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Two Big Restaurant Openings Take Place Next Week in Poncey-Highland

East Pole Coffee and Jinya Ramen Bar both open on North Highland June 13, with wine bar Sea Legs opening in the same building later this year

Jinya Ramen
Beth McKibben is the editor and staff reporter for Eater Atlanta and has been covering food and cocktails locally and regionally for 12 years.

Two big openings are set to take place along North Highland Avenue in Poncey-Highland on Monday, June 13, when both East Pole Coffee Co. and Jinya Ramen Bar open at the Plaza on Ponce complex.

This will be the second Atlanta location for East Pole Coffee, which first opened on Ottley Drive at Armour Yards in 2017. East Pole takes over the former San Fransisco Coffee space at the corner of the building on North Highland, next door to recently opened Fishmonger. The Poncey-Highland location features an expanded food menu, more seating, community tables, and a large bar.

During its first week, the coffee shop opens from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., with permanent hours beginning June 20, opening from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends.

Then, later this year, East Pole owners Jared Karr, Matt Chesla, and Jules Tompkins plan to open a natural wine bar called Sea Legs in the space. In the afternoons and evenings, East Pole will transition service to Sea Legs, offering natural wine and a different food menu.

“When East Pole closes, Sea Legs will open as a separate experience, with a different menu,” a statement on East Pole’s website reads. “Wine lovers can come enjoy a glass or a bottle of wine with friends, choosing from an always-changing list curated by our team.”

After announcing intentions to open nearly four years ago (and a multitude of delays,) Jinya Ramen Bar finally debuts its much-anticipated Poncey-Highland location next to East Pole on June 13 at 11 a.m. It’s the second in-town Atlanta location for the popular LA ramen import, and its sixth location in the metro area.

Open for lunch and dinner, Jinya is known for serving both traditional bowls and twists on ramen, like the tonkotsu black with pork chashu, fried onions, and garlic oil, a garlic tonkotsu ramen called “cha cha cha” seasoned with fish powder, and a spicy, creamy vegan ramen made with tofu. In addition to ramen, the restaurant offers baos, edamame, rice bowls, and curries.

This particular block in Poncey-Highland, anchored by the Plaza Theatre and longtime restaurants Sweet Auburn BBQ, the Righteous Room, and Majestic Diner, is currently undergoing a restaurant renaissance. A handful of new restaurants have opened since 2019, with more planning to open in the coming months.

Chef Joey Ward opened critically acclaimed restaurants Southern Belle and Georgia Boy in 2019 next to the Righteous Room right before the start of the pandemic. In May, chef Nhan Le and Skip Engelbrecht (8ARM, Octopus Bar), along with chef and partner Bradford Forsblom, opened their much-anticipated seafood market and raw bar Fishmonger beside East Pole Coffee’s upcoming location. Fishmonger sold nearly 700 pounds of fresh fish its first week in business and serves nearly 60 grouper sandwiches each day during lunch. Le and Engelbrecht also plan to begin serving wine and beer at the market in the evenings.

A location of Ohio-based Jeni’s Ice Cream opened last year along Clerburne Terrace near the Majestic, taking over the former Queen of Cream space.

Peruvian restaurant Tio Lucho’s is opening in the former CO sushi space across the street from Fishmonger, East Pole Coffee, and Sea Legs this summer. After running Peruvian pop-up La Chingana for over a year, chef Arnaldo Castillo partnered with Sweet Auburn BBQ co-owner Howard Hsu to help open the 130-seat restaurant serving ceviche, seafood, and other dishes styled after those found in Piura and Lima, Peru.

676 North Highland Avenue, Atlanta.;;

Sweet Auburn BBQ

656 North Highland Avenue Northeast, , GA 30306 (678) 515-3550 Visit Website

Georgia Boy

1043 Ponce De Leon Avenue Northeast, , GA 30306 (404) 698-3961 Visit Website

Southern Belle

1043 Ponce De Leon Avenue Northeast, , GA 30306 (404) 698-3961 Visit Website

Majestic Diner

1031 Ponce De Leon Avenue Northeast, , GA 30306 (404) 875-0276 Visit Website

JINYA Ramen Bar

5975 Roswell Road, , GA 30328 (404) 600-6974 Visit Website

The Righteous Room

2142 Johnson Ferry Road Northeast, , GA 30319 (770) 559-5678 Visit Website


1025 Howell Mill Road Northwest, , GA 30318 (404) 963-1165 Visit Website

East Pole Coffee Co.

255 Ottley Drive Northeast, , GA 30324 (404) 939-6498 Visit Website