Greg Best and Regan Smith
Greg Best and Regan Smith

It’s hard to believe that Holeman and Finch has been around for five years and much has changed in Atlanta’s cocktail scene since. Readers often ask how I got started with food photography, and as the story goes, I said that I had my start with Holeman and Finch. I’ve never had a paid gig there but it turned out to be a great place for inspiration. It may be hard to believe now, considering how slammed the place is each and every night – but they definitely shook things up.

Andy Minchow and Greg


Early patrons balked at cocktail pricing, the time it took to get a drink (queue the music video) and a menu with a penchant for offal. It was pretty easy back in the early days to get a stool at the bar and watch the interplay at work between, Greg, Regan and Andy, and the light streaming in from Peachtree Road provided for incredible photos for a novice like myself, fumbling over a large DSLR camera.image_3


Large cameras in restaurants are commonplace these days, however five years ago this wasn’t the case. All three were pretty natural in front of the camera and were pretty friendly to a stranger like myself. They didn’t know of Savory Exposure, because it didn’t exist. I started my blog in 2009 after a number of friends said they enjoyed my images and I was enjoying taking them. Although I know a little more about food now, I didn’t have a clue then.


I recall asking Andy to make me a drink, and what resulted was a Hemingway daiquiri.  How on earth could it be a daiquiri without fluorescent colors or a slushy ice machine? I fell in love with Ron Zecapa Centenario 23 rum.


On my first visit, we ended up leaving early because not everyone in our party was digging the bone marrow some of us were enjoying — shocking, I know. However I’ve made many subsequent visits, and although I love the burger, I learned one day when the supply of 24 were depleted, that the carbonara is hard to beat.


Times are a-changin’ and Atlanta Magazine announced that Greg Best and Regan Smith are leaving to pursue other interests. Former chef Adam Biderman returned to New Orleans and is doing gangbusters business with The Company Burger, I’m so proud of him and can’t wait to check out his place. Andy Minchow is prepping to open Ration and Dram in Kirkwood – I ran into him at the Grant Park Farmer’s Market recently and the food they were serving up was flying out of the tent as fast as they could prepare it.


Sadly, even though I recommend Holeman to visitors coming into town, I like to sit at the bar at restaurants and I can never find a seat there. Given the success of the others, I’m really excited to see what these guys come up with next. Hopefully there’ll be a seat at the bar with my name on it.