Duane Nutter shares concept, name for Summerhill restaurant

Duane Nutter (left) and Reggie Washington in front of their forthcoming Summerhill restaurant Southern National.

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Duane Nutter (left) and Reggie Washington in front of their forthcoming Summerhill restaurant Southern National.

Chef Duane Nutter and restaurateur Reginald “Reggie” Washington have announced that the restaurant they have planned for Summerhill will be a second location of their Alabama eatery Southern National.

The pair first announced late last year they would open a restaurant at 72 Georgia Ave. in summer 2022 as part of Carter’s Summerhill development in the Atlanta neighborhood of the same name.

They opened Southern National in Washington’s hometown of Mobile, Alabama in 2017 to much acclaim, with the restaurant landing on the New York Times’ 2021 list of most exciting restaurants. The pair also collaborated on One Flew South in Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

The Atlanta location’s menu “will feature regionally and locally sourced ingredients in dishes inspired by Nutter’s time in the Northwest, as well as his extensive travels from coast-to-coast,” according to a press release.

“Once you’ve cooked at a restaurant in a major airport, you understand that you’re cooking for an entire nation,” Nutter said in a prepared statement. “Our guests didn’t compare us to Southern restaurants; they compared us to their favorite restaurants in San Francisco, Chicago, and New York. As a result, we ultimately became inspired by influences from many different regional and cultural cuisines.”

The restaurant’s interior is being designed by Atlanta-based design and architecture firms Smith Hanes Studio and MT Studio Architecture, respectively. The restaurant will seat approximately 80 guests and include a private dining area.

Prior to serving as the executive chef at One Flew South, Nutter in the kitchen at Atlanta’s Four Seasons Hotel, while Washington has operated restaurants at Atlanta’s Marriott Marquis, Colony Square Hotel and Hyatt Regency. Nutter, One Flew South and Southern National have all been named James Beard Award semifinalists in past years.

Washington said when the pair was looking for a new project following One Flew South, they looked for places outside of Atlanta “because we didn’t want to open a restaurant that would simply become One Flew South outside of the airport.” He said he’s particularly excited about Southern National’s Summerhill location because he plans to reside in the area.

Southern National will join several other food and beverage concepts in Carter’s Summerhill development including How Crispy Express, Maepole, Wood’s Chapel BBQ, Junior’s Pizza, Halfway Crooks Beer, Little Tart Bakery and Big Softie. Expected to open in the area by the end of 2022 are Hodgepodge Coffeehouse, D Boca N Boca, Redacted and Press Start.

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