After starting one of Chattanooga's most successful restaurants, St. John's, now owned by brother Daniel Lindley, Nathan Lindley is back with the opening of Public House, scheduled to open at the end of the week in newly designed space at the south end of Warehouse Row.
"Public House is a name I've liked for a long time," said the veteran restaurateur who recently returned from Nashville where he was managing partner of Watermark, an eatery located in Music City's "Gulch" district.
The term public house is one that goes back many generations.
"It was a communal gathering place," Mr. Lindley said. "An everyman's kind of place. I like that idea for a restaurant."
And so do Warehouse Row developers.
Dennis Pellerin is project developer for Pellerin and Solomon in Atlanta, the company in charge of Warehouse Row's recent renovation.
"It's the first full-service restaurant we've had there in a long time," Mr. Pellerin said. "And Nathan really was a very logical choice for us with his great restaurant experience. We're happy he chose to do his new venture with us."
The 3,300-square-foot restaurant will seat about 80 people, with room for 30 more in a large outdoor seating area raised several feet off street level. There will be several dining areas with tables, booths and banquette seating, as well as a separate bar area with access to outside seating.
"It will be a large, upscale tavern with vintage wallpaper," Mr. Lindley said. A focal point of one wall will be a large reproduction on his great-grandfather's tavern in downtown Philadelphia.
"We didn't know we had anyone (family) in the business till we opened St. John's," Mr. Lindley said.
The menu will take a straightforward approach to dining using high-end ingredients, with new selections offered daily ranging in price from $8-$10 at lunch and $16-$25 for dinner. Fresh seafood will be delivered from Foley's in Boston.
"I'm taking a new culinary direction with Public House," Mr. Lindley said. "I've been in fine dining for nine years now and don't want to go through the rigors of telling people how they should eat again. Dictating to people what they should eat with what. I'll put out a new lunch and dinner menu every day and let the guests decide, though, of course, we will offer suggestions."
The new space "adds a lot of life beyond the office space and food court," Mr. Pellerin said, noting that Public House will be a good match with other retail establishments that have shown interest in locating on the first floor of Warehouse Row.
"We've tried hard to find proper uses for the first floor," he said. "And a new, full-service restaurant will bring a new stream of people to Warehouse Row. It broadens our exposure, which is an important thing for us. Nathan's restaurant is located on a very visible corner, and with his reputation, it will bring people in."
Public House opens Friday for dinner. On Monday, it will begin serving lunch, Mr. Lindley said.