Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Historic Howard's Restaurant to be Converted to "Crafty" New Concept

Historic restaurant to be replaced by BBQ joint.

Howard's Restaurant, located on Concord Road in Smyrna, closed this past August after 50 years in business. Owners Bobby & Sandra Martin reportedly decided to retire.

Howard's has been a fixture in the community for generations and was even featured, as itself, in the 2012 feature film "Joyful Noise."  Joyful Noise starred Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah and was set in Pacashau, Georgia.

Restaurateur John Gibney of downtown Atlanta's Gibney's Pub plans to open "The Crafty Hog," a barbecue restaurant in place of Howard's.  The Howard's building, 652 Concord Road, will be heavily renovated to accommodate the new concept and to update the dated structure.  

Not much is known publicly about The Crafty Hog but the name suggests there may be craft beer as well as barbecue. Gibney's Pub has been a downtown fixture since opening in 1997, and features traditional American pub fare, some of which may find its way to the new restaurant's menu.    

Plans call for The Crafty Hog to open in "a couple months." This timeline is of course dependent upon variables beyond ownership's control such as the tedious permitting process and approval from the City of Smyrna.  

Given the current state of the building and with the knowledge that Smyrna has not yet officially approved all that Gibney has planned, I'd expect to see the restaurant open sometime after the first of the year.  

Will you miss Howard's Restaurant?  What was your favorite memory / menu item at the historic eatery?  Are you in favor of a new local BBQ joint in Smyrna?

Please share your thoughts below.  

***New Information from The Crafty Hog website***

"The Crafty Hog is Smyrna's BBQ Joint & Bar serving up the best low & slow cooked meats in town. Featuring three full bars, two bocce ball courts, two horseshoe pits, and an unmatched craft beer and bourbon selection. Located in Smyrna's historic Howard's Delicatessen building, The Crafty Hog seeks to carry on that tradition of good food served by, for and to friends."

13 comments:

Sadlebred said...

While it may have been an institution, the food and service were horrible. Howards drew a mostly older clientele that I'm sure were sad to see it go. With several BBQ restaurants in the nearby area, it will be interesting to see how the new ones does. None of the existing BBQ spots is "upscale."

Danny Young said...

They seem to have a web site up at http://www.thecraftyhog.com/. Might be misleading as it seems to indicate nothing about coming soon, with hours even posted.

Anonymous said...

They had THE BEST REUBEN! Anyone know where one can be found in the vicinity?

Anonymous said...

There, their & They're. That is all…

Anonymous said...

Marietta Diner has the best Reuben in town! My family and I will really miss Howard's :(

Anonymous said...

Howard's definitely had the best Ruben in town. They also had great hot wings. In fact, I've never had a bad meal there. The staff was great even if sometimes the kitchen was a little slow. They accommodated large groups of people easily and it was our "go to" place for birthday and retirement lunches. Plus, if you ever needed to talk to a county or city official, or a state legislator, you could count on seeing them at Howard's. I really miss that place.

Anonymous said...

I worked there before it closed and can say the owners were tired and ready to close. Because of this, there was poor management and customers were not properly served. It bothered me to see such potential go down the drain, but the owners needed to let it go.

Anonymous said...

Loved their pizza! I had a lot of memories going there after the high school football games ...great times!

Adam Laubacker said...

I just had John and the Crafty Hog chef cater my wedding and they did a phenomenal job!! Everyone came back for seconds and the kids couldn't get enough of their Mac and cheese. I know that wife and I kids will be frequent customers of the Crafty Hog! Can't wait for it to open!!!
Adam Laubacker

Anonymous said...

Very excited to see Smyrna growing! Hopefully the new growth will help to make the city a safe, diverse and energetic place to call home

Victor Amato said...

Ebony and Ivory's BBQ is pretty delicious! And they live in Smyrna as well!!

Anonymous said...

Howard's Deli will be missed, especially since they had recently come along with several great new homestyle food selections at reasonable prices -- something families especially appreciate & seek out. Also Howard's was a very sociable place although without pizzazz. Locals are hoping the Hog will do as well & wisely (which is better than craftiness)!

Bennie Williams said...

Sadlebred obviously never had the reuben, the pizza, the fall off the bone baby back bbq ribs or the tuna fish sandwich...just to name a few of the EXCELLENT tasting items at old Howard's! Yes, toward the end the service got a little slow due to the 'wind down' toward closing, but all in all Howard's in it's heyday was as good as it gets!