On Wednesday night, Greg Best and Regan Smith announced to their staff that they are moving on from Holeman and Finch Public House. It’s no overstatement to say that Best and Smith, along with partners Gina and Linton Hopkins and Andy Minchow (the latter moved on from the business last year), created the catalyst for Atlanta’s now-booming cocktail culture. When Holeman and Finch opened in 2008, it brought Atlanta up to speed on the booze renaissance happening in cities like New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. Its bar primed the city on the then-novel gastropub concept and introduced the joys of sipping alchemies involving artisan bourbons, gins, vermouths, and bitters.
After five years, Best and Smith are ready to jump into a new project. They said that the departure is amicable with the Hopkins’s, but they’ve largely taken on administrative/managerial positions at Holeman and they’re anxious to get back behind the bar. Though he wasn’t ready to share exact details, Best has ideas simmering. “The first step was to get Atlanta in the cocktail conversation; the next step is for us to own the conversation,” he said. “We’re grateful we’re in a position to take a risk,” Smith added. The two definitely plan to open a brick-and-mortar: “I’m not into pop-ups,” Best said plainly.
Best’s last night tending bar at Holeman will be Saturday, September 7; Smith will man the door for Sunday brunch the next day during her final shift. Stop by to say farewell to them both.