Fine dining pioneer Restaurant Eugene, owned by James Beard award-winning chef Linton Hopkins and Gina Hopkins, closes in August after 15 years in Buckhead, Atlanta Magazine reports. The stunning closure news comes on the heels of the couple’s new Colony Square restaurant announcement last week.
Hopkins says he’s shifting focus “away from special-occasion dining to neighborhood restaurants.” The “more approachable,” a la carte restaurant Eugene and Elizabeth’s (named for his grandparents) replaces Restaurant Eugene in October.
Eugene and Elizabeth’s menu, which appears to be a mix of Restaurant Eugene and neighboring Holeman and Finch Public House, includes soups such as gazpacho, salads, and entrees like chicken with goat cheese as well as snapper, snowy grouper, and Gulf shrimp and oysters. Restaurant Eugene’s Southern vegetables served in copper dishes is also planned for the menu.
As for the new Midtown restaurant, expect Holeman and Finch to relocate to Colony Square and reopen next May with an expanded menu that includes lunch and its popular double stack cheeseburger. The 4,000-square-foot Colony Square space provides the restaurant room for a patio and a larger bar and dining room
Holeman and Finch remains open at its current location until the move next spring.
Plans to transform the original Holeman and Finch space into a new restaurant are already in the works. The couple’s son Linton may be involved in the venture, following his graduation from culinary school.
The Hopkins hope the changes to their decade-plus-old restaurants and the addition of new restaurants in the future “will celebrate their Atlantan roots and local community” and attract new diners.
Restaurant Eugene opened along Peachtree Road in 2004 offering a set menu of pristinely plated dishes changing daily and a lengthy list of select fine wines. The restaurant helped usher in a new dining era in Atlanta.
Four years later, the couple followed up the success of Restaurant Eugene and opened Holeman and Finch next door. The restaurant’s bar became the birthplace of Atlanta’s craft cocktail scene, lead by bartenders like Andy Minchow (Ration and Dram) and Greg Best and Regan Smith (Ticonderoga Club). Its coveted cheeseburger became a late night dining sensation. Only 24 burgers were available each evening and often sold out before any burgers hit the first table.
Hopkins opened two quick-serve H&F Burger restaurants at Ponce City Market and Battery Atlanta SunTrust Park, spurred on by the success of the burger.
Hopkins & Co. also own C. Ellet’s steakhouse at Battery Atlanta and Hop’s Chicken at Ponce City Market.