Union Hill Kitchen brings an “industrial chic” vibe to Chamblee

The New American restaurant is open for lunch; dinner begins November 15


Former “Next Food Network Star” contestant Alexis Hernandez quietly opened Union Hill Kitchen, a New American restaurant in Chamblee, last week. Only open for lunch while the restaurant works out the kinks (likely until mid-November), Union Hill is named after the New Jersey high school where Hernandez first fell in love with cooking and baking—in home ec class.

He says Union Hill is the culmination of the places he’s traveled, the work he’s done, the dishes he’s cooked for private clients, and an interpretation of recipes from people he’s encountered along the way.

“People are interactive. If you know how to make a good dish, it doesn’t matter if you’re a chef or a farmer’s wife: I want to know it. I take it with me and reinterpret it,” he says. “I look at it from a food science perspective; not like nitrogen, but more like the basic unraveling of foods, such as how proteins denature, which leads to the best way to braise a tough piece of meat or make a meatloaf.“

About 20 percent of Union Hill’s menu will change daily based on seasonal availability, but offerings may include beet salad with ham, a smoked ham croquette appetizer with guava-coffee-tequila sauce (inspired by Hernandez’s Cuban roots), a crispy fried polenta disk with cherry wood-smoked pork and citrus, and braised beef with cinnamon-scented carrot ribbons and parsnip puree.

Desserts include deconstructed s’mores with chocolate ganache and bread crumbs served in a jar, and pears poached in white wine and stuffed with honey and Stilton cheese. There’s also “cracker pie”—a dish made with Saltine crackers, sugar, water, butter, cream of tartar, and cinnamon—that Hernandez learned on a farm and swears tastes like apple pie.

Union Hill has secured its liquor permit, but the drink menu is still being defined. It will, however, include fanciful Jello-type shots that come out in flights—think White Russian—as well as beer and wine.

“This area used to be a military base,” Hernandez says. “So I’m researching what they used to drink here and will modernize it as cocktails.”

This should fit well with the slate gray, burnt orange, and gold space that Hernandez describes as “industrial chic or shabby chic.” The floors are concrete, the tables granite, and the patio open-air. There’s a charcuterie bar that looks into the kitchen, and garage doors comprise one wall.

Those interested in being among the first to sample Union Hill’s dinner dishes can “like” the restaurant’s Facebook page, as fans will be invited to a friends and family evening somewhere between November 7 and November 11. After that, if all goes according to plan, the restaurant will open for dinner November 15.

Lunch Menu

Specials & Salads:

  • Sirloin Burger (Stilton blue/cheddar) with cinnamon-scented onions, oven tomato garlic aioli, hand-cut fries
  • Cuban Blue Plate Special – cumin-scented black beans, parsley rice, citrus pork
  • Mom’s Meatloaf & Garlic Mash with onions, Dijon mustard, romesco (Limited)
  • Thai Noodle Peanut Salad with peanuts, cabbage, Sriracha, soy sauce
  • Classic Caesar with garlic, Worcestershire, white anchovies
  • Chopped Salad with romaine, Goddess dressing, lardons, green onion

Small Fresh Salads:

  • Classic Cole Slaw with mayonnaise, sugar, cider vinegar
  • Roasted Potato Salad with balsamic, onions, garlic
  • Thai Noodle Salad with peanuts, cabbage siracha, soy
  • Roasted Beets (when available) with red wine vinegar, orange, parsley


  • 2 Tacos w / house cut fries – smoked pork or ground beef, slaw
  • Cuban Pork Burrito with parsley rice, roasted tomatoes, black beans, romaine, onions
  • Hickory Smoked Pork Shoulder with house-cut fries,
    garlic, citrus, oregano, garlic
  • The New BLT with house-cut fries, garlic confit mayo, roasted tomatoes, baby greens, applewood-smoked bacon
  • Chicken sandwich with Stilton or cheddar, onions, garlic mayo, oven tomatoes, hand-cut fries
  • Chicken BLT (when available) with fries, crème fraîche, mayonnaise, scallion, applewood lardons
  • Smoked Ham Croquette on butter roll – round croquette, thyme, slaw

Sides & Extras:

  • Hand-Cut Fries – classic
  • Ashley’s Fries – blue cheese, bacon, garlic oil
  • Cumin Black Beans & Parsley Rice
  • Garlic Mash

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  • Daniel

    It seems like Atlanta is moving from being a culinary waste land to a city where you can find great restaurants and talented chefs coming out of the woodwork….Thanks for posting….Chamblee is not that far from me.

    • Carlos

      I agree!

  • Russ

    Just saw this on my twitter feed….Like most new places I will most likely go when they work out the kinks…..I grew up in Chamblee 80’s-90’s. Not a pretty place to grow up. I can’t believe there is a chef driven restaurant there or a restaurant period. I don’t even know how you found this place. A Food Network Star contestant….things are looking up Chamblee… The menu looks good enough. Very meat driven. Anything for vegetarians? I will have to make it out there to see if the antique row is still there and check out the restaurant. I don’t hate you Chamblee, I just don’t have fond memories growing up there. But maybe you grew up too! Congratulations Chamblee on new peeps moving in!

    • Chris

      Hi fellow ex-chamblee resident! I grew up here too before they build the lofts on peachtree road and you are correct in saying – no happy memories growing up in Chamblee. It was not a pretty place and it still has “ugly” buildings that should be renovated. But It is great that it is starting to get the attention of developers, restaurants and chefs. I don’t live there anymore, I live in Midtown, but the express way is just a mile down the road. It will be interesting to meet the chef who broke ground on an old garage. I am not a “foodie” or anything but I do like to eat good food. Industrial chic, I don’t know what that is but I curious to check it out.

  • Lyn

    The only thing I have heard of Chamblee is the Antique Row that they have there. But really nothing else and it’s really a dead town. I live in Brookhaven and Brookhaven was sort of simular to Chamblee in the sense that it was dead until they started building on Dresden drive. So maybe this is the next food hotspot. I know alot of movie houses go up there to find props for movies and stuff but that’s all.
    I know that when Chef’s can’t open up in highly popular, expensive areas they tend to go where they can open their spaces where they won’t be swallowed up by high property taxes and rents that can make you loose an eye. I don’t know where this place is because I do go up to Zen Tea in Chanblee and the downtown is not that big so I am surprised that I have not seen it. I’ll have to make it a point to at least look for it when I am in the area next time. And who is Ashely and why does she have a bunch of fries named after her?? Maybe they are that good?

  • buzzy cook

    Oh my gosh! I have met this chef before….YaY!

  • Constant eater

    Funny this article was written just as I started a new job up north. I cut through peachtree road in Chamblee, ( less lights) instead of chugging down peachtree industrial and hit 6 lights….. I have seen this restaurant have their “open for lunch” sign out as early as 6:45 am. I an not near the area for lunch but if it’s open for dinner soon, hopefully you can write a review about it…..

  • Donna B

    I work in Chanblee in a marketing/branding company. So I and We at my office were glad to see this restaurant here since there are not that many options here except for pizza and another place – down the street from our office . I have been passing by this place for the last year and I thought they would never open! I like to flower bins outside :)

    I have been there twice and it is Packed between 12-1:30. The Chef came out to the dinning room to say hi to customers and see how the food was. I thought it was sit down service, but you have to walk down to the counter to place your order, then they bring your food out. It was kind of confusing at first when you walk in but now I know.
    I tried the BLT was really good and I liked that they offered “free unfiltered water” in dispensers near the register so I was out of there for a little under $10. I didn’t have to pay $2 for a little bottle of water. I like this place alot great music and it’s a little hot near the garage windows. Don’t think they will get any Brookhaven or Buckhead traffic for lunch, I think they will get the local peeps like me that are in the area….and I am fine with that.

  • John’s Doe

    Jell-O shots ? Laughing out loud. I was interested until I read that.

  • MAddy65

    So glad to see. I live in the lofts near the Marta stop. I have been wondering what is going on with the gas station/coffee shop/restaurant. I probably won’t be there for lunch but when dinner is open, I would for sure walk down. We need something like this in Chamblee. Can’t wait for a cleaners to open too! Hint…:)

  • Jim

    Southbound is in the works a little further down the block. Another chef driven joint. Chamblee is booming in a good way. Have lived in Brookhaven most of my life and the property values in Chamblee are following right along the same path as Brookhaven. Drive right by there almost everyday on the way to Brook Run dog park.

  • Chris

    Good luck to everyone! Excited to see what happens in the next couple of years. I used to live in Chamblee. I posted to an earlier post on here about how Chamblee was out of favor back in the day and now it is in favor with new places opening up and up and coming chefs and business owners opening up in Chamblee.. Good luck to Union Kitchen, SouthBend and everyone else!

  • Mary Ellen Benson

    I am excited about this article and what is happening in Chamblee. I live in Huntley Hills, and really there was no real reason to drive over past Peachtree Indstrial into downtown Chamblee except to go to the Frosty Cabouse or Vintage Pizza. Those places are very good might I add.
    I am thrilled that a new place, Union Hill Kitchen is here. I would have never known of it until I read about in an email from the Huntley Hills Neighborhood Association. I felt in the “know” when I discovered that now Atlanta Magazine wrote a introduction to this new restaurant in the covered dish section. Carly took a great photo of the Chef’s food. If for no other reason, I am excited that now we have another reason to pass over Peachtree Industrial and visit a new restaurant that hopefully will cater to our community throughout Chamblee. Other friends of our association have been there for lunch the second or third day when they opened but they mentioned that the staff were trying their best and a fuse blew that made the fries very soft. Over all my HHNA said the food tasted good and they still enjoyed their lunch. I hope to enjoy a lunch at Union Hill this Saturday if I can make it out there. Congratulations and I hope the fuse that blew has been corrected. Have a blessed day.

  • Ben the next iron chef

    Well I am not the next iron chef, and I don’t cook that well. I eat out most of the time because of it. I am a fan of Union Hill’s facebook page and saw this link. I work at eckhart electric literally down the street on Pierce drive from it. Four of us went there on Tuesday around 12:00pm place was somewhat full but it’s lunch time. After we ordered and sat down the chef was giving out these garlic crackers stuffed with tomato and something else I don’t remember. Even though I don’t remember what it was, we all thought It was the bomb! What restaurant has a chef passing out samples for free?
    I hope they have more samples whenever we go back. I had the sirloin burger and fries and my fries and my fries were not soggy so I guess they fixed the whatever that blew out in the kitchen. I like this place, and its off the chain it’s on Atlanta Magazine and I already ate there first. It is far better than the places that are around Chamblee right now. Hopefully we won’t get bored with this place. There is another place opening down the street too! Can’t wait for that one to open to. Holla

  • carlos

    Great article thank you!
    Will most likely check it out some time in the next two or three weeks. I really love the covered dish Blog you guys do great work! Always fresh and always something new to check out in different parts of the city.

  • Naidine

    I don’t know where Chamblee is? I would like to make a suggestion. I feel there should be photos of the restaurant and the chef etc so we can decide if we want to visit the establishment. The article, though compelling, would be better if there were more visual representation of the location, outside, inside, and of the chef or who ever it is that we are going to see. That is my two cents. But on a positive note, the lunch menu sounds delicious. I hope they have some type of soups because it is cold.

  • Maria Mendoulson

    Go Union Hill Kitchen and Chamblee! I live here in the lofts and I am very happy. We have not one but two restaurants opening. Chef Alexis mentioned during lunch that Southbound with Dennis and Michael, and Cooper are opening also down the street soon. So I can’t wait to see what they bring to our hood.

    Chef Alexis thanks for the empanadas you sent to our office on October 9th! We remember the day! I know you took them off the menu because of quality and execution issues- but we still dream about them and thought think they are fantastic. Will you consider putting them back on the menu? You will do what is best for your business. We are so happy that you guys are here! Un abrazo! Besitos!

  • George C

    This is a nice addition to Chamblee. I ordered the smoked pork sandwich and I sat with my back facing the old garage windows. On the wall in front of me there is a piece of art by a local artist of a pig. And while I ate the pork sandwich I swear that is seemed as if the pig was smirking at me. I got up and went to get a cup of water. As I moved back to my table the pig’s eyes seemed to follow me as I walked. As I left it seemed to follow me. It has a smirk on its face but it is not that obvious. I wonder if they did that on purpose or if it just happened that way. Great music and food was very well executed.

    • Porkeater

      Hi George C,

      I saw the painting when I was in there a few days ago, but I guessed I must have missed it looking at me. And I had pork tacos.:) thanks or the funny story. lol

  • Diane C

    Thank you for writing this article. My office most times drive into Buckhead for lunch unless we give in and go the Mckie D’s or Subway. I read this post this weekend and passed by the restaurant today and it might be because there is nothing else around our office, which by the way is located on the other side of 285 junction. I am vegetarian and the Chef made me a pure vegetarian meal. It took a little longer than my meat eater friends meal but The chef wanted to make sure the he gave me the best of what he could make without animal fat, meat or stock. He made a tarragon reduced tomato ragu with some garlic mayo toast and red beans with thyme and toasted cumin seeds and Parsley rice. It was better than what other places give me as an option. I get tired of eating salads and salads and salads. He was at least trying to make something just for me. I am sure he won’t be doing that for everyone during lunch but I am thankful. He is making most of his soups vegetable based and not bone based. I appreciate that as a vegetarian! I know he won’t make the whole menu vegetarian, even though it would be great for me but I am happy that he came out to make sure it tasted good to me and that I was happy with it.

  • Jonathan

    Its good to have another choice in this area to eat at. Up until recently its been either the Chamblee Bistro or Vintage Pizza which are both great. I live nearby in Brookhaven so will try this place out and Southland when it arrives.

    I have always been surprised there aren’t more stores and bars in the old buildings in Chamblee. I am sure they will do well with so many new residents in the area. Right now other than Vintage Pizza there isn’t anywhere else at night to just grab abeer and a snack.

  • Isabel A

    I went by Union hill today. The chef was out saying hello and telling funny stories. I am vegetarian, and they had legumes on the menu made without meat stock and soups as well so I am a happy girl. We work at the CDC, refreshing to have a place to go 5 minutes from work where the menu, apparently changes 20 % each day. Nice place, they had the bay doors open, it was a great time.

  • Sandy S

    I live in the condos near Vintage Pizza. Will you guys please open for dinner soon? I am tired of reading things about lunch and walking by at night and seeing the place closed. Please open soon or when will they open?

  • Krista

    Went by today. All I have to say is I think this is my place. I felt like I was on vacation. Music great, food great, people great, and my Stella Beer spoke to me.

  • Frank Moya

    I had lunch there last week. I had black beans white rice and a roast pork. It’s nice to have a hot meal, that’s feels home cooked. Nice place, I like atmosphere.
    I’m going back.

  • foodhunter

    Surprised I have not seen this place and I live in Chamblee. I was at Zen tea down the street and was going home heard the music. Stopped to get a menu seems promising. I hope they do well for their sake and Chamblee’s sake. We need local places like this one to thrive as a city.

  • K- from Chamblee

    Excited to see Chamblee starting to come alive with new businesses. Can’t wait for this place to open for dinner. I work during the day and when I arrive home from work they are closed.

  • Dino’s Dish

    Love what Chef Alexis has created – The food is delicious and
    Unique. Not a boring menu & out of the box recipes.
    Dinner tonight with 30 of my closests friends at Union Hill – BRAVO
    Chef Alexis we welcome you to Atlanta!!!