MILTON, Ga. — 7 Acre Barngrill owner Chris Sedgwick said the patronage the restaurant has received over the last month has far exceeded his expectations.
“The local crowd has been amazing for us,” he said. “We have had twice the business we had hoped for. I’ve never seen so much excitement for a restaurant.”
It’s a significant statement from the owner of multiple restaurants, including The Union on Providence Road in Milton. Sedgwick pins the early success of 7 Acre, which opened April 30 in the Birmingham Crossroads District, on the desires of nearby residents to have a tavern that focuses on local and fresh food.
“There really isn’t anything like that in the area,” he said. “A lot of people aren’t willing to drive 12 miles or to go to Avalon, so I think they are excited to have this restaurant right down the street.”
The restaurant has traditional tavern fare, such as burgers and chicken wings, but also fresh fish, salads and other options. 7 Acre also offers a variety of made-in-house pies, 77 whiskeys and beers from local breweries. Sedgwick said there is something for everyone, and in the first month customers saw four different menus as tweaks are made.
A constant, he said, is a focus on “backyard garden to table.” In addition to using local products in dishes, visitors can also purchase seeds to grow in their backyard. There is also consideration to develop a seed club, where patrons can grow food in their backyard to be used in a special dinner at the restaurant.
The eatery will also serve food grown in Milton in the near future.
Sedgwick purchased the greenhouse from the old Milton High School last year before the site was converted to Innovation Academy. Using just a few nonprofessionals, the greenhouse has been reconstructed across the street from The Union. Once the greenhouse has been connected to the city’s water system, planting of vegetables and herbs will begin. Those foods will then be used at The Union, 7 Acre and other eateries.
Sedgwick also plans to use the greenhouse property to plant fruit trees and construct a patio adjacent to the greenhouse to create an “oasis.”
While the greenhouse was reconstructed, extensive work was made to the restaurant building, the old Buice General Store that most recently served as Wilbur and Rudy’s Farmtable.
Sedgwick said updates include new footings, a completely new electrical system and other updates that has transformed the site into a modern building while retaining its historic charm.
On the same seven-acre property housing 7 Acre is the Matilda’s music venue, which recently kicked off its first concert season in Milton.