Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Kaiser Collaborates with Rathbun to Open Inaugural OTP Restaurant

Upscale chophouse to open on Roswell Road

Peter Kaiser, most recently the Executive Chef at Buckhead's now defunct Twist restaurant, plans to open Kaiser's Chophouse later this spring in Hammond Springs shopping  center at the corner of Roswell Road and Hammond Drive in Sandy Springs.  I first heard rumors of this restaurant last summer, but those involved kept their plans rather close to the vest until recently. (The restaurant's name was registered with the Secretary of State of Georgia April 14th, 2016).    The new chophouse will open in place of Jason's Deli, which closed in late 2014.

In Kaiser's Chophouse, Kaiser is "fulfilling the lifelong dream of opening a restaurant with his own namesake."   Kaiser is collaborating with friend, fellow Buckhead Life Restaurant Group alum and Iron Chef winner Kevin Rathbun in opening the new restaurant.

Peter Kaiser, who grew up in Liechtenstein, honed his culinary skills in Europe before coming to Atlanta in 1986.  After enrolling in classes to learn English, Kaiser's sister, who was already in Atlanta, introduced him to chefs Paul Albrecht and Pano Karatassos of Buckhead Life Restaurant Group. Soon thereafter, he was hired by the group as a sous chef at Capriccio Ristorante (now Pricci). A short time later, Kaiser was promoted to executive sous chef at Pano’s and Paul’s. In 1995, Kaiser took over as executive chef at the Buckhead Diner.  He returned to Pano’s and Paul’s as executive chef in 1998.  Kaiser’s next venture was with Here to Serve Restaurant Group as executive chef of Goldfish. Once Goldfish took off, Here to Serve's Tom Catherall chose Kaiser to establish and open Twist at Phipps Plaza in Buckhead, and eventually take the helm as executive corporate chef.
Rendering of Kaiser's Chophouse courtesy of The Johnson Studio at Cooper Carry 

Kaiser's Chophouse is being designed by The Johnson Studio at Cooper Carry, the firm responsible for many of the Atlanta's most well known fine dining restaurants.  The Johnson Studio, which was acquired by Cooper Carry early last year, previously designed the interiors of Atlas at the St. Regis Buckhead, Polaris at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Blue Pointe, Bistro Niko, Ecco, Two Urban Licks, One Midtown Kitchen and Nan Thai Fine Dining, among others.

The newly updated Kaiser's Chophouse website describes the restaurant's interior as follows:

"The modern, chic interiors are both luxurious and inviting. The bar is cozy with large, oversized chairs welcoming guests in for a cocktail. Spherical chandeliers dimly light the dining room with a classic ambiance, and wooden tables and booths fill the space. The space is filled with elegant finishing touches, from the flowing curtains to modern wall art. The beautiful interiors make the restaurant the place to see and be seen. Kaiser’s Chophouse provides a convivial atmosphere that entices guests to stay, enjoy and come back time and again. Kaiser’s Chophouse offers guests private and semi-private dining options for parties of any size."

Progress inside Kaiser's Chophouse earlier this week 

The website further describes the restaurant by saying it will "bring guests an elevated dining experience with quality cuts of meats, superior ingredients and a boutique wine and cocktail program.”

Information on the Kaiser's Chophouse website suggests that Tim Stevens is also associated in some way with the project, but despite multiple calls and emails to the restaurant, my questions remain unanswered. (Suggestion: If you are going to provide an email and phone to be reached, respond when contacted.) P.S., they misspelled the restaurant's name in the stated email address on their website.

Note to self: Don't misspell company name on company website 
It can be assumed that Stevens will be involved in a managerial/partnership capacity, which would seem logical given he, too, is a Buckhead Life alum.  Stevens is also involved in another project in Roswell.  Stevens, with support from  Kevin McNerney, co-founder of SweetWater Brewing, plans to open "From the Earth Brewing Company," later this summer.  The enterprise will offer "Chef driven food, craft cocktails and world class beers brewed in house."

Stevens' previous restaurant experience includes time as General Manager at Cook Hall Atlanta, later Market at the W Atlanta - Buckhead,  Owner Cahaba Restaurant Inc, a trio of three restaurants in Birmingham, Alabama, and General Manager Nava Chops and The Club at Chops.

Kaiser's joins a growing roster of restaurants that have opened or are opening soon in Sandy Springs. Il Giallo Osteria & Bar, an Italian restaurant in the Parkside Shops center on Roswell Road, opened in late 2015 by Buckhead Life alums Leonardo Moura and Chef Jamie Adams.

Mimmo Alboumeh, of Red Pepper Taqueria fame, opened MAYA™ Steaks | Seafood on Roswell Road in the former Rumi's Kitchen in early 2015. (Rumi's moved to a larger location nearby.)

Just north on Roswell Road, Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken expects to open what will be its second Atlanta area location later this month.  Additionally, growing pizza chain Rize Artisan Pizza & Salads plans to opens its second Atlanta area location late this month in the street level retail of One City Walk, a new apartment complex, also at the corner of Hammond Drive and Roswell Road.

Clay's Sports Cafe, which was displaced by the upcoming Gus's, announced this past December it was targeting a late March reopening in Hammond Springs. The popular dive bar promised "build out pics" to its many Facebook fans, but has yet to upload any, leading many to surmise it may be delayed.

Sandy Springs residents will surely be excited to welcome another local dining option following the closure of Double Zero Napoletana this past summer and Ruth's Chris Steakhouse in 2014.

Are you excited for the addition of a chef-driven local steakhouse to Sandy Springs?  Is it just me or did you think pigs would fly before you saw Kevin Rathbun involved in an OTP restaurant?  What other type of restaurants would you like to see open in Sandy Springs?

Please share your thoughts below.


Anonymous said...

While I hope it does well, I'm not sure this is exactly a great spot for Fine Dining. This center is the definition of a non-descript shopping center.

Anonymous said...

LOve Chef Kevin, but just wondering if this will last as it seems like the chef opening it has gone from oen to the other and each one has closed? Maybe i'm wrong? We need some chef owned restaurants in this area. No more chains please. An amazing Italian restaurant - I mean real italian not IlGallio we will call it italian and serve you noodles kind of Italian. Good luck to all the new places.

Anonymous said...

Need old school authentic Italian throw back to the 70's and 80's NYC

Anonymous said...

This place is doomed. The sushi place that was last there lasted less than 6 months. Before that, Jason's did not last that long. Parking is terrible. Rumor has it landlord is allowing this place extra valet spaces which will annoy the adjoining restaurants.
This will join the next door restaurants: Kingston Jamaican, Pinocchio's Italian, popular Jinya Ramen, Sandy Springs Thai, and Clay's (if it ever opens). No room for another restaurant. Or better yet, no demand for another.
Within less than 200 feet is Cafe Sunflower, and the popular El Azteca, which dominates the business in that area.
I give it one year. Then bye-bye

Wendi said...

Any word on if Gus's is on schedule to open tomorrow? I noticed their signage up over the weekend, but the inside still looks like it has a couple of weeks.

Atlantan99 said...


Good eyes! As of this week, the restaurant has pushed their expected opening to "mid March."

Thanks for the comments and readership.


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