It’s finally official. Jerry and Krista Slater, formerly of Atlanta’s H. Harper Station, have signed a lease on a space in Athens, Ga. The couple hope to open their new bar and restaurant in early 2018.
The restaurant, to be called The Expat, will be housed in the space formerly occupied by Two Story coffee shop on Lumpkin Street in the Five Points neighborhood of Athens.
“We’ll be joining a lot of other great small, independent spots: Independent Baking, Condor Chocolate, Avid Bookstore, a great place called Donna Chang’s,” Jerry Slater told AJC Food and Dining editor, Ligaya Figueras, during a Facebook Live interview yesterday during which he demonstrated cocktails from his newly released book, "The Southern Foodways Alliance Guide to Cocktails."
The couple says the restaurant and bar will be more intimate than H. Harper Station, with a smaller cocktail list and a more focused wine menu. Each menu will be given equal billing. As for food, the Slaters are still searching for a chef but hope to blend dishes they love to eat with those of the person they hire to lead the kitchen.
The Expat will feature a main dining room downstairs described as an “all-day eatery with great cocktails.” The upstairs lounge will serve bar snacks like potato chips with creme fraiche and caviar alongside “stirred and boozy, sophisticated cocktails, whiskey and rum on the rocks and wine with vinyl records.”
As for the name, the Slaters say The Expat was inspired by their departure from Atlanta last year. “We’ve found other Atlantans here in Athens as well as people who have traveled a lot in their lives,” Krista Slater explained. “Those memories and connections to a place are important to us. The Expat will be a scrapbook of those experiences translated through the food and drink.”
“It’s the idea that no matter where you are in the world, you find the place where you feel at home," Jerry Slater added.
In anticipation of opening their own bar and restaurant, both Slaters have been moonlighting behind the bars at Five and Ten and The National in Athens during the last year to learn what residents and visitors enjoy drinking.
The news of their upcoming concept comes on the heels of the official release today of Slater's new cocktail book with the Southern Foodways Alliance and the subsequent tour beginning next week.
The couple is also finishing up a project with the forthcoming City Pharmacy in Covington where they are developing the restaurant’s beverage program. That concept is slated to open by year's end.
Krista Slater stated that she expects the next few months to be “exciting and terrifying” but that she and her husband are looking forward to being behind the bar in their own space again.
“We’re excited to be back among our guests. The Expat will be a welcoming, comfortable spot where you can sip great wine and cocktails and the bartenders know your name.”
The Expat, 1680 S. Lumpkin St., Athens.
Learn to make cocktails with Jerry Slater here: