Chef James Murphy, formerly of Kimball House and Gaja in East Atlanta Village, is debuting his Korean pop-up ANJU this Thursday, January 11 at Octane Grant Park. The weekly dinner series focusing on south Korean dishes like savory pancakes, bibimbap, and noodles and dumplings will run Thursdays, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays, 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. The debut of the pop-up will coincide with the rebranding of the Grant Park shop from Octane to Revelator.
Murphy plans to run the table service pop-up weekly and hopes it will eventually lead to something more permanent in the future. But it all depends on how ANJU is received.
“I’m half Korean so, the menu will be filled with a lot of food I grew up eating,” Murphy told Eater Atlanta. “It’s a great opportunity for me to share with people food I really love to cook. We’ll see where ANJU will take us, but I’m hoping it’s here to stay.”
Revelator’s president Josh Owen timed the opening of Murphy’s pop-up with the rebranding of the shop which will include its new name, a fresh interior paint job, and some updated furniture.
“We didn’t want to reinvent Octane to Revelator overnight. The changes we’ve made aren’t significant,” Owen said. “The store was due for a minor refresh, and we’re taking the opportunity to rebrand at the same time.”
Owen said a portion of that “refresh” includes adding Murphy’s pop-up to the mix which will engage an evening crowd on the weekends while bringing something unique to Revelator’s Grant Park location. Tony Riffel, founder of Octane and now Revelator’s director of retail, said that since the brand takeover last year, the feedback among Octane’s regulars has been mostly positive.
“We’ve made changes gradually instead of in a dramatic fashion. It’s allowed people to see that we are trying hard to be conscious and thoughtful of Octane’s culture in Atlanta,” Riffel explained.
The coffee menus at all Octane shops in Atlanta are currently a mix of both Octane and Revelator beans. Other than that, nothing has really changed...until now.
“We want to use Grant Park as our test shop,” Owen said. “Working with local people like James on small projects like ANJU allows us to grow Revelator here in Atlanta at a steady pace and to genuinely engage with the local community.”
Owen, Riffel, and Murphy had been looking for ways to utilize Grant Park’s full bar in the evenings. ANJU, a Korean term which translates to “food consumed with alcohol”, allows the team to achieve a full service dining experience for guests of the pop-up. It also allows the team to ease the pain of the rebrand and assure Atlantans that Revelator is taking their concerns seriously.
While there aren’t any concrete plans in the works for the rebranding of Westside and Midtown’s Octane locations, Owen said Westside may be next on their agenda. The coffee company will likely do a minor interior refresh at that shop and have been looking into the possibility of adding a full service food menu to accompany its bar and cocktail program.
“We want to bring in some sort of food program to Westside that makes sense with the space we have at that location,” Owen said. “It could do with a minor interior refresh but again, like Grant Park, nothing dramatic. At the moment, all of our focus is on Grant Park and the success of ANJU.”
Take a look at the menu for ANJU, debuting this Thursday at Revelator Grant Park: