After serving the community for 33 years, Chops Lobster Bar shut its doors in mid-January to assess the damage caused by a hood fire. Half a year later, the Buckhead Life Restaurant Group (BLRG) steakhouse—along with its seafood spot and private club—are getting ready to welcome guests back inside. On September 1, the Lobster Bar will reopen, followed by the club, and in mid-October, Chops.
“We’re going to be better than ever,” says BLRG co-president Niko Karatassos.
A Chops expansion had been well underway when the fire caused 55,000 gallons of water to damage the space, its finishes, electrical work, and HVAC system. Rather than give up, Niko and his brother, BLRG co-president Pano I. Karatassos, made sure their employees were taken care of, finding them temporary homes at other BLRG restaurants.
“As our guests came to our other restaurants, they’d see servers they’ve known for 5, 10, 15 years,” Pano says.
When guests return to Lobster Bar and the club, they should expect it to feel like home, only more sparkly. Chops, however, will “feel like a brand-new restaurant,” Pano says. The bar has a new dining area with high tops, booths, and tables looking out floor-to-ceiling windows.
“It’s going to create an energy throughout the dining room that wasn’t there before. It’s really going to be impactful,” Niko says.
Expect marble, mahogany, copper, and custom chandeliers, displaying the elegant opulence Chops is known for. Paintings and photos curated by local gallerist Fay Gold round out the decor. A new patio offers al fresco dining looking out onto an upgraded plaza courtyard. A new private dining room called the Plaza Room offers expanded event capabilities. New wrought iron doors provide a grander entrance to the space as a whole.
In addition to the renovations and expansions, Chops will unveil select menu updates, including more dry-aged meat and new-to-Chops appetizers like Bistro Niko-style escargot and Kyma’s popular Greek octopus.
“People have always wanted [the octopus] over there,” Pano says. “We have it at Chops in Boca [Raton, Florida,] and it’s the number one seller at Lobster Bar Sea Grille in Ft. Lauderdale. It’s been tested.”