’s aspect, but shifts the location from Eastside to Northside and drops the BBQ, and that’s by design.
“I took BBQ out of the name, even though that’s a big component of my food, because I always thought it was kind of limiting to people’s expectations of what that might mean,” Natkiel said. “We have always been a much more diverse menu than just barbecue, so I’m branding this as a Southern kitchen and craft beer market.”
Where do we sign up?
If any of this sounds familiar to you, it should. Natkiel hosted a pop-up dinner event for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day at the now-closed The Little Creperie a couple years ago (2017 turning into 2018). Despite that being a very small restaurant and without a ton of promotion (except, of course, from the mighty Insider), Natkiel said the place was packed both days. He also has received a lot of encouragement about the new place, with several people reaching out to him expressing excitement over Georgia’s Northside coming to town.
There are other interesting ideas Natkiel is toying with, such as an app-based ordering system that’s already built and offering delivery of his whole menu, but some of these things are still being worked out. The building is still undergoing renovations, but Natkiel is aiming for a June 1 open date. Once the place is open, we will certainly take a trip over there and check the place out.
In the meantime, hit up Lithermans this Friday and get a taste of what’s to come.