Staff Photo: Jonathan Phillips
Barnacles in Norcross serves a ribeye dinner with rice pilaf and mixed vegetables. Also served is the smoked marlin fish dip and the Belgian waffle breakfast with scrambled eggs and bacon, back right.
5955 Jimmy Carter Blvd., Norcross
On The Menu
• Crab-stuffed mushrooms Fresh button mushroom caps filled with a savory crab meat stuffing topped with Parmesan bread crumbles and baked golden brown in a creamy scampi butter, $6.99
• Black bean chili Tender prime rib simmered with black beans, crushed tomatoes, onions and jalapenos topped with sour cream, $3.49 for a cup and $4.59 for a bowl
• Bistro BLT Toasted sourdough bread filled with crispy bacon, fresh tomato slices and crisp lettuce with mayo and guacamole served with French fries and a pickle spear, $7.59
• New Orleans combo A combination of penne pasta, crawfish and andouille sausage in a Cajun cream sauce served with Texas toast and a choice of soup or salad, $14.99
• Open since: 1991 but came under new ownership in 2008
• Location: Barnacles has two locations in Gwinnett, one off Jimmy Carter Boulevard in Norcross and the other near Gwinnett Place Mall in Duluth.
• Hours: Norcross location — 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Fridays, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Saturdays and noon to 11 p.m. Sundays; Duluth location — 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Mondays and Tuesdays, 11 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and noon to midnight Sundays
• Owner: Barnacles is owned by a private investor who is a former professional baseball player, with two general managers, Stephanie Zirkle at the Norcross restaurant and Nick Totino at the Duluth location, overseeing daily operations.
• Atmosphere: Barnacles is establishing two distinct identities with its locations. The Norcross restaurant offers a family- friendly sports bar atmosphere where fans can kick back in a booth or at a table and watch the game on one of the flatscreen TVs or large projector screens scattered throughout the restaurant. The location has two bars, one operating during lunch and both up and running for dinner, along with a patio for outdoor dining.
The Duluth location boasts a club-like atmosphere, complete with a VIP room, but still serves a full menu of food from open ’til close and smoking is allowed. This location is open to those 18 and older until 9 p.m. and 21 and up after. A DJ spins tunes five nights a week.
Both locations offer pool tables.
• Menu: Changes in ownership at Barnacles resulted in a downsizing of the restaurant’s menu, which Zirkle called a book, and a shift from the original focus on seafood. The updated menu includes previous customer favorites that have been revamped, as well as new items. Instead of being good at preparing a lot of foods, Zirkle said, Barnacles wants to be great a fewer selections.
“Unless you’ve come in the past two years,” she said, “you have no idea.”
Customers will find the same menu of all-American fare at both locations. Popular selections include the fish tacos — two soft tacos stuffed with grilled, blackened or fried fish fingers, cheese, lettuce and diced tomatoes served with warmed tortilla chips and salsa — and the newly added St. Louis ribs — 13⁄4-pounds of St. Louis-style ribs rubbed with spices and slow smoked before finished with Bull’s Eye barbecue sauce.
The smoked fish dip, one of Barnacles’ long-time signature items, is also a popular selection and is served with sliced jalapenos and crackers.
Barnacles has rounded out its menu with more than a dozen appetizers, soups and salads, sandwiches and burgers and more than a dozen entree selections, including steaks, seafood, chicken and pasta.
Breakfast selections available any time were added to the menu three weeks ago and include a breakfast burrito, a seafood scramble, Belgian waffles and a create-your-own quesadilla option.
Barnacles also recently began offering drink specials, a longtime request from customers, including the Barnarita made with Cuervo, Midori, lime juice, Triple Sec and sour and pineapple juice.
• Things you might not know: Barnacles offers drink specials that change every 30 days, including a shot, beer and specialty drink of the month.