How We Got Started

How We Got Started

Our Inviting Space

Gather was an idea that developed with the McElhaney family gathered around the kitchen table with their six children discussing the future. They decided to create an eatery that had no pretense or label. It would be a place where everyone would feel at home, and not worry about the appropriate piece of silverware that was to be used. Chris, Beth and their children have always gathered around the table to face life and love, also known as food and family. The only mold they wanted to break was the too busy lifestyle that keeps all of us from spending time with each other. Even the food at Gather is comfortable! No culinary cutting edge master chef crazy techniques; just good food that is real. The best thing about Gather is that you can make it the way you want – ties and evening gowns or tank tops and flip flops all feel at home in the Gather dining room. They use fresh, local ingredients as much as possible, while reaching far and wide for ingredients that may be out of the ordinary. Gather takes Grandma’s recipes, puts a little chef’s twist on them, and serves up extraordinary food that your family will enjoy.

Since opening, Gather has won the award for Alabama’s Best Beef in 2020; the team hopes to grow with this recognition and win more awards.

Atmore has grown significantly in the last decade and is now the largest city in Escambia County, Alabama. The city is home to passionate citizens and visionary leadership dedicated to revitalizing this community and watching it grow. From charming shops on Main Street, to the beautiful Little River State Forest, to the excitement of casinos nearby, Atmore holds something for residents and visitors alike. The city of Atmore is dedicated to enhancing the lives of its citizens and working with companies that contribute to the community’s growth.

Our Team

Chris & Beth Mcelhaney


Beth and I got married and immediately moved to Charleston, SC so I could go to the same culinary school as Emeril Lagasse. There, we discovered more about food than we had experienced in our entire lives! It is also where I met my mentor, Frank McMahon, an Irish chef who taught me the most simple (but underused!) advice in the business…. Salt and pepper are key. Those words stuck and have been the foundation of our menus ever since.

We eventually ended up on our knees asking God, “Are you sure Atmore is where you want us?”. So many times we made God laugh by telling him our plans, but this time we listened and obeyed! Atmore is definitely where God wants us. October 2017, Gather opened its doors and has been blessed since. Beth is constantly developing new “old school” desserts that quickly become fan favorites, like the pecan pie cheesecake and blueberry cream pie in a jar, while I keep putting salt and pepper on everything!

Brett Pate

Sous Chef

I am Stephen Brett Pate, and I attribute my love for the kitchen to both my mother and grandmother. I remember watching my grandmother cook when I was a kid. I started working in restaurants at 16 years old. While attending the University of Alabama, I cooked my way through college at DePalma’s Italian Cafe at Windcreek. I also worked for Gather’s Chef Chris for a year in 2019.

I was born in Greensboro, NC to a large family of 7; however, I grew up in Monroeville, AL. In my free time, I love spending time with my girlfriend, her daughter and our dog.

Aletha Lee Kyser

Front Of House Manager

My name is Aletha Lee Kyser. I have been a member of the restaurant industry for over 20 years; I have worked in every position, from dish to management. For the past 2 years, I’ve happily fulfilled duties as the front-of-house manager at Gather. I enjoy all aspects of this career, especially meeting new guests, and catching up with the loyal patrons who frequent Gather. My overall goal is to assist in the success of Gather and to uphold its high standards of service and food.

I was born and raised in Baldwin County, where I still reside with my husband, Joseph, and our three dogs: Sadie, Harper and Oscar. My husband and I love to spend our off time fishing, traveling to new places, trying new food and being with family.

Gathering Around the Table