The restaurant offers a variety of lobster rolls named after different neighborhoods tossed in different sauces and dressings.
BY ELLIE HENSLEY
Craving a fresh lobster roll? There’s no need to book a trip to New England. Just take a short walk down Peachtree Street to the new BK Lobster.
BK Lobster (named after Brooklyn, where CEO Rodney Bonds hails from) is planning a major expansion across the country, with Midtown being one of its first southern outposts. We spoke with franchise owner of the Midtown location Melvin Bradley about what it means to serve lobster rolls “The Brooklyn Way,” why he decided to get back into the restaurant business during the COVID-19 pandemic and his plans for the restaurant in 2022.
Bradley's favorite roll is the "Crown Heights Roll," a fried lobster roll available only on the weekend. Image Source: Instagram
Maine Lobster Served The Brooklyn Way
BK Lobster’s slogan is “The Brooklyn Way,” which to the owners means offering lobster rolls in a variety of flavors inspired by neighborhoods in New York and New Jersey. Here are some of the rolls you can find on the restaurant's menu:
- Classic BK Lobster Roll: Chilled with Mayo, Butter and Lemon
- East New York Roll: Warm Lobster Roll with Butter
- BK Sauce Roll: Lobster Chunks with BK Signature Sauce and Lemon Dressing
- Lobster BLT Roll: Lobster Chunks With Bacon, Lettuce and Tomatoes
- Bed-Stuy Biggie Roll: Lobster Meat With Tail, Butter & Lemon Dressing on a Brioche Bun
- Flatbush Roll: Chunks of Main Lobster Claws Served with Jerk Sauce
“This was a fresh concept because lobster rolls aren’t as known in the south, and if they are known, lobster rolls that are different flavors are unheard of,” said Bradley. “I liked the idea of a Brooklyn theme.”
Bradley’s favorite roll is the Crown Heights Roll, which is a seasoned, battered fried lobster roll that is drizzled with BK Sauce. The Midtown location will debut the Crown Heights Roll in November, and it will only serve it on Fridays and Saturdays.
BK Lobster sources its lobster from Maine, where it also gets its salmon and shrimp. Bradley plans to expand on the restaurant’s lobster offerings in the coming months with the addition of lobster fried rice, lobster tail and lobster wontons.
“We are constantly getting feedback from customers, ideas we’d like to possibly serve,” he said. “We also plan to do date nights and special events to let the community know that we’re here.”
Also coming next year: the restaurant’s Instagram-worthy “24K Golden Lobster Roll,” which is wrapped in 24 karat edible gold leaves and served with 24K gold luxury wine. Other locations of BK Lobster already offer the roll, which Bradley is waiting to introduce until the restaurant gets its beer and wine license because the sparkling wine is such an important part of its presentation.
Melvin Bradley (center) with his business partners at NGH Investment Group, Carlos Bonner (left) and Kenneth Briggs (right). Their fourth business partner, Eric Cox, is not pictured. The business partners are posed in front of a mural inside of BK Lobster Midtown depicting celebrities with Brooklyn ties.
Roll With It
Bradley is no stranger to the restaurant business, having operated a barbeque restaurant in East Point from 2005 to 2014.
“I had vowed I would never get back into the restaurant industry; it’s not an easy industry,” Bradley said. “Then we got involved right when COVID hit.”
One reason Bradley and his three partners at NGH Investment Group chose Atlanta as their ideal location is that Georgia restaurants never fully shut down during the pandemic.
“We were looking for someplace central that was a diverse neighborhood,” said Bradley of why he chose his location on Peachtree. “We’re partnered with two locations in New York, both in neighborhoods that are similar to Midtown [Atlanta]. So for me, this location made sense.”
They encountered few roadblocks to opening in Midtown, and the restaurant had its grand opening on September 18. BK Lobster had a line out the door, with people from Midtown as well as far away coming to try out its food.
“So far, so good, we weren’t expecting so many people to come out and support us,” Bradley said. “I’ve read reviews and people have personally told me they’re the best lobster rolls they’ve ever had.”
Next time you’re in the mood for seafood, check out BK Lobster in the Viewpoint building at 855 Peachtree Street. The restaurant offers a lunch special that includes a lobster roll and fries for $20, or an 8-piece shrimp meal with fries for $10.
“Come in and get a full meal for a single bill,” Bradley said.
Midtown businesses like BK Lobster could really use your support! When you’d like a night off from cooking, please show your support to local restaurants and their hard-working owners and staffers. From posting a positive Yelp review to posting pics of your meal on social media, there are many ways you can show how you "Love Local." Head over to this page for a list of ideas and to read more profiles of Midtown business owners.