Georgia has long been unofficially known as the Empire State of the South. Now, it looks like we’re finally ready to make that official (at least in the restaurant world). Empire State South is set to be the first foray into the Atlanta dining scene for the accomplished Hugh Acheson. Sporting a progressive take on Southern cuisine, Empire State is destined to add a whole new class level to the meat and three concept. Meanwhile, it will serve as the anchor restaurant for the 999 Peachtree Street office and retail building in Midtown, Atlanta.
For the better part of a year, we’ve known of Acheson’s intentions to open Empire State South. Initially, the opening date was identified as Spring 2010. Now, according to the restaurant’s website, that season has been narrowed down to April of this year. More details after the jump!
To fill their 90-seats (24 at the bar), Empire will serve up breakfast and lunch during the weekdays, brunch on the weekends, and a full service dinner Monday through Saturday. That’s certainly a big brush to paint with, so only time will tell if they start doing all that right from day one. My guess is that they will work their way up to full hours. Somewhere in the mix, there are plans for a bocce ball court. With Ormsby’s absolutely killing it on the Westside, this seems like a good move. But again, we’ll just have to see how everything is pulled together. Based on what I’ve read, I’d guess that lunch entrées and sandwiches will run in that $8-$12 range. In continuing with my S.W.A.G’s, the dinner entrées will probably be roughly 2x that. But again, that’s just postulation on my part.
Those of you who frequent the food world will probably know Acheson’s name. As owner of Five & Ten, The National, and Godsford Wine, perhaps Athens’ most noteworthy culinary destinations, Hugh is perhaps that cities most noteworthy chef. Amongst his many accomplishments, the Canadian native received accolades from Food & Wine Magazine (as a best chef of 2002), repeat nominations from James Beard, and attention in T Magazine (the style mag of the NY Times). To help pull this off, Acheson is teaming up again with Peter Dale (chef at The National) and Chuck Ramsey. Perhaps the best bit of news for us in the ATL is that Acheson intends to get the kitchen going himself (pdf) before handing the reins over to a dedicated local chef. In the meantime, go check out Hugh Cooks Food (link), the Acheson blog.