Celebrating Southern sensibilities, the menu at Gray & Dudley is a reflection of executive chef Rob Newton’s Arkansas roots, informed by his travels abroad and influenced by the diverse immigrant communities across the region. Dishes showcase seasonal ingredients, sourced from local farmers and purveyors that Newton has developed relationships with, including; Bear Creek Farms in Leipers Fork, North Carolina’s Sunburst Trout, as well as many of Nashville’s Kurdish bakeries and Vietnamese markets and delis.

Newton is also using Gray & Dudley’s wood-fired hearth to make a selection of house-made breads, rolls and flatbreads using milled Weisenberger flour, served with different dips and toppings including shredded country ham, and feta dip with crunchy bits amongst others.

Paying homage to the building’s past life as the Gray & Dudley Hardware Company, the re-imagined restaurant and lounge space embraces and celebrates high and low, new and old. Adjacent museum galleries exhibiting contemporary art foster exploration over cocktails or following a meal filled with heartfelt hospitality.

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A native of Arkansas, Rob Newton has lived and worked around the world, including as a member of the United States Army serving three years in Operation Desert Storm, before returning home to study International Business and German at Arkansas State University. Newton then moved north to earn a culinary degree at New England Culinary Institute and work in some of New York City’s most respected restaurants and kitchens, including; Le Cirque, Union Square Hospitality Group’s Tabla, Aquavit and the Four Seasons.
Newton’s first executive chef role was at Simon Pearce Restaurant in Quechee, Vermont, where he oversaw a staff of 20, including four sous chefs. After three years in Vermont, he transitioned to a private chef role, cooking around the world for celebrities, musicians, and entertainment executives for six years, before settling in Brooklyn to focus on building his own restaurants, including Seersucker Restaurant, Smith Canteen, Nightingale Nine, Wilma Jean and Wilma Jean in DeKalb Market Hall. Newton also consulted on Black Walnut in the Brooklyn Hilton and Yellow Magnolia in Brooklyn Botanic Garden before moving to Nashville in 2018.

Menagerie at Gray & Dudley includes a series of ceramic sculptures by Beth Cavener Stichter, as well as photographs by Rodney Batista, Laura Lee Brown, Tim Flach, and Anthony Goicolea that depict animal imagery. Stichter’s ceramic sculptures combine human and animal traits, reflecting her fascination with both human and animal behavior and what she describes as her interest in reading meaning in the subtler signs and the slightest unconscious gestures. Among the works on view are Stichter’s Spanish Feral Meat Goats, a sculptural series modeled on descendants of livestock brought to the United States in the 16th-century, which depict figures caught in movement or conversation, as well as a selection of multi-hued figures from Stichter’s Emotions series, modeled after the four Greek humours.