|Rendering of 4 Rivers Smokehouse Atlanta|
Chef John Rivers of Winter Park, Florida-based 4R Restaurant Group has signed his first lease in Atlanta.
The first 4 Rivers Smokehouse in Atlanta will be on Marietta Street next to Thumbs Up Diner in the old fire station No. 16. The fire station opened in early 1915 and was there until 1963 when it relocated to its current 1048 Joseph E. Boone Boulevard location.
According to the 4Rivers website, the restaurant will be the chain's 14th location and is expected to open mid next year. The two story building is about 4,100 square feet and will be renovated to suit the needs of the restaurant. Due to it being an historic structure, there are limitations to the modifications that can be made. A rendering of the restaurant does indicate that a second story patio will be added to the front of the building, with a street level patio below it.
4 Rivers specializes in brisket but also features barbecued chicken, ribs, pork and assorted other meats. The menu also features sandwiches and salads as well as "Kids Corral" kids menu.
As explained on the 4 Rivers website: "Why four Rivers? In short, it represents our family, John, Monica (wife), Jared (son) and Cameron (daughter). But they also appreciate the serendipitous double meaning with Genesis 2:10, where four rivers branch from that which flows out of Eden."
The website also explains the history of the restaurant: "John Rivers never set out to create the most successful BBQ chain in Florida. He’s not a classically trained chef or graduate of culinary school. It was in Texas that he found the two loves of his life: his wife and the delicate art of brisket. And it’s been those very two godsends that inspired 4 Rivers as we know it.
John spent 20 years in the healthcare industry before retiring as president of a billion-dollar company. During that time, he had the opportunity to travel the country, honing his taste and talent for brisket perfection. As he soaked up the flavors and practices of ‘cue fare countrywide, John’s dream of de-regionalizing BBQ was born."
Last year, Rivers indicated that he was in "lease negotiations" for two sites in Atlanta: Midtown and Buckhead. It is believed that this is the "midtown" location previously referenced and that the Buckhead location either is not finalized or fell through. There is also speculation that 4Rivers may be in talks to take over the former H. Harper Station on Memorial Drive in Reynoldstown, but that rumor has yet to be substantiated. Similar to the Marietta Street location, the Memorial Drive site would also be a historic site, but would provide the benefit of having already been converted to a restaurant.
On Marietta Street, 4 Rivers will be opening a short distance from Twin Smokers, an upscale BBQ restaurant in David Marvin's Luckie Marietta District. If a 4 Rivers does come to fruition on Memorial Drive, it would be up against competition from one of Atlanta's more popular hole-in-the-wall "joynt's," Daddy D'z.
Chef Rivers will be in Atlanta tomorrow at "Destination Delicious," a special event that is part of this weekend's Atlanta Food & Wine Festival. The event takes place at American Spirit Works on Armour Drive and "will showcase the flavors and traditions of Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and more."
Have you been to 4 Rivers Smokehouse? Are you excited for their upcoming opening? Where else in metro Atlanta would you like to see 4 Rivers open?
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