Ford Fry and Rocket Farms Restaurant group announced the decision to close JCT Kitchen after nearly 15 years at the Howell Mill shopping and dining district Thursday evening on social media. However, a new Rocket Farms restaurant will apparently take over the space and open next year. Construction is set to begin in January, according to the announcement.
“I have always wanted to do what I feel would benefit the neighborhood, so with that in mind, we will be wrapping up JCT’s time on the westside to make room for something new in 2022,” Fry says in the statement.
Anticipating questions concerning why he would close what appears to be a “flourishing restaurant,” Fry simply asks people to trust him in this decision. While no indication is given as to the name of the new restaurant or the type of food Fry plans to serve there, the announcement does offer one clue in the form of a logo depicting a bird, likely a dove, with a rose in its beak.
“[JCT Kitchen] was always a neighborhood restaurant and what is coming will also act in that same vein, but it will be in a fresh new way,” Fry goes on to say in the post.
When reached for comment, representatives for Fry declined to share further details regarding the group’s decision to close JCT Kitchen or future plans for the new restaurant. “Something big is coming, but we’re still in the process of defining all the details. It’ll be worth the wait,” a statement sent to Eater on Fry’s behalf reads.
Fry opened JCT Kitchen and Bar, his first Atlanta restaurant, in 2007 at Westside Provisions District where it became known for its Sunday suppers, fried chicken dinners complete with buttermilk biscuits, and bowls of angry mussels. The bar on the second floor overlooking the train tracks at the complex is a popular happy hour and late-night cocktail spot.
In addition to JCT Kitchen and Bar, Superica, the Optimist, St. Cecilia, Little Rey, Marcel, Beetlecat, King and Duke, and No. 246 in Atlanta and La Lucha and State of Grace in Houston fall under the Rocket Farms umbrella. Superica includes locations in Houston, Charlotte, and Nashville, with a location of the Optimist also open in Nashville.