A new restaurant, BirdsNest Grille, has opened inside Random Tap in Elgin.
The new restaurant, which opened in early September, is run by Chapin residents Donald and Chatara Taylor, who bring years of restaurant industry experience to the new venture inside the venue. popular diner, which offers a wide variety of craft beers.
The owners of Random Tap were looking for someone to take over the kitchen after former chef Catherine Cosby died in a car accident in October 2021.
The Taylors heard of the opportunity and decided to bring their talents to Elgin.
The restaurant is named after the town of Birdsnest, Virginia, where Donald Taylor spent many summers as a child and watched his grandmother and other relatives in the kitchen.
“I had this old school grandma who really knew how to cook and that inspired me a lot,” he said.
Taylor’s love for cooking was further developed in high school home economics class, where he said a teacher urged him to pursue a career as a chef. After serving in the US Army, Taylor went to culinary school.
Chatara Taylor, meanwhile, said she was first exposed to the restaurant industry while serving tables as a teenager, and always came back to it even after working. in other areas such as retail and office management. She said her interest was primarily baking while Donald focused on all other facets of cooking.
The Taylors moved to the Midlands 13 years ago and ran a restaurant, Captain Taylor’s BBQ and Seafood, from 2017 to 2019.
Since then, they’ve run a food truck, Hooked on Sammiches, which serves a variety of gourmet sandwiches, including lobster rolls and po’boys made with shrimp, chicken, and alligator, among others. They decided to return to a brick-and-mortar venue after hearing about Random Tap opening.
“We love the food truck, but you can only have so much variety in the tight space,” Chatara Taylor said. “He really wanted to get back to a full kitchen experience.”
They will continue to occasionally run the food truck, but are currently focused on growing BirdsNest.
The BirdsNest Grille menu includes a wide variety of dishes, from appetizers to desserts. Variety includes everything from shepherd’s pie to traditional Southern fare like shrimp and grits, and other casual fare like quesadillas, burgers, and pizza.
The Taylors said they also hope to start serving brunch soon and would like to add touches including a Bloody Mary bar.
BirdsNest Grille is located inside Random Tap at 117 Spears Creek Church Road in Elgin. Hours of operation are 4-9 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 2-9 p.m. Thursday, 2-10 p.m. Friday, 12-10 p.m. Saturday, and 12-7 p.m. sunday.
Contact Christina Lee Knauss at 803-753-4327.