Monday, December 7, 2020

[EXCLUSIVE] 1911 Biscuits & Burgers Set to Rise on South Cobb Drive in Smyrna

At a time when many restaurants are struggling, two local business partners and restaurateurs are expanding into the most unlikely of concepts: breakfast!  Brian Kennington and Terry Kirby plan to open 1911 Biscuits & Burgers later this month along South Cobb Drive in Smyrna.  The restaurant, situated in front of Smyrna Thrift Store and adjacent to a recently rebuilt Chick-fil-A, occupies a one-time Huddle House (3120 South Cobb Drive) that has over the years been home to several independent restaurants serving everything from Cajun cuisine to barbecue.  The gamechanger for 1911, however, will be the addition of an all important - some might say "pandemic proof" - drive-thru.  

ToNeTo Atlanta spoke by phone recently with Kirby who indicated that he always had his eye on the old Huddle House and that his interest turned into full-fledged lease negotiations in April when he observed a "for lease" sign at the space.  Ebony & Ivory, a local barbecue restaurant which had operated from the roughly 1,900 square foot space for several years, had recently closed, and Kirby, despite the pandemic, could not let the opportunity to open his "dream concept" pass him by.  

The main menu at 1911 will be both approachable and affordable with most entrees only a few bucks.  The single most expensive breakfast item is the Smoked Brisket Breakfast Plate which includes a biscuit, 2 scrambled eggs, choice of meat and grits or plain gravy and clocks in at $7.85.  

Some might call Kirby and Kennington crazy for opening a new restaurant during a pandemic, but it wouldn't be the first crazy thing they've done.  The duo's first local restaurant, Red Sky Tapas, opened in East Cobb in 2008, during the financial crisis, but is still going strong twelve years later. 

For those who might wonder about the significance of 1911 in the restaurant's name, Kirby explains:  

"The restaurant's name is an ode to our military and first responders. The Colt 1911 was the standard-issue sidearm for the United States Armed Forces from 1911 until 1985. The "911" in the name is a nod to our police, fire and emergency medical teams who respond to 911 calls.  The outside design of an old country store is a fitting tie-in to handcrafted buttermilk biscuits reminiscent of what one could have enjoyed back in 1911."

Kirby is especially appreciative of our local emergency service providers given that he credits them with saving his life.  In 2002, Kirby was in training to be a manager at the now closed Sidelines Sports Grille in Sandy Springs.  Barbara Kriewald, the restaurant's co-owner, was seven months pregnant and was training Kirby to run the restaurant when she went on maternity leave.  In the early morning hours of March 7, a masked gunman burst into the restaurant demanding money.  Despite being given the money he requested, the gunman repeatedly tazed Kreiwald and later shot both her and Kirby.  Kreiwald was able to call the police but she and her unborn child died en route to the hospital.  Kirby, who doctors say could very well have died of his injuries had paramedics not responded as fast as they did, is paralyzed from his injuries, but has not let that prevent him from achieving his professional goals.

Kirby and Kennington both grew up in Lithia Springs and have been friends since high school.  Today Kirby lives a few miles from 1911 and Kennington lives in nearby East Cobb.  Kirby spent more than ten years working for Martin's Restaurants, a popular local eatery specializing in biscuits and assorted other breakfast fare,  He says 1911 was definitely inspired by his time at Martin's but will be fresher and better than the local chain.  

1911 will be open Monday through Friday from 5:30 am until 3:00 pm, Saturday and Sunday: 7:00 am until 4:00 pm.  

Kirby tells ToNeTo Atlanta that pending final approval from Cobb County, he plans to "soft open" December 21 and 22 December 28 and 29 with all pre-tax revenue to be donated to the Heroes Fund in Smyrna who provides food and toys to kids in need, and to Veterans/Wounded Warriors. 

Are you excited for the opening of 1911 in Smyrna?  What is your favorite breakfast food?  How have your dining habits changed as a result of the pandemic? 

Please share your thoughts below  


Bryan Marquardt said...

Wowee! You dug up quite the story and write up on this. LOVE the backstory! Wish them much success!

David Lagneaux said...

Yeah...That story has me ready to drive from Powder Springs to get breakfast!!
I will definitely be there soon after they open!!!
I ate at "Huddle House", "On The Bayou" and "Ebony and Ivory" and enjoyed all 3!!
I really hope these people make it!!!

Eric said...

Sadly, we get few local restaurant openings to be excited about directly in Smyrna. Everything always seems to open on the fringes… Vinings or The Battery. Very excited to have a local breakfast spot to support! Just hope the biscuits match my enthusiasm!

Alex said...

What a great write-up Eli and a very inspiring story. I plan to be a regular customer.

Renee Alison said...

Can't wait! Sounds like a great culinary addition to the neighborhood.

A. Smith said...

I am looking forward making the trip to 1911. The food at Red Sky is amazing so I am sure this will not disappoint.

Anonymous said...

Exclamation points!!!!! EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Currently 7.5 months pregnant, so it was tough to read such a heartbreaking story. A small content warning would've been nice there.

Anonymous said...

Wow - that is quite the story.
I was questioning opening a breakfast place in the location of a failed national breakfast chain, but really hope these guys make it. I will certainly give them a try.

Unknown said...

Excited to a drive-thru breakfast place nearby but the biscuit fell apart when I tried to eat it and the grits had way too much pepper. Keep working on it. You'll get it right eventually. I'll come back soon to see if these issues have been resolved. Good luck !!

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