It’s an end of an era in Kirkwood. Lakesia Anna Phelps, the owner and pitmaster behind popular barbecue joint Anna’s BBQ on Hosea L. Williams, retired from the business after nine years.
But Phelps, a Kirkwood native who first opened Anna’s BBQ in 2013 with her family, isn’t leaving the restaurant business. Instead, she and daughter Destiney Phelps plan to open Anna and Cali’s Cafe food truck this summer, serving barbecue, burgers, and fried fish. The food truck is named for Phelps and her granddaughter, Cali. She asks that people follow Anna and Cali’s on social media for updates on the forthcoming menu and the food truck’s daily location.
Alexander Coates, who took over the restaurant from Phelps and her family, says to expect the same barbecue and sides menu, with new dishes to come in the future.
Located in the heart of the Kirkwood neighborhood, Anna’s BBQ is known for its smoked turkey legs and wings and slabs of ribs seasoned with a dry rub mixture of garlic salt, seasoning salt, and a little sugar. “It’s a Southern style, with Southern flavor,” Phelps told Eater in 2020. Under Phelps and her family, the restaurant also served occasional fish fry dinners and menu items like barbecue nachos, as well as strawberry lemonade and pound cake.
Like many restaurant owners over the last two years, Phelps dealt with rapidly rising rent and food costs and staff shortages stemming from the ongoing pandemic. Phelps is one of the few women pitmasters in Georgia and proudly operated Anna’s BBQ with her daughter and mother and a mostly female staff.
Anna’s BBQ isn’t the only Kirkwood restaurant to change hands over the last year. In 2021, Osiris Ballard and chef Anthony Sanders (Atlanta Breakfast Club) purchased neighboring brunch restaurant Le Petit Marche from longtime owner Marchet Sparks.
Sparks reached out to Ballard and Sanders prior to closing the restaurant in April 2021 to ask if they would be interested in opening another location of Atlanta Breakfast Club in the space. Ballard and Sanders decided to purchase Le Petit Marche from Sparks and continue running the restaurant under its original name. The duo retained much of the Le Petit Marche menu, adding a few fresh additions, including fried lobster tail and a short rib cheeseburger.
Update, May 18, 12 p.m.: This story was updated with the name of the new owner of Anna’s BBQ.