A brief history…
Reminiscent of a day and time when the pace was much slower, and nearby Powers Ferry Road was little more than a dusty horse trail, Horseradish Grill, Atlanta’s oldest continuously operating restaurant, is a dining experience offering guests a glimpse of yesteryear.
The restaurant known today as “Horseradish Grill,” actually began as a country store which once existed alongside Powers Ferry Road in the days when the byway was little more than a dusty dirt trail. Today, swank neighborhoods exist on what once was fertile farmland. An early entrepreneur named John Adam Langford purchased 200 acres in this vicinity to grow corn, cotton, and sorghum cane. He also planted an orchard of apple, plum, pear, and fig trees, and he built a small store where he sold canned goods, flour and other staples. Unfortunately, Mr. Langford was too lenient with credit and when too many customers failed to pay, his store folded.In the 1930′s, it was demolished when Powers Ferry was widened. Some years later, another Langford caught the family itch for retailing, and re-erected the store near its original site. In this tiny country grocery—which today is the bar area of Horseradish Grill—this later Langford sold hot dogs and hamburgers and other groceries.
Other tenants later operated the store, one of which expanded the site to include a two-pump gasoline service station. By the early 1940′s, Bill Daly—who had owned Daly’s Health Club downtown—now leased the little grocery/eatery. Following a round of golf, the hungry players invariably stopped in to buy a sandwich, some homemade barbecue, or perhaps even a steak. In 1946, with his business flourishing from post-war recreationers, Daly enlarged the store with a dining annex, and the place became a full-fledged restaurant. A passion for horses prompted Daly to furnish his new restaurant—by then called “Red Barn Inn”—in a style reminiscent of a stable. Individual dining areas were partitioned to resemble horse stalls, and a variety of horse tack and equestrian gear and Kentucky Derby photos added to the atmosphere.
After Daly’s death in the early 1960′s, the Langford family sold the restaurant to Stefan and Kirsten Popescu. The Popescus changed little of Daly’s décor. They kept the dark, beamed, carefully cluttered ambience; the eight-point moose head in the foyer; the red and white tablecloths; the cozy fieldstone fireplace hung with coach lamps and copper kitchen pots, etc…
Steve Alterman purchased the historic eatery in 1995, naming it Horseradish Grill. Today, the Grill continues to offer fine dining in a rustic, yet sophisticated atmosphere, with cozy tables and the sounds swing and jazz in the background.