A location of B’s Cracklin’ Barbecue opens Wednesday, October 16, inside the new “Beltline Kroger” just off of the Eastside trail on Ponce De Leon Avenue, across from Ponce City Market. While this isn’t meant to replace the original Riverside location, which closed after a fire devastated the award-winning barbecue restaurant, owner and pitmaster Bryan Furman sees it as a much-needed positive step forward.
Furman partnered with the grocery chain and retains control of the main elements of the B’s Cracklin’ brand, including what is served at the in-store restaurant. Once open, he plans to start with a limited barbecue menu and eventually serve much of B’s original offerings based on customer demand for certain items.
As of now, the opening menu should include wood-smoked chicken, brisket, pork, and rib plates and sandwiches as well as sides like barbecue beans and collards, coleslaw, cornbread, fries, mac and cheese, hash and rice, and fried okra. B’s popular banana pudding and peach crisps will also be offered on the Kroger menu.
The restaurant’s wings, Brunswick stew, and hoecakes likely won’t be available due to kitchen logistics. However, Furman plans to replace the hoecakes with muffins.
Customers purchase food at a register about 15 feet away from the barbecue stand inside the Kroger and can take it to-go or dine at a small seating area nearby.
Meats continue to come from the same network of farmers Furman used at the Riverside restaurant. This includes brisket from Revere Meat Co. in Forest Park, Georgia, and heritage breed whole hogs from farmers John Jackson of Comfort Farms in Milledgeville, Georgia, and Marvin Ross of the Peculiar Pig Farm in Summerhill, South Carolina.
“I’m still in charge,” Furman tells Eater Atlanta. “I’m not diluting my brand any way, any how. I’m doing the same things we were doing at the original location. Everything is us.”
Furman, who plans to smoke and cook everything at the Kroger, will be assisted by chef Maximilian Hines, formerly of The Lawrence in Midtown. Hines worked previously for chefs Sean Brock, Richard Blais, and Patrick O’Connell.
As for reopening his Riverside restaurant, Furman isn’t ready to disclose the exact location yet, but claims it’s in the works. He’s still ironing out the details and would rather hold off providing updates until everything is finally set in stone.
For now, Furman seems excited about the opportunity an alliance with Kroger presents for the future of B’s Cracklin’ Barbecue after a very challenging seven months since the fire.
“It’s a partnership [with Kroger] that I never would have thought would come to the table, but I think we’re going to crush it.”
B’s Cracklin’ Barbecue also has locations in Savannah and inside State Farm Arena, home to the Atlanta Hawks basketball team.
Open Monday and Wednesday - Sunday, 10 a.m, to 10 p.m. Closed Tuesdays.
725 Ponce de Leon Avenue, Atlanta. bscracklinbbq.com.