Soul-Infused Japanese Coming to the Beltline

Chefs Todd Richards and Josh Lee are opening another restaurant concept along the Beltline this March
Photo: foodie.mike on Instagram
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A blend of Soul food and Japanese fare will be served at the former site of Hazel Jane’s wine bar at 670 Dekalb Avenue NE this March. The brainchild of Chefs Todd Richards and Josh Lee, the owners of Lake & Oak Neighborhood BBQ and the Soulful Company restaurant group, the concept will emphasize takeout and outdoor seating, utilizing the building’s space along the Beltline, and will be called Kuro.

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“The word Kuro means Black in Japanese. Bringing this unique style of food to the Beltline while expanding its list of Black-owned dining opportunities is something to be proud of,” Lee said in a prepared statement. “Opening three restaurants in a pandemic in nine months time was not the plan. It’s an honor to employ members of our community during this time and bring comforting options to the rest of our neighbors.”

Both Soul food dishes incorporated traditional Japanese ingredients and Japanese seafood and makimono sushi with a Soul food twist will be on the restaurant’s menu, according to Eater Atlanta.  

Soul: Food and Culture, another venture of Richard and Lee’s, will open at Krog Street Market on Monday, February 1 in the place of Richard’s Southern Fried, where Chef Richards sold Nashville-style hot wings since 2016.

“We are thrilled to open two restaurants here on the Beltline in the first quarter of 2021 which we also know is the second year of the global pandemic. We look forward to offering our community additional safe spaces to pick up delicious food,” said Richards in a statement. 

When reached for comment regarding specifics of Kuro’s menu, Richards told What Now Atlanta that he was inundated with the particulars of the Krog Street Market restaurant’s impending opening, and would not comment regarding Kuro. 

“We’ve made ourselves just a bit busy with opening two spots so close together,” wrote Chef Josh Lee in a statement. “We couldn’t be happier to celebrate Soul Food on the Beltline!” 

Correction: Feb., 1 2021 — An earlier version of this article mistakenly stated that Kuro was located in Cabbagetown. What Now Atlanta regrets the error.

Christina Coulter

Christina Coulter is an eager journalist from Connecticut with dogged tenacity and the sensibilities of a small-town reporter. Before and after graduating from Marist College in 2017, Christina covered local news for a slew of publications in the Northeast, including The Wilton Bulletin, the Millbrook Independent, The Kingston Times, The New Paltz Times and the Rockland Times. For nearly four years before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Christina was the lead reporter for The Saugerties Times, living and breathing the goings-on of the 20,000-strong Hudson Valley community. Christina weathered the pandemic in Atlanta, where she got a taste for the city's people and flavors. After a brief stint covering news in Connecticut and New York once more with The Daily Voice, Christina was taken on by What Now Atlanta and What Now Los Angeles, where she aims to unweave the intricacies of both cities' bright restaurant communities.

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