First Look: Kaiser’s Chophouse

The respected chef, Peter Kaiser, collaborates with Kevin Rathbun for his new, sophisticated Sandy Springs steakhouse

What was the initial vision when the idea came about for a collaboration with Kevin Rathbun?
We really thought a steakhouse would be a good addition to Sandy Springs. We wanted something comfortable, so we brought in our friend Bill Johnson [of Johnson Studio], and we came up with the vision. We wanted something timeless; we called the look “London-chic.”

How does the restaurant design achieve that?
We wanted to create something where you could have a good conversation, so that went into the design. We brought the ceiling down for better acoustics and so everybody can hear each other.

Tell us about the floor-to-ceiling bookshelves.
Johnson Studio came up with this library wall, where you can still feel the whole room but it’s a little divided. I had a good friend who collected cookbooks, so we decided all the books on the walls would be cookbooks. And then we brought some more in, and that kind of gives it a personalized feel.

It’s quickly become a neighborhood hub.
Yes, everybody knows each other in here. We have a lot of big businesses bringing in clients during the day, or people who live nearby and bring in their clients as well. Somebody recently told me it’s like a Cheers on steroids. That was our vision: to find something where you could just relax and want to stay.

How does that energy translate into the menu?
We looked for superior cuts. We have a good relationship with Allen Brothers in Chicago, so a lot of our meats come from there. We also wanted people coming in to have choices, so we added a good amount of hot appetizers. The last place I worked offered sushi, so we brought in some raw cuts like the traditional carpaccio, and we have hamachi and tuna—so a little on the lighter side for people who don’t want steak. So far, I think everybody’s enjoying the variety, but we are definitely a classic steakhouse.