published Saturday, March 19th, 2011

Couple open Seventeen Ninety, their 3rd restaurant

by Brittany Cofer
  • photo
    Joe Mears, a chef at SeventeenNinety Restaurant finishes serving a dinner for a patron of the restaurant in Signal Mountain.
    Staff File Photo/Chattanooga Times Free Press

• Name: Seventeen Ninety

• Location: 1210 Taft Highway

• Products/services: The upscale restaurant owned by Rick and Nancy Adams, owners of the Southern Star, has a menu that changes nightly.

Ranging in price from about $9 to $20, menu items include salads, soup of the day, fresh seafood and steak. “We’re still figuring out what people like, but this is giving Nancy an opportunity to be more creative with the food,” Rick Adams said.

• Age: The restaurant opened at the beginning of February, but the couple has operated restaurants in Chattanooga for the past decade.

• Anticipated sales: $1 million

• Target market: The date-night atmosphere is perfect for people looking for something that’s a little more upscale, but not quite fine dining. “You don’t have to get dressed up to come here,” Rick Adams said. Though anything can be ordered in a half size for children, there is no set children’s menu, which is different from patrons who are used to Southern Star, Nancy Adams said.

• Biggest hurdle: “We knew staffing would be our biggest issue,” she said. “It’s just hard to get people to make the drive up here. They think it takes 45 minutes to get up the mountain, but it doesn’t.”

• Biggest reward: Before they were married 20 years ago, the Adamses threw around the idea of opening an upscale restaurant. They said being able to realize that goal has been one of the biggest rewards in opening their third restaurant. “It’s a dream come true, I guess you’d say,” Rick Adams said.

• Five-year goal: The pair hope to open one more take-out location, similar to the Southern Star take-out location that is right next to Seventeen Ninety. They said they haven’t figured out where they want it but are looking at East Brainerd and Ooltewah.

about Brittany Cofer...

Brittany Cofer is a business reporter who has been with the Chattanooga Times Free Press since January 2010. She previously worked as a general assignment Metro reporter. In the Business department, she covers banking, retail, tourism, consumer issues and green issues. Brittany is from Conyers, Ga., and spent two years at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Ga., before transferring to the University of Georgia. She graduated from the university’s Grady College of Journalism in December ...

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