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What many people claim are the “best fries in California” will soon be debuting in Atlanta.
Mr. Fries Man, which offers counter-service fries with imaginative toppings from formerly underground chef Craig Batiste, is opening in downtown next month.
Jabari Mathieu, who also owns the Inglewood, Calif., Mr. Fries Man location, filed a permit application through the city of Atlanta for 30 Decatur St. SE.
He has about two weeks’ worth of mostly cosmetic buildout left to do in the 1,345-square-foot shop. He is tentatively planning for a March 16 open date, he said during a phone interview with What Now Atlanta on Friday.
Right now, he’s in “administrative mode” and checking boxes on his to-do list, but he’s looking forward to getting the party started with the grand opening in mid-March.
Mathieu recently moved to the area and, having six years of success under his belt with the Inglewood shop, he wanted to bring the Mr. Fries Man brand with him.
“I wanted to mimic that same success out here,” he said.
If Instagram is any indicator, customers are ready for Mr. Fries Man in the community. Mathieu saw the comments of people asking to bring it to Atlanta and, knowing the area, thinks locals will respond to the unique fries. After attending El Camino College in Torrance, Calif., Mathieu got a scholarship for Arkansas State University playing defensive end and got to know the region pretty well before moving back to California.
“I know the market, I know the people,” he said. “It will be a huge deal.”
Batiste first started Mr. Fries Man with his wife, Dorothy, in their Gardena, Calif., backyard in 2017. With a little promotional backup from Instagram, it quickly became a massive hit. Since June 2020, they have sold franchises for 21 locations.
Mathieu hopes to continue building the Mr. Fries Man franchise out east in the future. But, for now, it’s all about Atlanta.
“I’m happy I’m out here and I love the process,” he said. “I’m excited, of course, I want people to eat good food and represent the west coast.”