Margaret Ranalli, owner of Enoteca Emilia
, opened her second restaurant in O’Bryonville, Son of a Preacher Man
, on Feb. 7. The property at 3009 O’Bryon St. features a menu of Southern comfort food and a bar menu with a plethora of bourbon.
The 2,500-square-foot restaurant is in the space that was formerly Eat Well Café & Takeaway, whose owner, Renee Schuler, maintains a limited interest in Son of a Preacher Man and helped develop the fried chicken recipe.
Renovations included back-of-house plumbing and kitchen equipment as well as retro light fixtures, vintage wallpaper and a bar in front.
Ranalli landed on the Southern restaurant concept after extensive travels in the South. She’s always used music as a reference for Son of a Preacher Man.
“When I think of the South, I think of Memphis and Nashville and the musicality of those cities,” Ranalli says.
The name stems from the 1968 Dusty Springfield song “Son of a Preacher Man,” and at one point Ranalli had a number of employees who were sons of preachers. So the concept stuck.
The menu’s staples are traditional fried chicken and biscuits. But there’s also a bourbon BBQ meatloaf, low-country shrimp and grits and sandwiches served on biscuits. The bar menu has already expanded since opening, featuring about 25 rotating bourbons and 12 bourbon cocktails.
Son of a Preacher Man also offers takeout. Ranalli says she wanted to focus on the physical restaurant space as well as carryout in order to be an all-around neighborhood place.
“I wanted to bring more casual food and a fun bar scene to the neighborhood,” she says. “People are always looking for an everyday kind of place with good food.”
After Easter, Son of a Preacher Man will be opening at 11 a.m. for lunch seven days a week.