Has Concord Road seemed a little smoky lately? Does driving by cause you to spontaneously crave barbecue?
If yes, then you’ve probably noticed Smyrna’s newest restaurant, Ebony & Ivory Chicken, Catfish and BBQ, which opened for business Thursday at 871 Concord Road.
Ebony and Ivory serves dishes such as blackened catfish tacos, barbecue pork sandwiches, barbecue chicken and fried catfish at a low price. Victor “Ivory” Amato, Ebony and Ivory’s co-owner, explained that this is part of the restaurant’s customer service strategy.
“I was at the and I was the chef there for two years,” he said. “A lot of the stuff that I did there as a chef, I do over here as well, but we don’t have that big overhead like the Vinings Inn. They’re charging $8 for a barbecue pork sandwich that we’re selling over here for $3.50. It’s the same thing.”
Ebony and Ivory has already been well received by customers. Sean DeHaan stumbled on Ebony and Ivory while visiting the next door hardware store.
“I was just driving by looking for some 10W-30 and I went into this place,” he said. “So I called my wife and said, ‘Hey, there’s this new place.’ And she said, ‘Well why don’t you stop in and get me something.’ It’s nice. It’s quaint. Nothing flashy. Places like this usually have good food.”
What Ebony and Ivory lacks in “flash” it makes for up in flavor. Anato slow-cooks the pork, chicken and beef brisket for 12 to 14 hours in the smoker in the restaurant’s parking lot. He also makes the restaurant’s wing and barbecue sauces, including a special Alabama-style white barbecue sauce.
Customers are greeted by Marcus “Ebony” Phillips, Ebony and Ivory’s co-owner. Phillips and Amato met while the two worked at Dantanna’s at CNN Center.
“It was love at first sight,” Phillips said. “I was the lead server at Dantanna’s. I had a lot of repeat-customers. I have the ability to have the front part of a restaurant and the kitchen running smooth and getting things out in a timely manner, as well as being around tables for guest interaction and making sure people are satisfied.”
“He really impressed me with his work ethic,” Amato said. “He was always hustling, putting in as many hours as I was. We always got along.”
Phillips and Amato decided to team up and build their own restaurant. Amato, who lives in Smyrna, knew their vision would be well received in town.
“I’ve lived here for about seven years,” he said. “We love the area and the mix of people. That’s why I kind of think the ebony and the ivory works out well. It’s diverse out here. We cater to everybody.”
Ebony and Ivory is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. The restaurant is carryout or drive-through only. Ebony and Ivory delivers in Smyrna on orders greater than $20.