Downtown: Southern soul coming to former Concord marketplace

  • Alan Natkiel of Georgia’s Eastside BBQ talks about Southern food at the former site of the Korner Kupboard. Natkiel, a well-known restaurateur in New York City, is looking to bring his Georgia Eastside BBQ to Concord next year. Caitlin Andrews / Monitor staff

  • Alan Natkiel of Georgia's Eastside BBQ talks about Southern food at the former site of the Corner Cupboard. Natkiel, a well-known restaurateur in New York City, is looking to bring his Georgia Eastside BBQ to Concord next year. Caitlin Andrews—Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 12/23/2018 5:30:53 PM

Something’s cooking at the former site of the Korner Kupboard.

Well, not yet; if you popped by, you’d find that the former market on Route 3 near the state prison is a bit of a mess right now. But Alan Natkiel – Granite State native and New York City Southern barbecue legend – has big plans for this little space.

See, back in the Big Apple, Natkiel used to run this spot called Georgia’s Eastside BBQ. The name serves as both a reference to where he learned his love of Southern cooking (he went to school at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga.), as well as homage to Georgia, the “coolest, most relaxed and protective” Sicilian mastiff Natkiel ever knew.

The place was a hit and attracted the attention of big-name publications, like New York Magazine, CBS News, and as of this year, The New York Times. Chef Rachel Ray, Good Morning America and Fox News also took an interest.

But constant construction next door on a new luxury condo development caused too much chaos, and Eastside closed in May.

If you’re not an NYC foodie, the name Natkiel may still ring a bell. He dropped into Concord last New Year’s with a pop-up restaurant in the Little Creperie to host a dinner, featuring a cashew jalapeno rice bowl.

Now, Natkiel is looking to start again in the Capital City – a new joint, named Georgia’s Northside, serving up Southern bites and craft beer.

This won’t be your slowed-down, sit-down type of place, however. Natkiel’s vision is for a take-out joint, focusing on special sides along with your traditional barbecue foods and catering to the plentiful Route 3 traffic.

It’s the accouterments that really bring a Southern meal home, Natkiel says. It’s just one of the ways his mother (“The best cook I know,” he’ll tell you) influenced his love of food, growing up on a horse farm in the town of Hill.

“My mom eats all different types of meat, but not a lot of it,” he said. “We were heavily garden influenced.”

As of right now, Natkiel’s planning to open in April. As construction continues, he’s thinking about how to overcome one of his biggest challenges – finding local, talented cooks who want to put some soul into their food.

“You can’t just pay somebody to care,” he said. “I’d rather have someone who never worked in a professional kitchen, but says, ‘I’m an avid home cook, you should see my Instagram, I’m posting food pics all the time.’

“I’d be like, ‘Okay, well I can teach you,’ ” he continued. “But if the next person is just looking for a paycheck and to leave at quitting time, then to hell with them.”

Natkiel foresees barbecue staples like ribs and smoked brisket on the menus, along with traditional sides like red skin potato salad, sweet braised greens and homemade coleslaw. In addition, he’s thinking homemade breakfast sandwiches, a variety of healthy salads and some healthy dinner specials to round it out.

Initially, Northside will only offer to-go and catering services, but Natkiel said delivery is also in the future.

If you’re curious to see what kind of food Natkiel will be serving, check out Georgia’s Northside on Facebook and Instagram.

City closings

A list of city closings as the holidays approach:

Concord city offices and the library will close at 1 p.m. Monday and will be closed all day Tuesday for the holiday.

The library will close at 4:30 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. City offices and the library will be closed New Year’s Day.

Christmas and New Year’s Day are trash holidays, so pickup will be delayed one day.

Sidewalk stipulations

There will be new rules for the city’s downtown sidewalks in the New Year.

The Concord City Council approved new regulations for its sidewalks in August. The regulations, part of the city’s efforts to create a Main Street Design Guide, are meant to make the reconfigured downtown’s sidewalks accessible and usable for pedestrians and businesses alike.

This includes formalizing the rules for outdoor dining, sidewalk signage and other amenities an owner might find useful.

Some of the rules are as follows:

Businesses must remove all encumbrances from the sidewalk when it isn’t operating and clean up the sidewalk or other public property areas at the end of each day.

Tables, chairs, signs or other items can’t block doors or egresses, adjoining properties, or fire-related equipment.

The sidewalk has been divided into zones: Zone A is 6 to 8 feet wide and is closest to the building and is where tables and chairs are allowed. Zone B is the main travel lane, must be at least 6 feet wide and remain unobstructed. Zone C allows for planters and the city’s brick pavers.

Table awnings or umbrellas can’t project further into the sidewalk than the tables.

Kiosks, benches, bike racks, waste receptacles, wayfinding signage and any other public amenities provided by the city need at least three feet of space and can’t be obstructed.

A sidewalk sign can’t be bigger than four feet high and three feet wide and can be placed in the city’s right-of-way. They can be made of metal and wood. Nonconforming signs may be removed by city staff and will be stored on city property for up to 10 days or until the sign owner complies with the rules. After 10 days, the signs will be destroyed.

Using the sidewalk will require a “Business Use of Public Property” permit. Those permits allow for usage from April 1 to Nov. 15 of the same year. Sidewalk signs are allowed year-round.

(Caitlin Andrews can be reached at 369-3309, or on Twitter at @ActualCAndrews.)

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