Looking out of the numerous windows that wrap around Hammocks Trading Co., the owners can think of their vibrant new Roswell Road restaurant in one of two ways – an eatery sandwiched between a pawn shop and a liquor store, or a much longed for neighborhood dining place.
“We have a lot of people coming in all the time saying, ‘Thank God you are here,’ said William Sigley, chef and co-owner. “There is really nothing between Roswell and I-285 down this road…There really are not a lot of dining options.”
Located at 7285 Roswell Road, near Dalrymple Road, the restaurant is between two residential neighborhoods and a stone’s throw from the Highlands of Sandy Springs condominiums, which should benefit Hammocks as word spreads about the new seafood eatery.
Restauranteurs, Jason Sheetz and Sigley opened Hammocks on August 3rd. Sigley says that between them they have nearly 50 years of restaurant experience. Both are 38-years-old. Sigley lives in Woodstock and was executive chef at Aja and Bone’s, and opened the short-lived Aquaknox in Buckhead. Sheetz, who lives in Kennesaw, was general manager of Twist and area director for several other restaurants including Aja, Prime and Goldfish.
As the two became close friends they started to discuss opening a restaurant together. And although these are tenuous economic times, in January they decided to go for it.
“Of course [you have reservations about it being the right time] but how long are you going to wait? One year can become two years, and then three years,” Sheetz said. “We got a great deal on this place with the landlord.”
They created a beach shack theme out of the building’s previous incarnations as a dark sports bar. Sheetz and Sigley say that with the help of a few friends they worked to restore the 40-year-old building.
For instance, a light soft wood rail that surrounds the restaurant was created out of a rotted shuffleboard, they said.
“This building has got really cool space,” Sheetz said. “It’s not one big cavernous space.”
Three seating areas gel nicely near the bar manned by bartender Justin Pierce. He and Sheetz are Riverwood International High School graduates and have been friends since age 12.
Pierce says he has a full bar on most nights, and many are repeat customers who sing Hammocks’ praises to new ones. “They tell them all about the menu and what they should try,” he said. “It’s a neat thing and they are all neighborhood people.”
The moderately priced menu includes small plates and entrees. Small items include cornmeal fried oysters with black eyed peas, remoulade and herb salad; a mixed fry with calamari, shrimp, grouper, fried lemons and garlic in a dipping sauce, and several other dishes.
The list of entrees include seared sea scallops with lemon risotto, basil and cherry tomato relish; and a salmon dish baked in parchment paper with wine and butter to hold its juices.
Chef Sigley plans to change the menu soon for the fall season.
He and Sheetz say little things matter in restaurants today. Chef driven restaurants like theirs have become popular mainstays, they said
Referencing chef Anthony Bourdain, Sigley said, “When the economy slows, people who don’t know what they are doing are not going to be around too long.”
Sheetz added, “It shows in what goes on the plate, and [for example] the mint that goes into your drink.”