Kudzu Seafood set to open in Dannenberg Building in April

adrury@macon.comFebruary 19, 2014 

This spring, downtown Macon’s dining options will take on a coastal flavor when a seafood restaurant opens in the Dannenberg Building.

Kudzu Seafood Co. likely will debut in April, said restaurant owners Lee Clack and Kelley Wrigley, who also run Kudzu Catering.

“It will have the feel of a casual, on-the-coast little seafood shack with some modern touches,” Clack said.

Kudzu Seafood, at 480 Third St., will offer fried and grilled seafood options, including New Orleans-style Po-boy sandwiches and seafood plates along with non-seafood fare such as salads, chicken fingers and cheeseburgers.

The restaurant will be on the Dannenberg’s ground floor, along with Kinetix Health Club and the soon-to-open Ocmulgee Traders grocery store. About 70 lofts will be on the building’s upper floors.

Although Kudzu Seafood is moving into a newly renovated building, it’s still making room for the past. The restaurant is using the Dannenberg’s reclaimed wood for the bar and will use some of the building’s old beadboard on the walls, Wrigley said.

Clack and Wrigley said their eatery, which will employ about 10 people, will feature open-kitchen dining for up to about 40 people. It also will offer takeout and downtown delivery.

Kudzu will be open for lunch Monday through Friday, and evenings and weekends will be available for private, catered events -- “a more upscale dining environment for 10 to 40 people,” he said.

Mike Ford, president of NewTown Macon, said Kudzu will be the first seafood restaurant in downtown in decades and will help “make us more of a destination.”

Ford said Greenville, S.C., which is often used as a model city to compare Macon against, has about 90 restaurants in a smaller downtown.

“I think we have room for a lot of restaurants, and I’m happy to see this one opening here,” he said.

Architect Gene Dunwody Jr., one of the Dannenberg’s owners, said he’s excited about the three businesses in the building.

“The thing I’m excited about with Lee is that he’s from Mobile (Ala.) and has a coastal background,” Dunwody said. “(Kudzu Seafood) really has a kind of a shrimp shack kind of feel to it, but it will be a lot more sophisticated because the Dannenberg is so majestic.”

Downtown is in the midst of a revival, Dunwody said, and he sees the Dannenberg as a catalyst for other projects.

“We’re cooking with Crisco in downtown right now,” he said. “When you can build the density downtown, you’re going to get more and more restaurants.”

Dunwody called Kudzu Restaurant Co. a “perfect fit ... (that’s) part of a really huge movement that’s happening right before our eyes.”

To contact writer Andy M. Drury, call 744-4477.

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