Feed Co. Table And Tavern Opens; A Joint Venture Of Chattanooga Restaurateurs

Wednesday, July 22, 2015 - by Emmett Gienapp

What do you get when you combine a group of Chattanooga restaurateurs with a vision of combining all their years of experience to make something great? The Feed Co. Table and Tavern which is set to open on Main Street in the old Craftworks building in just two weeks.

The partners in this joint venture are Dustin Choate, owner of Tremont Tavern, Miguel and Leslie Morales, owners of 1885, and Charlie Loomis, former owner of both Greenlife and Elemental.

Mr. Choate said, “It’s time to bring some of the things we love to a new neighborhood.”

Each of them will be bringing the best of what they’ve proven in their own establishments to make a whole new creation, bigger than any of those individual places, a fulfillment of plans they’ve had since moving to Chattanooga at the same time.

Within just a year or two, all of the restaurant's partners moved to the Scenic City independently and met each other through happenstance. After years of developing their own projects, they began to discuss a joint-venture which soon became The Feed Co.

When speaking about opening another restaurant in town, Mr. Choate said, “Chattanooga is a restaurant town. One day it might be saturated, but right now people come up to our restaurants, see it busy, and leave after just a few minutes.”

The restaurant itself, which will open to the public on Aug. 4, offers several different possible dining experiences with its 250 seats.

There are multiple dining areas, partially segmented and differentiated from one another. These include a family-style long-table room with an open view into the kitchen, a tavern with bar seating and a tap tower with 32 draft beers, a patio which can seat 70 and will be opened to the tavern inside by garage doors, and finally, a more private dining area for a quieter, more intimate dinner.

The owners are hiring approximately 60 employees who have been offered three training sessions a week to ensure their quality service and knowledge of the menu, and no matter who’s ordering, the menu should look familiar.

Not because it’s a repeat of what Chattanoogans have seen before, but because the owners sat down and got excited about the prospect of preparing some of the favorite meals they’ve had in their lives, reaching back into their own childhoods for inspiration.

Everything from sloppy joes to salads with local produce or made-from-scratch macaroni and cheese will be on the menu, along with 1885’s staple southern coastal influences and Tremont Tavern’s burger.

And once things get rolling, sous-chef Loomis will be taking his own liberties to develop rotating specials that will further drive the overall dining experience, different every time depending on where you sit and what you order.

Unlike many of the current locations on Main Street, the Feed Co. will also be highly kid-friendly since the owners themselves have families and want their restaurants to be an extension of that family.

And for when the kids just can’t sit at the table any longer, there’s a wall of arcade consoles just waiting to be used. Even by adults when the tavern starts to pick up more business later in the night.

The restaurant is also covered from floor to ceiling in an array of reclaimed wood and antiques from the area which have been retrofitted by local craftsmen to fit the space and a great deal of the original infrastructure was left because, as Mr. Choate said, “We just loved the bones of this old building.”

Lights are chicken feeders or antique fire extinguishers, the wood panelling is reclaimed oak or pine heart, and even the tables and chairs were all crafted by hand—each an original work of art in its own right.

Though the public won’t be able to experience the newest spot on Main Street until August 4, a soft opening is being held in partnership with the Tennessee River Gorge Trust to benefit their land protection efforts throughout the area.

Tickets were sold for $50 each and have sold out weeks in advance, but the owners still encourage everyone to come for a night out as soon as they are in business.

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