The owner of Ned Kelly’s is no stranger to the city of Milledgeville or the restaurant business. Rocky Duncan has been lived in Milledgeville for about 20 years and before that, Duncan would often visit his grandparents’ home on Lake Sinclair when he was young.
Located on 119 S. Wayne St. in Milledgeville, the former home of Capital City and Chops, Ned Kelly’s first opened its doors in January 2020. Duncan said that business was going well prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and the shutdown that came with it in March 2020. Ned Kelly’s weathered that storm, however, and now the restaurant has reopened.
Patrons will find a variety of items on the menu at Ned Kelly’s. There are various flavors of wings available, but also fried pickles, onion rings, and more appetizers. In terms of main courses, Ned Kelly’s lets customers create their own burger, allowing them to top them with a number of available toppings and cheeses. If you’re looking for something healthier, Ned Kelly’s also offers salads.
Duncan takes a lot of pride in the menu.
“I think we have some of the best food in Middle Georgia,” he said.
The business is split into two sections. The downstairs section of Ned Kelly’s is open Tuesday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the upstairs section is open from 11 p.m. to 2 p.m. The kitchen at Ned Kelly’s is open from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m.
Ned Kelly’s not only has several specials, which are listed weekly on the business’s Facebook page, but they also host several events, including concerts, trivia and themed nights. There are more events in the works currently, including a Halloween bash. Customers can also schedule private parties and/or events at Ned Kelly’s, depending on the type of event and availability.
Perhaps the best description of Ned Kelly’s came from Duncan, who talked about the business’s many traits, including its food, atmosphere, employees, and overall fun vibe.
“You’re able to come downstairs, have a great meal, watch your favorite game on TV,” Duncan explained. “If you wanted to stay out a little later for night events, partying or whatever else you can come upstairs where we have projector screens, TV’s, live music, live DJs. You can kind of make an evening for it and never even have to leave the building.”
Duncan said what he enjoys most about running Ned Kelly’s is the interactions that he is able to have with people.
“The challenge of running your own business, both the good and the bad. I think that challenge keeps us going, getting through the adversity of things happening in your business,” Duncan said. “You learn to overcome those things, you’re learning something new. Then when you’re teaching new employees, meeting all your customers, you learn something new every day. I think that’s the best part about a business.”
When Duncan, who performs as a DJ in addition to being in the restaurant business, is away on tour, he leaves Ned Kelly’s in the hands of his two general managers, Justin Scott and Meredith McMahan.
Duncan said he knows exactly what he wants customers to say when they leave Ned Kelly’s.
“I hope they say it’s one of the best times they’ve ever had. One of the best meals, one of the best times they’ve ever had.”