Justin Timberlake: Bringin’ Fried Pickles Back

Today is the official opening day for New York City’s Southern Hospitality, a Memphis-style barbecue joint co-owned by Justin Timberlake, but the press has been buzzing about it all week. Gossip blogs have already posted photos of the preopening festivities, and before anyone had a chance to taste the food there, Mark Wellborn at the New York Observer was commenting on the low-key location of the establishment:

The 3,000-square-foot space, co-owned by Mr. Timberlake and partners Eytan Sugarman and Trace Ayala, is not in the sort of hip Manhattan zip code one would expect. Located at 1460 Second Avenue, it sits unassumingly between 76th and 77th streets just down from frat house favorites Mo’s Caribbean and Brother Jimmy’s.

For those who aren’t familiar with this neighborhood, here’s a snapshot: I recently attended my cousin’s birthday party at a nearby bar-and-grill, and as soon as the first strains of JT’s hit “Sexyback” boomed through the stereo system, five or six young women dutifully climbed up on the bar to shake their things. When the song was over, they dismounted and went about their business. You just don’t see that sort of Timberlake devotion in the Meatpacking District—so it appears that JT is just sticking with the neighborhood where he’s most appreciated.

Besides Memphis-style barbecue and Southern-fried chicken and seafood, the Southern Hospitality menu includes snacks like Fried Pickle-Sicles (huh?), deviled eggs, and fried green tomatoes. The space doesn’t look too flashy, but it seems to have some Southern character. According to Grub Street, “most of the wood (including some pulled from the Mighty Mississippi for the bar) and the waitresses are from the South.”