1043 Ponce De Leon Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA

Southern Belle and Georgia Boy will be located at The Plaza on Ponce in the Poncey-Highlands neighborhood.


Southern Belle

Opening in late fall 2019, Southern Belle is celebrated local chef Joey Ward's cocktail-forward, Southern-rooted restaurant located in Atlanta’s Poncey-Highland neighborhood. With a beverage program focused on highlighting the stories and passions of Southern distilleries, Southern Belle will boast an expertly-crafted cocktail menu, local beers, and biodynamic wines. Alongside the drinks, look for dishes executed by Ward and his team with a commitment to embracing hyper-seasonality, local farms, and the multicultural flavors of the “New South.” A complement to the food and beverage program, the restaurant’s interior design will evoke a Southern, homey feel with exposed brick walls, tufted furniture, salon-style art, and the historic building’s original tin roof. Affectionately named as a nod to the strong-willed, Southern women Ward knows and loves — including his wife and restaurant co-owner Emily — Southern Belle is connected through a secret passageway to his second restaurant concept, Georgia Boy, which will offer a separate, 16-seat tasting menu. As for the rest of the team, Ward has pulled in a talented crew of well-known names in the Atlanta culinary landscape, including General Manager Cate Hatch and Chef de Cuisine Spencer Gomez.

Georgia Boy  
 Opening in late fall 2019 in Atlanta, GA, Georgia Boy is an intimate, multi-sensory tasting menu dinner experience created by Chef Joey Ward. Tucked away inside Southern Belle (Ward’s cocktail-forward New Southern restaurant, also opening this fall) and accessible only through a secret bookcase, Georgia Boy will welcome four seatings of eight guests each evening for a theatrical showing of culinary precision and whimsy. The 10-course tasting menu sets out to explore the creative mind of Ward, introducing the cuisine of the South as viewed through his inventive, colorful lens. The experience comes to life via Georgia Boy’s minimalist and sleek design (concrete floors, steel touches, high-top tables and chairs), and a talented team made up of several well-known names in the Atlanta culinary landscape, including General Manager Cate Hatch and Chef de Cuisine Spencer Gomez. 

 *Reservations for Georgia Boy will be available 1 month prior to opening.



Joey Ward is the Executive Chef and Owner of Southern Belle and Georgia Boy in Atlanta, GA. Originally from Powder Springs, GA, Joey set his sights on becoming a chef at an early age, drawing inspiration from his grandfather – a former cook in the U.S. Navy – who served as a father figure for Joey. He spent his childhood Saturday mornings watching the cooking shows that followed children’s cartoons on PBS, and he’s been channeling his creativity into inspired culinary creations ever since. 

Joey spent his formative years working in the kitchen of Atlanta’s celebrated Cherokee Town & Country Club and earned his degree in Culinary Arts Management from the world-renowned Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY in 2005. He returned to the South to begin his career as the Sous Chef on the opening team of the St. Regis Atlanta before moving on to work under Woodfire Grill’s former Executive Chef and Bravo “Top Chef” alum, Kevin Gillespie, who would go on to become his mentor. After two years of guidance under Gillespie, Joey moved on to become the Executive Chef at H. Harper Station before returning to Gillespie’s side to open Gunshow in 2013. For six years, Joey served as Executive Chef at Gunshow, where he showcased inventive flavor combinations, a keen eye for presentation, sharp attention to detail, and a true passion for creativity in the kitchen. 

He now brings this expertise to Southern Belle and Georgia Boy, his first solo restaurant ventures, slated to open in late Fall 2019. His menus at both concepts aim to celebrate the diversity of arts, culture, food, and people of his home state. At Southern Belle, a cocktail-forward restaurant, Joey and his team offer a curated selection of spirits and cocktails that highlight the stories and passions of Southern distilleries alongside dishes that embrace the multicultural flavors of the “New South.” At Georgia Boy, connected to Southern Belle via a secret passageway, Joey presents an intimate, reservation-only, multi-course tasting menu experience for 16, where guests are welcomed to explore the Southern cuisine as viewed through his inventive, colorful lens.

When he’s not in the restaurants, you can find Joey spending time with his dog, Louis, and his wife, Emily, a spirited Southern belle for whom the restaurant was named. He lives in Midtown Atlanta. 

Each day, my goal is to elevate the level of cuisine and service, bring a fresh approach to the finest, locally sourced ingredients and build lasting relationships with local farmers
— joey


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For media inquiries, please contact Anna Mintz or Sarah Horton at Sprouthouse.