California native Derek Emerson grew up having breakfast at Brennan’s, sampling the French Creole cuisine of Galatoire’s, and dining in The Grill Room of The Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans. His family also took food excursions to New York City and frequented Wolfgang Puck’s Spago in Beverly Hills.
Emerson attended the Memphis Culinary Academy, and now owns Walker’s Drive-In restaurant in Fondren with his wife. They also co-own the Madison restaurant Local 463, which opened July 8.
Local artists William Goodman, Jason “Twiggy” Lott and Ginger Williams-Cook created art for the restaurant, including the distinctive outside mural of a woman holding a martini glass.
Walker’s menu changes seasonally and now includes dishes like braised osso bucco, a rabbit three-way entree that has become popular, and quail and foie gras. The restaurant also offers many seafood dishes like its most popular Redfish Anna, and focuses on buying goods locally from the state and Gulf of Mexico.
Local 463 (a number that refers to the nearby highway) at 121 Colony Crossing offers entrees like Southern magnolia ale-braised short ribs, shrimp corndogs and a slow-roasted pork belly sandwich.
Derek Emerson describes Local 463 as a place with modern sophistication and a casual atmosphere. Dinner is more upscale. It touts an earthy vibe with its blue, birch wallpaper, sliding doors with suspended birch branches, Jonathan Adler light fixtures and a chocolate and aqua palette.
And Williams-Cook created each of the abstract tabletops in which the number “463” is incorporated. All artwork in the restaurant is by local artists and is for sale. In addition to the food menu, there’s an art menu.