Meet the Team | Highrail Southern Eatery | Thomson, GA
122 Main Street, Thomson, GA 30824 Tuesday - Saturday 3PM to 9PM (706) 986-5982

Meetthe Team


highrail chef | Southern Eatery | Thomson, GA

Brien McKenzie

Chef & General Manager

Brien McKenzie is passionate, driven and has more than a decade of experience in the restaurant and hospitality industry.

McKenzie graduated with high honors from the School of Culinary Arts of the Art Institute of Dallas with an Associates Degree in Restaurant and Hotel Management in 2013. Since graduating, he has worked at a number of leading restaurants including Chef Point Café, Pappas Brother Steak House, Pappasito’s Café and Knife Dallas restaurant. He has had the opportunity to work and learn the art of cooking under the direction of several well known chefs.

He has gained restaurant managerial experience in the Pappas organization working as both a Front-of-House and Back-of House Manager. In these positions he worked to ensure smooth day-to-day operations of the restaurant by effectively managing staffing and scheduling of all positions. He also was responsible for inventory control and for overall management of food and labor costs.

Prior to graduating from the Art Institute of Dallas, Brien worked in restaurants continuously since High School. He has worked in numerous restaurants as server, cook, food runner, bar tender and other positions. This experience has given excellent insight into all aspects of restaurant operations.

McKenzie believes strongly in creating and maintaining a safe, and enjoyable work environment while delivering top quality food and service to Guests and works hard to encourage and develop staff members.


Chef Mike McKinney

Kitchen Manager / Sous Chef

Chef Mike McKinney has been part of the Highrail team since our Grand Opening in May 2018. With his 15 years of combined culinary education and experience, Chef Mike has worked diligently behind the scenes to create many of our delicious recipes. Chef Mike is a Retired Military Veteran serving from 2009 to 2014 as a Food Service Specialist.  As the man behind the “Collard Greens”, he is also the resident Food Photographer and Chalkboard Artist.  To relax and “simmer” his creative mind, he enjoys playing video games and spending time with his four puppies; Magik, Athena, Bullett and Magnus.