The Chattanooga Street Tavern is the first completed piece of the ongoing Mars Theatre District renovation project that Lovelady began spearheading this summer. After purchasing the derelict properties and devising a multi-stage business plan that involved the restaurant as well as boutique store spaces and green space revitalization, LaFayette’s ambitious homegrown son immediately set to work renovating the overlooked and historic area into a living, breathing part of town once more.
Now, just mere months after he started, the Chattanooga Street Tavern is a reality. Complete with pub-style décor and tartan-uniformed wait staff, the bar, which is licensed to serve beer and wine, gives off a casual feel much different than that of his first restaurant.
The tavern features four TVs, two pool tables, an outdoor patio with a fireplace and six different beers on draught. The menu is reminiscent of a typical American sports bar, with chicken wings and burgers, but also has English pub-style influences such as fish and chips and oysters on the half shell.
The Chattanooga Street Tavern officially opened its doors to its first customers Friday, Nov. 9, and will be serving lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. until closing. Closing time will be at midnight on Fridays and Saturdays and variable during the week depending on the speed of each night’s big sports games, which the tavern plans to highlight. Monday night football is expected to draw large crowds, which should ebb and flow as the sports seasons change.
Lovelady said the restaurant has received praise from its customers so far.
“It’s such a different experience for LaFayette,” he said. “It’s a much more relaxed, casual atmosphere.”
Lovelady, who is originally from LaFayette, returned to his hometown from the Atlanta area only a few years ago, bringing with him the knowledge he gleaned there of downtown development and business management.
“Last night was the first time being home felt like being back at Norcross,” he said of the restaurant’s debut ‘soft opening’ evening for family and friends. “It was a very social atmosphere.”
Though the restaurant is already open to the public, it will have an official grand opening celebration day on Friday, Nov. 23, the day after Thanksgiving Day.