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

Southern Belle is a A cocktail forward restaurant offering a curated selection of beverages highlighting the stories and passions of Southern distilleries. Southern Belle will also feature local craft  beers and food friendly, biodynamic wines. The food offered at Southern Belle will celebrate seasonality and local farms while embracing the multicultural flavors of the "new south". Settle in,  have a drink, and enjoy a delicious taste of hospitality. Welcome home. 

Georgia Boy  
 You're invited to take part in a special journey. Accessed through a secret passage hidden away inside Southern Belle awaits Georgia Boy, a dinner experience unlike any other. Pass through the bookcase and enter a world of culinary fantasy where you and your dining companions will embark on a multi-course tasting menu exploring the creative mind of Joey Ward as he and his team introduce you to the cuisine of the South as viewed through his colorful lens. Let go of your inhibitions. Explore the unknown. Experience with childlike wonder. 

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



Chef Joey Ward has found a lot of inspiration in the chefs he admires, particularly his grandfather who acted as a father figure for him and was a cook in the United States Navy. Joey has fond memories of spending his Saturday mornings tuning into the cooking shows that followed children’s cartoons on PBS. Shows like “Yan Can Cook” and “The Galloping Gourmet” got him hooked and he’s been turning his creativity into inspired culinary creations ever since.

“For me, cooking is a form of art. You must strive to appeal to all of the senses simultaneously, and if possible, evoke emotion,” says the passionate chef. “That is a very special part of why I cook – to take something as basic as a person’s need for nutrients and elevate it to a level of emotional stimulus, whether that be through surprise, wonderful flavors or showing the diner a great time in that moment.”

Originally from Powder Springs, Georgia, Joey knew from a very young age that he would some day become a chef. He spent his formative years working in the kitchen of the world class Cherokee Town & Country Club in Atlanta. Joey went on to graduate from the world-renowned Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, in 2005 with an associate’s degree in Culinary Arts Management. He began his career in the South as the sous chef on the opening team of the St. Regis Atlanta but eventually left the hotel to work under Woodfire Grill’s former executive chef and Bravo “Top Chef” alum, Kevin Gillespie. After two years of guidance under Gillespie, Joey moved on to become the executive chef at H. Harper Station.

When it came time for Gillespie to turn his vision for Gunshow into a reality, he immediately called on Joey to provide the new concept with his exceptional flavor combinations, keen eye for presentation, and passion for creativity in the kitchen. Joey found Gillespie’s new approach to food preparation and service as a breath of fresh air for the Atlanta restaurant scene and has never looked back.

As the executive chef of Gunshow, Joey is responsible for the overall vision and direction of the restaurant for both the kitchen and front of house. Joey takes charge of all aspects of daily operations, so every part of the guest experience is funneled through him, his experience, and his attention to detail.

Always looking ahead, Joey has embarked on his own journey and is bringing his visionary restaurant concepts Southern Belle & Georgia Boy to the Atlanta market in the Fall of 2019.

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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