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The Sweet Auburn BBQ Team Open a Breezy Mexican Cantina and Tiki Bar at Westside Village

Take a look at the menu for Gezzo’s Coastal Cantina opening May 3 in the former Juniper Cafe space

Gezzo’s Coastal Cantina
Beth McKibben is the editor and staff reporter for Eater Atlanta and has been covering food and cocktails locally and regionally for 12 years.

The owners of Sweet Auburn BBQ in Poncey-Highland open Gezzo’s Coastal Cantina Wednesday, May 3, in the former Juniper Cafe space at Westside Village.

Backed by Anita and Howard Hsu, the restaurant is an extension of the siblings’ McDonough and Locust Grove West Coast burrito joints of the same name, but with an expanded menu featuring more seafood and coastal dishes from around the world.

“Gezzo’s Coastal Cantina is a Mexican restaurant and cocktail bar inspired by the flavors, textures and energy of beaches in Latin America and beyond,” a description on the restaurant’s website reads.

Gezzo’s Coastal Cantina

In addition to Gezzo’s burritos, look for ceviche, a coconut curry rice bowl, Baja chicken egg rolls, and tempura fish tacos from culinary director and Sweet Auburn BBQ chef Cam Floyd and head chef Wainer Isidor. A partnership between the Hsus and family-run ice cream business La Michoacana sees Mexican-style ice cream, sundaes, and popsicles served from a takeout window on the patio and a walk-up window on the side of the building. Among the other desserts are a four-layer coconut cake, tres leches, and churro bread pudding.

Gezzo’s Cantina takes full advantage of the bright and spacious covered patio beside the dining room, offers seating at a chefs counter, and features a breezeway tiki bar complete with swing beds and lounge areas for late-night hangouts. Expect fresh, tropical drinks from beverage director Shauna Whitson and her team, like a peach paloma and habanero margarita, an orange creamsicle mojito, and a classic Mai Tai.

A grand opening party for Gezzo’s Cantina takes place Friday, May 5, starting at 5 p.m., with food, cocktails, and live music throughout the evening.

Vietnamese cafe and bakery Juniper Cafe, owned by the Hsus’ brother Ron and chef Aaron Phillips, closed in January after a little over a year at Westside Village. The chefs, who also own Lazy Betty and Humble Pie, plan to relocate the restaurant further into town at some point, but continue operating the wholesale bakery arm of Juniper Cafe from a dedicated portion of the kitchen at Gezzo’s Cantina. Neither Ron Hsu or Phillips, however, are affiliated with Gezzo’s Cantina.

Prior to the opening of Juniper Cafe in 2022, Howard and Anita Hsu were planning to open Amar Bien in the Marietta Boulevard space, a Mexican restaurant with an emphasis on vegetables. Later, Howard Hsu told Eater that while Juniper Cafe would open at Westside Village instead, “Amar Bien is still in the works, and we are looking for the perfect spot for the concept.”

Gezzo’s Coastal Cantina
Gezzo’s Coastal Cantina
Gezzo’s Coastal Cantina

Update, 5/2/2023, 4 p.m.: This story has been updated with a menu and new information from Anita and Howard Hsu.

Currently open Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday, 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 12 p.m. until late. Hours expected to expand into Tuesday by summer.

2260 Marietta Boulevard, Atlanta.

Juniper Cafe

2260 Marietta Boulevard Northwest, , GA 30318 (470) 427-3057 Visit Website

Lazy Betty

1530 DeKalb Avenue Northeast, , GA 30307 (404) 975-3692 Visit Website

Sweet Auburn BBQ

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