GEORGIA IS BLESSED with mild enough weather that—with few exceptions—we can dine outdoors year-round. So when Riverstone Corner Bistro owner Shelly Farrar decided to expand and relocate the restaurant, she knew it had to have a spacious patio. “I love sitting outside, and demand for outdoor seating has gotten larger with the pandemic,” she says.
Come June, Riverstone Corner Bistro, or RCB, will move down the block from its original home. Owning the building (as opposed to leasing as she does currently) will allow Farrar to make improvements to the space, including Canton’s first rooftop restaurant patio. There will be a bar up top, along with an herb garden, plus fire pits and portable heaters for colder months. Downstairs will boast another outdoor dining area—this one pet-friendly. Together, the patios will seat 70 guests.
In addition to growing its space to 5,000 square feet, the country-chic corner bistro will grow its menu when it moves to its new location. Signature dishes such as shrimp and grits and fried chicken with mashed potatoes will come with a second side item and perhaps a salad. New vegan and vegetarian items will be available. Prefer meat? Expect a 10-burger menu compiled from nine years of RCB specials, including the Southern Belle, topped with pimento cheese, bacon, a fried green tomato and bacon jam.
Lunch service will continue to focus on sandwiches, salads, burgers and wings, while dinner includes a variety of chicken, seafood, steaks and chops. RCB has always been closed on Sunday so Farrar and her team can spend time with their families, but in the future, it may offer Saturday brunch with French toast casserole, eggs Benedict and chicken and waffles. And for those who enjoy sitting by the fire, s’mores kits will be sold for $5 each.
An expanded bourbon program will feature all of the offerings available at sister restaurant J. Michael’s Prime Steaks & Seafood. Plus, the introduction of a Coravin program will make every wine on the RCB list available by the glass, as well as the bottle. Loyal customers worry not; with its potent mix of blackberry, schnapps and cinnamon, Shelly’s sangria will be on tap.
“Cocktails are very important to us.” Farrar says. “We fresh squeeze everything and use mint, thyme, basil and rosemary from our garden.” RCB will also have frozen cocktails like the mudslide and adult milkshakes (root beer float, anyone?) made with Woodstock’s Flux Ice Cream. Beers on tap will continue to rotate, except instead of six, there will be 10 options upstairs and 10 downstairs. Local varieties reign here, with Reformation, Creature Comforts and Left Hand Brewing taking center stage. “Any time we can support local, we do, be it produce, butchery or beer,” Farrar says.
RCB’s new 200-seat space is designed to invite the light inside, while maintaining a warm, inviting, family environment. The gray, green and copper color scheme remains with the addition of some brick and iron design elements.
There will be more restrooms, more space for private dining, and more parking. One downside? No drive-thru window. Rest assured, there will be designated parking spaces for online ordering and curbside pickup.
“We want to give people what they want. We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the community,” Farrar says.
Farrar says hospitality has been in her blood for a long time. She worked for Outback Steakhouse corporate, while her husband Mike was a Southeastern partner for P.F. Chang’s. Together with her son John, Farrar started a now-defunct deli in Woodstock
Town Lake development called Corner Bistro. After catering quite a bit in the Canton area, she opened the first Riverstone Corner Bistro in 2012 in what used to be a Shane’s Rib Shack. Today, RCB continues to be a family business with Farrar’s son and brother-in-law in charge of research and development on the culinary side. Cody East is the executive chef. “We believe in supporting the local community,” Farrar says. “All our business comes from word of mouth.”As such, RCB frequently donates to schools and churches and participates in events for charitable organizations like the American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity and the Giving Kitchen. “We’re all about family, and giving is a part of that,” Farrar says.
RIVERSTONE CORNER BISTRO
Current: 135 Reinhardt College Pkwy.
New: 151 Reinhardt College Pkwy.