Re-cess Southern Gastro-Pub
Where: 118 Bradford St., Gainesville
Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday; noon to 11 p.m. Saturday
More info: 678-450-0444
The gastropub became popular in England about 20 years ago after locals were sick of having bad food at local pubs. So the focus went to making the food as tasty as the drinks from behind the bar.
From English inspiration, Chris Richardson has brought this restaurant concept to Gainesville — called Re-cess Southern Gastro-Pub.
“The term gastropub was actually invented in the early 1990s in Europe and they added ‘gastro’ to pubs because pubs were notorious for having bad food but a great social environment,” Richardson said. “So some of the pubs in England initially added the term ‘gastro’ because they wanted to serve good food as well as good drink.”
Richardson said the space on Bradford Street in Gainesville also fit the design of a European gastropub.
“Often gastropubs have a space, a layout, very similar to this — a long, in-line space with a big bar.”
The eatery focuses on modern Southern main dishes with a twist, traditional Southern sides, burgers and sandwiches.
“Gastropubs often emphasize European-type food, so being in Gainesville I thought I’ve never heard of a Southern gastropub,” Richardson said. “So I went ahead and put an emphasis on Southern food on the menu.”
Executive chef Paul Anthony said the menu was a combination of ideas from himself and Richardson. Some of Anthony’s favorites include “The Rustic,” gourmet flat bread, and the fried pickles.
“The Rustic is a unique combination of flavors,” he said. The flat bread is served on thin crust rosemary focaccia with caramelized onion, portabella, oregano, mozzarella and asiago cheeses served with a reduced balsamic drizzle.
The fried pickles are served with a chipotle ranch dipping sauce. They are also one of Richardson’s favorites and “are breaded in corn meal, which gives them a much better bite and a very light breading,” Anthony added.
The sweet potato bisque, the fried green tomato tower and fried green beans add that twist to Southern favorites. But Richardson said he won’t let the food cloud the focus of the pub, which also should be on spirits and weekend entertainment. The bar is stocked with high-end liquors, beers and wines.
“We’ve got everything from a Lagavulin to Oban which are very, very good scotches,” he said. “We’ve got eight different draft beers that come in both a 9-ounce size or a 16-ounce pint ... and a pretty extensive martini list. We have 10 to 12 specialty martinis because we very much want the female crowd to come in and feel comfortable.”