Monday, December 23, 2013

Negril Village Opening in "Hot" Midtown Location

A new Caribbean restaurant is coming to Midtown.

Negril Village, a Caribbean restaurant with one existing location in New York's upper west side, plans to open a location in Atlanta on North Avenue.  The new restaurant will open at 30 North Avenue in place of what was most recently Engine 11, a casual bar and restaurant.  Engine 11 closed this past January and the unique space was vacant.

If the Atlanta location has a similar menu and format to New York, expect a casual but lively atmosphere with main entrees ranging from about $10 to $25.

Marva Layne opened the first Negril Village over ten years ago, and operates the restaurant with her husband Carlton Hayle, business partner Peter Best, and son Sim Walker.  Her son Sim, along with Peter Best and Malissa Brown, opened SoCo,  described as a "Southern style eatery with Caribbean influences" in 2011, in Brooklyn. Sources say Sim is spearheading the expansion of Negril Village in Atlanta and has been spotted checking out restaurants in Atlanta, most recently 1Kept.

It would seem challenging to be involved in so many restaurants, in two separate (distant) states and try to maintain the same local, family feel that has made the two in New York successful and popular.  As we have seen with Craft and Emeril's, restaurants popularized by the chefs / owners that created them, that open in Atlanta with "absentee" owners don't fare so well.

Negril has quietly been doing work on the space since late November, and plans to open early next year.  According to Craigslist ads seeking FOH and BOH employees, Negril Village is a  "Caribbean Fusion concept."  

Not far away, Poor Calvin's Absolute Fusion opened on Piedmont Avenue, and while I'm not fond of the word fusion being attached to so many restaurants, I dined there recently and the food was actually quite good.  


Grace said...

I live directly behind this restaurant. I am hopeful for a wonderful addition to the neighborhood - good food and good relationship. Also hoping that the owners respect that we live here. We have had terrible experiences with the previous restaurants in this location - noise, lights, trash and late night traffic.

Anonymous said...

Great location, hope this restaurateur has a better plan than the two previous eateries at this address where service was TERRIBLE and they were constantly out of food and drinks listed on the menu. Also hope the new tenant fixes the wonky patio/deck so you're not hassled by bums while you're trying to eat. Looking forward to giving NV a try.

Hiphidelity said...

I have been to Negril in the east village in NYC several times, the food and the service is outstanding! I love their oxtails. One of my favorites restaurants in the city! I went to SoCo in Brooklyn on Labor day weekend, had the red velvet chicken and waffles... Amazing! I just hope location is worthy of the restaurant, I think this restaurant would have done better on Crescent Ave or at Buckhead Atlanta.

Anonymous said...

Just ate here tonight with my two small children and it was great. I can recommend everything we had and the price point was perfect for the experience. Everyone was so friendly and accommodating considering I had two small children.

Red Snapper Tacos. = <3
Mac and cheese was delicious...
I loved... and so did my one year old, the ISLAND GRITS, there was a sweet Caribbean sauce cooked in with shrimp and crab. and they didn't go light on anything!
He dug into that food face first!

Highly recommend, I'm not sure they were fully prepared for little ones, but like I said, they were very friendly and accommodating.

Anonymous said...

I just dined at this location tonight. Very good food and professional, courteous staff. I will DEFINITELY be back to this place!

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