There’s a definite spatial familiarity when you walk into the building previously occupied by the failed 5 Napkin Burger, yet an unbridled excitement bounces off the walls as James Nelson discusses his plans for 10, the new restaurant/bar planned to open sometime late 2012.
The area surrounding 10th and Piedmont, also known as gay ground zero, has undergone many changes in the last year. Between Outwrite closing, Gilberts’ plan to expand, 5 Napkin opening and closing as well as the newfound (and long awaited) success of Campagnolo, Nelson isn’t looking so much at the competition in the neighborhood as he is at bringing the best business he can to a burgeoning gay-owned and gay-friendly owned district.
“It’s time that [Atlanta] has a centralized area,” Nelson states. “Any city you go to, especially as far as the gay community is concerned, they have a street they have an area where all the businesses are located. It’s very pedestrian-friendly and you walk from one to the other. I hope that is what happens here and I think we can transition to that- n area where everyone hangs out at.”
While Nelson is mum on certain aspects on the concept he was surprisingly open with one. 10 will be a smoke-free restaurant. Smokers are welcome but they will have to take their butts outside. “I’m very concerned with cleanliness . . . and I think other businesses that consider themselves restaurants/bars one element that really contributes to people not wanting to eat there is smoking,” Nelson revealed of the policy. “When you have that environment and you’re smoking in it 24-7, it just doesn’t appeal to people.”
So what kind of food can we expect from 10? While no specifics were offered, Nelson promised a chef-driven All-American menu that uses only the freshest ingredients. “I think there is a market here for an all-American upscale environment,” Nelson shared. “We are going to focus on quality.”
One of the problems 5 Napkin faced was moving into a community that they weren’t able to adapt to initially. Nelson, who has strong ties to the LGBT community at large, expects to work closely with charities and other LGBT organizations when 10 finally opens its doors. But don’t expect any drag shows. “There are currently no plans to have drag shows,” Nelson laughed.
While a grand opening date has not been decided upon, Nelson plans to preview the concept and space to the community during the upcoming Atlanta Pride weekend before shutting down for a few weeks in order to build a large bar along the Piedmont Ave side of the building that will service both the inside and outside.
Well, might not be all we hoped for but our appetite has definitely been whet as we await more details. One thing is for sure, Nelson is working hard to bring a hot new spot to the gayborhood. So stop in during Pride weekend and show your support for 10.