Easy Bistro & Bar was originally opened as Easy Seafood in 2005, housed in a historic space on Broad Street. Owners Erik and Amanda Niel were just 26 and 24 years old at the time – driven by their passion for incredible food and the hospitality industry. The restaurant gave Erik a home to experiment with technique and local ingredients while continuing to focus on seafood, a culinary corner he has long excelled in. Many years later, Erik has established his local restaurants – Easy Bistro & Bar and Main Street Meats – as pillars of the Chattanooga food scene.
Easy is located in the West Village neighborhood of Chattanooga. Our shareable menu is designed to provide a wondrous variety of possible combinations. We shy away from the traditional course meal in favor of a small and large plate shareable experience curated by our servers and chefs.
Raised in southern Louisiana, Erik Niel describes his home as a place where people care deeply about food — something that has undoubtedly helped forge his personal passion and career. Spending lots of time fishing on the bayou. Erik learned an early appreciation for where food comes from and the process of preparing it from beginning to end, a philosophy that still heavily influences his cooking.
Erik was studying at The University of Texas at Austin when he discovered his fondness for the calculated nature of business and realized he eventually wanted to have his own. After attending Johnson & Wales Culinary School in Vail, Colorado, Erik moved to Chattanooga and took a job as a floor manager at the now-closed Southside Grill, where he ended up meeting his wife, Amanda. Eventually, he took a job at St. John’s, where he worked as a sous chef for two years while developing his business plan. In May of 2005, Erik and Amanda opened Easy Bistro & Bar in downtown Chattanooga. Then in 2014, they assumed operations of Main Street Meats, transforming it into the local treasure it is today.
Erik is a two-time James Beard Award nominee for Best Chef: Southeast.
Amanda Niel learned the value of hard work and entrepreneurship at an early age. She grew up locally, and her grandparents owned a construction and plumbing company, which was family-run for generations. While completing her education, Amanda worked at fine-dining restaurants in the area, including St. John’s and the now-closed Southside Grill, where she met her husband, Chef Erik Niel. After graduating, Amanda got a position working for a sports clothing brand in New York City but consistently felt drawn back to Chattanooga.
Fast forward many years: Amanda is now successfully combining her love for design with her business skills and passion for the hospitality industry. As owner and managing partner, Amanda oversees all general operations, human resources, marketing, events, and catering for both Easy Bistro and Main Street Meats.