Joey Ward, the executive chef of Kevin Gillespie’s Gunshow in Glenwood Park, is opening his own restaurant next year in Poncey-Highland. The restaurant will be located in the Island Flowers space between the Fedex store and Buffalo Exchange in the same complex as the Plaza Theatre on Ponce de Leon.
Ward confirmed the news to Eater Atlanta on Monday saying, “It will be a forward thinking concept unique to the Atlanta market slated to open in 2019. I will be at the helm of Gunshow at least through the first of the year and have the support of my friend and mentor, Kevin Gillespie.”
Other than confirming that he is indeed opening a restaurant, Ward didn’t provide any further details. However, an anonymous tipster with close ties to the Atlanta real estate industry says the restaurant could include a tasting menu.
A representative for Gillespie provided the following statement regarding Ward’s eventual departure from Gunshow next year:
“Kevin’s known about Joey’s plan for a long time and has been completely supportive and helpful, as that is part of the mission of Red Beard Restaurants: to mentor and support team members so they can be successful in whatever their future goals may be. Everyone at Gunshow is aware of the eventual change, and a succession plan is in place. Kevin and Joey have worked together for over 8 years, and while this will not be a Red Beard Restaurants venture, Joey knows that Kevin wishes him nothing but the very best as he pursues his dream.”
Gillespie returned to the kitchen at Gunshow after successfully battling a rare form of renal cancer over the past few months. He plans to open his next restaurant, Cold Beer, at the Edge complex between Edgewood and Dekalb Avenues on the Eastside BeltLine in mid-2019.
Ward was recently featured in the second season of “Where Hollywood Eats” produced by The Hollywood Reporter where he took viewers on a tour of the southern dim sum restaurant’s unique dining experience and dishes. The chef was an Eater Young Gun semifinalist in 2015 for his work at Gunshow. Prior to Gunshow, Ward worked with Gillespie at the now shuttered Woodfire Grill and as the executive chef of H. Harper Station, now home to Golden Eagle and Muchacho.