An outpost of the popular Emory Point restaurant and delicatessen The General Muir opened its doors at City Springs on Jan. 13. The Rye Restaurants group, of which chef Todd Ginsberg is a partner, has five other eateries around Atlanta: West Egg Cafe, TGM Bread, Fred’s Meat & Bread, Yalla and Wood’s Chapel BBQ.
Ginsberg, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, was a James Beard Foundation semifinalist for Best Chef (Southeast) in 2014 and 2015. His career began at the Ritz-Carlton in Atlanta and continued at the Michelin-starred Lucas Carton in Paris and Alain Ducasse in New York. Back in Atlanta, he helmed the kitchen at Bocado before launching the General Muir at Emory in 2013, which became an instant success.
The General Muir is named after the vessel that carried co-owner Jennifer Johnson’s family, who were Holocaust refugees, to the United States following World War II. The restaurant serves pastrami sandwiches, matzo ball soup, burgers and bagel sandwiches, among other traditional Jewish delicacies, as well as fried chicken and spaghetti suppers.
The new location is in Sandy Springs’ civic center at 6405 Blue Stone Road, Suite 240, at the intersection with Johnson Ferry Road. For more information, see thegeneralmuir.com.
You oversee seven restaurants as chef. How do you not go crazy doing that?
We have a huge support team that ensures no one goes crazy, and that way we don’t drop too many balls or have things fall through the cracks. I have a culinary director that reports to me and then we have executive chefs in each of the restaurants, and they have their sous chefs, and I oversee them all to avoid those balls falling in the gutter. That’s my goal: keeping those balls going down the alley until it ends.
How is this new location in Sandy Springs different from the one at Emory?
It doesn’t differ too much, other than we’ve done a couple things cosmetically. At the other General Muir, there are pictures of our families on the walls, and here we have pictures and some memorabilia of people that we’ve met over the years since we opened the first one. The menus are the same, but I think we’re going to be selling a lot more bagels, pastrami and corned beef than at the other restaurant. The fried chicken that we had available only on Friday nights at the other General Muir we are doing every night here, and we’re also doing brisket every night.
What’s been the reaction so far?
Some of the people that I’ve talked to that have been to both restaurants say it’s very consistent, and that’s been great to hear. Our number one goal was to bring our product and our brand to a new space and we wanted to make sure that people are enjoying it. A lot of them live closer to here than the other spot, so this is just around the corner for them. The feedback has been great. The community has wanted us from day one and they’re supporting us and are happy that we’re finally here.
What else would you like people to know about your restaurants?
That we are a friendly and safe environment for people to work in as well as eat in; that we take safety and precautions very seriously during these times; that we are protecting our staff as well as our guests. In addition to that, we’re doing things that everybody grew up eating and we just try to do them a little better than they remember them.