Spacious and high ceiling interior with booth seating against tall open shelving with dark wood stained Brooke Chairs at each table opposite the booth seats.

Hog and Hominy Rises from the Ashes in Italian Coastal Style

by Delany Lemke

When Hog and Hominy was severely damaged by an electrical fire in early 2020, the Memphis community was devastated. Located in an old ranch style house, this pizzeria was once a semi-finalist for the James Beard Foundation’s “Best New Restaurant” Award and featured in publications like GQ and Southern Living. Their pizza, baked over woodfire, paired with one of their fabulous cocktails made for a perfect evening out. With the fire and the start of a pandemic, no one knew what would happen next.

Then, from the ashes, Hog and Hominy decided to rebuild with Carlton Edwards Architects and Collect + Curate, a design studio founded by designer Natalie Lieberman. Rebuilding certainly provided new and exciting opportunities for creating the perfect space. This new build could bring in natural light, more room, and added ventilation that weren’t feasible in the old house that previously occupied the site.

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Anytime you're building from scratch, you're literally starting from ground zero,” said Natalie Lieberman of Collect + Curate. “We actually added on to the foundation, but we had to decide how we were going to organize the space. It’s basically one large room, but with open shelving separating the lounge from the bar, we created zones to give the guests different experiences around the space.”

With this huge project, Lieberman had to imagine what the new feel for the restaurant design would be. “Their menu is truly Italian Coastal, so I was inspired by that to make it really warm like the hearth of a pizza oven. There’s lots of earth tones and wood. Everything is walnut with pops of saddle leather or rusty woven drapery.”

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The name Collect + Curate really describes Lieberman’s styling process. The space features ton of Italian vintage and antique details that Lieberman handpicked alongside the work of local artists. Scan the shelves to see Italian ceramics, little decorative ships, and vintage olive oil vessels. One particularly striking piece hanging in the restaurant features a stunning mosaic of a phoenix made entirely from bottlecaps by artist Molly B. Right. Art curator, Anna Wunderlich, chose this piece for the space, which pays homage to Hog and Hominy’s literal rise from ashes in a way that is beautiful, but also playful.

The first piece of furniture chosen for this space was the seating. “We always look at Grand Rapids Chair Company's website and we love the designs. We prefer to use domestic manufacturers, and you have great lead times,” said Lieberman. “And the fact that you can customize is great. Just switch up the finishes and the same design looks like a completely different chair.”

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The dark wood finishes on the Brooke chairs and stools fit seamlessly into the monochromatic feel of the space. Other finish details include unglazed natural clay tiles on the bar to emulate pizza ovens and quartz countertops that mimic Italian Marble. The dark color palette of the space is brightened by grid lighting as well as natural light from the wide glass windows. It’s stunning in its simple elegance and carefully styled details.

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The new Hog and Hominy space is open for business and serving coastal Italian flavors to the Memphis community again thanks to the hard work of talented designers, architects, construction workers, and of course the fabulous staff of the restaurant. Get yourself some oysters, a seasonal oven-baked pizza, and a delicious cocktail in this stunning new space at 707 W Brookhaven Circle in Memphis, TN. Tag us on Instagram at @grchair if you visit!

Thank you to Natalie for sitting down for an interview with us about this gorgeous project!

If you love Hog and Hominy and their fantastic cocktail menu, you might also be interested in this list of 5 places you will want to be for happy hour.

Photos by by Mcginn Photography

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