The much anticipated opening of Southern National in Summerhill is just around the corner.
Owned by former One Flew South chef Duane Nutter and restaurateur Reginald “Reggie” Washington, Southern National opens Thursday, June 29, across from chef Jarrett Stieber’s Little Bear on Georgia Avenue.
This is a homecoming for both Nutter and Washington, who worked together for years at One Flew South at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, before departing the city in 2016. They would go on to open Southern National in Mobile, Alabama, (Washington’s hometown) a year later, but continued hinting at a return to Atlanta. The partners officially closed the Mobile location in 2022 to relocate the restaurant to Summerhill.
Nutter and Washington are also reuniting with two longtime friends and former colleagues in Southern National, partnering with Ticonderoga Club owners and critically acclaimed bartenders Greg Best and Paul Calvert, who will oversee the beverage program at the restaurant. Best and Calvert were behind the cocktails at Southern National in Mobile. Like the Alabama location, people can expect takes on classic cocktails for which Best and Calvert are known, along with an expansive wine list emphasizing champagne and Old World reds.
Food from Nutter leans into the chef’s travels in the Northwest, Kentucky, and Louisiana, where he was born, as well as the South and Atlanta. The menu features a few of the Mobile location’s most popular dishes, like the mussels and collard greens, along with several new dishes, such as Creole-cured salmon and potato blini, fried lobster tail, and berbere-spiced fried chicken thigh.
“My menus and my journey as a chef are pretty much one and the same,” Nutter says. “I like to say we’re Southern in feel, National in flavor, because I’ve been inspired by every place I’ve ever lived and worked.”
Nutter and Washington see Southern National as part of the “next chapter” for Summerhill, a neighborhood founded by former enslaved people in 1865, many of whom went on to open successful businesses in the neighborhood. It would later become home to the majority of the city’s Jewish population in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Southern National joins nearly a dozen restaurants now open along Georgia Avenue, including Little Bear, Little Tart Bakeshop and Big Softie, Wood’s Chapel BBQ, How Crispy Express, D Boca N Boca, Maepole, Junior’s Pizza, Hero Doughnuts, Hot Dog Pete’s, and Halfway Crooks Beer.
Check out the opening menu:
72 Georgia Avenue, Atlanta. southernational.com.
Anticipated opening date Thursday, June 29. Tentative hours: Sunday, 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Monday 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Thursday - Saturday, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Reservations begin July 6.