Where the chefs hang out


ATL Food Chatter—June 19, 2009

Where do Atlanta’s chefs go after a grueling day at the “office” when they want to kick it with their comrades in arms? Well, according to one of Atlanta’s top toques, Holeman & Finch Public House is the current hotspot where Atlanta’s chefs meet, eat, and decompress.

Gary Mennie, executive chef at Livingston, recently joined a couple of his buddies there after a busy Saturday night and said that they enjoyed themselves “until well after 2 a.m.” They were even able to snag one of the cult, post-10 p.m. burgers. Another spot Mennie mentioned as an after-hours hang for local chefs is JCT Kitchen. Top Flr is also close enough from his post at the Georgian Terrace Hotel that he can walk over there on occasion.

If any other chefs out there want to reveal their late night off-duty spots, we’re curious. Leave a comment below.


Buckhead. Villa Vino Restaurant and Bar—featuring Italian cuisine, pizzas, and a strong wine list—has opened at 3188 Roswell Road.

Locos Grill & Pub closed its Buckhead location.

In another sign of the times, Neo, the Mansion on Peachtree’s in-house restaurant, is now “going casual with light, farm-fresh fare” (as it says on the Mansion on Peachtree’s website) and has a new chef, Scott Hemmerly.

Buford Highway. Havana Sandwich Shop, the highly regarded Cuban sandwich shop that was destroyed by a fire last fall, is opening a new version at Crossroads Village, at 3979 Buford Highway. (It currently has a location in Canton as well.)

Chamblee. Salsa Con Sabor, the Puerto Rican tapas spot, has closed.

Downtown. The latest intel has Max’s Coal Fired Pizzeria from the Concentrics folks opening sometime next week.

Wine Shoe Tasting Room + Boutique, featuring 138 boutique wines and weekly sipping tutorials, has opened at 339 Nelson Street in Castleberry Hill.

The Wine Loft wine bar on Marietta Street has closed.

Russell Sleight has replaced Thierry Grodet as executive chef at the Westin Peachtree Plaza hotel (not to be confused with the executive chef at the restaurant’s Sun Dial, whose kitchen is helmed by Christian Messier).

Rolling Bones has been named one of the top 10 “new barbecue restaurants in America” by Bon Appetit Magazine in their July issue, which is entirely devoted to barbecue. [Editor’s note: Unfortunately, given magazine deadlines, this accolade surely refers to RB’s former regime before Todd Richards and his company took over the business. FYI: Richards’ new Rolling Bones menu, which includes smoked duck and revamped sides, is reportedly rolling out today.—B.A.]

Midtown. Rumor has it that STK—a hipster steakhouse chain with locations in West Hollywood, Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, Miami, and Vegas—has signed a lease to open a spot at 1075 Peachtree, the office building currently under construction as part of the 12th & Midtown project.

Andy Fox, formerly of Ecco, is the new general manager at Livingston.

As has been reported widely, Trois is no longer open. The space will remain under Concentrics ownership and a new concept will be revealed in the early fall. Trois’ bar does remain open with a limited menu. 

Morningside. On July 6, Food 101 Morningside will become Rosebud. The new name comes from Jerry Garcia’s favorite guitar. There will only a few cosmetic and menu changes.

Sandy Springs. Yoreka, a frozen yogurt spot, has opened at The Prado Shopping Center,5590 Roswell Road NE, Suite 130.

Westside. The Warren Bruno bar project in the White Provisions development will be called Ormsby’s.

Question of the Week: What noted Atlanta restaurant power couple is rumored to be opening a spot in the former Taurus location?

PS. The answer to last post’s QOTW—What intown chef has his son working beside him at his hot spot?—is Jay Swift. His son Josh is a chef at 4th& Swift.