Set inside a former roadside country store alongside Atlanta’s 268-acre Chastain Park, our space is designed to honor the history of the building it occupies as well as the neighborhood we serve. We are just steps away from the Chastain Horse Park and amphitheater, and welcome neighbors and fellow Atlantans, as well first-timers and visitors to our neighborhood to dine in our welcoming and modern space.
The restaurant known today as “THE CHASTAIN,” actually began as a country store which once existed alongside Powers Ferry Road in the days when it was still just dusty dirt trail. Today, swank neighborhoods exist on what once was fertile farmland. An early entrepreneur named John Adam Langford purchased 200 acres in this vicinity to grow corn, cotton, and sorghum cane. He also planted an orchard of apple, plum, pear, and fig trees, and he built a small store where he sold canned goods, flour and other staples. Unfortunately, r. Langford was too lenient with credit and when too many customers failed to pay, his store folded. In the 1930 s, it was demolished when Powers Ferry was widened. Some years later, another Langford caught the family itch for retailing, and re-erected the store near its original site. In this tiny country grocery—which today is the bar area of THE CHASTAIN—this later Langford sold hot dogs and hamburgers and other groceries.
Other tenants later operated the store, one of which expanded the site to include a two-pump gasoline service station. By the early 1940 s, Bill Daly—who had owned Daly’s Health Club downtown—now leased the little grocery/eatery. Following a round of golf, the hungry players invariably stopped in to buy a sandwich, some homemade barbecue, or perhaps even a steak. In 1946, with his business flourishing from post-war recreationists, Daly enlarged the store with a dining annex, and the place became a full-fledged restaurant. A passion for horses prompted Daly to furnish his new restaurant (by then called “Bill Daly’s Red Barn”) in a style reminiscent of a stable. Individual dining areas were partitioned to resemble horse stalls, and a variety of horse tack and equestrian gear and Kentucky Derby photos added to the atmosphere.
After Daly’s death in the early 1960 s, the Langford family sold the restaurant to Stefan and Kirsten Popescu. The Popescu’s changed little of Daly’s décor. They kept the dark, beamed, carefully cluttered ambience which included an eight-point moose head in the foyer, red and white tablecloths; and a cozy fieldstone fireplace hung with coach lamps and copper kitchen pots.
Steve Alterman purchased the historic eatery in 1995, naming it Horseradish Grill which operated until 2020, earning local, regional and national recognition and working with many people who moved on to become stars in the culinary world such as Scott Peacock and Gerry Klaskala. In 2020, Alterman handed over the reins of the property to the current operators, who undertook an extensive updating of the structure, public spaces and décor.
Today, THE CHASTAIN continues to service the neighborhood it resides in by offering refined comfort food in an approachable, yet sophisticated atmosphere where the outdoor gardens seem to make their way into the dining room.
“It is a place to gather, a seat at a table where everything is as it should be
– in an atmosphere that is as warm and welcoming as it is refined.”
OUR ICON is a modern interpretation of a young chestnut leaf – a tribute to the nutritious and abundant historical nut and a reflection of the nourishing, versatile food we serve. The emblem reminds us of our commitment to honoring nature and the neighboring park and embodies the sophisticated space and our warm and inviting atmosphere.
The Chestnut Tree is known for its longevity and can live for many hundreds of years. The wood is rot resistant and hardy. The name CHASTAIN, is a node to the man who jumpstarted the Parks development in the 1930s, Troy Green Chastain.
THE CHASTAIN surname comes from Old French castan(h) ‘chestnut tree’ (Latin castanea), hence a topographic name for someone living near a particular chestnut tree or group of them.
Chastain Memorial Park, directly across the street from the restaurant, use to have many chestnut trees but were plagued by the Chestnut Blight in the 1940s. Due to this blight, many of the original benches, fences, pavilions were made from the chestnut trees as they were cut down from the park due to this plague.