COVINGTON, Ga. - Nearly 100 years ago -1923 to be exact- City Pharmacy opened its doors in downtown Covington most likely offering an array of elixirs designed to cure any number of ailments and maladies besetting Newton County’s citizens. When the 2017 incarnation of City Pharmacy opens later this year, its mission will be basically the same, but instead of a pharmacist, a chef and bartender will be creating and concocting the cures.
The new restaurant, the brainchild of Covington natives Tedo and Sasha Stone, will add another dining option to the ever-growing scene that is downtown Covington. The space most recently housed Square Perk Café. When the café closed in 2016, Tedo said he started thinking about a new restaurant in the space.
Tedo and Sasha said they researched their project for four to six months, visiting and consulting with other restaurants.
“We’ve assembled a great team,” Sasha said.
They plan a chef-driven menu, working with Atlanta chef Todd Richards on the concept. Sasha said the menu will be Southern-themed, with reimagined comfort food.
Along one of the newly exposed brick walls toward the front of the restaurant will be the bar. Tedo said the 15-seat bar will feature old-fashioned goose-neck soda dispensers and classic cocktails like Manhattans. He said the bar will have a range of options for everybody.
On the other side of the restaurant will be a raw bar with fresh oysters. Seating near the front windows will provide patrons a place to relax, enjoy and unwind while watching downtown Covington pass by outside.
The space between the two bars will lead diners to the full-service dining area.
The building is owned by Tedo’s dad, Phil. Phil worked at the original City Pharmacy behind the soda fountain before heading off to pharmacy school at the University of Georgia. After a year in Atlanta, he returned to Covington and worked for Evans Drug Store. He bought the pharmacy from Dr. Guy Evans in 1977 and operated it as City Pharmacy until closing the business in 1993.
The restaurant was designed by Seiber Designs of Atlanta. In addition to exposed interior brick walls, Tedo is planning to keep the building’s original tile floor. He said the stained glass windows at the front of the building will be restored to bring in more natural lighting. The high ceilings in the space will create an open and airy dining experience. There are also plans to restore a mural along one wall.
The Stones are planning for a December opening.
Even though it mostly resembles a construction space right now, it’s not hard to imagine the finished product. One of the slogans for the old City Pharmacy was “where friends meet.” In a few months, folks will get to do just that. Again.