Tyler Williams is opening a pizza joint and a farm-to-table restaurant in Rabun County

By Hand pizza will open next week with four pies and expand from there
Tyler Williams in the kitchen at By Hand

Courtesy of Tyler Williams

Chef Tyler Williams, formerly of Woodfire Grill, is opening a Neapolitan-style pizza joint on Lake Burton next week. By Hand sits on LaPrade’s Marina and will offer counter service as well as lakeside takeout.

“It’ll be seasonal and really fun and casual,” Williams says, noting that there will be picnic table seating for 40.

He’ll start with just four 14-inch pizzas made with flour from local mills: cheese, meat, veggie, and a special. The special could be something like chicken tikka masala with buffalo mozzarella and arugula. Eventually, he may expand to include Sicilian-style slices and other varieties made in the wood-burning oven. Salads will be available as well.

“We would make pizzas for the staff at Woodfire constantly—I’ve always known how to make pizza and do it well,” he says. “[But] I brought up equipment for tacos, and the oven is good for making pita bread, so the specials are open-ended.”

Although By Hand doesn’t have its liquor license yet, plans to acquire one are in the works. Former Woodfire Grill bar manager Brian Stanger is working with Williams on the project.

“I want to do breakfast and brunches, and you have to have Bloody Mary’s and mimosas and stuff,” Williams says.

Williams is also developing a 26-acre farm not far from the lake on Highway 76 in Clayton, where he’s building a sustainable restaurant that he hopes to open in phases, starting next spring. It will start as an indoor/outdoor patio space for fine-dining dinners with tasting menus in the middle of the farm and grow to include a produce stand with more casual meals. Williams says he also hopes to cater weddings in the barn.

“I want to go out in the field every day and pick my produce and write my menu based on that,” he says. “That’s really farm to table.”