Just four months after opening their Fishmonger seafood market and cafe in Poncey-Highland, Skip Engelbrecht and Nhan Le (8ARM, Octopus Bar) and chef Bradford Forsblom announced that a second location is headed to Kirkwood this fall. The fish shop should open in mid-October in the Pratt Pullman district.
Occupying building number seven next to Dailies and Sides restaurant on Rogers Street, this second fish restaurant seats close to 50 people inside and has a raw bar and a full bar serving beer, wine, cocktails and frozen drinks. The patio also seats 100 people outside.
As in Poncey-Highland, expect the Pratt Pullman restaurant to be counter service. However, servers will float around the dining room and patio to take additional food and drink orders. Engelbrecht describes Kirkwood Fish Market as “super family-friendly” with a dog-friendly patio and the signature atmosphere he and Le are known for creating at their other restaurants through music, relaxed atmosphere and design.
One big difference between the two fishmonger locations is the absence of a seafood market in Pratt Pullman. Engelbrecht says he and his partners may consider bringing in a market if there’s demand, and have even envisioned a retail arm in Kirkwood as part of the design.
“There’s a lot of room. We just don’t want to start with that,” says Engelbrecht. “A market is not as easy as you might think because it’s very much a process and quality control is very important. We want to make sure that this is in place and the neighborhood and the families here really want that first.”
With building construction complete and all necessary permits in place, Engelbrecht says they can now focus on the restaurant’s design, including carrying over key elements from the Poncey-Highland location, such as the purple, pink and the red neon lighting, carefree decor and casual seating.
Like Poncey-Highland’s menu, Forsblom’s Kirkwood menu won’t feature much fried fish, instead focusing on delicate blackened grouper fillets, crudo, fresh oysters and seafood salads, soups and sandwiches. Look for six or seven specials on the menu each day, too.
“We knew we wanted to open multiple Fishmonger locations when we came up with the idea, and then seeing how well it’s doing in Poncey-Highland, that just made the decision easier,” Engelbrecht says. “We’re looking at possibly opening a total of four locations in Atlanta, with new fish shops in Buckhead and on the west side. There could even be a fifth in Sandy Springs.
Engelbrecht and Le originally intended to open the Bellsmouth Three Heart Coffee cafe and restaurant in the building now slated for the fishmonger’s. The pandemic halted these plans. Then, last December, Pratt Pullman District owners Adam Rosenfelt and Maureen Meulen announced plans to open a restaurant called Homage with Dailies and Sides chef Chris Hughes, but decided to offer the space back to Engelbrecht and Le for open Fishmonger.
“I really appreciate what Maureen and Adam are doing here because they’re not necessarily real estate people. They’re in the entertainment business,” says Engelbrecht. “They came into Pullman, realized its potential and took advantage of the opportunity. There’s so much creative stuff going on here and it’s great, and we’re excited for Fishmonger to be a part of it.”
Later this fall, Engelbrecht, Le and Forsblom will open Small Fry at Atlanta Dairies on Memorial Drive, a counter service restaurant with a window serving fried chicken and fried fish sandwiches, falafel burgers, fish nuggets and shrimp baskets .