Word recently got out that Chef Drew Van Leuvan will be opening a new restaurant, called Seven Lamps, in the Shops Around Lenox, come October/November. Van Leuvan has worked with everyone from Guenter Seeger and Joel Antunes to Tom Catherall and Michael Tuohy. He opened Toast, was the opening chef at Saga, and more recently, spent time in the kitchens of Tap and ONE Midtown Kitchen. With all that experience under his belt, he's sure to have some big ideas. We checked in with him to see what Seven Lamps is all about.
How did you decide on the Seven Lamps concept?
The Seven Lamps concept is an amalgamation of a few. I reached out to an old partner of mine from the TOAST days last year. After several discussions about what the Shops Around Lenox needed, we realized that a solid bar/staurant would help solidify the center. Buckhead is going through a major change. It’s searching for who it is and we are going to create a neighborhood with Seven Lamps. We want Seven Lamps to be a relevant establishment that pushes others to be smarter. My big picture of life has always had a great bar as apart of the equation. Seven Lamps will be a fun and exciting establishment with a few tricks up her sleeve.
What does the name mean?
Seven Lamps refers to the “Seven Lamps of Architecture”. One of my partners is an architect who came up with the name. The Seven Lamps are an essay that was written by English art critic, John Ruskin in 1849. The Lamps are the principles of architecture. Once I learned about The Lamps, I realized there ambiguous in nature. The Lamps are: Sacrifice, Truth, Power, Beauty, Life, Memory and Obedience. I loved how each corresponds with life in the kitchen. I have my own memories that relate to each of The Lamps. The name was a perfect fit.
What exactly is "craft food and drink" anyway? Any particular menu items we should look for?
“Craft Food and Drink” is simply stating that Seven Lamps will deliver products that are made from scratch. I want Seven Lamps to have a human touch that each patron will feel once there in the establishment. We will change our menu often. My fresh pastas will definitely have a place on the menu.
What will the interior look like? Is this more of a restaurant or late-night spot?
The interior will be mostly of wood and lighter colors. The feel will be of an academics living room. An atmosphere where conviviality and a celebration of community are shared among garden-like surroundings. Seven Lamps will defenitley be a late-night spot. Our hours of operation aren’t set as of yet, but we will probably be open until 2 a.m.
We chose Lenox because of how unique the Shops Around Lenox is. The Shops Around Lenox is full of high-end boutiques. The density and opportunity are there. Buckhead needs more neighborhood establishments.
Who are you working with? Any big names in the industry? Who will be behind the bar?
I have partnered with the guys from Cypress Street Pint & Plate and Hearth & Parma. I have met with most of the mixologists in Atlanta, attempting to pick their brains on conceptual ideas, as well as trying to find that special person who can create and drive the beverage program.
What made you decide to go out on your own? Why now?
My entire career has been about learning how this business works so I can get out on my own. I am a self-starter, and highly motivated to succeed. Life is more gratifying to know that you make who you are. Getting out on my own wasn’t really about if it was a good time to do it now or later. I like to lead and teach. The time felt right and the opportunity was met with preparedness.
Anything else we should know?
Seven Lamps will be a thoughtful establishment that will showcase a modern craft bar, an eclectic wine program which will be designed around value-driven, boutique vintages, and an always-evolving food menu. Seven Lamps will create will create a sense of nostalgia by creating an oasis in the middle of Buckhead. It will offer outdoor seating. From a relaxing fire pit to nature’s gifts, Seven Lamps design has been meticulously detailed with comfort in mind. I look forward to seeing everyone soon.
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