With fingers in pies across LGBTQ Atlanta, Juan and Gee Smalls are predictable in only one way: unpredictability.
Earlier this month, the event planners-cum-fundraisers-cum-creators-cum-restauranteurs grabbed a partner and opened an all-day brunch place in College Park called The Breakfast Boys.
“Main Street in College Park is poppin,” Gee Smalls told Project Q. “There are many Black-owned restaurants in this historic area that are thriving. People are loving the vibe of downtown College Park.”
“The Breakfast Boys will be a great new offering with its uniquely crafted menu, upscale service and feel-good vibe,” he added.
The interior vibe is retro, and while the menu nods to the past as well, it also looks to the future. Look for modernized classics like Jerk Chicken & Sweet Potato Waffles, Lobster Mac & Cheese and Green Eggs & Lamb. There’s also a cocktail and coffee bar with passion fruit mimosas and peach cobbler lattes alongside more traditional offerings.
As owners of nearby and pandemic-pivoted Virgil’s Gullah Kitchen, the Smalls hired longtime chef, restaurant owner and dining room consultant Lorenzo Wyche when they opened in 2019. Wyche helped them hone the vibe, bringing experience from his own ventures including Harlem Bar, Soul Tapas and The Social House.
Almost exactly two years later, Wyche is their co-owner and chef at Breakfast Boys.
“We hired him to help us open, and there was immediately chemistry,” Smalls said. “We continued to keep in contact and eventually discussed collaborating. When this space opened up, we decided to jump on it.”
The space is the former home of Kafenio, which closed its College Park location in 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic but retained its Avondale Estates shop. Any threats posed by that global scare are not on the Breakfast Boys’ minds, Smalls assured.
“We are not concerned at all, that would just be a distraction,” he said. “Restaurants are thriving here in Atlanta, even reaching higher numbers than pre-pandemic. We will continue to follow government mandated guidelines to keep our employees and customers safe.”
That’s the winning attitude Atlanta has come to expect from this couple. The pair co-founded the Gentlemen’s Foundation. The non-profit is best known for its Gentlemen’s Ball fundraisers for Atlanta’s Black gay male community. Over the years, Gee Smalls has discussed that event and racism in gay Atlanta bars with Project Q. In 2020, he talked about his memoir – “Black Enough Man Enough” – on an episode of Podcast Q.
But what would he say to get you to Breakfast Boys sooner rather than later? Five magic words:
“Pineapple Upside Down French Toast!”
Breakfast Boys is now open at 3387 Main St. in College Park. Check it out on Instagram.
This article also appeared in Q ATLus magazine. Read the full issue online here:
Find us each week at LGBTQ and allied venues, and find new content here every day.