Common cravings: East Cobb eatery combines fine dining with family environment
by Sally Litchfield
July 10, 2014 12:00 AM | 3908 views | 0 0 comments | 32 32 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Common Quarter executive chef Jeffrey Gardner stands in the dining room while the crew reviews nightly specials.<br>Staff/Jeff Stanton
Common Quarter executive chef Jeffrey Gardner stands in the dining room while the crew reviews nightly specials.
Staff/Jeff Stanton
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Common Quarter offers east Cobb a neighborhood restaurant without losing the fine dining feel. The eatery focuses on cuisine, comfort, and connections.

“We are essentially a neighborhood gathering spot that focuses on creating pleasantly memorable and comfortable guest experiences through the celebration of culinary heritage and hospitality of the south,” said operating partner Chris Talley, a Marietta resident.

Common Quarter opened October 2013 by Talley who was the General Manager of Muss & Turners in Smyrna for 4 years along with Ryan Turner and Todd Mussman (Muss & Turners), and Chris Hall (Local Three in Atlanta).

Common Quarter fills a need for fine dining. “I felt there was a need, a hole in east Cobb. There aren’t many restaurants in east Cobb that deliver what we do. It’s an oasis. I knew people were driving into town to have a really nice dinner. I thought we would build a restaurant in the middle of a neighborhood and hopefully they would appreciate it,” he said.

Common Quarter is vested in families. “There’s an opportunity to educate children and give them an experience in a comfortable dining environment where they can have fun and learn and respect the environment that hasn’t been presented before. We want these families to come here once a week. I wanted to take another approach and give (families) the opportunity that I didn’t have growing up,” he said.

Common Quarter makes family dining affordable with a children’s menu for age 12 and under priced at only $3. Perhaps most importantly is that servers engage their younger patrons teaching them about the food.

“We have the opportunity to teach kids about our industry and how to engage and enjoy it. Maybe we can make it memorable for them as well,” he said.

Games at Common Quarter, such as a ring toss replicated from a toy store that Talley visited as a child in St. Simons Island, make the experience fun. “A lot of memories from my childhood are in this restaurant,” said Talley who grew up in St. Simon’s.

Talley brings his coastal roots to the restaurant “Common Quarter is very adventurous. It’s a very chef driven restaurant. It’s extremely seasonal. I work as much as I can with local farmers,” Talley said.

First time guests might try the Heirloom Tomato and Watermelon salad with feta, pickled onion, basil, balsamic, and sea salt; “Chinese Takeout” starter of char sui pork belly, “fried” Carolina gold rice; entrée sandwich "Look West" Burger of grassfed beef, American cheese, lettuce, and secret sauce; and entrée of Fregola "Di Mare" of Georgia shrimp, mussels, calamari, oven roasted tomatoes, and mint; or Seared Georgia Mountain Trout with butterbean succotash, creamed corn and marinated tomatoes.

“I think the food is uniquely adventurous yet recognizably comforting. The dishes are presented with unique stories mostly delivered through local hands,” said Talley who relayed the story of Timmy who drives to Brunswick or Tybee Island docks at 5a.m. in the morning each week for shrimp and drives them straight to Atlanta.

“We get (shrimp) at the backdoor and they’re pretty much fresh from the boat. (Timmy’s) a great friend of ours and we tell the story tableside and our guests become part of that experience. The food becomes more pleasantly memorable and filling when you intertwine all this adventure and whole experience into dining,” he explained.

Most everything about Common Quarter has a story like the restaurant’s tables made with reclaimed wood that add to the comfortable coastal feel.

“There are a tremendous amount of stories built into the restaurant that add to the adventure. It’s almost a sense of ownership that our guests experience and they want to keep coming back. Customer feels tied into Common Quarter,” he said.

Weekly events offered with special pricing. Event space available. For more information and hours of operation visit commonquarter.com or call 678.809.4040.

Common Quarter is located at 1205 Johnson Ferry Rd, #101, (Woodlawn Square shopping center), Marietta 30068.

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