James Beard Award winner Linton Hopkins is making some major changes in his portfolio of popular Atlanta restaurants.
The chef and restaurateur, who owns restaurant group Hopkins & Co. with his wife, Gina, first told Atlanta Magazine that he plans to close his groundbreaking Atlanta restaurant Restaurant Eugene next month. Located at 2277 Peachtree Road, Restaurant Eugene opened in 2004 as a fine dining restaurant that had a small, seasonally-rotating a la carte menu as well as a tasting menu. Hopkins said that the restaurant’s final day of service will be either Aug. 18 or Aug. 25.
Hopkins will turn the restaurant into the more casual, all a la carte concept called Eugene and Elizabeth’s, named for his grandparents and slated to open in October following a renovation.
“I want to remove the pretension from excellence,” Hopkins told the AJC about the switch from a tasting menu to a less formal, a la carte-only concept. “I don’t eat tasting menus any more,” he said.
The menu will feature permanent fixtures including soups, salads and entrees including red snapper and free-range chicken with goat cheese. The vegetable plate from Restaurant Eugene’s menu will also make an appearance.
“We’re still going to use these amazing top-shelf ingredients,” he said, yet the goal is to “make it good cooking for everyday.”
The beverage program will feature an accessible wine list, local beers and seasonal cocktails.
The restaurant will be open for dinner nightly, and will most likely serve weekend brunch.
“There will be people who are sad about what we are doing, but hopefully, they will really enjoy what we do next,” Hopkins said.
In addition to the Restaurant Eugene switch, Hopkins is moving his perennial favorite Holeman & Finch to Colony Square next year. The restaurant, which serves a meat-heavy menu including a popular cheeseburger, is currently located next door to Restaurant Eugene.
The Colony Square location will almost double the restaurant’s current footprint. The space will feature a patio, and the expanded size will allow Holeman & Finch to serve lunch as well as dinner, coffee, pastries and even weekend brunch.
Holeman & Finch will continue to operate in its current location until late spring 2020. Hopkins anticipates relaunching it in its Colony Square home next May or June.
Hopkins will turn the current Holeman & Finch space into a concept that is still to be determined, although Hopkins confirmed it won’t be a replication of his burger or chicken concepts. He also owns an H&F Burger locations at Ponce City Market and inside SunTrust Park, as well as Hop’s Chicken at Ponce City Market.
Hopkins said he wants Holeman & Finch to be a family-friendly place that serves the neighborhood and that lends itself to delivery.
Helping with that project will be Hopkins’ son, Linton, currently enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America in New York City. “He’s worked every in the restaurants,” Hopkins said. “We’re going to rely on his strength to be able to pull this off.”
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