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Chef Kevin Gillespie Explains Meaning of "Gunshow" Eatery Name

Homage to times with his dad.

GLENWOOD PARK — When celebrity Chef Kevin Gillespie announced his planned departure from Woodfire Grill last year to open an eatery here, residents were ecstatic.

After all, Gillespie is a Top Chef alum and widely celebrated in the culinary arts world with multiple nominations  for the James Beard Foundation’s “Rising Star Chef of the Year” award and a nomination for Food & Wine's “The People’s Best New Chef."

And he's a resident of neighboring Ormewood Park to boot.

So fans are looking forward to the eatery, which has a planned spring opening in the retail space at the corner of Garrett Street and Bill Kennedy Way.

What has people scratching their heads, though, is the choice of name for the restaurant: Gunshow.

The Atlanta native explained the meaning behind the name last week at the February meeting of the South Atlantans for Neighborhood Development.

SAND is a community association that includes Glenwood Park, Ormewood Park and Benteen Park, among other neighborhoods.

Gillespie went before SAND for approval on a beer and wine service, which he received.

He explained that as a kid, his parents worked seven days a week to support him and his sister.

On the rare days that his dad would have a day off, it would usually be on a Sunday.

Even so, the family didn't have the money for extravagant activities so he and his dad went to gun shows.

"The restaurant is named after my father," Gillespie said, noting that both parents instilled work ethic of dedication in their children.

"They taught me that despite the circumstances we may have, that if my sister and I worked hard in life and committed to being successful, we could be that."

Michael Piazza February 19, 2013 at 03:01 PM
As a resident of Glenwood Park I appreciate Mr. Gillespie's right to name his restaurant as he chooses. However, given the diverse and happily inclusive nature of the neighborhood and the historical circumstances, I would ask him to be more sensitive. He cannot explain to everyone who walks or drives by why he picked the name. The sign on the outside though makes a statement about the whole neighborhood... a statement, that I might add, is largely untrue for many of us. Unlike Mr. Gillespie I've gotten to know my neighbors and can say with some confidence that most of us are not gun show kinda people. We'd rather have him as a neighbor who honors his father by using his father's name. - Rev. Michael Piazza - Hamilton Street, Glenwood Park.
J Grouchy February 19, 2013 at 03:57 PM
Rubbish. How does a sign make "a statement about the whole neighborhood"? Don't presume to speak for the whole neighborhood - or even "most of us". Speak only for yourself and save your sensitivity training.
Chris H February 19, 2013 at 04:47 PM
Why does everyone have to be so PC these days. Pansies. Gunshow...sounds like a rowdy saloon. I'll check it out.
Kevin D. Gillespie, Jr. February 19, 2013 at 05:12 PM
Dear Reverend Piazza, We at Gunshow are very concerned with assimilating into the neighborhood both as a business and an extension of the community. We have made great efforts to talk to our neighbors and create a positive atmosphere for our arrival. We have taken an active role in helping with the safety of the neighborhood as well as developing relationships with the community's businesses. We have also chosen to keep all signage for the restaurant indoors as opposed to creating an outdoor presence in order to show a level of respect. I appreciate your comment and hope that we have an opportunity to serve you in the future. Respectfully, Kevin D. Gillespie, Jr.
Jeny February 19, 2013 at 05:35 PM
I live right across the street from the new location and I am super excited and not at all displeased with the name. Please don't speak for me.
rob February 19, 2013 at 10:17 PM
As a nearby resident -Michael Piazza- GO AWAY!!!!!
Will Dean February 27, 2013 at 03:48 PM
I am very pleased to have Kevin and his crew at Gunshow in the neighborhood. The fact that he has chosen to enrich our quality of life by conducting business and creating jobs in our neighborhood should (and hopefully will be) applauded. His fitting tribute to his father and the work ethic instilled by his parents are the real lessons here, and I intend to pass those stories along to anyone who asks.
Benton bacon March 01, 2013 at 03:31 PM
Does vickery's support dog fighting/mediocre pass percentages? If a massacre is discovered in someone's shed will "the shed" have to scramble to change their name? And is it me,... Or does drip sound like the effects of a prostate disorder?
Boy Brown April 08, 2013 at 05:22 PM
Benton - lol. I figured 'Gunshow' was a reference to how people show off their biceps and ask "does anyone have tickets to the gun show?" Which is funny and not at all offensive, but I like the tribute to his dad too. Either way, it will be an asset to the neighborhood, and people should not be so easily offended. Way to PC in my humble opinion. Looking forward to the trying the restaurant when it opens.

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