A new eatery called Syrup and Eggs is now open in the St. Elmo Fire Hall at 4501 St. Elmo Ave.
When owner Ocia Hartley was 10 years old, she decided she wanted to be a chef and never changed her mind.
“More importantly, I wanted to own a breakfast restaurant,” she said via email. “Breakfast is a meal that starts out people’s day, and the smells are magical.”
Hartley moved from Portland, Oregon, to Chattanooga about five years ago after seeing the cost of living rise there. Her sister suggested she come with her family to Chattanooga. The trio came and found a fit, she said.
She’s spent 15 years working in fine dining and is taking all that experience into her new venture.
“Each chef that stopped in their tracks to teach me something has helped me get to where I am now,” she said. “I am so grateful for all the hands that have helped along the way.”
Hartley is a fan of being straightforward, and that is reflected in the business’ name. It also says what she loves—syrup and eggs.
“I specialize in fun/interesting pancakes flavors … in manageable portions and dishes with eggs in them or on them, ” she said.
For example, she makes chocolate cherry and popcorn buttermilk flavors. For eggs, they might be poached, put in a quiche or baked in gluten-free muffins.
“I also have a very whole food approach to cooking; I make everything in-house in our tiny kitchen,” she said. “I source quality ingredients from near and far and use all non-GMO goods.”
The restaurant seats 34 people inside, and there’s a patio where 10 more can sit.
The old fire hall has a great vibe, she said.
“The word ‘adorable’ has been used a lot [to describe it] in the past two weeks,” she said.
There is space for lease upstairs in the fire hall. The 1,200-square-foot space has wood floors and is cozy, she said.
It would make great space for a small business/office, but can’t be used for another restaurant or as a living space, she said. For more information about that, email [email protected].