New Nash’s Southern Table & Bar opening on Southland
Nash’s Southern Table & Bar, the new place from Jennifer “Mama” Lyles, is opening on Southland Drive Monday.
And more than the menu will seem familiar. The restaurant is in the spot where Willie’s Locally Known closed seven months ago.
But Lyles, along with her husband Greg and oldest son Chandler, feels certain that there is no “spot curse” they can’t overcome.
If they could make a success of Lyles BBQ after starting out next to an hourly motel with customer bathrooms in a gas station, she said, they aren’t afraid of an empty restaurant. Or a little road construction.
Work to spruce up Southland Drive’s railroad bridge may impact traffic but “it’s just going to be icing on the cake for this location,” she said.
“A lot of people have said on social media, ‘Oh I hope you make it because nobody’s ever made it there ...’ It’s kind of like our trademark to take over spaces that people say that about,” Lyles said.
Lyles said they plan to revamp the patio and open it next spring to take advantage of the spruced up corridor.
“We want to make it year-round, because everybody loves to sit outside on a patio,” she said.
Until then, all the action will be inside, where the restaurant will serve a menu of Southern favorites from hush puppies and fried green tomatoes to burgers and salads and updated favorites such as the fried chicken hot Brown and bourbon bbq meatloaf.
Lyles said that are focusing on the business aspects, and keeping their eye on what customers like.
“We definitely would not have been ready for this five years ago. But I feel like we are ready for this now,” she said.
The new restaurant, which will be open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, has table service and a full bar to go with the casual atmosphere.
The menu isn’t large. And that’s on purpose, said Chandler Lyles. The kitchen isn’t especially large, so they will keep the offerings nice and tight, with seasonally rotating options. Plus gluten-free and vegetarian options.
His mother, who created the menus, said she’s learned that having a great menu isn’t enough.
“You have to give the customer service. You have to give a little more than just great food,” Jennifer Lyles said.
The family, which is from Georgia originally, felt that Southern food was a natural extension from barbecue, complemented by a list of craft cocktails.
“Everything is scratch-made, everything is done fresh,” she said. “There is nothing that goes outside of who we are. ... We are Southern, and we know good food.”