Courtesy of Jessica Bailey
Hampton & Hudson, the Inman Quarter restaurant and pub by Billy and Jenn Streck of Grain and Cypress Street, now has an executive chef. As announced recently at a Frye Company secret supper, Cooper Miller, formerly of JCT Kitchen and the Strecks’ 2012 Atlantic Station pop-up Hudson North, will be leading the kitchen of this 3,500-square-feet restaurant.
Open for lunch, dinner, and late-night, the restaurant will stock darts, foosball, and a full bar, with a draft program featuring 22 beers. In addition, 40 beers will be available by the bottle. Signature cocktails include the Hampton (Lovell Brothers sour mash, apple pie moonshine, spicy ginger shrub, amaro cio-ciaro, honey, lemon, and nutmeg) and the Hudson (Lovell Brothers sour mash, maple syrup, black walnut butters, angostura bitters, flamed lemon oil, and black cherry).
The space will have a garden patio with a fire pit, mezzanine seating, and a vintage feel inspired by the Strecks’ favorite bars in New York. (Think woods, colonial bar stools, flowers in mason jars, and mix and match dishes and chairs.) Here, Miller tells us more about his decision to join the Strecks and what to expect from his cooking.
Why did you decide to make the switch to Hampton and Hudson? Bill and Jenn Streck and I worked together at their pop up Hudson North. The day that ended, we knew we wanted to reinvent that concept one day. We talked about it for years, exploring different markets like Birmingham and Nashville, but Atlanta is our home and the obvious choice. I enjoyed my years with Rocket Farms, and it is a great company to work for, but there are two kinds of chefs in the world: Those who love the corporate grind and those who love the freedom of their own place. I am the latter of these.
What do you like most about the concept? I love that the sense of community is going to be our driving force, and what better area to do this in than Inman Park? It’s going to be an assault on the senses. When you walk in, you have the visual effect of our beautiful bar centered in the dining room with primal cuts of meat rotating in the spot light. You will smell the meat being slow cooked or grilled over our wood burning grill.
How will your style of cooking evolve to fit the concept? I have been fortunate to work in some of the best kitchens in the city, putting together intricate plates of food, making sure everything is perfect, arranging herbs with tweezers, and dotting sauces with 10 different squeeze bottles. This will not be that kind of place. The focus is going to be on flavor. We are truly trying to get back to the basics with perfectly cooked meats, light bright sauces, and fresh crisp vegetables. We want to source great products, treat them respect, and give our guest a great end product.
What are some menu items that you are most excited about? We are trying to recapture the community pubs of old—true gathering spots where people go because they feel like family. You can expect a lot of pub classic snacks with our little twist on them. What I am most excited about is the rotisserie that is going to be the center piece of the open kitchen. We are going to slow roast whole animals and primal cuts on the spits all day long. A couple of menu items will come off the spit but the majority will change daily and be listed on our chalkboard wall.
How will you integrate the food with the drinks? Our drink program is going to be impressive with a majority of drinks being on draft, everything from local beers to wine and even cocktails and shots. We will have a great selection of snacks and plates that will pair well with all aspects of our drink program. We are even going to plate some of the food in cocktail vessels, like martini shakers.