The “pully bone” (chicken with the intact wishbone) is back.
The Bulloch House in Warm Springs was considered a “destination” restaurant before it closed last year. New owner Peter Lambert hopes it will become one again. He reopened it Tuesday.
No two people are more relieved than Sheila Lee, the Warm Springs mayor and Sabra McCullar, executive director of the Warm Springs Welcome Center and the tourism director for Meriwether County.
“When the Bulloch House closed, the economic impact was detrimental to the whole city,” Lee said. “The Bulloch House works hand-in-hand with the whole area. It was just terrible.”
The mayor is also a waitress at the restaurant and works at the Welcome Center.
“We really need people to know it’s open again,” McCullar said. “It really is a destination restaurant. I have people calling me from, say Jacksonville, Fla., asking me how to get to the Bullock House.”
There are tour buses that visit Callaway Gardens, the Little White House and the Bulloch House. And Lee said those people who would eat at the Bullock House and shop on Main Street were missed during the last year.
“I’m just elated that it’s opening again,” Lee said.
The restaurant will keep the same menu featuring the good, old-fashioned Southern cooking that made it a dining destination.
Lambert is used to cooking different fare. After all, he’s the one who opened the Chattahoochee River Club, a private dinner club, in downtown Columbus, and has worked in high-end restaurants in the Washington, area and in the high-rent districts in Miami and Palm Beach, Fla.
“Here I am, frying chicken, but it’s gourmet chicken,” he joked.
A lot of people in Warm Springs are calling him “the savior of Warm Springs,” because the economy centered around the Bulloch House.
“It’s unique and different for me,” he admitted.
Fortunately, he was able to put more than 40 people who lost their jobs when the restaurant closed, back to work.
“It’s the same staff, same food and the same smiles,” he promised.
However, he’d like to add specials on Friday-Saturday nights, to include fish, meat and pasta main dishes. Diners can choose vegetables and starches from the buffet.
Lambert, a native of Austria, came to the United States to play hockey. After an injury ended his professional hockey career, he was able to take advantage of his degree in hotel management and his ability to cook.
So he began an authentic Austrian restaurant in Washington. He later was hired to work in restaurants in Miami, Anapolis, Baltimore and West Palm Beach.
Finally, a management firm coaxed him to come to Columbus to open the River Club in 1992.
“It’s been almost 20 years. I got married in this town (Columbus) and the rest is history,” Lambert said.