Todd DeFeo

New barbeque restaurant to open in former Howard’s location

SMYRNA, Ga. — A new barbecue joint is set to open in a location formerly occupied by a Smyrna landmark.

The Crafty Hog opens for lunch at 11 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 5, Smyrna City Councilman Ron Fennel said today in an email to constituents. The restaurant had a soft opening on New Year’s Eve, the councilman said.

The Crafty Hog is opening in a location on Concord Road formerly occupied by Howard’s, an iconic restaurant that opened in 1964 and closed last year.

“Owner John Gibney has made a substantial investment and is eager to welcome customers to what will quickly become a favorite lunch and dinner destination,” Fennel said in his email.

Until its closing, Howard’s had long been a favorite of Smyrna residents and local politicos, including Mayor Max Bacon, who has used Howard’s as a meeting spot for supporters on election day. Howard’s also served as the backdrop for a scene in the Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah movie “Joyful Noise,” released in 2012.

Howard’s occupied the Concord Road location since 1991. The building previously housed a Western Sizzlin restaurant.

About Todd DeFeo

Todd DeFeo loves to travel anywhere, anytime, taking pictures and notes. An award-winning reporter, Todd revels in the experience and the fact that every place has a story to tell. He is owner of The DeFeo Groupe and also edits Express Telegraph and