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Q&A: Kevin Gillespie, Gunshow Mythbuster

by Duncan Connor

If you’ve paid any attention to the status of Gunshow, Kevin Gillespie’s new venture in Glenwood Park, you’ve probably heard a ton of rumors about what to expect. We asked Kevin to set the record straight about some of the myths surrounding the restaurant before it opens in mid-April.

MYTH: Gunshow won’t have menus.

Kevin Gillespie: Yes we do have menus. It is not that you will walk in with no idea at all of what we’re making that night, period. I think that was a misconception. There is a menu, it’s on your table. You, in fact, have it in front of you. You just don’t have to order anything in particular. The point was to take away the anxiety of menu ordering where you get a menu, you read it, you’re not exactly sure what it means and then someone comes around, asks you if you’re ready, you’re not, you ask for a few more minutes, they come back around and you’re probably still not ready but you realize that now is the time and so you order and then you have to live with the consequences of whether you made the right choice. I hate that. I’ve never liked that part about restaurants and so we decided not to do that anymore. So there is a menu, you do know what’s going on, you do know how much it costs. If anything you can actually keep track of your spending more this way than you can normally. You’re not gonna get the sticker shock effect of most restaurants where you order and you’re not doing the math in your head and all of a sudden you’re like “Oh my god we spent $400!”

MYTH: Gunshow won’t have servers.

KG: There are servers. There are clearly front of the house people and back of the house people they just don’t have exactly the same traditional responsibilities as they used to.

MYTH: Gunshow won’t take reservations.

KG: Yes we will, in fact, take reservations. This will be structured very similarly to most restaurants. We take reservations. The one thing we have changed is that we have allotted half of the restaurant to walk-in business that we will not reserve. That’s not to make people crazy, that’s solely for the purpose of “I don’t want you to feel like you have to make a reservation to eat there.” If it’s Thursday and you decide let’s go to Gunshow you know that you may have to wait, but you also know we’re prepared to take people without reservations, so that was the purpose of that.

MYTH: Gunshow is going to feel like a hunting cabin.

KG: This restaurant is not all about guns. That is obviously one that is easier to say than to prove. I think some people thought you wouldn’t wanna bring your wife there, it was gonna be too much of a good old boys club sorta thing…not at all. That’s not the aesthetic, that’s not the design, not in any way. And to any of the ladies that are gonna read this…you’re not gonna be uncomfortable. In fact I built you one of the biggest bathrooms you’ve probably ever seen. And no boys get to use it. So it’s not gonna be uncomfortable for you at all.

MYTH: Gunshow won’t sell booze.

KG: This got misconstrued. We only have a beer and wine permit, so we will serve beer and wine whether you’re sitting there or at the table, but we don’t have cocktails. So if you would like a cocktail, say after dinner or something like that, we don’t have a bar that you can sit at and we don’t have cocktails, so I would encourage people to stay locally and go across the street to The Shed as opposed to leaving Glenwood Park. I would like them to patronize my neighbor than go somewhere else. It’s not like you come in and we go “You want a drink? Well go across the street…” We just don’t have liquor. I made that choice for the neighborhood. I was asked, I was not demanded of by any means, but the impression I got from my neighbors was that they wanted a restaurant that was a restaurant, not a bar. There are three of them in very close proximity so I made the decision that could be very harmful to not have that to instead make it more of a restaurant so it was done as an effort to please my community. I think people heard it one way and then spun it another. We’re not gonna drive people away who wanna drink. We have beer and wine, and really good wine by the glass as well as by the bottle, but I know some people who after they’re done with dinner like to go hang out at the bar and have drinks…we don’t have a bar for you to hang out at, so I’m gonna recommend that you go to The Shed because I like the people at The Shed and I happen to like their drinks.

Atlanta Eats: Anything else you want to address that’s been said about Gunshow?

KG: I guess that’s about it for the misconceptions, I’m sure there’s a million more, but what’s most important to me is that people understand I didn’t do any of these things, I didn’t change any of these things, for gimmicks’ sake. I think there’s a misconception that I’m trying to be gimmicky. I’m not. I’ve thought and re-thought how [to] truly make a restaurant that’s closer to the feeling of someone dining with me in my home. People say all the time “I want it to feel like my home.” It can never feel like your home if it feels too much like a restaurant, that’s just the reality of it. And we’re trying our best to do away with, in my opinion, some of the cornerstone mistakes that restaurants have made that make a diner not feel as comfortable as maybe they should.

About Duncan Connor

Duncan Connor is a professional writer and content manager. He lives in Atlanta and can be found eating at some of the great dining establishments in town, or working off the calories on the soccer field.

Comments

  1. Kerrie:I laugh at the questions and misconceptions... how 'bout try it and see how you like it! Can't wait til you're open Kevin - I'm walking in with an open mind and an hunger for something new -
  2. Marge H:I think those who've followed Chef Gillespie's career will trust that he knows precisely what he wants and is doing his level best to bring his dream to Glenwood Park. I have full confidence that he'll execute it beautifully and am looking forward to making the time to fly to Georgia and be there to support Chef G as well as have the dining experience of a lifetime.
    You go get 'em, Chef.
  3. jeny:I live super close by to the new restaurant, and can't wait to walk over and try it out! :)