Ambassadors,
Please see below. It is a beautifully written letter from my partner, Chris Hall, commemorating our 10 year anniversary at Local Three below. So many of you deserve to be recognized and thanked. If it wasn’t for you and your support of M&T for our first five years, it is fair to say Local Three would not exist. It was on your shoulders we stood upon as the guys from “that new deli in Smyrna” along with a former chef from Canoe out of nowhere taking over the James Beard Award winning chef’s prolific French restaurant and inheriting one of the most ridiculous restaurant kitchens ever built. L3 reaching 10 years was against all odds and that was ten years before the pandemic even hit. A restaurant space in a wonderful zip code but hidden from street view in a sterile office building, not on the corner of main and main and smack dab in the middle of the Great Recession. The ball was in our court, which is what we wanted, and we now know, many years later, how many folks may have been rooting for us but seriously doubted our ability to succeed there long term. Thankfully we had a landlord, a few investors, our families and an opening team who believed in our philosophy, abilities to execute our vision and a will to win. I don’t know how many restaurants live to be ten, but I know it is a fractional few. I want to recognize the incredible will, effort, time, care and level of excellence Chris Hall and the many many people who have worked with him daily have put into making Local Three an integral part of our community. None of it happens without them. I was so proud of L3 when we first opened, but I can honestly say I am way more proud today. As I like to tell those thinking about opening their own restaurant, getting it open and getting attention is the easy part. Keeping it open will be your true test and measurement of success.
Obviously with the current situation we are unable to celebrate as a ten year old restaurant may deserve and that is unfortunate. But… It does not fall short on us that we are very fortunate to even be open and execute on our privilege to employ and work with so many wonderful people who bust their ass daily to take care of our amazing guests so we can all pay the bills, stay warm, take care of our loved ones and put food on the table. That matters more to us than any party we could ever throw.
I have a favor to ask. Think of it as a way of lifting your glass of bubbles to the L3 team.  If you have a special story or sentiments you are willing to share about your relationship with Local Three please send those to localhorsemanagers@localthree.com  I can’t adequately express in writing how much it will be appreciated by all.
With gratitude,
Ryan
PS- If you prefer to lift that glass for real and in person, they are open for business tonight.

 

———- Forwarded message ———
From: Chris Hall <chris@unsukay.com>
Date: Tue, Dec 1, 2020 at 9:45 AM
Subject: Thank You for 10 Amazing Years…….
To: hall chris <chris@unsukay.com>
“I have to remind myself to stop and enjoy it,” says Hall as he takes off his glasses and rubs his eyes. “I’m as sure now as I was then that this will work, and we can create something lasting and worthwhile.”
I said that 10 years ago almost to the day, right before we officially opened Local Three. If you have never read this great piece by Amanda Heckert in Atlanta Magazine, I encourage you to do so. Hard to believe it has been 10 years…
10 years. 10 glorious, hard, fulfilling, frustrating, creative, loving and above all amazing years ago. 10 years ago tonight we opened our doors for the first time to the public as Local Three. To quote a band of some renown, “what a long, strange” and dare I add, amazing, trip it has been….
Why would anyone open a restaurant? It’s damn hard. The hours are long, the margins slim & getting slimmer by the day, and the work is endless. In the easiest of times, it can be a Sisyphean exercise. Wake up, cook & serve, rinse & repeat. No two days are the same, and most are hard.
I’ll tell you why you open a restaurant: people. Sure, there’s a creative element to it, which I won’t deny I enjoy. But you open a restaurant because you love people. At least that is why we opened Local Three….What if Sisyphus was happy?
Restaurant years are like dog years: one is probably equal to maybe 8 or 9 “regular years.” The days are long, the work is hard (and rewarding), and this is a family you choose. And believe me, it’s family. In all it’s glorious dysfunction and exuberant joy. There’s the aunt that shares too much and talks constantly, prattling on about some dumb ass sitcom and how it relates to her newest conspiracy theory. There’s the alcoholic uncle and a cousin who you know dabbles in drugs, you’re just not sure where he or she is on the spectrum of recreation vs. abuse. There’s your sister who has her shit together and keeps everything from falling apart. Your brother is there as well. The one that ALWAYS lights up a room and makes everybody feel good to be around him. Don’t forget your uncle that no one pays attention to but always has all the dishes done so you can keep drinking. The cousin that has to have all the attention? She is there practicing her Miss America routine and acceptance speech. We are a family, in so many ways…and for that we are grateful.
You don’t last 10 years in this business without an army of support behind you. And we are fortunate to have that & more. So in the vein of long winded Oscar speeches, we’d like to thank a few people who have made this all possible…
First, thank you to our staff, past & present. You are the heart & soul of Local Three. Many of our staff know I am fond of opining on almost anything. One of those opinions, nee beliefs, is that restaurants without people are simply four walls. They lack life, They lack energy. They lack soul. We have been fortunate through the years to have an amazing team. I wish I could name them all. I can’t (too old & my memory isn’t what it once was) & if I could, it would take up too much space. I do want to single out five team members who have been with us since day one. Or in Gary’s case, months before day one. Our pastry chef, Gary Scarborough, has been the wise owl that every restaurant must have to be successful: he sees everything and speaks sparingly, yet to great effect. Those few words carry much wisdom & a mighty weight in our four walls. To our day prep crew: gracias, mi amigos. Oscar, Miguel, Cucho and Cocho have been the engine of this restaurant since day one. That’s a big, bad ass engine. They are relentless in their work and keep us all dancing with an endless playlist of polkas and narcocorridos.
Thank you to our support staff, past & present. There’s a big operation behind the scenes who keep things running. They are the “women behind the curtain” and the wizards of Unsukay. We can’t do it without you. You keep the proverbial train on the tracks. To Eleanor, Susie, Libby, Lara, Layla, Katie, Alice, and all of our Basecamp support team who keep things running, thank you.
To our investors, thank you. Thank you for taking a chance on us. Thank you for believing in us. Thank you for your wise counsel and advice. Your journey with us has been incredible and we are grateful and thankful.
To our partners, thank you. You keep us supplied with the best and tastiest food & beverages around. It’s our job not to screw that bounty up. We are grateful for your partnership. Thank you.
To our colleagues in the restaurant business, thank you. Thank you for making us better. Thank you for pushing us to cook better, be kinder, and modeling what we aspire to be. Thank you for setting the example for us. We are honored to call you colleagues and friends & grateful for the incredible community of restaurants we have in Atlanta.
To our guests, our community and our friends, thank you. Thank you for believing in us. Thank you for supporting us. Thank you for the laughs and the smiles. Thank you for your kindness and caring. Thank you for calling to cancel your reservations (ahem……). We have always said we wanted Local Three to be more than transactional; more than a place to trade your hard earned money for food. We want Local Three to be at once an adventure and a calm oasis of respite for you. If I have learned one thing in this pandemic it is that community matters. You have not only accepted us into your community, but I would like to think a community has formed around Local Three. Thank you. Your support of Local Three, Unsukay, and of the Giving Kitchen means so very much to us. You are a huge part of spawning a charity that has helped almost 2500 hospitality workers to the tune of almost $4,000,000. We are humbled and grateful for your support, patronage & friendship. Thank you.
P.S. Don’t stop supporting us, we need you now more than ever……
To those who are not with us any more: we miss you. Bob Anderson took a chance on us & we can’t ever repay that gamble. Carla Penque birthed this restaurant with a fierce energy and an unwavering desire for excellence. Pony was just that, a workhorse whose silent service set an example for us all. I think weekly about Bob Gundeck and James Shepherd and the wonderful conversations we had and the sage advice they offered. We remember them and many others who made Local Three what it is today. We miss you & thank you.
To our families, thank you. Thanks for putting up with the shenanigans and believing in us. We promise we won’t build another speakeasy on the way home from work…
On March 18th of this year, we gathered our entire staff in the dining room and laid everyone but the management team off. That was the hardest day in our 10 years. It seems surreal now. Fortunately, most of our team is back and frankly better than ever. We are especially grateful for our entire team at Local Three. Grateful for their determination, desire to be great, and incredible level of “give a shit.” In a restaurant that has had the fortune of having some incredible teams of staff, none are better than our current team. We are thankful to be able to work with you & grateful you have chosen to work with us.
This year has been hard. For everyone. Our industry has been particularly hard hit. While I long for the days of a full dining room and that cacophony of a busy service, we are so very thankful and grateful for your support.
When asked how I am, I often use the phrase “living the dream.” I have been living that dream for 10 years now. Thank you. Ryan, Muss and myself, as well as our families, are living that dream. We are grateful beyond measure.
To ten more years of food, friendship and fun,
Chris, Todd & Ryan

2024 WINE TASTINGS ARE LIVE!

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