Page 1

Authentic Living in the Heart of Atlanta MARCH/APRIL 2017 ISSUE 7   FREE n

, y d Rea



Escape to an enchanting East Atlanta Airbnb

On stage with the Atlanta Braves' Chase d'Arnaud Pairing beer and bites at Two Urban Licks




1411 North Highland Avenue Atlanta, GA 30306

404 874 6357 • Engel & Völkers Intown Atlanta (formerly Fourteen West, REALTORS®) is a locally owned and operated boutique firm that has provided expert representation for Buyers and Sellers of Intown Atlanta real estate since 1973. Our goal has been, and will always be, to offer unrivaled, luxurious service to all who wish to buy, sell or lease real estate in the beautiful and stimulating neighborhoods we love. It is our local market specialization, coupled with an exceptional international network that makes Engel & Völkers Intown Atlanta the choice for all of your real estate needs. Only the Best in the Business join our brand.

Tom Kunz EVP E&V North America

Anthony Hitt CEO E&V North America

Kris & Scott Askew President E&V Intown Atlanta

©2016 Engel & Völkers. All rights reserved. Each brokerage is independently owned and operated. All information provided is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed and should be independently verified. Engel & Völkers and its independent License Partners are Equal Opportunity Employers and fully support the principles of the Fair Housing Act.

Photos: 28, 30. Erik Meadows; 20. Lindsay Appel: Take You Wild Photography; 16. Sandra Platten.


33 30



CONTENTS MARCH/APRIL 2017 7 Editor’s Letter 9 LATEST

The newest restaurants, shops and other spots to arrive on the scene

Living 12 Shelter

Inside a bright and airy family home in Midtown

16 Style to Go

A casual-cool lunch look at Krog Street Market

17 Beauty

A fat-freezing procedure to smooth trouble spots

18 People

“Run Bum” Sean Blanton

20 In-Town Escape A treehouse Airbnb in East Atlanta

22 Out of Town

Exploring history, science and more in Huntsville, Alabama

Culture 24 Headliners

The Atlanta Braves’ Chase d’Arnaud hits a high note

26 Creators

Goat n Hammer gives budding metal smiths a place to grow



28 Restaurant Review

37 Events

30 Liquids


Real-deal Korean BBQ at Inman Quarter’s Char

Perfect food and beer pairings at Two Urban Licks

What to see and do when you’re off the clock

Afternoon Delights

32 Fresh Bites

Two new neighborhood eateries not to miss

Cover Story 33 Spring Awakening

Do-it-yourself tips, tricks and hacks to freshen up your living space this season





P.O. Box 11633, Atlanta, GA 30355  n For advertising rates call: 404.538.9895 or email:

MARCH/APRIL 2017 | ISSUE 07 Serving Midtown, Ansley Park, Morningside, Virginia-Highland, Westside, Old Fourth Ward, Inman Park, Poncey-Highland, Cabbagetown, Reynoldstown and Grant Park


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Publisher and Founder

Joanne Hayes

Chief Financial Officer

Sonny Hayes


Lindsay Lambert Day


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“There’s nothing better than enjoying live music while sitting a few feet from the band. I’m looking forward to hearing Chase d’Arnaud play Vinyl in the Center Stage complex later this year. It’s a cozy venue with great acoustics and an urban dive bar atmosphere—my ideal Midtown listening room.”

Creative Director

Alan Platten

Vice President, Sales & Marketing

Cheryl Isaacs

Account Executives

Christina Collandra

Shanteia Davenport

Kyle Wilcox Garges

Director of Audience Development

Melanie Lasoff Levs

The Wells Marketing Agency


Website Development Management

“I’m fascinated by the stately, historic homes throughout intown Atlanta, and I love driving the treelined streets in Midtown and Ansley Park. I’m not a DIYer, but I’m always inspired when I see such talented people turn old, crumbling objects or homes with ‘good bones’ into something beautiful and functional ... kind of like some of those houses!” Proud sponsor of

BHG Digital Contributing Writers

Sarah Blackman Caroline Cox Laurel-Ann Dooley Bobby L. Hickman Abbie Koopote Kate Parham Kordsmeier Alexa Lampasona Melanie Lasoff Levs Nneka Okona Isadora Pennington Lia Picard Karon Warron Photographers

Sara Hanna Erik Meadows Isadora Pennington Sandra Platten


laser • injectables • laser lipo skin tightening hair rejuvenation hormone optimization cosmetic surgery • spa services 190 Tenth St NE Atlanta, GA 30309 404-815-8880 *With purchase of 30 units. New clients only. All offers expire 5/31/17.


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We welcome all contributions, but we assume no responsibility for unsolicited material. No portion of this publication can be reproduced in whole or in part without prior written permission. Copyright © 2017 by 17th South®. All rights reserved. Printed by Walton Press, Inc. Distributed by Distributech and Distribution Services Group.


y the time this issue of 17th South lands on your local newsstand, it’ll have been almost exactly a year since I became a homeowner for the first time. And from the moment my husband and I signed on the dotted line (make that many dotted lines), we’ve spent almost every day finding ways to improve our space that will give us a sense of sweat equity and won’t break the bank. Whether brightening up our dark kitchen cabinets with a few coats of crisp, white paint or getting our hands (and knees) dirty by tidying up around the yard, the results are always gratifying. What could be better than living in a home that makes you feel happy? But motivation to wake up your space doesn’t require a mortgage. Whether you own your home or share a rented apartment with roommates, options abound when it comes to breathing new life into your abode. In this issue’s cover story, “Spring Awakening” (page 33), writer Melanie Lasoff Levs shares do-it-yourself tips and tricks from local interior designers and DIY experts. Simply dressing up your non-working fireplace with pretty, painted logs or rethinking your window treatments can give your home a fresh, new feel. Ready to get your hands dirty (or covered in paint)? Read on. Speaking of stylish homes, head to page 12 to check out writer Karon Warren’s story about a bright and airy Midtown dwelling that might just give you some inspiration. And, as usual, we’re sharing plenty of food, drink and entertainment options for the months to come—perhaps a reward for all of your hard work at home. Enjoy!

Lindsay Lambert Day  EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Find us online:

Interested in Advertising?


For information, email us at or call 404-538-9895









1425 Piedmont Avenue | Atlanta | 30309 404.817.7773 Call us for a complimentary consultation


Latest OPENINGS & ARRIVALS | STORIES: Karon Warren |

Photo: Kelli Boyd Photography

CREATIVE EDUCATION Candlefish offers candle-making classes at PCM


ans of Candlefish at Ponce City Market can now go behind the scenes of their favorite candle store and learn how to make their own scented, soy-wax lights. From choosing a scent to pouring two 9-ounce candles, participants ages 15 and older will complete every step of the process under the guidance of a Candlefish chandler, or candle-maker. The completed products will cure overnight and can be retrieved the next day.

The classes were introduced in January and are now a regular offering at the store. “Candle-making classes are an important part of the Candlefish experience and our mission as a store,” says Jordan Napper, director of marketing and development. “Our workshops highlight the art of candle-making and tell the story of our brand in a modern, fun way.” The “fun” also comes from attendees bringing their favorite bottles of wine; glassware is provided. The workshops are another way

to enjoy PCM, Napper says. “Grab some friends, a bottle of wine and enjoy learning something new in a relaxed environment.” Priced from $45, workshops typically last 90 minutes and are offered on various days at noon, 3 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Private group classes also are available by appointment or additional content. Participants receive 15 percent off all in-store merchandise. n atlanta-workshop





Work Together Spaces Midtown East opens a new shared work zone

Zoo Atlanta introduces an aerial playground


ntrepreneurs, innovators, freelancers and other workfrom-home business men and women can now schedule meetings with clients and colleagues or network with other like-minded professionals at Spaces Midtown East, a co-working facility located at 715 Peachtree St. Resources include private offices, shared co-working space and conference rooms, all available to rent for an hour or longer. In the co-working space, known as the Business Club, clients can enjoy

a respite with fun games such as Pictionary, Scrabble and Jenga. An onsite cafe provides a quick coffee break or snack. And, unlike more traditional office buildings, Spaces features a warm, open floor plan that includes the rich texture of brick walls, light hardwoods throughout and a wealth of natural light from windows and skylights. Spaces offers complimentary WiFi, and all of the meeting rooms are

Reaching New Limits [solidcore] stretches fitness in a new way


itness enthusiasts can push their bodies to the limit at [solidcore], a new workout center at 33 Peachtree Place in Midtown. Each high-intensity, low-impact 50-minute class includes the use of a resistance-based machine that works both slow- and fast-twitch muscles to the point of failure. Participants move slowly through a variety of exercises such as planks, lunges and squats that will lengthen muscles and tone the body. Each workout can be tailored to the individual participants, with an in-class instructor giving guidance along the way. Try a “101” class to get acclimated to the process, or go straight to a regular class that is appropriate for everyone. First-time attendees can enroll for just $10: classes are then priced per-class and offered in packages of five, 10 and 40. n



equipped with state-of-the-art presentation technology. Located across the street from The Fox Theatre, Spaces is two blocks from the North Avenue MARTA station, which provides quick access to downtown, Buckhead and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Spaces also provides branded Cruiser-type bicycles rent-free for clients’ use. n

This spring, Zoo Atlanta invites visitors to experience new heights of adventure on the Treetop Trail, a two-level path that features a series of rope ladders, bridges, nets and tightrope-style foot lines. Guests can show off skills that could rival those of such treedwelling animals as orangutans, monkeys or even sloths. Treetop Trail is part of KIDZone, which contains a playground, the zoo train, the endangered species carousel, the Canopy Climber, rockclimbing wall and the splash fountain. The trail is available to all visitors, but children must be 48 inches tall to participate without an adult. And everyone must be secured and tethered to the overhead tracking system using full-body harnesses and lanyards. The attraction is in addition to zoo admission.





Photos: Lindsay Appel: Take You Wild Photography

Blissing out amid bamboo in an East Atlanta Airbnb





Expansion How one Atlanta advertising executive made a welcoming Midtown home for her family


efore moving to Atlanta, Meredith and Richard Vincent were content living in their 1,400-square-foot apartment in New York City. However, after the birth of their now 4 1/2-year-old twin boys, it didn’t take long for them to realize they would need more room. “I panicked about the lack of space



| STORY: Karon Warren | and opportunities for the boys to run around and play, so having lived here briefly before, we made the decision to move back to Atlanta about two years ago, and it’s been a really good change,” says Meredith, an advertising executive. As they searched for a new home, the couple looked for something that combined the best of city and

Floor-to-ceiling windows flood the living room with natural light.

suburban life. “Coming from New York, we were excited to have a home and a yard, but we also wanted to be in town and close to a lot of activities,” Meredith says. After looking at several homes in Morningside, Virginia-Highland, Ansley Park and other nearby neighborhoods, they found what they wanted in Sherwood Forest: a 5,800-square-foot house constructed in 2011 that they purchased from the original homeowner in 2014. Although the home’s exterior is a fairly traditional brick-andstone ranch with multiple gables, Meredith wanted a relaxed and livable interior conducive to the activities of two young boys while remaining chic, polished and well-designed. She enlisted

the aid of John Ishmael, lead designer and owner of Nandina Home & Design in Inman Park. Together, they worked to create a home that took advantage of the high ceilings, big windows and open floor plan, resulting in a design aesthetic that made the most of the prevalent natural light. To accomplish this goal, Meredith chose a neutral yet light palette that was muted. As such, the home contains several shades of gray, white and off-white. For contrast, she decided to forego the more common white for all the interior doors, painting them Dovetail Grey from Sherwin-Williams instead. “[That] gives the home a unique look since the rest of the house is so light, white and airy,” she says.

Photos: Cruickshank Remodeling

“I like the visual interest of accessories and I like being able to update a room with them.” MEREDITH VINCENT Likewise, Meredith opted for linen draperies to maximize the amount of natural light coming in through the windows. “It was important that it felt [open and well-lit],” she says. All the window treatments were produced by Nandina’s workroom using fabrics from Trend and JF Fabrics. Purchased by the original homeowner, the various light fixtures, which are minimalist in design and appearance, further added to the spacious feel of each room.

Above: A Pep Ventosa photograph adds a pop of color to the dining room. Right: Coral upholstery adds a soft touch to the library.

When it came to furnishing the entire house, Meredith admits to having been overwhelmed, and she relied heavily on Ishmael to keep her from making “rash” decisions. “I wanted someone to make sure everything tied together without looking like I bought it all from one place,” she says. Also, selecting pieces that fit the size and scale of the house proved to be more difficult than Meredith anticipated. “Frankly, I think the biggest challenge in moving from New York to a big house with high ceilings was picking furniture that had the right scale for the home,” she says. For instance, in the living room, she flanked the fireplace with 7.5-foottall bookcases. She filled the space with two sofas, two side chairs and side tables with oversized lamps. Along with furnishings, the couple were challenged to choose upholstery fabrics that could withstand the daily drubbing by two young boys. “They




spill a lot of stuff and have greasy fingers,” Meredith says. “So it needed to look beautiful but also had to put up with a lot of wiping and washing.” She opted for a mix of prints and solids in various textures that are beautiful and durable. In the living room, Meredith did make what she says is one questionable choice. “My one mistake was probably the living room rug, which I think is so gorgeous, but it has silk in it and the silk has been challenging with the kids. It doesn’t even take water well, but it’s pretty.” In each room, Meredith included artwork to add color and interest. Above the fireplace in the living room is an original oil painting by Ishmael, a self-trained artist who has been painting for 35 years, and the office features an original photograph



by Atlanta photographer Troy Farina. The dining room contains a Pep Ventosa photograph purchased at the Lumas Gallery in New York City, one of the few pieces that transitioned from the couple’s apartment there. Throughout the house, accessories also add visual appeal, color and texture. On the shelves by the fireplace in the living room are white horns and a collection of cream vases from Global Views, as well as a set of green vases from Cyan Design. A side table in the dining room is home to a striking rust-red vase from Global Views. “I like the visual interest of accessories, and I like being able to update a room with them,” Meredith says. Now that the decor is complete, Meredith is very pleased with the results. “I love how light and open it is,” she says. “You can come in without turning a light on. It’s attractive to look at but still very

Above: Muted colors create a relaxing environment in the master bedroom.

DESIGN DETAILS Living room couches and chairs

Lee Industries

livable for a family and kids.” She also has adjusted to having a lot more room to move about than she previously enjoyed in her apartment, although there was a small downside to having more square footage. “The space has been great, but the maintenance…,” she says. “What do you mean, I have to keep this clean?” Overall, Meredith is happy with the choice she and Richard made when moving to Atlanta. “This home is brighter than the others we saw,” she says. “The flow from room to room is beautiful. It’s a large house, but it doesn’t feel too big. And Sherwood Forest is awesome, right in Midtown. We love seeing the Midtown skyline from our yard because it makes us feel like part of the city.” n

Dining table

Dovetail Furniture Area rugs

Surya and Jaipur Living Round side table (living room)

Interlude Home

Various accessories

Cyan Design and Global Views

WHERE TO BUY These well-known brands’ products are available at many online retailers: sells Interlude Home, Cyan Design and Global Views products. Surya is available at and The Home Depot. Jaipur Living is available at Dovetail Furniture is available from plumgoose. com. Lee Industries is available locally at Outrageous Interiors, which has four Atlanta area locations.




Together we can WIN


the fight against childhood cancer Dance

23rd Annual

Sunday, April 23, 2017 8:00 am Race / 10:45 am Picnic Concourse Office Park 4 Concourse Pkwy NE Atlanta, GA 30328

The ultimate family day of fun

5K Run 2K Run/Walk, Tot Trot CURE Annual Picnic to follow the Race! Register now at:

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Thank You to our Generous Sponsors Presenting Sponsor AutoNation Diamond Sponsor Delta Air Lines Platinum Sponsor Lauren and Michael Gearon Gold Sponsor Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP Silver Sponsor Hotel Equities Ben Yin Bronze Sponsor Alexander Investment Group of Wells Fargo Advisors Professional Benefits Consulting Enterprise Holdings 1 Source International, LLC Providyn The Zac Team



Victoria Hampton keeps it casual and fun as she hits Krog City Market on her lunch break | STORY: Abbie Koopote |  | PHOTO: Sandra Platten |

b a Gr -Go -and e l y St How would you describe your style? I would say my style is comfy and cute. The most important thing for me is the way something fits and feels on my body. I love combining a nice pair of jeans with either comfortable heels or some cute boots. What is a favorite clothing item or accessory that you own? I have this amazing dress that my aunt gave me that came off the runway from BCBG. I haven’t had the opportunity to wear it yet, but I smile at it in my closet every day! Where are all the pieces from that you are wearing today? My jeans are from Target, my boots are from Charlotte Russe, the coat was a gift, my sweatshirt is from the college I graduated from and the scarf is from a Paris street vendor. My purse is Dooney & Bourke that was gifted to me from my grandma.



Victoria Hampton AGE: 24


at Friendly Human

Where is your favorite place to shop in Atlanta? When I am really feeling fancy and in need of something nice, I enjoy shopping and browsing around Lenox Square. If I just need something simple or quick, my go-to is Target. What is your lazy day go-to outfit? If I’m being lazy at home, then I’ll probably just be in a comfy pair of sweats and a bra. When I have to step out, I’ll probably throw on

one of my t-shirts from Friendly Human, which is [the video production company] where I work. They are the perfect lazyday work attire because they are cute and cozy. What is your favorite fashion trend right now? I really love long, tall boots. They’re versatile and flatter any body type. They look great with a pair of skinny jeans or even with a flowy dress. I’ll always be a big fan of heels, and the

higher the better! I have always gotten grief for being tall, so when I put on a pair of heels, I just want to go for it…and go high! If you could trade closets with anyone, who would it be? I would definitely have to say Janet Jackson. She has always been my biggest style icon. She can make even the simplest outfit look amazing and capture all the attention in the room. Everything she wears and does is simply stunning. n



Freeze Factor

Left: Dr. Mark Beaty. Above: Paper shorts-clad writer Sarah Blackman preps for the freezing treatment.

Dr. Mark Beaty helps clients eliminate trouble spots by freezing their fat. Our fearless writer gives it a try | STORY: Sarah Blackman


hile I’ve always been a thin gal, I am also, like many women, prone to pockets of stubborn fat that cling to my outer thighs. They irritated me all the way back in my days as a young dance student, when I often tugged on the sides of my thighs in an attempt to smooth my silhouette in the mirror. Most recently, I’ve acquired what I’ve taken to calling a “donut”—a small ring of pudge that encircles my belly button. (Hello, 35!) They’re small things, yes, but as someone who eats healthfully and exercises regularly, I’d like to feel more confident considering my efforts to stay fit. Liposuction has never been on my radar—it’s much too extreme—but when I got wind of a treatment in Midtown known for freezing fat away, I was all for it. The treatment is called CoolSculpting and it’s offered by Dr. Mark Beaty, a double board-certified facial plastic

surgeon specializing in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. CoolSculpting is a non-surgical fat reduction process that involves no needles or downtime. Targeted areas include thighs (inner and outer), abs, flanks (muffin top), arms, under the chin and that pesky “bra bulge” that plenty of women struggle with. Feeling hopeful, I make an appointment. On the day of my treatment, we start with a comprehensive body analysis. “We fully evaluate and personally optimize the treatment for the individual needs of our clients,” says Beaty. I learn my BMI, skeletal muscle mass and body fat percentages. Next, I suit up in paper shorts, and we’re off to treat my outer thighs first. My nurse, who has been trained at CoolSculpting University (a two-day certification seminar), has had the “maximum degree of training” on this machine, as do all of Beaty’s nurses. She uses a marker to trace around the CoolAdvantage applicator on my outer thigh. It

looks like a big defibrillator connected to the machine and I’m hoping she’ll bring my thighs back to life with a more slender silhouette. Next, she places a gel pad inside the outline and wraps the applicator tightly around my leg. Feeling a serious squeeze, I wonder what I’ve gotten myself into. She assures me that the pressure allows for optimal results, so I soldier on. For 75 minutes while my fat freezes, I lie back in a reclining chair and catch up on episodes of “Chelsea Handler.” I have two more cycles to go—one cycle equals treatment to one area, and my other thigh and belly are up next—so I know I’m in it for the long haul. While I wait, Beaty breaks down the science behind CoolSculpting, which starts around $700 per area and is tailored to patients’ individual needs. “The key is that fat cells are uniquely susceptible to cold relative to all other cells in your body,” he says, adding, “Skin, muscle and nerves are

more tolerant to cold temperatures.” “What we’re doing is killing the fat cells. Unlike all other technologies that are traumatically destroying the fat cells, either sucking them out with a vacuum or blowing them up with a laser, CoolSculpting kills the fat cell at the nuclear level,” Beaty continues. “The cells die, and your body reabsorbs them and processes them naturally, just like normal cell death in the body. It’s a completely non-traumatic process.” When the cycle of one thigh is finished, a three-minute massage follows. My nurse tells me that “everyone hates this part,” and I understand why; it feels like razor blades. This discomfort is due to the skin rapidly getting blood flow back to the area— just like when a foot or limb falls asleep. Sometimes beauty is pain, but luckily it’s over before I know it. Before I head out, Dr. Beaty tells me that it it can take up to three months for CoolSculpting results to fully realize. Eight weeks later, I notice that my Beaty Facial treated areas Plastic Surgery do, indeed, (Midtown location) look more 1100 Peachtree St. N.E., streamlined Suite 850, 30309 than before. 844.372.3289 “Cool,” I think. I’ll take it. n



n or B to n u R

| STORY: Alexa Lampasona |

Midtown resident and selfproclaimed Run Bum Sean Blanton finds his calling charting courses


y life begins at the end of my comfort zone,” says Sean Blanton, race director of Run Bum Tours and co-host of the “East Coast Trail & Ultra” podcast. And in Blanton’s case, the sentiment can be taken literally: He runs to the top of Stone Mountain for fun, and he once ran from Athens to Atlanta in under 20 hours “just because.” He skydives in foreign countries, and he’s run more than 130 ultramarathons. Challenging physical activity has always been a big part of Blanton’s life, but he didn’t start running until 2008, when he signed up for the Peachtree Road Race. A few months later he was traveling to New Zealand and made a bold move to sign up for his first trail race, the Luxmore Grunt. At the end of the grueling, 17-mile



race, Blanton was in tears because it was the hardest thing he had ever done. But it was also one of the most beautiful and inspiring, he says. From then on, Blanton deemed himself the Run Bum, traveling the world in search of crazy experiences that would push him beyond his comfort zone. The more he raced, the more he wanted to share the beauty of the trails with other runners. “My goal is to inspire and change people’s lives,” says Blanton. Naturally, he does it through running. In 2012, Blanton founded the Run Bum series, which comprises nine trail races and attracts more than 5,000 runners annually, from first-timers to elites. His process for creating races is simple. “I pick my races based on beauty. I find an area where I want to host a race, then I go exploring,” Blanton says. “I find all the key views and experiences I want people to have during the race. Then, I connect



the dots in a way that flows.” Now a full-time race director, Blanton does his due diligence when choosing courses, running hundreds of miles along trails until he finds a course that flows. “Most of my races are in remote places because I don’t want an excess of people on the trails,” he says. “That takes away from the beauty and the remoteness.” As such, Run Bum races average only 300 runners apiece. Arguably, Blanton’s most difficult—and popular—ultra is the Georgia Death Race, a 68-mile course in the North Georgia mountains that sees runners through 40,000 feet of elevation change. With about a 60 percent finisher rate, the race is “a different beast,” says Blanton. This year’s Georgia Death Race, for which runners must pre-qualify by having completed a 50k (32-mile) race, is scheduled for April 1 and 2. Blanton says that the 2016 race hosted runners from more than 25 states and multiple countries, evidence of its allure within the running community. Despite spending five months each year traveling around the world, Blanton always returns to Atlanta. “Every time I try to move away from Atlanta, I come back,” he says. “I was born and raised inside the

Georgia Death Race By the Numbers

5 Years the race has been held 68 Trail miles in the race 40,000 Feet of elevation


400 Participants


Minutes it took for the 2017 race to sell out

750 Dollars in prize money for overall male and female winner (apiece)

Perimeter, and that’s where I want to stay.” Maybe it’s his family, or his tight-knit Atlanta running community, but even Maui, where he hosts a trail running camp each year, can’t draw him away from his hometown. When he is home, Blanton loves running in Piedmont Park. “Everything around there is chaos, but when I get into the park, everything slows down,” he says. n

Visit for trail races and running news from Blanton.

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Photos: Lindsay Appel: Take You Wild Photography



e s u o h e Tre y a w

a t e G

An escape from the city is hidden in bamboo on an East Atlanta alpaca farm | STORY: Laurel-Ann Dooley |


ecently in need of a break from our routines but without the luxury of time for a long vacation, my husband and I found ourselves searching for a local escape. After a bit of scouting, I hit the jackpot: a fairytale treehouse in East Atlanta, nestled in a thicket of bamboo on, of all things, an alpaca farm. It was kooky, romantic and only a 5-mile drive from our VirginiaHighland home. Open for fewer than five months, the treehouse had garnered nothing but raves from online reviewers. And there was an opening that Friday night.



Two days later, we were pulling into a long, gravel driveway shaded by tall pines. “You can park right there,” a woman called to us. Smiling, friendly and exuding energy, she turned out to be Kara O’Brien, one of the Alpaca Treehouse owners. O’Brien immediately offered us a tour of the farm. Our first stop was alongside a wooden fence, and there they were: four shaggy alpacas and a large white llama, none as excited to see us as we were to see them. It was their dinnertime, and as O’Brien filled their food bins she gave us the rundown on each camelid’s personality. She began with chocolate-brown Ariana Dandylion, who, O’Brien told us, was “super sweet-slash-very naughty.”

Kara O’Brien dishes up a treat to farm resident Dali Llama.

Right then, as if to prove her naughtiness, Ariana snuck up and gave Caitlin Tastee, another one of the farm’s furry inhabitants, a solid body slam, pushing her nose away from a side of alfalfa. “No, Ariana!” O’Brien shouted, nudging the would-be sprout thief away. Caitlin Tastee was pregnant, O’Brien explained, and thus needed ample nutrition. Paloma Piper was pregnant, too, she told us. [It later turned out that Paloma wasn’t pregnant, just plump.] Sunny Shevoun and Dali Llama completed the beastly brood.

Along with O’Brien, whose knowledge of animals comes entirely from her own research, we were joined on our tour by co-owner Kate Giroux, who led us through a bamboo grove to the hidden treehouse. Cradled atop 15-foot, black locust tree trunks, a small cottage appeared, glowing in the shafts of sunlight. Once inside, I was struck by the treehouse’s multi-shade wooden walls and its vaulted ceiling, all constructed out of pine beaded board salvaged from Civil War-era homes. Almost everything harkened to the late 1800s: the stained glass, French door entry; tin roof; scattered antiques. O’Brien told us the treehouse consisted almost entirely of reclaimed material. So peaceful, so beautiful, so … Suddenly, my pleasure gave way to the practical. “Is there a—” “Toilet?” O’Brien completes my question with a laugh. Yes, there was a compostable toilet, heat and air-conditioning, a coffee maker, a fridge and a complimentary bottle of wine. Memory foam beds awaited in the loft above, and a full marble bathroom was close to the cabin, accessible via a path. We were hungry by now and, per O’Brien’s suggestion, decided on Argosy in nearby East Atlanta Village, a small and quirky neighborhood with a seamless mix of graffiti, quality restaurants, tattoo shops and clothing boutiques. There, we enjoyed crispy tofu and pizza and marveled at the restaurant’s impressive beer menu. When we returned to the treehouse, we found it twinkling with tiny lights. Turning to my husband, I said, “I’m happy.” He smiled and nodded in agreement. We fell asleep to the whisper of bamboo fronds and cool air from the loft window brushing against our faces. In the morning, we relaxed with coffee and oranges before reluctantly leaving. A few minutes later, we were back home, refreshed and feeling like we’d traveled to a faraway place. Just what we’d wanted, right here at home in Atlanta. n

Alpaca Treehouse in the Bamboo Forest

1162 Fayetteville Rd., 30316


470 Flat Shoals Ave., 30316 404.577.0407


Photos: Courtesy U.S. Space & Rocket Center


Above: Huntsville draws visitors from around the country to the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. Below: Kids can play the role of astronaut for a day.

Sweet Home


Above: A charming Town Square in Huntsville is lined with colorful structures.

With its wealth of history and local charm, there’s more to this northern Alabama city than its ties to outer space | STORY: Nneka M. Okona |


ocated in northern Alabama, Huntsville is often referred to as “Rocket City,” thanks to the U.S. Space & Rocket Center that makes its home there. But for me, memories of visiting Huntsville in my younger years are laced with a sense of nostalgia that transcends any tourist attraction. My mother grew up there, and her family still calls the city home. But despite having spent plenty of time in Huntsville while I was growing up, it wasn’t until many years into my adulthood that I gained any sort of appreciation for it. Admittedly, I remember as vividly as if it were yesterday spending a long weekend at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, just minutes away from my grandmother’s house. As a young Brownie, Girl Scout and space enthusiast, it was a dream come true to attend space camp, learning what astronauts did to prepare for



their journeys beyond earth. I slept in bunk beds modeled after the ones on spaceships, participated in a simulated flight mission, ate freezedried ice cream and even learned to ice skate on the on-site rink. Today, the facility remains a frequented attraction, thanks in part to one of the world’s largest collections of rocket and space memorabilia that makes its home there, as well as its IMAX theater, cafe and a Mars climbing wall. But long before the city turned its eyes skyward, it enjoyed a colorful past, which visitors can still enjoy today. Huntsville was named after John Hunt, a soldier who survived the Revolutionary War. Hunt wandered to Alabama after leaving Tennessee and made the territory now known as Huntsville his home. In 1819, when Alabama achieved statehood, Huntsville was named as the state’s first capital. Little by little, a thriving economic center began to blossom: A city newspaper was established, a public school and library were built, and the first Presbyterian church in

the state popped up. Visitors to the city can see hints of Huntsville’s humble beginnings while strolling through its historic downtown neighborhoods— Old Town, Five Points, Twickenham— or peering at the Huntsville Depot, which was built in the 1860s and is one of the country’s oldest preserved railroad stations. Awed by historic architecture? Take a walk through Old Town, which is home to a variety of Victorian and colonial-style homes. In Twickenham, pay a visit to the Weeden House Museum, the oldest house in the state and a popular wedding and event space. When hunger calls, head to Five Points, where ethnic restaurants serve everything from Thai to New Orleans-style po’ boys. With its nods to past, present and future, Huntsville easily wins the hearts of those who pass through. Combined with a sense of warmth and historic charm that transcends time, it’s no wonder why. n

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Huntsville’s historic depot was an active passenger station until 1968.

VISIT WHERE TO STAY Dogwood Manor Bed & Breakfast WHERE TO EAT 1892 East Restaurant & Tavern Below The Radar Commerce Kitchen Pane e Vino WHAT TO SEE Alabama Constitution Village Huntsville Botanical Garden U.S. Space & Rocket Center




Photos: Isadora Pennington

Students sharpen their metal smithing skills at Goat n Hammer




HEADLINERS “It’s easy to overthink baseball, and music provides an outlet.”­ CHASE D’ARNAUD

a g n Havi

l l a B Photo: Jolie Loren

Off the field, Atlanta Braves infielder Chase d’Arnaud is making a name for himself in music | STORY: Bobby L. Hickman |


alancing career and family life can be a challenge for most of us. But trying to advance two high-profile, highpressure careers can be even more forbidding. Still, Chase d’Arnaud seems to be pulling it off. A utility infielder for the Atlanta Braves, d’Arnaud, who lives in Midtown, had a breakout 2016 with a career-best .245 batting average and .335 slugging percentage. His other gig—lead singer, rhythm guitarist and songwriter for the Chase d’Arnaud Band—also caught fire last year. The band cut its first album, Seven Ghosts; performed before thousands at the Bonnaroo Music Festival; and played local venues including iconic Eddie’s Attic. And all the signs point to an even bigger season in 2017, on the field and on the stage. “I have a good team of people around me helping keep baseball



and music in balance,” d’Arnaud says. During the season, he works with other musicians, writing, rehearsing and recording. “After playing on the field, I come home, shut off baseball and focus on music. It’s easy to overthink baseball, and music provides an outlet.” A California native, d’Arnaud says he was playing baseball and music before he was 5 years old. “I remember being 3 with a bat in my hand, Dad putting the baseball on the tee and my cranking out a swing as best I could.” His mother was an opera singer, and music was a major part of family life. “She would have us singing arias in the car with her,” particularly Phantom of the Opera. Chase sang the male roles, and his brother, Travis—the New York Mets catcher—did the female parts. “He had a higher voice than my mom at the time, so he could hit all the notes,” d’Arnaud says with a laugh. D’Arnaud started out playing the

violin and took up the guitar in a band with some high school baseball teammates. After graduating from Pepperdine University in 2008, he was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates. He played with the Pirates and the Phillies before coming to the Gwinnett Braves as a free agent during the 2015-2016 off season. After Gwinnett manager Brian Snitker took over the Atlanta Braves, d’Arnaud and his music soon followed. He describes his musical genre as “Americana: singer/songwriter, country and rock. I don’t think the first album that came out was the best representation of what is to come,” he says. A new solo album is due in early 2017, “about the time spring training begins.” D’Arnaud plans to continue performing and writing during baseball season. “It’s easier when we’re playing at home: After a day game, I can do a show somewhere,” he says. In addition to Atlanta gigs, he also hopes to perform during road trips.

He adds that he has a positive outlook about the future in sports and music. “People ask me all the time which I would rather do. With baseball, the body starts to break down after age 35. But I can do music for a very long time. So I’m glad I’m getting into it when I am.” Regardless, d’Arnaud says his music career will not interfere with baseball. “I’ve made it clear to the Braves organization that baseball is my first priority. They don’t have to worry about [music] distracting me”. “In fact, they are starting to understand that it helps me. I sing at third base; I sing at shortstop; I sing in the batter’s box. And I play well while I’m doing it.” The Braves apparently agree. Snitker and other team managers were in the audience for his first show at Eddie’s Attic. n

For news and upcoming tour dates, visit




CAT CORA TV Personality and Restaurateur

Founder and CEO, Buckhead Life Restaurant Group

100% of proceeds support Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign to end childhood hunger in America.

GEORGE MCKERROW Co-Founder and CEO, Ted’s Montana Grill; Co-Founder, We’re Cook’in

















Mark Hopper and Jessica Collins are in their element at Goat n Hammer.

l a t e Mas

Medium How one man’s love for metal has inspired Atlantans to take up smithing | STORY AND PHOTO: Isadora Pennington |


ating all the way back to the Iron Age, forging metal has long been an integral part of human history. The act of heating certain metals until they are pliable enough to manipulate has allowed for the development of tools and weapons, which in turn sparked innovation and advancement. Forging metal is hard, physical work and requires a lot of strength and effort to master. “It’s way more fun than the gym,” says Jessica Collins, who runs Goat n Hammer blacksmithing at the Goat Farm Arts Center in West Midtown alongside business partner Mark J. Hopper, a blacksmith of 25 years. The space is a veritable metalwork paradise, with anvils set up in a semicircle around the room. Quotes are scribbled on the walls alongside hanging tools and project sketches. A train occasionally



rolls past on the tracks outside, the rumbling barely audible over the din of hammers hitting hot metal. Originally from Lidshendam, Holland, Hopper comes from a family of makers. His grandfather was a cabinet maker and painter, and he started making knives with his father when he was only 8 years old. After graduating from college, Hopper went on to work at a shop in Kent, England, before moving to Kenya, where he taught smithing for a few years. Hopper met and fell in love with his now wife Esther, a native Kenyan, and when she relocated to Atlanta to attend Kennesaw State University, he tagged along and opened his shop at the Goat Farm. It was four years ago that Hopper first approached Collins seeking help to implement classes during a Mass Collective event, of which she is a founding board member. Collins is a ceramic artist and also helps to run the Warhorse cafe at the Goat Farm. The two paired up and started

offering classes. The new program was a hit, and it quickly grew in popularity. Collins also runs Machine Room Pottery, her personal pottery brand, out of the shop. She found striking similarities between working in both clay and metal, which she refers to as “plastic mediums.” “They move the same way,” she explains. Before long, and under Hopper’s tutelage, she became an amateur smith herself, and the two now act as TAs for one another in class and partners in business. Students have the opportunity to learn a wide variety of techniques that they then can incorporate into making products. There are introductory classes; 100- to 400-level Foundational Skills Series that aim to train smiths in the understanding of techniques, vocabulary and precision in material use through repetition; more advanced module classes; and open studio sessions, called Hammer Therapy, in which students can work on their own projects.

The classes are designed to “teach students the skills in a hands-on format,” says Hopper, and once they’ve got an understanding of the basics of blacksmithing, “they can pretty much make anything.” Skills students learn in their courses at Goat n Hammer can be translated into creating products like knives, blades, bottle openers and tongs. Many who sign up work in computer-dominated fields, and they crave the outlet that working with metal provides. “They need something visceral, something real,” Collins explains. By physically manipulating metal, a material that at first seems totally unyielding, and in working with their hands, students can learn something new and also find an outlet for Goat n Hammer anger and 1200 Foster St., Building 8, stress. “I Studio LMR 10, 30318 think people crave it.” n

Indulge n

Handmade pasta, perfectly cooked steaks & fresh seafood expertly prepared using the �nest ingredients.



GRILL FACTOR Char brings authentic Korean barbecue to Inman Quarter

Photos: Erik Meadows

For reservations please call 404.844.4810





l l i Gr ctor Fa N

early 100,000 Koreans live in Metro Atlanta, where hundreds of Korean restaurants line the streets of Duluth and hide in strip malls on Buford Highway. And yet, in Atlanta city proper, there were few, if any, true Korean BBQ restaurants—the one’s outfitted with those beloved, DIY tabletop grills that fill up seemingly every plaza and food court outside I-285—until September 2016. That's when former Craft Izakaya partner and general manager Richard Tang opened his über-hip Char Korean Bar & Grill in Inman Quarter, tabletop grills and all. The intimate space is cool and trendy, with a young, lively vibe, particularly on the weekends, and walls lined with Asian street art from Atlanta artist Brandon Sadler, a.k.a. Rising Red Lotus. Likely the first thing you’ll notice when you walk in are the gas-powered tabletop grills with sleek vent fans floating above. They’re not obtrusive; quite the opposite: They’re beautifully designed and flow seamlessly with the modern industrial aesthetic, proving that Char is the real deal when it comes to Korean BBQ.



Above: Crispy yachae pajeon, or scallion pancakes. Left: Searing meat on a traditional grilltop.

Korean BBQ restaurant Char serves up playful, irreverent dishes in a traditional-meets-hip Inman Park space | STORY: Kate Parham Kordsmeier | PHOTOS: Erik Meadows |

But a cursory glance around the dining room proves there’s much more than tradition happening here. In fact, the playful space is filled with irreverent quirks, such as the sizable list of the commandments printed on one wall. “Political correctness is not part of our policy; being kind is,” one reads. That explains the caricature of Kim Jong-un and his minime in the bathroom and the names of the barbecue meat combos (they’re named for North Korean political leaders). The double-sided bar offers stellar craft cocktails both inside and on the covered patio that is seasonally equipped. When the weather warms up, the open-air space flows effortlessly into the bustling neighborhood, much like a European cafe, but when I dined at Char in chillier months, glass partitions enveloped the patio (no tacky plastic roll-ups here), which was outfitted with powerful heaters. Char even provided blankets at our seats. Truly, they’ve got hospitality down pat. The servers are friendly and helpful, and everyone generally seems glad to be there. But if I had to quibble with something— this is a review, after all—I’d say Char might just provide service to a fault. As Tang has said many times himself,

the whole Korean concept is touch, feel and being part of an environment; when cooking and grilling at their own tables, diners become part of the whole experience. Only that’s not exactly what’s happening here. Rather than providing guests with the traditional DIY format you’d find at most Korean BBQ restaurants, Char’s servers bring the meat to your table and cook it for you. Their argument: It’s a higher level of service. Mine: Having your server stand over your table for several minutes can feel a bit intrusive, often disrupting your meal and conversation. Likewise, the servers don’t always cook the meat to your liking. Mine was often overcooked. But mostly I missed the interactive element that comes from cooking myself. That’s half the fun of Korean BBQ in the first place. Admittedly, that wasn’t the only flaw I found with Char’s barbecue. While delicious, the grilled meats—go for the tender and flavorful marinated kalbi short rib and dwejibulgogi (spicy pork butt)—are, quite frankly, overpriced. Prices range from $11 to $14 per order, but only include three ounces of meat. For all the accountants scoring at home, that’s roughly $70 per pound. And, while the quality of the meat is arguably higher than its Buford

Above: Tang's Korean fried chicken is tossed in a tasty, sticky glaze.

Below: Bibimbap is packed with seasonal veggies and topped with a cooked egg.

Above: Perfectly plated Dwejibulgogi, or pork jowl.

Highway counterparts, this isn’t exactly A5 Wagyu, or even organic, pasture-raised beef, we’re talking about. The shrimp was perhaps most egregious—three medium-sized shrimp for a whopping $14. Neighboring MF Sushi, one of the priciest seafood restaurants in town, doesn’t even charge that much. Likewise, if you're familiar with the complimentary banchan (pickled vegetable side dishes) that arrive at most Korean restaurants with the grilled course, brace yourself, as Char charges extra for theirs. They do, however include kimchi and rice at no extra charge. Still, you need to go to Char. It’s a welcome and much-needed addition to intown dining that’s turning out some delicious plates. In fact, Chef de Cuisine Shaun Byun’s composed dishes are pretty spectacular, running the gamut from traditional bibimbap (one of the best versions I’ve had, thanks to the addition of seasonal veggies and a perfectly cooked egg) and pajeon (scallion pancakes; these are not to be missed) to modernized East Asian fusion dishes. Go for the ribeye tartare, sweetened with Korean pear, topped with a quail egg and served with crispy wonton chips. After eating a dozen different plates, I found Byun’s cooking to shine brightest when he

sticks to the classics. His Korean fried chicken is crispy yet juicy, with an addicting sticky glaze. The bossam, easily my favorite thing on the menu, was bursting with flavor and a lesson in contrast: Pork so tender you could cut it with a spoon is offset with sweet and tangy pickled vegetables and cold, crisp lettuce wraps. On the other hand, some of his new-age plates flopped. I was intrigued by the “cheese corn” appetizer, having heard this decadent dish is common at Korean BBQ spots. In theory, I get the appeal—it’s essentially a super rich macaroni and cheese where corn is swapped in for pasta. But in practice, I found Char’s cheese corn to be over-thetop—it’s literally made with Velveeta (not exactly the kind of high-quality ingredient I’d expect to find at a chef-driven restaurant)— and in desperate need of balance. Some acid or bright herbs or gochujang (Korean chile paste) folded in would’ve made this plate sing. Tang has been quoted in media outlets all over town about how his goal with Char is to be a neighborhood restaurant serving authentic Korean barbecue that doesn’t take itself too seriously. But while his restaurant is refreshingly unpretentious, some of the playful elements just miss the mark for me.

Below: Tender pork, pickled veggies and crisp lettuce wraps make up Char's bossam dish.

Take the dessert menu, for instance. You’ve got freeze-dried ice cream, a molten chocolate lava cake (in case you didn’t get your fix at Chili’s) and, most offensive of all, a fried Twinkie plate that would be more at home at a state fair than in a Korean restaurant. It just didn’t fit. Fortunately, the stellar beer list and craft cocktail menu make up for it. You can’t go wrong with the Shiso Mule. The blend of Asian ingredients (roasted rice soda, Korean plum shrub and sesame-infused bourbon) found in the classic cocktails fits the space and vibe perfectly; every one I tried was approachable and delicious. Everything you’d want in a neighborhood restaurant. n

CHAR 299 North Highland Avenue N.E., 30307 404.525.2427 Recommended: Korean Fried Chicken ($12), Bossam (spice-braised pork lettuce wraps) ($12), Yachae Pajeon (scallion pancake) ($10), Bibimbap ($9), Kkotsal Kalbi (marinated short rib) ($13), Dwejibulgogi (Spicy Pork Butt) ($11) Bottom Line: Char is a welcome and much-needed addition to intown dining that’s turning out some truly delicious plates despite hefty price tags and heavy-handed service.





Dining at Two Urban Licks? Here are a few of Ramsey’s favorite pairings:

s  Wood roasted branzino + Tropicalia by Creature Comforts For a sophisticated fish like the branzino, served alongside Brussels sprouts and pears, go for the beer with a cult following. The fruity flavors in Tropicalia play nicely with the fruit in the dish.

Queen of


Brandy Ramsey, resident cicerone at Two Urban Licks, helps patrons find perfect food-beer pairings


one are the days when a beer was just a beer. The rise of craft breweries has made us realize that the sudsy beverage is worth caring about. And no longer is wine the only drink worthy of expertise; more often, diners look to pair their meals with the right brew. Wine drinkers have sommeliers to help with food pairings, and now beer enthusiasts can turn to the cicerone. A cicerone is a certified beer expert who’s passed a rigorous course of study and examinations. About 2,700 cicerones have earned the honor around the whole world, and 41 of them are here in Georgia. Of those 41, only six are women. Atlanta is lucky enough to have a cicerone of its own in Brandy Ramsey, the beverage manager at Two Urban Licks (TUL). As bubbly as beer itself, Ramsey is passionate about her niche and is


PRO TIP: TUL gets such a limited amount of Tropicalia that it’s not even on the menu, so be sure to ask for it if you want it.


| STORY: Lia Picard | PHOTOS: Erik Meadows |

Ramsey now oversees the beverage happy to indulge those eager to learn program, including cocktails and about it. The Concentrics Restaurant wine, at Two Urban Licks. She doesn’t Group veteran had been with the fancy herself a mixologist, but being a company for about five years before cicerone has made her more aware of realizing she needed to be a cicerone. flavor profiles, knowledge that helps As the general manager at Tap, she her concoct seasonal tipples. Beer is called on industry insiders to talk still her baby, though, and she started to her staff about the beer brewing nurturing the beer program the secprocess and different styles, and she ond she stepped through TUL’s doors. wondered why she wasn’t the one This meant swapping out TUL's four educating her team. Reflecting on that draft beers with local pours, rotatmoment, Ramsey says, “I thought, ing among Atlanta’s breweries to 'I should be able to talk to them “show love.” She also let her snob about this. I should be the one who flag fly when she lobbied for a new teaches them all these things beer cooler that allows for more even without having to call people in.'” chilling and tripling the restaurant’s Ramsey and a co-worker dove into bottled beer list. the program head first, studying and Her college days of drinking any sipping their way through a year-long beer are long gone, and program in just 18 weeks. while she now has a finer This type of stamina wasn’t something that everyone in Two Urban Licks appreciation, she’ll never be one of those people the program had. “On the 820 Ralph McGill who sends a beer back. first day of class, there were Blvd., 30306 404.522.4622 Her philosophy is simple: maybe 50 people, but by “Just drink it; it’s beer! You the time we took our exam, can order another one.” n there were maybe 15.”

s  Prime Kansas City Strip

+ Drafty Kilt by Monday Night Brewing

The meat is smoky, served with escarole and toasted hazelnuts, and the beer is mild, making for a great pairing. Ramsey adds, “The way the malts are roasted, you get a nice nuttiness, which I thought would go really well with the hazelnuts.”

s  Salmon chips + Emergency Drinking Beer by Wild Heaven Emergency Drinking Beer is a pilsner-and-gose hybrid with Portuguese salt and lemon zest that goes great with the salinity of the fish. “Pilsners are really good palate cleansers; the carbonation and hops cut through food to get you ready for every bite,” explains Ramsey.



Right: Chef Evan Cordes's Cast Iron in Old Fourth Ward.

FRESH BITES What’s New & Noteworthy in Food

| STORIES: Lia Picard |

Below Right: Cast Iron's "bunch of mushrooms" with sherry, balsamic, bread crumbs and cured egg yolk.

Photo: Sarah Cordes

Left: Twisted Soul's Westside storefront.

Meet the neighbors Two new neighborhood restaurants will make you feel at home


ou probably don’t know it yet, but your new favorite restaurant is just down the street. Neighborhood restaurants have been around forever, offering convenience and reliability to their neighbors, but now there’s a new breed popping up around Atlanta. Visit these two new eateries to experience chef-driven cuisine without venturing too far from home. Tucked away off the main drag of the Westside you’ll find Twisted Soul

Cookhouse and Pours in its new home. The creation of Chef Deborah VanTrece, Twisted Soul relocated from Decatur this past winter and exudes warmth despite the industrial vibe. After searching for the right home for her Southern-inspired restaurant, VanTrece found that the Westside just made sense. The area is experiencing exciting growth and offers a luxury that the original location didn’t have: parking. Conveniently, the restaurant is nestled in a mixed-use development, so it’s easily accessible to the surrounding residents. It’s okay if you don’t live in the ’hood, though. “We want to be a gathering spot where people in the neighborhood can meet people outside of the neighborhood,” VanTrece says.

The chef and her team dish up modern “twists” on soul food: black eyed pea salsa appetizer and pan seared red fish with jambalaya grits and moonshine butter. Her wife and business partner, Lorraine Lane, oversees the cocktail menu, and her gin mule pleases the palate with a concoction of gin, muddled mint and ginger beer. In the Old Fourth Ward, Cast Iron finds harmony between approachable pricing and high-end offerings. The menu is concise with only 15 items, each one shareable and focused on seasonal ingredients. A “place where people can celebrate or commiserate,” Chef Evan Cordes wants his restaurant to be an all-occasions kind of place and created dishes that

Photo: Jonathan Aherin

Photo: Shelby Light

Photo: Courtesy Green Olive Media

Below: Twisted Soul's panseared red fish with jambalaya grits, moonshine butter and kale-and-cabbage cole slaw.

aren’t relegated to celebration-only outings. Much like a cast iron pan itself, Cordes wants his restaurant to be an all-purpose staple. Slide into one of the comfy booths and order a few plates to share. Try the king trumpet and oyster mushrooms with sherry, balsamic, bread crumbs and egg yolk, or the cider-brined pork ribs with cabbages and white sauce. The cocktail menu is also thoughtfully curated and smartly priced, with drinks just $8 each. Creative quaffs Twisted Soul include the 1133 Huff Road, 30318 404.350.5500 Bird Calls with mescal, Campari, twistedsoulcookhouse sweet vermouth Cast Iron and peanut— 701-5 Highland Ave. an eclectic mix N.E., 30312 of flavors 404.228.2005 that somehow work. n

Festival season is finally here, luring us outside with outdoor smorgasbords. Here’s where all the delicious fun is going down in March and April:

n The 14th Annual Oyster Crawfish Festival returns to Park Tavern on Saturday, March 4. Tickets start at $15 and include live music by Cowboy Mouth with food and drinks available for purchase. n  Celebrate the Eastside BeltLine Trail at the BeltLine Boil on Saturday, April 1. Restaurants from across Atlanta



bring their A-game as they compete to see who has the best Low Country boil. Last year’s competitors included Ladybird and Apres Diem. Tickets start at $10 and proceeds are donated to the “Light the Line” campaign. n  If you live in Atlanta, there’s a 99 percent chance you love bacon, beer and comedy. If you

happen to love all three, you’re in luck: Dad’s Garage BaconFest returns Saturday, March 25. The festival takes place both in and outside of the Dad’s Garage theater with plenty of chances to

Photo: Erik Dixon

Food News

catch improv performances while you chow down on bacon. Tickets are priced from $45.



G N I N E K A AW The sun is out, temperatures are rising and it’s time to refresh your surroundings for spring. Four Atlanta DIYers share easy tips and tricks for breathing new life into your living space

Mild though they may be compared to many corners of our country, Atlanta winters still pack in their fair share of dull and dreary days. Translation: Weeks on end spent hunkered down at home with the windows closed and your favorite cozy accessories within easy reach. But worry not. Spring has sprung, which means it’s time to throw those

| STORY: Melanie Lasoff Levs |  | PHOTO: Sara Hanna |

windows open and wave goodbye to wet, gray weather—and the doldrums that go along with it. As the dogwoods and cherry trees bloom back to life around you this spring, see to it that your space—whether it be home, office or both—does too.

Need help getting started? We asked four crafty design experts how to rouse a home from hibernation and ready it for spring. MARCH/APRIL 2017



Karen Cooper

Blogger, The DIY Bungalow

t n i a P T

Beth Kooby

Owner, Beth Kooby Design

hrowing a fresh coat of paint on furniture, walls or room accessories instantly brightens the environment, says Karen Cooper, a self-proclaimed “recovering lawyer” who teaches DIY classes at the Atlanta Habitat for Humanity Restore in Reynoldstown and advises many intown neighborhood readers through her blog, thediybungalow. com. If painting an entire room seems overwhelming, try an accent wall, she suggests. Spring in general is the perfect time to paint because you can open windows to ventilate or spray pieces outside. “Spray paint won’t adhere to surfaces when it’s too cool, windy or damp, so once you hit spring, you can do those kinds of projects,” Cooper explains, adding that she collects items to spray paint and gets started in spring.

Lizzy Jackson

Owner, Style by Lizzy Jackson Right and Below: Karen Cooper sanded this thrift store find and added a few fresh coats of paint to make it look new.

Jennifer Chanler Owner JCC Interiors



Benjamin Moore’s Simply White OC-117, Aura, Matte (on the walls) and Simply White OC-117, ADVANCE, Semi-Gloss (trim) create a fresh, inviting feeling.

For example, Cooper found an old, heavy teacher’s desk at a thrift store. Though the desk itself was in good shape, the wood veneer was peeling, so she sanded it and gave it a new coat of paint. “It was like new,” she says. Cooper explains that the world of paint offers an array of options, including bright, high-gloss paint for a more modern look or latex paint (that requires primer first). Spray painting “is a great way to perk up an old piece,” she says, particularly for metal or plastic items such as an antique bar cart or typewriter table. Chalk-finish paint also has become popular, and it doesn’t need priming, but Cooper suggests adding a polyurethane finish to prevent chipping. But refreshing paint doesn’t necessarily mean using bright colors, says Beth Kooby of Beth Kooby Design. “I’m a huge fan of white paint,” she says. “It’s simple, it’s easy and it’s clean.” n

Dream Paint Pairings Looking to refresh your space with paint? Try these dynamic duos. “I love contrasts, so I love crisp white and navy or black, with a pop of a bright color like bright green,” says Karen Cooper. She also recommends colors that are “opposites together,” like navy and pink or orange, or colors that complement each other, like blues and greens. “Navy and teal, and teal and lime green are my favorites,” she adds. Beth Kooby is a fan of Benjamin Moore paints. Some of her favorite gray shades, she says, work well on walls and/or cabinets, and Simply White “is my absolute go-to for trim, and I use it on walls as well,” she adds. “It was finally Benjamin Moore’s Color of the Year in 2016 but I’ve been using it for [more than] two years!” Jennifer Chanler favors Pantone’s Color of the Year, Greenery, used in combination with blue and sand, a “peaceful” trio, she says. Green, persimmon and brown are “warm and natureinspired,” she adds. “I love dark teal with corals, and olive greens with rich plums, too. Charcoal is the universal mate to any color” besides white or black, Chanler adds.

s l i c n Ste s l a c & De I

f you want to take painting a step further, consider adding a stencil or vinyl decal to a wall, suggests Kooby. “I love using vinyl decals,” she says. “If you use a level to get things straight, then anybody can do it.” Kooby uses online companies that offer customized stencils, and removable large-scale murals and decals. In one client’s bathroom in a completely renovated house in Morningside, she put up a customized decal of song lyrics. She also commissioned an enormous, multicolored mural for a project last year as part of the Atlanta Food and Wine Fest. Chef Kevin Rathbun chose Kooby as a “One to Watch” Southern designer and for a party featuring local designers paired with up-and-coming chefs, Kooby was to design a space at the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center (ADAC) in Midtown for Chef Digby Stridiron of Balter restaurant in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Stridiron “uses all local, sustainable, mostly organic foods

in his dishes, so I wanted the space to reflect that, also to have a subtle island feel,” Kooby says. The custommade vinyl mural, with sea blue and white that evokes water, took a few helpers to stick to the wall, but “it looked sensational,” she recalls. Kooby also hung a large world map decal in her son’s old bedroom in Morningside to add interest to the space. “The nice thing is that you can take these [murals and decals] down and hang them up again,” she says. Stencils can be more challenging, but Kooby encourages DIYers to give them a try, even on the floor. “If you have an older home and the floors aren’t great, and you don’t want to refinish them, you can paint them,” she says. One online company she orders from sells a series of mandala stencils she covets, for their intricacy and beauty. A mandala is a complex geometric symbol, an ancient spiritual symbol in Buddhism and Hinduism but in modern times, used to

Above: Kooby applied song lyrics to the walls of a client’s home. Left: Kooby-designed kids’ bath complete with fun, floral stencils. Right: The color- and texturerich Morningside bedroom Kooby created for her son.

represent the cosmos. “How awesome would that be on a floor?” she says. Before adding a stencil or decal, Kooby says to give base color paint at least one day to dry. n

Kooby’s recommendations for stencils and other wall accessories:;;

Replace Fabrics Winter is a time of heavier, darker fabrics on sofas, curtains and pillows. Come spring, simply changing out sofa pillows for ones with fabrics such as linen or cotton can lighten the feel of a room, says Cooper. “You can refresh your space without breaking your budget” by purchasing throw pillows at discount stores, she adds. If you want to get crafty, Kooby suggests creating new pillows from brightly colored and patterned vintage scarves.


Change w e Your Vi


e s o p r u p e R A

vid DIYer and owner of the design company Style by Lizzy Jackson, Lizzy Jackson’s old bungalow in Stone Mountain Village has a non-working fireplace that she fills with colors and patterns by way of logs. “I’m kind of obsessed with my fireplace,” she laughs. “Since it doesn’t work, that makes it more decorative, and I use it more for the focal point of the room.” For spring, Jackson paints logs in “bright, fun colors” like blue, yellow and pink, wraps thin string lights around them and sets them in the fireplace for a fun light display. Jackson also uses the mantel as a display place for artwork that she rotates depending on the season. “It’s easy to change the artwork without having to drill a bunch of holes in the wall,” she says, as her home, like those of many intown clients with other older bungalows, has mostly



plaster walls. She says she finds many ideas—and shops for herself and clients—at Binders art store and Ponce City Market. Repurposing furniture refreshes homes and offices for spring, says Cooper, and often the job can be done without paint. Cooper found an antique chest of drawers that she uses in her dining room for storage. “It is beautiful, but it was banged up and needed some TLC,” she says. Rather than paint it, though, Cooper used a damp rag to wipe down the finish, then she rubbed the piece with orange oil and buffed it. “It took me 10 minutes and brought out how beautiful the wood was,” she says. DIYers can duplicate the process with a tack cloth (wear gloves, since the cloth is sticky) and linen oil, orange oil or another wood repurposing oil. “Just giving [the piece] a good wipe down to rehydrate the wood makes it really pretty,” Cooper says. Jackson repurposes vintage teacups and mugs by placing small cacti, found at nurseries and in gardening

ightening up your space includes paying attention to the windows, says Jennifer Chanler of JCC Interiors, with clients throughout metro Atlanta. Try energy-saving blinds or shades that can filter light, or put a privacy liner on the back of shades so you can still raise them for sun, she suggests. Topdown-bottom-up shades cover the bottom of windows and allow views of the sky and trees, “but not necessarily your neighbor’s house,” Chanler says. Top-down-bottom-up shades “are really great in the bedroom,” she adds, laughing. “You can walk around naked, and no one will see you, but you can still see the sky.” Even cleaning the glass in your windows and hiring a professional to clean your skylights can signal spring, Chanler says. “People would be amazed at the difference that can make [in your space].” Spring is all about letting in the light, both inside and outside, adds Kooby. “You’ve been kind of tired being inside,” she says. “Everything is new and fresh outside, so it’s time to reflect that on the inside.” n

Above: Painted, light-wrapped logs perk up Lizzy Jackson’s fireplace. Right: Bottom-only blinds allow for privacy and light—the best of both worlds. Below: Lizzy Jackson turns colorful mugs into mini-cacti planters.

DIY Don’ts There are spring refresh projects best left to the professionals, according to design experts. These include: n Plumbing and

anything involving water departments of home stores such as Lowe’s and Home Depot, inside them to add greenery indoors. “Succulents [which include all cacti] are the only things I can keep alive,” she adds with a laugh. n

n Electrical work n Repaving or replacing

a driveway n Structural work (Think:

putting on a new roof)




ow through March 19, celebrate the SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film’s one-year anniversary by stepping back in time via its latest historical retrospective exhibitions, Threads of History: 200 Years of Fashion and Embellished: Adornment Through the Ages. The first features a collection of American and European pieces from as far back as the

18th century that celebrate how fashion has affected history and culture through the years. The range of garments showcases a societal shift in values that has had a direct impact on fashion trends of the times. Likewise, Embellished also highlights European and American trends in the form of jewelry, hats and other accessories for women, men and children. Think ornate wares from the Rococo era through the shake-up

SCAD FASH CELEBRATES ITS FIRST ANNIVERSARY of the Roaring ’20s to post-World War II style—and everything in between. The shows are curated by SCAD Director of Fashion Exhibitions Rafael Gomes, with assistance from SCAD Professor of Fashion Marketing and Management Luca Lo Sicco. Many of the displayed items are courtesy of renowned Italian fashion collector and professor Raffaello Piraino, whose iconic collection comprises more than 5,000 pieces.

To date, the museum has attracted more than 20,000 visitors to see exhibitions from renowned designers such as Carolina Herrera and the late Oscar de la Renta. Like the university for which the museum is named, SCAD FASH has done impressive work in the short year since it opened to put Atlanta on the map as a capital for fashion in the South. n







Iconic games, fabulous prizes and a serious test of your luck—it’s all on the docket for The Price is Right Live, an interactive stage iteration of one of TV’s most beloved game shows, presented at the Fox Theatre.

PETE THE CAT April 4 - May 21 Center for Puppetry Arts Based on The New York Times bestselling series by James Dean, Pete the Cat (and his gaggle of friends, of course) will be cropping up for a handful of shows at the Center for Puppetry Arts, with a special performance on April 23 for National Autism Awareness that will have special features such as adjusted lighting, consistent sound levels and a quiet zone.

Eligible audience members will be invited to “Come on down!” for a chance to play some of the show’s classic games, including Plinko, spinning The Big Wheel and taking a chance during Showcase. Since the live show began more than a decade ago, it has sold more than 1.7 million tickets and given away more than $12 million in cash and prizes, including appliances, vacations and, of course, brand-new cars. Want to be a contestant? Beginning at 1 p.m. on the day of the show, 18-and-older attendees can register with a producer at the Fox Theatre to potentially be chosen. The selection decision will be similar to the casting process for a television show—but a themed t-shirt couldn’t hurt your chances, right? n

PAINTER AND POET: THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF ASHLEY BRYAN April 1 - Jan. 21, 2018 The High Museum of Art As part of the High’s series of picturebook art exhibitions, Painter and Poet will highlight more than 70 works of art from American author and illustrator Ashley Bryan’s 20 children’s books, along with paintings from his most recent title, Freedom Over Me, published in fall 2016. Bryan’s influences include African folktales, jazz and poetry.


Coming up...


41ST ANNUAL ATLANTA FILM FESTIVAL March 24 - April 2 Various locations Now in its 41st year and on the tail of last year’s record-breaking attendee numbers, the Atlanta Film Festival continues to be one of the largest and longestrunning festivals in the country, hosting dozens of film screenings across the city, along with Q&As and panels with both nascent and established film industry professionals. This year’s festival promises to be no different.

TASTE OF THE NATION FOR NO KID HUNGRY April 20 Southern Exchange at 200 Peachtree

As the longest-running festival in Atlanta, the annual Atlanta Dogwood Festival returns to Piedmont Park this year April 7-9 for its 81st installment, officially welcoming spring to the Southeast. As has been the case in years past, more than 200,000 attendees are slated to gather in the idyllic Mid-



town greenspace to take in the live music, gourmet eats, rides and games, eco-friendly vendors, a fine-artist market, the famed disc dog competition and plenty more. The Mimosa 5K will kick off the festival with a scenic course that winds through Midtown and ends with a Champagne-and-OJ cocktail celebration. The market will feature a juried selection of wares such as jewelry, paintings, sculptures, metalworks and photography from more

than 250 artists. Foodies have the option to snag a VIP ticket to the tented food and drink event on Saturday afternoon with local chefs, restaurants and breweries. (It always sells out, so don’t delay.) As a new addition this year, the festival also offers a Sunday brunch with live jazz in its VIP tent. Each year, this event seems to get better and better, which mean this year’s festival will surely be one for the books. n

In partnership with the Share Our Strength campaign that educates and assists kids in need with nutritious food, No Kid Hungry’s Taste of the Nation will bring together a bevy of chefs, local notables, wine connoisseurs and other culinary influencers to help raise funds to end childhood hunger in America. Those partaking in the exclusive VIP experience will enjoy a multi-course dinner with a curated selection of wine pairings.


Afternoon Delights

| CAPTURED BY: Mercede Vahdani | 

The story behind the snap: “[Atlantic Station’s Land of a Thousand Hills is] our favorite coffeehouse in the city, and if we can, we usually spend one of our weekend afternoons there. The cake is Chocolate Temptation—I think it’s their best—and we love their lattes.” | TWITTER: @mercedevahdani | INSTAGRAM: @meri_v | CAMERA: iPhone 7 |

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[Membership] has allowed me to make some wonderful memories for myself, my friends and my family and I am very excited to continue this tradition each year. — Ginger P. Section 112



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17th South March/April 2017  

17th South is an upscale lifestyle magazine serving Midtown, Westside, Virginia Highland, Inman Park, Grant Park, Ansley Park, Reynoldstown,...

17th South March/April 2017  

17th South is an upscale lifestyle magazine serving Midtown, Westside, Virginia Highland, Inman Park, Grant Park, Ansley Park, Reynoldstown,...