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Restaurateur Ebony Austin details her quest to elevate Southern comfort food

Ebony Austin (Photo by Christal Jordan for Steed Media)

Atlanta has long been a hotbed for entrepreneurs, but recently a barrage of new restaurants have been opening up and catering to the urban professional crowd with a renewed spin on the comfort food that the South is famous for serving. Serial female entrepreneur Ebony Austin recently opened Nouveau Bar & Grill in College Park, Georgia, with the intention of being the newest hot spot in Atlanta’s lounge and fine dining landscape. We had an opportunity to talk with Austin about her passion for both food and her new restaurant.

What inspired to open a restaurant?

I love to eat, especially when the food is good. I also love to entertain. Hosting parties and bringing people together makes me feel like I’ve done something great. Food is the epicenter of family, friendship and fun. It is a universal language. Growing up in the inner city of Chicago, some of my most memorable moments were when my family and friends would get together around the dinner table or at the restaurant and enjoy one another. We would laugh, cry, tell jokes, share ideas and show support. My dream is to have a place where people can gather around great food, good music and meet new people.

What is your vision for Nouveau and making it stand out with customers?

Nouveau is a place where everyone is welcome. Our customers are like family and we love having them visit. We have karaoke night, where people can sing their hearts away and we provide a stage for those who want to showcase their comedic talent. When you visit Nouveau, you are greeted with eminent ambiance, amazing live music, excellent service, outstanding cocktails, and exceptional food.

Your restaurant is in a location that hosts numerous other Black-owned businesses. Was this important to you? If so, why?

Yes, it was very important. Nouveau is located in an area that boasts community and success amongst Black entrepreneurs. In my eyes, having clusters of Black-owned businesses in the same area proves that you can be successful without the feeling of competition. Being in this location affords me the opportunity to give back to the Black community. Also, with all of the gentrification going on, opening a business among other Black-owned businesses shows that we’re still here, we’re growing, we’re unified and we’re thriving.

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