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New restaurant coming – ‘Upscale’ eatery expected to open in September

Diners in and around Atmore will soon be able to gather in the city’s downtown area for a meal that surpasses the standard fare of meat-and-three, sandwiches and fast food.

A new upscale restaurant called “Gather” will open in early September in the building formerly occupied by Jus’ Because, a boutique that operated for years at the corner of Trammell and West Nashville streets. Crews are working to double the size of the facility and create the 2,300-square-foot eatery.

The planned opening for the new dining spot, described by its owners as “an upscale restaurant, somewhere between David’s Catfish House and (Wind Creek’s) Fire,” is set for September 11, the Monday after Labor Day.

“That has been a lucky day for us, as far as our restaurants,” said Rob Faircloth, one of the partner-owners of the new eatery and owner or principal in Atmore’s David’s Catfish House and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. “My father opened the Ponderosa on the Monday after Labor Day in 1969, and we opened our first chicken restaurant on the Monday after Labor Day, so that’s the date we’ll shoot for.”

The restaurant will include a bar, a chef’s table and a secluded dining area off the main dining room. The kitchen will be open, and the establishment’s exterior will feature the look of an old-time service station, including faux garage doors that can be opened when the weather is nice enough for al fresco dining.

“We’re going for the rejuvenated antique gas station feel, so we’ll use a lot of natural elements,” Faircloth said.

The local restaurateur said Gather’s menu would be “flexible” and would probably vary from day to day or week to week, depending on Chef Chris McElhaney’s propensity for presenting new dishes.

Faircloth, who said Gather will seat “about 75” diners, explained that a couple of factors played into the decision to provide such a dining option in the downtown area, including the chance to work with McElhaney.

“I think there’s a need for this kind of restaurant,” he said. “It’s fancy, but not too fancy. And Chris showed up in town, looking for a place. That’s really what got it started, the opportunity to work with him. From what we’ve heard so far, everybody is positive about it.”