Local Three partners Chris Hall, Todd Mussman and Ryan Turner recently opened Common Quarter in east Cobb with former Muss & Turner’s operating partner Chris Talley. Talley is a musician who grew up in coastal Georgia, and those things are reflected in both the decor and the menu.
The look: Located in the former Chepe’s space in Woodlawn Square shopping center on Johnson Ferry Road, the reconstructed space features a covered front patio with a stacked stone fireplace and modern-meets-rustic bar and dining areas created by Atlanta design firm ai3. The wavy veined Italian marble bar top is meant to conjure the ocean. A long, handcrafted Lamon Luther community table has slots made to hold harmonicas and holes fitted with lids to accommodate hot pots.
The scene: Since the soft opening last week, Common Quarter has been filled to capacity with dinner reservations and walk-ins nearly every night. But during lunch on Saturday afternoon, the pace was decidedly laid-back. At the bar, some well-dressed women sipped cocktails, while several couples enjoyed the warm breezes wafting through the shutters out on the patio.
The food: The opening menu was purposely scaled back to help the kitchen keep up with the crowds, Talley said. Starters include a selection of Southern country hams, such as Benton’s, Edwards and Johnston, served with pickled vegetables, biscuits and peach mostarda ($13.50). Among the “supper” entrees, find seafood gumbo with shrimp, crawfish, redfish and andouille sausage ($22.75), and almond-crusted Gulf flounder with pumpkin puree, honey-roasted turnips, Swiss chard and brown butter ($24.50).
The drinks: The beverage program features a sizable selection of wines by the glass ($5-$15), ranging from an inexpensive French sparkling rose to a 10-year tawny port. Signature cocktails include the Marietta Mint Julip made with Old Forrester bourbon and peach liquor ($10) and the Southern Belle Old Fashioned made with Belle Meade bourbon and maple syrup ($12). A recent draft beer list included Jekyll Big Creek Kolsch ($5) and Monday Night Double IPA ($6).
The extras: At lunch, there’s been Brunswick stew ($4.50/$7.50), North Georgia apple salad with white cheddar and candied pecans ($8.75), and a Georgia white shrimp cake sandwich ($11.50). Less expensive versions of dinner entrees include seared Georgia mountain trout ($11.25) and chicken pot pie ($12.75).