The owner wasn’t ready to open his doors, but former breakfast patrons of Atlanta Bread Company wouldn’t go away. So, this week, Andy Conatser, owner of the new Look Rock Bakery and Pizzeria, opened the doors and let the eager breakfast group be his tasters.
Look Rock in Springbrook Corporate Center in Alcoa will officially open for business today, Thursday, Jan. 10. The owner says he’s looking for a “soft opening,” with a grand opening planned for later. The restaurant will be open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday.
Conatser said he’s been working with employees and chef Bill Goodier for about two months to get the new restaurant up and running. The 1985 Maryville High School graduate with 20 years in the restaurant business said customers should expect a fun atmosphere, great fresh food and friendly service.
“A lot of people are looking forward to this coming back,” he said as a handful of former Atlanta Bread Co. customers dropped in for coffee even though the business wasn’t officially open yet.
Conatser said the menu is going to have bakery and pastry items, gourmet coffees, quiche and breakfast sandwiches in the mornings. Lunch and dinner will add soups, salads, create-your-own sandwiches plus Philly cheesesteak, Reuben, turkey and a Fried Green Tomato BLT, and his gourmet pizzas and appetizers. Pizzas, in thick or thin crust, include everything from Three Cheese to Margherita to Pesto Chicken Basil or Italian Meatball. A Kids Menu offers grilled cheese, peanut butter and jelly or a single slice of pizza with one topping, served with fruit or fresh fried potato chips and a small drink for $3.99.
Conatser went to school at the University of Tennessee, got his start in the restaurant business at Regas in Knoxville and then went to work in the business in Nashville before he returned to open Look Rock. Goodier, a chef who trained at the Culinary Institute of America, worked with several restaurants, including Olive Garden, before coming to Look Rock.
The menu is a mixture of dishes both Conatser and Goodier picked up throughout their careers. “Some of the recipes I’ve been working on forever and some are from Bill. We’ll do specials every now and then on sandwiches and other stuff, and it will be a little bit different everyday,” Conatser said.
Conatser said the prices at the restaurant are reasonable. “You don’t want to be too expensive. This is not gourmet, sit down white table cloth dining and it’s not Burger King. We’re trying to keep about what was already here. Everyone seemed to be real happy with the price ranges with ABC,” he said.
In addition to gourmet coffees, both hot and frozen, the restaurant will have soft drinks, lemonade, fruit smoothies, juices and an assortment of bottled and on-tap beer.
In the future, Conatser said Look Rock Bakery and Pizzeria will also offer catering.
Conatser said opening a restaurant like Look Rock has been a dream of his since taking an Independent Living class for seniors at Maryville High School.
“I was cooking at Maryville and telling my teacher at Maryville I would do this one day,” he said.