New Look and Tastes for Vinings Inn
Vinings Inn is undergoing a renovation, has a new chef and a brand new menu.
The Vinings Inn is no stranger to change. It has been a house, an apartment complex, and a filling station since it was built in the late 1880s. Now a restaurant, Vinings Inn is undergoing a renovation that owner Amin Rahme said will give it a new look and feel while remaining true to its history.
“It’s such a center point in Vinings that we didn’t want to change the character; we wanted to preserve it,” he said. “We believe this is the most known landmark in Vinings. So we have to really go out of our way to make sure we don’t destroy its historic significance and prepare it in such a way that we preserve the type of food that would be very creative and representative of what we do.”
Preserving the character meant making changes like installing distressed hardwood floors in the main dining room, removing track lighting and replacing it with more subtle recessed lighting and creating an updated entryway.
It also meant getting a new chef. Chef Todd Hogan is known for the cuisine from his Roswell restaurant Indigo, which closed in 2011 after it sustained major damage in a fire. But as Hogan put it, when one door closes another one opens.
“I’ve known Amin now for several years, actually a couple of the partners for several years,” Hogan said. “We’re all in the restaurant business. We had kicked around the idea of starting something together about a year and a half ago or so. Of course when the fire came about it seemed like opportunity right in front of us.”
Hogan said he’s completely overhauled the menu at Vinings Inn placing the focus on world cuisine prepared with fresh, seasonal ingredients from local growers.
“We’re 100 percent scratch cooking,” he said. “I wouldn’t say we are completely farm to table, but we are farm-friendly as I use as many of the local providers as possible. I own a farm as well. It’s part of my food culture.”
For Hogan, the competition inside the perimeter is completely different from what he knew in Roswell, but he said he’s confident Vinings Inn has what it takes to be one of the best restaurants in Atlanta.
“Inside the perimeter there’s a lot of competition,” he said. “It’s making me sharpen my pencil and sharpen my style. That’s what being inside the perimeter does for me. It makes me more aware of my culinary surroundings; a lot of big boys in town.”
Along with a change to the menu came a change to the restaurant’s hours. Vinings Inn is now open seven nights a week and for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. It’s open for private events during lunch Monday through Friday.