Empire State South owner chef Hugh Acheson opens his downtown French restaurant By George on Wednesday, October 23, inside the historic Candler building, now a boutique hotel owned by Hilton on Peachtree Street.
Located on the first floor in what was once home to Central Bank and Trust, By George serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner and provides space to sip tea, coffee, and champagne with caviar service throughout the day. As with Acheson’s other restaurants, beverage director Kellie Thorn and sommelier Steven Grubbs are both on board to create the cocktail menu and mostly French wine list for the restaurant.
Lead by chef Ian Quinn (C. Ellet’s Steakhouse), Acheson’s “French-inspired” menu should include a few recognizable classics such as terrine of foie gras served with brioche and seasonal fruit, steak Diane and frites, escargot, and pomme dauphin (crisp potato puffs) as well as dishes with a slight Southern accent, like a catfish quenelle with nantua sauce and a Georgia trout.
According to the restaurant’s website, By George is also available for room service and private dining.
As for the design, By George takes cues from the building’s history and the 19th-century Beaux-Arts era in Paris mixed with modernity. It features ornate glass chandeliers and large marble columns throughout the dining room paired with sleek leather booths and banquettes and midcentury-style chairs and tables.
The circa-1906 structure near Woodruff Park was designed by Asa Candler — a former Atlanta mayor and founder of Coca-Cola in 1892. At one point, the former office building was the tallest structure in Atlanta during the early part of the 20th century.
Acheson chose the name By George as a hat tip to the building’s original architects: George Murphy and George Stewart.
Hotel restaurant dining has never fared very well with locals in Atlanta. However, with the recent success of Tiny Lou’s beneath the storied Hotel Clermont on Ponce (also billed as a posh boutique hotel,) By George’s chances of succeeding and, more importantly, regularly drawing Atlantans and downtown office dwellers to the historic Candler are favorable.
The Candler Hotel is part of the Curio Collection by Hilton and includes 265 rooms.
Open daily. Breakfast: 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.; Lunch: 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; Dinner: 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
127 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta. curiocollection3.hilton.com.