Wine Director Steven Grubbs of Empire State South - Biography

Atlanta, GA

May 2012

Steven Grubbs is a native Atlantan who migrated to Athens, Georgia, in 1996 to attend the University of Georgia.  While in school he began working as a bus boy at a small-but-ambitious neighborhood restaurant called Five & Ten, which had only just opened its doors that week.  Encouraged by Five and Ten's Chef and Owner Hugh Acheson, Grubbs developed a passion for the subject of great food and wine, and after the better part of a decade, he became the restaurant's wine director. 

In August 2010, Grubbs partnered with Acheson in opening Atlanta's Empire State South (the name is a reference to an old nickname for the state, "The Empire State of the South"). He handles the restaurant’s wine director duties, managing a wine list with an old-world slant and a particular focus on Burgundy, which Grubbs feels is an ideal match for the hearty southern tendencies of the menu. In 2011, Grubbs was chosen by Food & Wine magazine as one to the top seven sommeliers in America.