Three restaurants to open at North Gate Station
|Three restaurants will open soon in the North Gate Station. Forks Deli will be on the far right, Reverend Billy’s Barbeque will be in the center and Ed and Lucy’s Italian Bistro will be on the left with the side door entrance. Photo by Wayne Tidwell|
By Wayne Tidwell
Three complementary restaurants will be opening in the space at the North Gate Station previously occupied by Fuego’s Mexican Restaurant that moved to the Foothills Shopping Village.
In an interview with Smoke Signals at the North Gate restaurant venue, business partners David Meyer and John Turpin revealed their plans to bring culinary variety to the area around Big Canoe.
Meyer, who had previously owned Piazza Italian Restaurant in the space currently occupied by Wild Onion is coming back to the area where he feels he can meet the needs of nearby residents.
“I think this area needs more restaurants,” Meyers said.
He said he didn’t feel that he would be competing with existing restaurants or “making any enemies.”
The first restaurant to open will be Forks, a deli/coffee shop, breakfast and lunch establishment located on the far right of the building. Forks will also offer catering services. It will be open seven days a week according to Meyer. He said he plans to open early to catch the morning commuters.
Meyer said Forks will use bread from Holman & Finch of Atlanta who supply bread for some of the best restaurants in Atlanta.
“Bread is as important as anything else in a sandwich if not the most important,” Meyer said.
“We want to start with the best product.”
Forks will offer sandwiches, salads and light fare as well as coffee and snacks.
The second restaurant to open will be Ed and Lucy’s Italian Bistro according to Meyer.
“It’s kind of an homage to my grandparents,” Meyer said. “No pizza but pasta dishes, salads, etc. It will be a full Italian menu but not a huge menu. Whatever we do it will be done really well and we’ll serve beer and wine.”
The third restaurant to open will be Reverend Billy’s Barbeque Restaurant that will serve barbeque and American fare according to Meyer, including burgers, wings, ribs, brisket and “southern American food.” He said he will smoke his own meats at the location and make his own sauces.
William Ashley "Billy" Sunday (November 19, 1862–November 6, 1935) for whom the restaurant is named, was an American athlete who, after being a popular outfielder in baseball's National League during the 1880s, became the most celebrated and influential American evangelist during the first two decades of the 20th century, according to Wikipedia.
“After his baseball career (with the Chicago White Stockings), Billy became an evangelical minister, Turpin explained. “He was involved in prohibition and the temperance movement. Obviously we are having fun with that since the restaurant will have a full bar.”
“We’ll have some ‘damnation sauce’ and ‘salvation barbeque’,” Turpin added laughing. He said they plan to have some old baseball photos on the wall and TVs with continuous sports programs and ball games.
Meyer, 42, has been in the restaurant business 20 years and Turpin 23 years. They graduated high school in Stockbridge together and have been friends ever since. Meyer said his wife attended North Georgia College and they moved to Dahlonega in 1998 or 99 and eventually opened their restaurant in 2002. He opened Piazza and Porterhouse Restaurants off the Dahlonega Square. Porterhouse is now Main Street Burger.
“I changed the concept of Porterhouse steak house to a gourmet burger restaurant and it’s doing great,” Meyer said. “Beef prices influenced my decision. It got to the point where I had to charge $25 to $28 for a steak and the Dahlonega market would not pay that.”
Meyer said he hopes to open the deli in “the first part of December” and open Ed and Lucy’s about a week after that. He said he won’t be serving beer or wine for the first few weeks. The alcohol licenses are expensive and not prorated so he would have to pay two full-year license fees for the few weeks the restaurants would be open in 2014. He said he would get the licenses the first of January.
Meyer said he hopes to open Reverend Billy’s once he gets the other two restaurants “under control” which he anticipates will be several weeks into January.
Smoke Signals Online, November 2014
Meyers said he has 32 employees at his restaurants in Dahlonega. He said he will be bringing some employees to the new restaurants and will be hiring some.
“This is much more labor intensive,” Meyer said. “We’ll supply some jobs for folks in the area.”
When reminded that there are several restaurants nearby that are doing well, including the Big Canoe Clubhouse, Wild Onion and Fuego with the possibility of the old Appalachian Grill reopening, Meyer intimated that he was not too concerned with the competition.
“This is really one restaurant with three faces,” he responded.
The Deli will seat about 50 people according to Meyer, with the barbeque restaurant seating over 70 and the Italian restaurant seating about 60 inside and 20 outside. The Italian restaurant will use the side entrance on the left side of the building.