Restaurant The Deer and The Dove and coffee and wine bar Side Bar, owned by Wrecking Bar Brewpub chef Terry Koval and Jenn Koval, will open in the spaces formerly occupied by the iconic Cakes & Ale and its coffee shop on Sycamore Street near Decatur Square. The Kovals are partnering with George Frangos (Farm Burger) who is also assisting with the coffee and wine programs. Both the restaurant and coffee bar should open by early spring.
Koval, who will remain Wrecking Bar’s executive chef, says The Deer and The Dove is a neighborhood restaurant serving “rustic new American dishes” — think rabbit, duck, and venison prepared in the kitchen’s wood-burning oven — along with smaller dishes comprising of ingredients from local and small Georgia farms. This includes Wrecking Bar’s own farm, Wrecking Barn, and White Oak Pastures, a 152-year-old family farm in Bluffton, Georgia focused on heritage raised beef and poultry. Jenn Koval serves as maître’ d’ of The Deer and The Dove and Side Bar, overseeing day-to-day operations.
Side Bar takes over The Bakery at Cakes & Ale, which plans to serve “bodega-style breakfast and lunch sandwiches,” like egg on a roll, as well as bagels and coffee in the morning. Evenings see the bar shifting focus to natural wines, cocktails, and small plates. Koval also hopes to host pop-up dinners by local and visiting chefs in the space.
“I’ve been planning this moment for a long time. It’s a dream to open a restaurant in the town you’ve lived in with your family for 12 years,” Koval tells Eater Atlanta. “I’ve watched Decatur grow and am excited to be opening a restaurant here.”
Koval began working in restaurants as a teenager in Greenville, South Carolina before moving to Atlanta in 2000 to work at Buckhead Diner and then as executive sous chef at Canoe. Over the past 19 years, Koval has worked stints at Room at Twelve in Midtown and was the original chef for Farm Burger, where he first met Frangos. In 2013, Koval took over the kitchen at Wrecking Bar in Little Five Points, where he quickly turned the brewpub into a culinary destination known for farm fresh dishes, soon landing it on several “best of” lists, including the Eater Atlanta 38 Essential restaurants.
He serves on the chef’s board for Georgia Organics, is a member of the food justice nonprofit Wholesome Wave Georgia and grassroots organization Slow Food Atlanta, and participated in the 2018 Slow Food Terra Madre conference in Turin, Italy.
“I have a good team at Wrecking Bar, I’m so proud of them,” Koval says of handling his chef duties at two restaurants. “They know what they’re doing. This is great timing for them and for me.”
The Deer and The Dove will be open for dinner and weekend brunch. Both the restaurant and Side Bar plan to be open every day, except Monday.
Chef Billy Allin and Kristin Allin closed the decade-old Cakes & Ale last June to spend more time with their family and focus on their two other restaurants, Proof Bakeshop and Bread & Butterfly in Inman Park.
155 Sycamore Street, Decatur.