Four months after opening their seafood market and cafe Fishmonger in Ponce-Highland, Skip Engelbrecht and Nhan Le (8ARM, Octopus Bar) and chef Bradford Forsblom announced a second location in Kirkwood this fall. Fishmonger Pratt should open in mid-October in the Pullman district.
Occupying building number seven, next to restaurant Daly’s & Sides on Rogers Street, this second fishmonger seats 50 people inside and features a raw bar and a full bar serving beer, wine, cocktails and frozen drinks. Even outside the courtyard, 100 people can sit.
As with Poncey-Highland, expect Pratt Pullman restaurants to be counter service. However, servers will float around the dining room and patio to take additional food and drink orders. Engelbrecht describes Kirkwood Fishmonger as “super family friendly” with a dog friendly patio and signature vibe that 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 the market to market if there’s demand for it, and have also planned for the possibility of a retail arm in Kirkwood as part of the design.
“There is plenty of room. We don’t want to start with it,” says Engelbrecht. “The market is not as easy as one might think because it is very process and quality control is very important. We want to make sure it’s in place and that the neighborhood and the families here really want it first. “
With the building completed and all the necessary permits in place, Engelbrecht says they are now free to focus on the restaurant’s design, which includes key elements of the Ponce-Highland location such as purple, pink and red neon lighting, carefree decor, and casual seating.
Like Ponce-Highland’s menu, Forsblom’s Kirkwood menu won’t feature much in the way of fried fish, instead focusing on blackened grouper, crudo, fresh oysters, and delicate filets of seafood salads, soups and sandwiches. Look for six to seven meal specials on the menu each day.
“We knew we wanted to open more Fishmonger’s locations when we came up with the idea, and then to see how well it was doing in Ponce-Highland, that made the decision easy,” says Engelbrecht. “We’re looking to potentially open a total of four locations in Atlanta, including the new Fishmongers in Buckhead and on the west side. A fifth may also be in Sandy Springs.”
Engelbrecht and Le originally intended to open Three Hearts Coffee Cafe and Restaurant Bellsmouth in the building now slated for a fishmonger. The pandemic put a stop to those plans. Then, last December, Pratt Pullman District owners Adam Rosenfelt and Maureen Mullen announced they planned to open a restaurant called Homage with deli and sides chef Chris Hughes, but decided to offer the space to Engelbrecht and Leigh to open a 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 to Pullman, realized the potential and jumped at the opportunity. There’s a lot of creative stuff happening here and it’s great, and we’re excited Fishmonger is going to be a part of that.”
Later this fall, Engelbrecht, Le, and Forsblom will open Small Fry at Atlanta Dairies on Memorial Drive, a counter-service restaurant with a walk-up window serving fried chicken and fried fish sandwiches, falafel burgers, fish nuggets and shrimp baskets.