Rooted in the traditions of regional cooking, Henley celebrates quality products made by American hands. That starts with the ribbons of local ham that come off the classic Berkel slicer behind the bar and extends to design details sourced from Nashville artisans and the walnut bitters splashed into the Henley Old Fashioned. The atmosphere evolves as you move through the space: bright and breezy on patio, hushed and moody in Snooker. As for the inner sanctum--RJ Cooper’s coveted Chef’s Table--well, you’ll just have to experience that for yourself.
From New York City to Anchorage and back, Chef RJ has spent his career studying the intricacies of regional American cooking. The Detroit native attended culinary school at Kendall College in Chicago and went on to work with such talents as Guenter Seeger (The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead), Gilbert Le Coze (Brasserie Le Coze) and Eric Ripert (Le Bernardin). In his role as chef de cuisine at Jeffrey Buben’s Vidalia in Washington, D.C., RJ was named Best Chef Mid-Atlantic by the James Beard Foundation in 2007. This recognition helped him launch his own restaurant, Rogue 24, where he showcased his modernist Southern American cooking in nightly 24-course tasting menus. RJ has long been active in the Share Our Strength organization and the Southern Ground Music & Food Festival; when he’s off the clock, he can be found hanging out with his 10-year-old twins or riding his motorcycle through the streets of Nashville.
Jon Howard has been working in the hospitality industry for nearly half of his life, getting started at the age of 16 and never looking back. Howard worked on the opening team at Saxon & Parole in New York City and went on to lead the bars at Il Buco Alimentari and American Whisky before moving to town in 2015. Once in Music City, he worked the bar at William Colliers and was on the opening team for the nationally acclaimed cocktail bar, Old Glory. Howard was named the 2016 Woodford Reserve Master of the Manhattan besting over 600 other bartenders in the country and has also been a National finalist in the 2016 Chivas Masters competition, a Bacardi Legacy Regional Finalist in 2016 and is a Diageo World Class National Finalist in 2017.
A passionate creative, with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts from the University of Mississippi, Howard has applied his talents to his profession and has quickly become one of Nashville’s most talented bartenders.
A Chicago native, Garrido has been in the hospitality industry for more than a decade, getting his start as a dishwasher at Chicago-based catering company, The Hearty Boys. Quickly proving himself and moving up the ranks, Garrido was named the Assistant General Manager of The Hearty Boys brick-and-mortar location and was with the mom-and-pop restaurant for more than seven years. From there, Garrido went on to work with Sable Kitchen and Bar, and eventually opened the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel as a general manager of the land and sea department.
When he’s not in the restaurant, James enjoys spending time outdoors and exploring the many craft distilleries in and around Nashville. He is a resident of Midtown Nashville and can be found reading in Centennial Park on his days off.