Chef Nick Leahy, owner of Nick’s Westside, is returning to his old neighborhood of Brookwood Hills—where his former restaurant Saltyard was—with a new restaurant just down the road called the Usual. Located in the recently constructed Arya apartment building, across from El Azteca on Peachtree Street, the Usual will put an unusual twist on typical (usual) tavern dishes.
“It’ll have an approachable menu with a little something for everyone,” says Leahy, who partnered with David Abes of DASH Hospitality on the project. “It’s a place you can bring the family—or your wife for date night away from the family.”
Slated to open in October, the Usual will serve dinner and eventually lunch and Sunday brunch. The dinner menu will include appetizers, salads, and approximately five sandwiches and five entrees. There will be a children’s menu with house-made chicken fingers and fries, too.
For adults, expect cacio e pepe tater tots, smoked chicken wings with Korean barbecue sauce or Alabama white sauce, and pub fries with Mornay sauce. There will be banh mi, a hot Korean fried chicken sandwich, and a Chicago-style hot beef sandwich.
“The menu here leans more sandwiches and classic bar-and-grill food than Nick’s does. It’s a little less refined,” Leahy says.
He will, however, still focus on seasonality with vegetable-forward dishes like curry roasted squash and chopped salad with duck eggs and roasted root vegetables.
The bar program will take its cues from the food menu, incorporating similar items where possible. The cocktails will be spins on classics. There will be about 25 bottles on the wine list and six local and regional taps. Bottled and canned beer will be served as well.
The 3,500-square-foot space boasts a 30-seat patio facing Peachtree Street. Inside, the bar area will be reserved for walk-ins, while reservations will be accepted for the dining room. Picture vintage pendant lights, a white tile bar with splashes of color, and wood throughout. A large mural depicts the eyes of Arya Stark from Game of Thrones, who shares a name with the residential building.
When the Usual opens, Leahy plans to be in the kitchen kicking things off with a yet-to-be-named chef de cuisine.
“I have a great team in place at Nick’s Westside. They know how I like to do things without me asking,” he says. “But it’s still my baby, so it’ll still be a focus for me.”