Virgil’s Gullah Kitchen & Bar brings “Gullah Geechee inspired soul food” to College Park in late May or early June, Project Q reports. And, the restaurant, owned by the Juan and Gee Smalls, could reside next door to chef Darius Williams’ Soul Crab on Main Street, according to What Now Atlanta.
Virgil’s, serving mostly seafood and rice dishes as well as cocktails, should seat up to 90 people in its dining room with an area for socializing. Another area near the bar in front of the restaurant includes communal tables.
The Smalls, who named Virgil’s for Gee’s late father, plan to honor traditional Gullah Geechee dishes on the menu, including recipes from family members who still live on James Island, South Carolina.
According to Gee Smalls, dishes likely to make the menu at Virgil’s include: red rice, crab rice, and oyster rice, Hoppin’ John, a seafood salad, okra soup, conch stew, deviled crab, shark bites, okra perloo (pilaf), fried oysters, and shrimp and gravy.
Present day Gullah Geechee people are descended from Central and West Africans on the sea islands and coastal areas along the Atlantic from Pender County, North Carolina and the South Carolina Lowcountry to Georgia’s Sapelo Island and St. John’s County, Florida. The corridor is known as the Gullah Geechee cultural heritage corridor. Rice became an essential component to the culture’s foodways, as well as seafood and game meat.
Eater Atlanta reached out for more details.
The couple are the founders of the Gentleman’s Foundation, a non-profit organization which supports Atlanta’s LGBTQ black men through educational programs, workshops, and events.
Update, April 16, 2:45 p.m.: This story was updated with new information regarding the targeted opening month and specific menu items.