Chef Demarcus, the nom de restaurant of Kevin Demarcus Woodard, opened Le Crepe du Vin last fall in Bartlett. He announced he was moving the restaurant this spring and is now busy transforming the Neely's BBQ restaurant on Jefferson in Victorian Village into Monsieur Demarcus French Crêperie. He hopes to have the restaurant open sometime in mid-August.
Demarcus says that Le Crepe du Vin, which served both savory and dessert crepes, never really fit in in Bartlett. "They weren't feeling it," he says.
He did, however, notice that the bulk of the patrons came from other parts of the city and surrounding areas. He says that many of them came from downtown.
Demarcus plans on serving the same menu as Le Crepe du Vin at Monsieur Demarcus, while adding additional French fare to be served atop crepes. Dishes mentioned include beef Bourguignon and Coq au Vin.
He's now working on getting the Neely's space up to code and doing extensive renovations to bring light into the BBQ joint. He's going to add more windows. There will be tables with white linen tablecloths and napkins.
Demarcus will initially open up about a third of the restaurant, with about 45 to 50 seats — larger than the Bartlett restaurant — and get the rest of the space ready in the next few months for a total of about 144 seats.
Monsieur Demarcus will be open seven days a week, with weekday hours set at 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., to be adjusted as needed.
Demarcus also hopes to hand off his chef duties to someone else so that he can concentrate on front-of-the-house as well as other restaurant business.
Ultimately, Demarcus is aiming toward true French ambience, something he says he achieved at Le Crepe du Vin. He says that he had relocated French natives tell him as much. "They felt like they were back home."