The Castle, a historic Midtown building dating back to 1910, will be renovated and reopened as a restaurant, bar, event space, and luxury suites in the next year. Marc Taft, chef and owner of Chicken and the Egg, has partnered with architect and industrial artist Mike Latham to transform the 12,000-square-foot space on 15th Street across from the Woodruff Arts Center into a white tablecloth, Southern-inspired restaurant with a bar, a separate late-night bar, plus four or five hotel suites with spa-like bathrooms. The restaurant and bars will open in October, with the event space to follow in the spring of 2014, and the suites shortly thereafter.
The space, which was originally a home and later a restaurant and Atlanta Theatre Guild, will maintain all key historic architectural components but add some modern touches in the décor, such as glass and iron. Taft says Latham is getting his inspiration from the St. James’s Club in London.
“We want it to have a nice members’ club feel but without the stuffiness,” Taft says.
To that end, the restaurant will be upscale but will not require a coat or tie. Taft compares it to 4th & Swift and Restaurant Eugene in terms of level of service. He’ll use traditional continental and French cooking techniques to elevate the style of food he currently serves at Chicken and the Egg.
Menu items may include prosciutto and Georgia peach salad, house-made burrata with Georgia shrimp, Alabama squab with mushrooms, domestic lamb, steaks, and charcuterie. There will be regional bottled beers, local spirits, and a large wine cellar.
A mixologist who currently works with David Chang in the Momofuku restaurant group will be coming down from New York to lead the beverage program. A well known local chef will join Taft’s team as chef du cuisine, and he’ll likely choose a member of his Chicken and the Egg staff to be his sous chef, he says. He plans to announce his staff roster in the next 30 to 45 days.
Castle restaurant will seat 65 to 80 diners and feature multiple outdoor dining options including a veranda, chef’s garden, and wine sensory garden where the items grown in each area mimic a specific varietal of wine. Special tasting menus with pairings will likely be served there.
The restaurant bar will have seating for 20 to 30 people, plus barstools. The regular menu will be available, in addition to a separate bar menu.
The downstairs bar, which will be open late at night, will be more intimate and bespoke, Taft says. It will only fit 15 to 20 people, and focus on different craft cocktails—primarily those made with whiskey, bourbon, and maybe absinthe—than those served upstairs.
“Here you’ll be able to really interact with the staff, and everything you need will be taken care of,” he says.