City Centre

at Big Spring

Introducing The Gemini Kitchen + Cocktails

First Southern Fried CityCentre restaurant coming this fall

By William Thornton at

Construction is expected to begin later this month on the first restaurant concept from Southern Fried Hospitality for Huntsville’s CityCentre at Big Spring.

The Gemini Kitchen + Cocktails is described as a “polished-casual, modern American restaurant designed to provide an affordable quality dining experience.”

It is expected to open later this fall at City Centre at Big Spring, the $100 million, mixed-used development on Williams Avenue between Monroe Street and Lowe Avenue.

Last month, RCP Companies, the developer of City Centre and MidCity, announced a partnership with Georgia-based Southern Fried Hospitality – and award-winning chef Marc Taft, an Alabama native – to provide hospitality management and restaurant development for the two mixed-used projects.

The name Gemini alludes to the mythological twins, Taft said, but also to the concept in play for the new restaurant – two different sides adept at blending into different groups “based on the vibe and energy perceived.” The menu will feature comfortable, familiar dishes that are affordable.

“Much like the duality of the Twins, The Gemini embraces the idea that you can have an upscale business dinner or casual social experience in the same location,” he said.

The Gemini will be open for dinner Monday through Sunday and brunch service on Saturday and Sunday. The bar will offer “classic and modern versions” of American cocktails, as well as craft beer and a wine list.

Taft said the restaurant plans to support local farmers, ranchers and artisans in the Huntsville area when choosing “thoughtfully selected ingredients.”

Max Grelier, co-founder of RCP Companies, said The Gemini concept will connect with Huntsville, down to its design reminiscent of the city’s early days with the space program.

The restaurant will have a 100-plus-seat dining room, a bar for up to 20, a patio seating almost 50 with a view of Big Springs Park and a private dining room for 20.

The mid-century design will use reclaimed wood, leather, bronze mirrors, patterned tiles and white marble, as well as art work providing homages to Huntsville’s history, space history and the restaurant’s namesake twins.

But the food has the spotlight. Many times, Taft said, chefs lose sight of the job – producing the best possible dish. That will be the goal of The Gemini.

“All too often, we try too hard and think that we must create dishes that require the ‘education’ of our guests,” he said. “I believe that eating should not be work and that people typically know how to eat and what they like. It doesn’t take being educated by a chef or restaurant staff to recognize delicious.”