Tuesday, February 13, 2024

[EXCLUSIVE] Virginia-Highland BBQ Spot Closing, New Clarkston Location Opening Soon

Virginia-Highland mainstay D.B.A. BBQ will soon close, with owner Matt Coggin looking to focus his energy on his newish Chastain Park location and upcoming Clarkston restaurant. ToNeTo Atlanta was first last year to report on the planned transition which at that time was not final.  

In recent weeks, however, things have come info focus with Coggin sharing that he has opted not to renew his current lease in Virginia-Highland.  

The restaurant - at 1190 North Highland Avenue - first opened in 2009 and will close for good as of February 25.  Although not normally open on Mondays, Coggin said that D.B.A. will be open on Monday, February 20th to provide one additional day for neighbors to enjoy the restaurant before its closure. 

D.B.A. is now the second local restaurant to announce its imminent closure following news Sunday that Brookhaven's Kaleidoscope Bistro & Pub is closing.  

Matt Coggin exclusively provided ToNeTo Atlanta with the following statement regarding the closure:

"This decision will allow me to venture into two fast-casual restaurants plus continuing to grow our catering business. I’m grateful for our time in Virginia-Highland. I am only able to make this transition because of the success at VA-HI.

Coggin debuted a scaled down D.B.A. "lite" in the former Greater Good BBQ on Roswell Road in Chastain Park this past June.  At just 1,500 square feet with only eight inside tables, the restaurant is nowhere near the size of the Virginia-Highland restaurant which had seating for more than 100 patrons but has seen a phenomenal response from the neighborhood and passing traffic in its short time open.   Inclusive of the patio, the Chastain restaurant has seating for about 50 guests, according to Coggin.  

Whereas the Chastain location is a pared down menu with only beer and wine, the upcoming Clarkston outpost will feature beer, wine, and liquor as well as assorted tacos, a menu item Coggin was previously unable to offer given the existence of then fellow tenant The Original El Taco.  

The new Clarkston restaurant, officially "DBA Tacos & BBQ," is opening at 4540 East Ponce de Leon Avenue at its intersection with Brockett Road.  The new DBA inherits what had been a Taco Bell / KFC combo unit, which includes a drive-thru the fast food franchises left behind for to-go options.  According to Coggin, he plans to make use of the drive-thru as a means of more efficiently serving customers, which he expects will include those from Highway 78 less than a half mile away.  The roughly 2,600 square foot Clarkston restaurant has a much larger kitchen than Chastain but will provide only a few more seats with capacity slated for 60.  A patio that will provide additional seating is planned in the months to come.     

The Clarkston restaurant will have a slightly larger variety of BBQ options plus tacos, but will still be a scaled down version of the full-service Virginia-Highland restaurant.  

It's worth noting, too, that there will be no interruption to catering services and ultimately an expansion with both the Chastain and Clarkston locations eventually serving as commissaries for catering orders.  

Pending any unforeseen delays, plans call for the new Clarkston location to open in April.  

There are reportedly no immediate plans for the current Virginia-Highland restaurant space but Ela, a new Mediterranean restaurant from Fifth Group Restaurants, is expected to open February 20th in the former home of The Original El Taco.  

Do you plan to go to D.B.A. Virginia-Highland this week to enjoy one final meal at the restaurant?  Have you been to the newish D.B.A. in Chastain Park?  Who in Atlanta do you think offers the best barbecue? 

Please share your thoughts below. 


Anonymous said...

FINALLY. I cannot believe that place did not go up in flames given how dry their meat was. I only ever went because some one I worked with 10+ years ago liked it for some reason.

Stephanie Minderhout said...

I’m so excited for the Clarkston location to open!! Can’t wait to try it. When they painted the building red and white I was worried it was about to be another KFC. -
I do wish they’d be able to open up their parking lot to connect to that back street though, getting in and out of there on the corner of Ponce might prove challenging;)

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