The downtown Decatur eatery’s Green Chile Roast 2012 is set for Sept. 15.
The festivities, featuring live music, beer and thousands of pounds of the green guest of honor, get underway at noon.
“Our first Green Chile Roast was a huge success, so it was a no-brainer to keep it going,” said Square Pub co-owner Jason Wiles. “Hand-roasting this much chile is something you won’t find anywhere in Georgia, or, the Southeast for that matter.”
Green chile peppers are prominent in the Square Pub menu. Wiles and business partner Bob Rhein will soon travel to Hatch, NM to personally select premium peppers there — 6,000 pounds worth — and drive them back to Decatur for use in the Sept. 15 fest.
So why the long trek to procure peppers that are grown here in the Peach State?
Wiles, a former New Mexico resident, likened Hatch’s reputation for premium pepper production to Napa Valley’s notoriety from its famed grapes.
“Hatch green chile has the best flavor and the most variety,” Wiles said. “There’s a whole culture to how it’s selected, prepared and consumed … you’ll be able to see the entire process happen here.”
On the eve of Green Chile Roast 2012, Square Pub’s proprietors will set up a hand-cranked chile roaster on the plaza outside the eatery’s front doors and go to work.
The pair expects a couple thousand patrons to come through for this year’s event, roughly double that of last year’s crowd — when 3,000 pounds of peppers proved to be insufficient. The restaurateurs ran out of their precious culinary cargo by 3 p.m. at last year’s event.
“We were definitely overwhelmed last year,” said Wiles. “We knew it would be successful, but not to that degree … which is a good problem to have.”
The goal this time around is to outdo Green Chile fest’s inaugural run, both in terms of attendance and attractions, Wiles said.
Other highlights of the weekend include special Chile-inspired menu items and drinks blending Southern and Southwestern cuisine. Patrons will also be privy to give-always, door prizes, the sounds of a mariachi band and special beers brewed with Square Pub’s chilies.
Proceeds from the event will benefit Hagar’s House, a shelter for single mothers and their children, and the University of New Mexico Alumni Association.