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MAY 2018 ISSUE 16 | FREE
Authentic Living in the Heart of Atlanta
Conversations with Chris Thile, Coy Bowles and Neighbor Lady—who to watch for on Atlanta's stages this spring
Beats and Bites at The Sound Table Jazz Takes Over Piedmont Park
Spring Escapes: Gwinnett and Charlotte
READY TO MOVE CLOSER TO THE MUSIC?
LET US FIND YOUR HOME IN THE CITY SHAKY KNEES MUSIC FESTIVAL May 4-6 | Central Park
CANDLER PARK MUSIC & FOOD FESTIVAL June 1-2 | Candler Park
SHAKY BEATS MUSIC FESTIVAL May 11-13 | Central Park
TUNES FROM THE TOMBS June 9 | Oakland Cemetery
ATLANTA JAZZ FESTIVAL May 26-27 | Piedmont Park
SUMMERFEST June 9 â€“ 10 | Virginia - Highland
If you are ready to strike a new chord and real estate is your passion, contact me for an introduction to our happy place. LESLIE JOHNSON, Sr. VP/Managing Broker Intown Office: 404-897-3462 Leslie.Johnson@HarryNorman.com
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CONTENTS MAY 2018 7 Editor’s Letter 9 LATEST
The newest restaurants, shops and other spots to arrive on the scene
17 In-Town Escape Exploring Gwinnett's international side
18 Out of Town
A tech-forward Charlotte hotel
Inside a madeover 1930 Midtown bungalow
Gallery curator Monica Campana
Actress Bethany DeZelle
Montane Spring Water's Hollis Callaway
24 Restaurant Review
Good beats and bites at The Sound Table
What to see and do when you’re off the clock
All your sake-drinking essentials
28 Fresh Bites
Gardening at Souper Jenny Westside
Cover Story 30 Sound Check
Three acts sound off on what’s shaking up ATL’s music circuit this spring
Tips for workplace wellness
Photos: Nathan Bolster: 12, 30. Stephen Payne: 15, 20. Erik Meadows: 26.
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dozen or so years ago, when I was in my early 20s, a friend who shared a mutual love of music burned for me a CD of several of his favorite songs, each by a different artist. (A modern-day mix tape, if you will.) I was on a quest for new music, and the thought of a CD filled entirely with foreign voices and lyrics thrilled me. I remember playing that CD on repeat, and I know that I liked several, if not all, of the songs he'd put on it. But now, all these years later, I remember only a single one from that CDâ€”the plucky notes of a mandolin, the yearning violin melody, the singer's thin, clear voice. The song was "The Lighthouse's Tale" by a band called Nickel Creek, and that high, clear voice belonged to its lead singer, Chris Thile. Even all these years later, it's one of my favorites to cue up, whether I'm in the car, cooking in the kitchen or in need of a mid-afternoon musical pick-me-up. Needless to say, I was excited when I heard that Thile is coming to Atlanta's Fox Theatre on May 19, not with Nickel Creek, but in his still somewhat new gig as host of "Live from Here," the legendary American Public Media variety show (it was formerly called "A Prairie Home Companion"). After all these years, I wondered, what would it be like to hear that voice in person? I'm excited to find out, but I also wanted to know more about the man himself, so I dispatched writer Jodi Cash, who talked with Thile about taking over the helm of the popular radio show and what he's looking forward to about his Atlanta visit. You can read their conversation in our cover story. In that same spirit of getting to know the personalities behind the music and lyrics we love, Cash also chatted with members of the local band Neighbor Lady about their journey, and Lia Picard talked to Decatur-based Coy Bowles of the Zac Brown Band about his favorite live-music venue in the city. I hope their stories will inspire you to go out this spring and enjoy live music, whether old favorite acts or new groups you're just getting to know. Enjoy!
Lindsay Lambert Dayâ€‚ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
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MINDFUL MINUTE Westside Yoga’s new, larger studio offers offers more room to facilitate more specialized classes
ith a new studio offering double the space, Westside Yoga aims to expand its offerings and share yoga with more people. Amber Barry discovered yoga as a form of physical therapy 20 years ago when recovering from a car crash, and she never looked back. In 2001, she became a certified yoga teacher, and 14 years later, she opened her own studio, Westside Yoga. “Yoga helped me from a physical therapy perspective, but it also helped me manage stress better and sleep better at night,” says Barry. “I’ve learned that yoga is the best medicine, and it can help everybody. I wanted to help
other people experience that.” Since its opening, Westside Yoga quickly outgrew two locations—its original studio on Howell Mill Road and its second in Howell Mill Village—with classes in the one-room space waitlisted more often than not. This spring, Westside moved into a new, 3,000-square-foot home with a lobby and two classrooms in the same shopping center. “Moving into a bigger space is about trying to reach more people,” says Barry. “Now that I have two rooms, we’ll be able to offer our hot, sweaty yoga classes and our more restorative classes at the same time. You can just know there’s always a 6 p.m. yoga class and then de-
cide what kind of mood you’re in that day.” Barry also plans to expand class offerings to include pop-up novelty classes— think hip-hop, glow-in-the-dark and flashback flow classes— as well as different sessions designed for teenagers and families. Westside also offers free classes at Park Tavern on the second Monday of every month at 6:30 p.m. “I always say, when all else fails, do your yoga,” Barry says. “It’s the one, really solid grounding part of my life; when everything else is crazy, I know it will make things better, and I know it will make things better for other people, too.” n westsideyoga.com
OPENINGS & ARRIVALS
Cross-border, e-payment giant PPRO Group opens U.S. headquarters in Atlanta
Courtesy ai3 Inc
Adjoining restaurant concepts Aix and Tin Tin Wine Bar highlight Provençal cuisine in West Midtown Stockyards, home to Aix and Tin Tin Wine Bar. Below: Nick Leahy
est Midtown’s adaptive reuse property, Stockyards—home to Donetto and The Painted Duck—welcomes two additional culinary concepts this year: the adjoining Aix Restaurant and Tin Tin Wine Bar. Helmed by Saltyard’s Chef Nick Leahy, both concepts borrow inspiration from Southern France. “My family comes from Provence, and my first food memories and the things that inspired me to cook come from trips there as a child,” says Leahy. Aix, which takes its name from the French city, will offer a full menu
Urban Luxury Luxury meets lifestyle at Old Fourth Ward townhomes The Residences at Studioplex
ith the Atlanta BeltLine such a fixture of the city, real estate along the trail has become a hot commodity. The Residences at Studioplex, a new development of 19 townhomes by Thrive Homes, offers homebuyers the amenities of luxury living in an urban setting off the BeltLine’s Eastside trail.
“The Residences are a unique opportunity for homeowners to enjoy oneof-a-kind luxury living while nestled
of Provençal food, classic French cuisine’s lighter, seasonally driven cousin. Think less butter and cream and more seafood, vegetables, olive oil and citrus, with the menu comprised of dishes such as bouillabaisse with local seafood, roasted tomato gazpacho with lump crab and English pea salad, and tarte tropézienne, a dessert created in St. Tropez. While Aix offers a refined atmosphere and traditional dining format, Tin Tin is “a little more whimsical and funky,” says Leahy. Named after his great aunt, the wine bar’s walls will showcase stencils of her handwritten recipe book. Guests can enjoy small plates, including
vegetable tarts, cheeses and crudo. “I think the concept fits into West Midtown, which is a part of town to which people travel to eat,” says Leahy. “It's great to be in an area with so many other chefs in close proximity; it makes it an exciting area in which to cook.” n
in an area filled with incredible food, culture and lifestyle,” says Kirstin Hobday, chief operating officer at Thrive Homes. “We were intrigued by the fact that these homes literally have a front-row seat to everything that’s going on with the BeltLine.” Within walking distance of Krog Street Market, the townhomes, which start at $1.2 million, sit directly above a lineup of new, specialized retail and restaurants, including Beetnix Juice Bar, Butter & Cream ice cream, Nina & Rafi pizza, a cocktail bar from 18:21 Bitters and Dancing Dogs Yoga. Each home boasts four bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms, two interior fireplaces with limestone mantels, custom kitchens with 10-foot ceilings, wide-plank custom flooring, handcrafted millwork and a private two-car garage. Many of the designs incorporate brick and limestone exteriors, large windows and metal sunshades, and were inspired by Buck-
head’s Restoration Hardware building. “Every floor of the home has good interaction with the BeltLine,” says Hobday. Several pivoting doors open up to allow indoor-outdoor interaction, while Juliet balconies, porches and private rooftop terraces offer panoramic views. “The lock-and-leave nature of a townhome and a gated community, combined with the location, is pretty rare,” Hobday says. “We can really see this becoming a focal point on the BeltLine, adding to what’s already there and becoming a destination.” n residencesatstudioplex.com
In the midst of the feeding frenzy that’s come with Amazon’s search for a second headquarters—and Atlanta’s place as a contender— the city has positioned itself as a prosperous tech hub in its own right. Case in point: London-based cross-border, e-payment company PPRO Group has opened its new U.S. headquarters in Midtown. “Atlanta consistently tops national lists for booming tech cities, and the area is definitely living up to the hype,” says Steve Villegas, vice president of partner management at PPRO. “Tech centers like Atlanta Tech Village, Georgia Tech, Ponce City Market and Midtown are becoming anchors for Atlanta’s tech scene and fueling explosive growth that encompasses startups, tech giants and everything in between.” PPRO, which provides access to local payment methods across the globe, selected Atlanta based upon this growth in tech, as well as the fact many of its partners are also based in the metro area, and direct flights to London from Atlanta's airport are available. “The Midtown location PPRO chose is ideal, as we are sitting in a sizable tech hub with potential resources from Georgia Tech and beyond,” says Villegas. “As we grow the Atlanta office, we are confident we will be able to find the talent in such a fin-tech-savvy city.” In Europe, PPRO has more than 200 employees, and the company aims to add more in the U.S. as well, staffing several new roles designed to support its growing U.S. partner base, along with positions that mirror those in the European office. “We anticipate having dozens of employees here in the future,” Villegas says. “Atlanta has positioned itself as fierce competition in the battle for tech companies, students and job seekers.”
ppro.com PPRO Group's new Midtown headquarters
SHELTER n PEOPLE n FITNESS IN-TOWN ESCAPES n OUT OF TOWN
TOWN AND COUNTRY
S CA D FAS H .O R G
Photos: Nathan Bolster
Rustic touches and sophisticated appeal meld together in Midtown
# S CA D FAS H
Town and Country See how an interior designer turned a 1930 bungalow into a hidden-gem Midtown hideaway
n 2002, Clay Snider wasn’t looking to purchase any property when he discovered a home in Midtown just a few blocks from Piedmont Park. He literally fell over the “for sale” sign in front of the house one day while taking a walk and talking on his phone. When he looked up, he was captivated by what he saw. “It was run down; nothing had been done to it in 25 years, and I wanted to put my mark on it,” says Snider, an interior designer and owner of Clay Snider Interiors in Midtown. The home, a 1930 bungalow, is connected via a garage to a carriage house and two apartments, both of which sit behind the house. A previous owner had added the other
buildings to accommodate a large family, and Snider liked the idea of having rental property. Snider purchased the lot and set to work on the 1,500-square-foot home with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen, a living room and a dining room. He removed a wall in the living room to expand the space and create a foyer, remodeled the kitchen with a commercial stove, installed new marble in the bathrooms and created a front courtyard reminiscent of those found in New Orleans. While the architecture itself didn’t present any obstacles to the remodel, Snider did have to learn how to work with a small space, especially when it came to storage. “You have to be creative with where to place things because the rooms are not huge, and the closets are not big,” he says. It’s been a challenge to think outside the
| STORY: Karon Warren | PHOTOS: Nathan Bolster |
box.” For example, Snider makes sure all furniture has usable drawers and/ or shelves. “In the kitchen I use some pots as decorative pieces, but they can also be used to cook with,” he says. Snider furnished the home with a variety of pieces found at estate sales and Scott Antique Markets, with a few family furnishings thrown in. For the living room he chose an ultra-suede couch, and he put leather chairs in the dining room. Because he rents the property out via Airbnb, he wanted pieces that were easy to clean. In an innovative turn, he used pleated painters’ drop cloths for drapes in the living room. Throughout the home, Snider’s love of art is evident with an interesting mix of drawings and paintings. In particular, he loves the monkey portrait in the hallway that he found online at estatesales.net. In the foyer,
he built a themed collection of men’s headshots. And in the foyer by the back door, a collection of spaniels pays homage to Snider’s own Springer spaniels. Like the furnishings, much of the artwork came from Scott and other estate sales. A particular favorite is the portrait in the front foyer of an old man wearing overalls, which Snider received from a design client. “He looks like my grandfather,” he says. Giving a nod to pop art, Snider also loves the floor-toceiling Coca-Cola bottle sign that resides in one corner of the living room. He spotted it at a “junk store” in North Georgia and brought it home. Choosing the color palette for the home was a no-brainer for Snider. He used Farrow & Ball’s Light Blue No. 22, his favorite color. “Every room is a shade of this color,” he says. “It’s calming, relaxing.” The remainder of the
Opposite: Snider created a comfortable, welcoming environment in the living room with fun touches like the Coca-Cola sign in the corner. Right: Taking full advantage of every surface in the dining room, Snider carried the grasscloth up the walls and across the ceiling. Below: The drawings in the back foyer pay homage to Snider’s own Springer spaniels.
Right: During the kitchen renovation, Snider took the opportunity to install a commercial stove.
color palette includes beige and white, which is not limited to the walls. For example, in the dining room, Snider took the grasscloth beyond the walls and across the ceiling, adding texture throughout the space. “People forget about their ceilings and want to paint them white,” he says. “I hate a white ceiling. I either paint them a shade of the wall, or a color or use wallpaper.” In 2016, Snider listed the home on Airbnb, and it’s proved to be popular.
In fact, last year he had a booking rate of approximately 70 percent for the entire year. “That gives me time to make sure any maintenance issues that come up can be addressed,” he says. Renting out the property has resulted in one situation Snider didn’t imagine: having to constantly change out bedding and towels. “I never thought I’d own so many towels and pillows,”
he says. “I have an entire little room (in his home across the street) dedicated to linens and extra blankets.” While Snider is satisfied with the changes he made inside the home, it’s the outside he really loves. Surrounded by fencing and lush landscaping that includes five live oak trees, the front courtyard is Snider’s favorite spot. The centerpiece is a multi-tiered
fountain and a gazebo filled with a hodgepodge of outdoor furniture, providing a perfect gathering spot for visitors. (The fountain and gazebo were added to the courtyard after we photographed the home for this issue.) “Although it’s small, it’s been great for entertaining,” he says.
“The home contains everything I love: both rustic and sophisticated touches.” CLAY SNIDER
DESIGN DETAILS Interior design
Clay Snider Interiors
facebook.com/claysniderinteriors Above: Snider’s favorite space is the outdoor courtyard, which he says is the perfect gathering spot with friends. Left: Snider furnished the bedrooms with pieces from estate sales and Scott Antique Markets. Below: Although the master bedroom is small—not uncommon for a 1930s-era house—Snider found several furnishings to give the room sophistication.
In fact, the courtyard attracts quite a few sightseers. Snider can share many tales of people peering through the Egyptian doors that hide the courtyard from the sidewalk. Once, he looked out the window and saw some folks in a “full-on photo shoot” posing next to the fountain and taking pictures. Others have asked
him if they could rent the courtyard for a wedding (that’s a firm “no”). When describing the theme of the house, Snider jokingly calls it “town and country.” Having grown up on a farm in Americus, he says the home contains everything he loves—both rustic and sophisticated touches. “I feel like I’ve done as much as I can without [adding another floor], and we’re not doing that,” he says. n
Monkey portrait - hallway estatesales.net Viking appliances
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Scott Antique Markets scottantiquemarket.com Paint
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g n i Spr
e f i L
An artful experience
Hollis Callaway draws on family heritage to create a new beverage
| STORY: H.M. Cauley | | PHOTO: Stephen Payne |
efore you ask, yes, Hollis Callaway is part of that family whose name graces the gardens in Pine Mountain. His great-grandparents founded the 2,500-acre, Harris County destination about 90 minutes southwest of Midtown that’s known for its butterfly house, beach, spa, golf course and annual “Fantasy in Lights” display. Callaway, 32, grew up near Blue Springs, the natural water source that inspired Callaway Gardens. “My great-grandparents visited the spring and fell in love, so they bought it and a lot of the land around it,” he says. “That spring was the inspiration for the gardens.” His grandfather began bottling the spring water about 15 years ago, and his father now runs the company that bottles Callaway Blue. Initially, Callaway took a path away from that family enterprise, opting instead for the world of financial operations. But the entrepreneurial itch was persistent. “I wanted to do something related to the family business, but I also wanted to strike out on my own,” says the Inman Park resident. “So I came up with Montane as a distinct brand of spring water.” While his father’s company bottles conventional still water, Callaway’s concept is a sparkling version available in the just-water flavor as well as Meyer lemon honeysuckle and cucumber lime.
An eight-pack of 12-ounce cans retails for $5.99. “I was making healthier eating decisions and drinking a lot of water myself, so it clicked: Why aren’t we doing this?” he says. “Sparkling water is really popular now, and we have a much better water source than some others. I started with about 15 flavor combinations and tasted them with friends and family before deciding to go with things you could find in the South. And part of it was nostalgia from being a kid who picked honeysuckle flowers.” Montane originates from the same spring that captivated his greatgrandparents decades ago and still produces 500 gallons per minute. “I can go on for a long time about the
unique qualities of the spring and the habitats around it,” Callaway says, “but ultimately, it comes down to what’s inside the can. And that speaks for itself when people try it.” From his first product run last May, Callaway has expanded Montane into area stores, restaurants and coffee houses. He has about 140 accounts so far, and his goal is to cover the South. But he’s still managing a steep learning curve. “My corporate background was very different,” he says. “I’ve had to learn about branding, packing, distribution and marketing. I’ve spent a lot of time putting cans in people’s hands and telling them the story of the spring, and it’s been picking up steam more and more every month.”
As the product’s only salesperson who works out of an office in the Switchyards downtown, Callaway has found that launching a new product takes at least 12 hours a day. “Fortunately, it’s something I’m passionate about,” he says. And when leisure time does beckon, it may mean a trip back to the springs where it all began. “The spring comes up into a pool on the side of a mountain, and my great-grandparents built up the area around it with a pavilion, gardens and diving boards into the pool,” he says. “We still have family weddings and reunions there. But right now, I’m just married to Montane.” n
Old Fourth Ward’s corporate wellness startup takes an active approach to life, starting at the office | STORY: Juliette Cheatham | PHOTOS: Stephen Payne |
The Cubicle Cure
ork-from-home policies, in-office catering, pet-friendly campuses— corporations are more competitive than ever in an attempt to win employee loyalty. By offering stressrelief training, onsite group workouts and even healthy cooking demonstrations, Old Fourth Ward startup Fitspot is dedicated to transforming the office to a place of creative restoration, and redefining cubicle culture to resuscitate employees who feel suffocated by the often sedentary workplace lifestyle. According to the Harvard Business Review, 80% of employees would choose better benefits over a pay raise, and Fitspot is finding new ways to give them what they want (think deeptissue massage after a stressful work call). By utilizing insurance-issued wellness dollars, corporations are able
to engage their employees and create the most desirable workplace possible in a mutually beneficial way. “We are seeing talent tend to go to companies that have these benefits,” says Sammy Courtright (pictured above), Fitspot’s founder and COO. “The number one way to attract talent is wellness.” Here, Courtright suggests small ways to make improvements to your health during the work day:
What are some healthy snack tips to keep energized throughout the day? I’m a big fan of snacking! Try hard boiled eggs or almonds, or even crack open a can of tuna and add some fresh lemon juice—anything protein-based. How do you fight those pesky afternoon sugar cravings that have us all crawling to the vending machine for a candy bar around 3 p.m.? You will experience cravings if you’re
not eating a big enough breakfast or not consuming enough nutrients to keep your body satisfied. To kick start your day, find a way to incorporate a complex carb. A favorite of mine is oatmeal and fruit. Do you have any advice for those looking to get in shape but unsure where to start? Just do something! Anything is better than nothing. We are all so quick to hate on ourselves if we cheat on our diets or skip the gym. Be sure you‘re setting realistic goals; don’t set yourself up for immediate failure. Of eating, exercising and stress relief, which is the most important healthy habit to start adjusting? What you put into your body is undoubtedly the most important choice you make all day. Healthy foods will keep hormones and brain chemistry balanced while battling depression and anxiety.
What are a few ways to stay active at work when faced with endless desk tasks? Walking meetings are a great way to transform a traditionally sedentary activity into something active. If it’s a conference call that you have scheduled, throw on your headphones and do a few laps around the office. If the meeting is with a coworker, ask if they want to go for a stroll. How influential is stress relief and exercise to our productivity at work? Our brains consume so many calories! If you don’t produce an outlet for all that brain power and stress, your mind will not function at its optimum efficiency. If you feel overwhelmed, just walking around the block will work wonders for your productivity. n
For more tips on how to cultivate healthy habits in the office and at home, follow the Fitspot Blog at fitspotwellness.com/blog
Photo: Caroline Eubanks
Above: A Korean barbecue feast at The Stone Grill in Duluth
Photo: Caroline Eubanks
Left: BAPS Siri Swaminarayan Mandir was once the largest Hindu temple in the United States.
Gwinnett County is home to one of Atlanta’s great, yet lesser-visited, multicultural neighborhoods | STORY: Caroline Eubanks |
ften overshadowed by Buford Highway, Atlanta’s well-known international culinary corridor, Duluth is home to the city’s version of Koreatown and is well worth exploring in its own right. The towns of Gwinnett County, including Duluth and Lilburn, have dozens of Korean restaurants, as well as unique cultural offerings, including one of the country’s largest Hindu temples. Here’s how to while away a day (or two) in this internationally inspired area.
Exploring Gwinnett’s surprising side The best way to experience the area’s Korean eateries is by joining Explore Gwinnett’s Seoul of the South tour on May 12 (the visitors’ bureau runs the tours quarterly). It visits a number of locations and includes food, transportation and an expert guide. While you’re in Duluth, spend a few hours relaxing at Jeju Sauna and Spa (see our November/December 2017 issue), a traditional Korean spa with steam rooms, hot pools and saunas. Entry price to Jeju lasts for 24 hours, so you can stay as long as you like. Over in Lilburn, you can take a tour of the impressive BAPS Siri Swaminarayan Mandir, formerly
the largest Hindu temple in America. Built over the course of 17 months in 2007, the temple is decorated with 34,000 hand-carved pieces of Turkish limestone, Italian marble and Indian pink sandstone. The temple offers self-guided tours, and certain daily ceremonies are open to the public. Test your singing chops at Gang Nam Karaoke, one of the top-rated karaoke bars in Gwinnett County. Named for a district of Seoul popularized by Korean artist Psy’s hit song, “Gangnam Style,” this spot has spacious private rooms and a selection of cocktails and bites like the ones you might find in the Korean city. It’s located off Pleasant Hill Road near plenty of restaurants for a pre-karaoke feast.
Tastes of the world Speaking of a feast, the communities of Gwinnett have a type of food for just about every taste. Pleasant Hill Road and Jimmy Carter Boulevard, in particular, are full of locally owned restaurants for adventurous eaters. Ask someone what they know about Korean food and they’ll likely mention Korean barbecue, a meal made of meats and vegetables cooked over a shared grill. There are plenty in Duluth, including The Stone Grill, which is new-school with friendly
servers and K-Pop videos playing on the televisions. In addition to meat options such as steak and pork belly, be sure to try the egg soufflé. You’ll see why it’s been praised by everyone from the Travel Channel to the Korean Food Foundation, an organization that was established in 2010 as a means of increasing awareness of Korean food worldwide. East Pearl Seafood in Duluth is a Chinese restaurant known for its tanks of live sea creatures just waiting to make it to your plate. Dim sum is the main draw, and the restaurant’s soup dumplings, or xiao long bao, can’t be missed. Indulge your sweet tooth with the Instagram-famous macarons from Duluth’s Mac Lab Bakery & Cafe. The most famous of their macarons are designed to look like unicorns, complete with rainbow horns. The confections have been featured by the Food Network, Refinery 29 and NPR, and they taste like Fruity Pebbles. The pastry chefs make this style in limited quanities, but other flavors, including matcha, passionfruit and salted caramel, are also available. Jeju Spa and BAPS Siri Swaminarayan Mandir also each have their own restaurants, should you feel peckish during your days there. Jeju’s food
Colorful macarons at Mac Lab Bakery & Cafe
VISIT BAPS Siri Swaminarayan Mandir baps.org/Global-Network/ North-America/Atlanta.aspx East Pearl Seafood 678.380.0899 Gang Nam Karaoke 470.268.3498 Jeju Sauna & Spa jejusauna.com Mac Lab Bakery & Cafe maclabbakery.com Seoul of the South Tour exploregwinnett.org/seoulofthesouth Sonesta Gwinnett Place sonesta.com/us/georgia/duluth/ sonesta-gwinnett-place-atlanta The Stone Grill Korean BBQ & Grill jwkim83.wixsite.com/mysite
court serves grilled pork, spicy rice cakes and other Korean fare, while BAPS offers authentic vegetarian Indian fare.
The Suite Life One of the best places to stay in Duluth may be the Sonesta Gwinnett Place on Gwinnett Place Drive, which houses more than 100 full-service and extended-stay suites. Rooms have coffee makers and flat-screen televisions, while the extended-stay section has kitchenettes and is pet-friendly. In-house restaurant ArtBar serves up bites such as brisket tacos, as well as craft cocktails. Grab breakfast at The Grapevine before swimming a few laps in the indoor and outdoor pools. n
OUT OF TOWN
Photo: Courtesy charlottesgotalot.com
Photos: Rick Lew
Head north to experience Charlotte Marriott City Center, an innovation lab hotel
Above: Coco & The Director is the hotel’s on-site coffee shop. Left: Stoke serves elevated, seasonal dishes in a modern dining room.
| STORY: Hope S. Philbrick |
Carolina Cool S
tay at the Charlotte Marriott City Center and you’re not just in the heart of North Carolina’s capital city; you’re inside an innovation lab. This is no typical hotel; it’s the brand’s gold standard.
Renovated with modern tech and sleek décor, the property functions as a live-action hospitality experiment where Marriott tests new concepts and uses guest feedback to tweak anything deemed less than ideal. For example, guests didn’t love the new computer nesting tables, so traditional desks replaced them. Successes, like a mobile key app, will be fine-tuned and rolled out to other Marriott locations. “Beta buttons” throughout the property make it easy to offer immediate feedback. Like the personalized check-in process? Tap the button. Like how easy it is to find a place to plug in? Tap the button. Enjoy the free snacks in the M Club? Tap the button. And so on. A screen
in the lobby broadcasts which innovations are trending. The building feels new but was originally constructed in the 1980s. The open, main floor has an urban, residential vibe. Guest rooms have open closets, seating areas separate from the comfy beds, and showers with dual water jets. A sense of place is conveyed via local art, pottery and food products, plus staff members’ warm Southern hospitality. Want to get active? Head to the fitness center for more than 600 digital training sessions at the click of a button, plus local running and biking routes selected by area athletes. Dining and entertainment options are on the main level sprawling beyond the lobby. Stoke Restaurant, Stoke Bar and Coco & The Director have all become community hubs. The chance to dine at Stoke is reason enough to drive up I-85 to Charlotte. Helmed by Chef Chris Coleman, Stoke showcases fresh ingredients sourced locally as much as possible. The open kitchen and
relaxed atmosphere lure as many locals as hotel guests. Stoke has evolved slightly since it first opened. “We’re still very relaxed and approachable—our dishes generally use five or six ingredients,” says Coleman. “But we took the food up a bit to play around with more interesting techniques and refined plating. We’re still a seasonal restaurant, but we try to elevate the menu each time we change it.” This spring, look for creative pasta dishes and new influences. “We have some new cooks bringing their different voices to the menu as well,” says Coleman. As one example, a new cook from Kentucky is introducing mutton with a Worcestershire-based barbecue sauce. Coco & The Director, the on-site coffee shop, features single-origin, locally roasted beans. In addition to your favorite coffee drink, you can grab soup or a sandwich. Charlotte Marriott City Center is a place to relax, play, eat, tap into trends and share your opinions in 3-D reality—not just online. n
8 FUN TO-DO’S IN CHARLOTTE Venture beyond the hotel, and whatever you’re in the mood to do, Charlotte’s got it. 1. Visit any of the more than 40 craft breweries 2. Learn the city’s role during the American Revolution on Uptown’s Charlotte Liberty Walk charlottelibertywalk.com 3. Laugh through a tour with Funny Bus Comedy City Tour funnybus.net 4. Tackle Class II-IV rapids at the U.S. National Whitewater Center usnwc.org 5. Drive or ride in an authentic NASCAR vehicle at Richard Petty Driving Experience drivepetty.com 6. Ride the world’s tallest and fastest giga coaster at Carowinds carowinds.com 7. Explore the protected wilderness at McDowell Nature Center and Preserve mecknc.gov/ParkandRec 8. Tour exhibits at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art bechtler.org
VISIT Charlotte Marriott City Center marriott.com Visit Charlotte charlottesgotalot.com
Photo: Stephen Payne
CREATORS n HEADLINERS
FROM STREETSCAPES TO GALLERY WALLS Monica Campana makes a creative move
s e p a c s t e e r t S From
Living Walls founder Monica Campana takes the helm of a new Little Five Points gallery
onica Campana’s breakthrough moment as an artist didn’t come when she had a formal gallery opening or made a big sale. Instead, it came 10 years ago when, as an Atlanta newcomer, she was part of a street art project. “One day, I went out with friends who are street artists and started putting things on the street,” she recalls. “That’s how I became connected with Atlanta and started to understand the urban landscape. I began to feel connected to people as they
| STORY: H.M. Cauley | PHOTO: Stephen Payne |
commented on the art we were putting on the streets. And that’s when I realized my art actually touched someone. Street art made me feel like I had a voice and was connected.” Now, as curator and director of recently opened The Gallery in Little Five Points, Campana is building strong connections with artists around the globe as well as art lovers in Atlanta. In fact, it was the Poncey-Highland resident’s connection to street art that got her the gig. The Gallery is adjacent to Wish, a Moreland Avenue boutique owned by Lauren Amos, who knew Campana through her work. “Lauren also has a foundation that I’ve been connected with for a
while,” Campana says. “She’s seen the work I’ve done, and when she knew she was going to open this creative space, she reached out to me to be the gallery curator.” Campana has built a reputation in the city’s art community through her work with Living Walls, a nonprofit she co-founded nine years ago that grew out of those early forays into street art. She and a friend developed a proposal around street art that was encouraged by the creative talent at Eyedrum, the downtown community gallery and performance space. “We had no money and no clue how to make it happen,” Campana says. “But we created a name, Liv-
ing Walls, then set up a website to get artists excited about coming to Atlanta to paint murals. The first year we hosted 18 artists from all over, and it became a full-on arts nonprofit that’s created more than 150 murals.” Through Living Walls, Campana expanded the artistic contacts that will come into play as a new gallery curator. “I have a chance to showcase artists who have been on my radar,” she says. “Some of them I’ve wanted to work with for some time.” Campana also plans to give a crosssection of artists the same chance she had to engage and connect with the city’s art audience. But she wants to do it in unexpected ways. “I’m trying to break away from traditional gallery rules and bring more diversity into this space,” she says. “Most of my artists here are female, of color or queer. I took that idea from the audience from Little Five. At the same time, I want artists who think outside the box. I believe if the work is different, maybe presented differently and looking at social issues, we’ll have something that’s more responsive to our times.” With The Gallery’s debut in February, Campana established that objective. And the public has responded: More than 300 showed up to explore the first show, a retrospective of graffiti and hip-hop photographs by Martha Cooper. “I picked her work because it’s focused on urban living,” says Campana, “and it was amazing to see so many people turn out to see it.” On display this month are works by mixed-media artist Pastiche Lumumba, who explores the role of the internet in society and other pop culture themes. Look for new exhibitions each month. n
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tlanta actress Bethany DeZelle discovered her knack for performing arts at a young age, taking acting classes and serving as a member of her community theater when she was in elementary school in Alabama. But it wasn’t until after graduating from Auburn University with an MBA and working a corporate job for several years that she took the leap to pursue acting full time. “I was working full-time for a coffee and tea company, and was still performing at night in a theater,” DeZelle says. “About three years into that I decided, ‘OK, let’s try something else; it’s time to do this.’” She applied to the Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD) with plans to pursue her MFA in performing arts. “Once I got accepted I knew it was time for me to fly,” she says. And fly she did. DeZelle moved from Birmingham, Alabama, to Savannah and immersed herself in SCAD’s creative community. “I learned a lot about myself, and I learned a lot about being an artist,” she says. Toward the end of her program, she landed a coveted spot in SCAD’s acting showcase that took a select group of students on tour through Los Angeles, New York and Atlanta, where they had the chance to show their talents to top agents, casting directors and key industry players. From there, DeZelle signed with talent agents and embarked on a year-and-a-half of auditions that led to project after project. In 2016, she landed a speaking role as a woman who encounters the character Eleven on an episode of Netflix’s Stranger Things, which was filming in the Atlanta area, where DeZelle now resides. This fall she’s in the film The Best of Enemies that was shot in the Southeast and stars Oscar nominee Taraji P. Henson and Oscar winner Sam Rockwell. “It’s an awesome thing that actors don’t have to necessarily be based in L.A. or New York anymore to have access to those types of roles,” she says. DeZelle says it’s equally important to stay grounded in her craft, a feat she achieves by fostering close relationships with like-minded creatives.
Class Act Bethany DeZelle finds roots in Atlanta’s thriving film industry and creative community She’s maintained ties with her SCAD professors and mentors, including Dean of the School of Entertainment Arts Andra Reeve-Rabb and Performing Arts Chair Mark Tymchyshyn, who invited her back to serve as a lecturer at SCAD Savannah and a graduate mentor at SCAD Atlanta and Savannah in 2017. Her advice for students and aspiring creatives? “You have to give yourself a little bit of grace because everyone has to start somewhere. A lot of people think, ‘Oh I’m gonna go
take this class, do one audition and then book a series regular on this huge hit NBC show, which is hardly ever the case,” she says. “It’s a marathon; it’s definitely not a sprint.” DeZelle has also found a sense of community in Atlanta’s flourishing film industry. “Atlanta has an amazing network of acting schools, actors, crew, Facebook groups—anything and everything you can think of because the Atlanta market has grown so much,” she says. “It’s so important to get into that kind of network of artists,
| STORY: Claire Ruhlin |
not just networking with the producers, directors, managers and agents— that’s all important, too—but creating a community of artists is important.” But DeZelle eschews Atlanta’s newfound nickname, the Hollywood of the South. “I think our actors, our talent pool and our crew pool can stand on their own,” she says. “Do you have to audition or bring in actors from L.A. and New York if you have such a great pool of talent here? My answer is no, I don’t think you have to because we’ve got it going on.” n
REVIEW n LIQUIDS n FRESH BITES
BEATS AND BITES
Photos: Erik Meadows
A sensory feast at The Sound Table
s t a Be
s e t i B & L
A toast to good music, cocktails and food at The Sound Table
ate one recent Saturday afternoon, I called The Sound Table in the Old Fourth Ward to get reservations that evening. “What time do you want to come?” a man with a friendly voice asked.
The place opens at 7 p.m. every Wednesday through Sunday. “Can we get a table for two at 7?” “That won’t be a problem,” he promised without even asking for my name. Indeed, we were the first to arrive. We were graciously seated and ceremoniously presented menus, then our server proceeded to spray industrial-smelling cleaner on all the tables around us before wiping them down. He already knew what we would discover: The Sound Table gets busy in later hours.
Oxtail and grits with stewed collards. Previous page: crispy catfish sliders
“Would you like to order a cocktail?” he asked. Fourteen options are presented on the bar menu, along with about a dozen beers and a dozen wines. “What’s the most popular drink?” I asked. “Unvanquished,” he said without hesitation. It’s made with bourbon, pine liqueur, maple syrup, lime, orange bitters and cardamom. We ordered one, along with a Darker Half, a mix of rye whiskey, sherry, cocao, dry curacao, lemon and ancho chile. While we pondered the food menu, a group arrived and sat across the aisle. Since nobody else was yet in the dining room, I couldn’t help but overhear them tell the server that they’d rushed here straight from the airport on the advice of a friend. This was their first stop after arriving from Egypt. Both drinks arrived and proved to be wellbalanced, interesting, delicious and sophisticated. Unvanquished’s spicy, earthy notes are
| STORY: Hope S. Philbrick | | PHOTOS: Erik Meadows |
softened by fresh, sweet tones. Darker Half maintains a spicier edge with a throat-tingling heat that dominates the finish, an effect that’s especially appealing when paired with food. As people trickled in, the place began to reveal its personality. Candlelight, music and a pulsing beat set a let’s-get-to-know-y’all mood. Our laid-back server was friendly and remained attentive, even if he never quite smiled. When asked for food recommendations, he said, “You can’t go wrong with any choice,” rather than offer a hearty endorsement of one specific dish. “It’s a carefully curated menu,” he explained, waving his finger down the list of 15 small-plate options. “It’s not a seasonal menu; it doesn’t often change.” Later, I’d learn from Chef Manny Ibarra, who’s helmed the kitchen for about three years, that in his tenure only two dishes have never changed: the equally addictive Belgianstyle frites, served with house-made mayon-
Left: Smoked wings with dollops of smoked chipotle aioli Right: A piledhigh lamb burger is accompanied by a side of crispy fries. Below: Peppercorn pan jus adds just-right spice to grilled hangar steak.
Right: PEI mussels are doused in diavola sauce and served with a crusty baguette (not pictured).
Above: Roasted cauliflower and Brussels sprouts are dressed with lime jalapeño, rice wine and cilantro.
naise; and cauliflower and Brussels with lime jalapeño, rice wine and cilantro. Other dishes have rotated in and out based on popularity. Shrimp chorizo tacos top the popularity chart, with good reason: An order includes three tacos, each about three bites in size. Savory yet sweet-tart, they’re finger-licking good. Oxtail and grits is my personal favorite. Creamy, stone-ground grits prove the perfect textural and flavor match to the savory braised beef poured on top. Each bite deserves its own “mmmmm.” PEI mussels are drenched in a spicy red diavola sauce so yummy you’ll be glad for the crusty baguette that accompanies the dish to sop up every drop. No need to debate between the crispy catfish sliders and lamb burger: Order both, and good luck picking a favorite. Hangar steak is cooked to order, served in a generous portion, and, like most every dish, easy to share and consume in a social setting.
Right: Don't forget to order cocktails, of course.
On a second visit, we arrived on a Wednesday at 8 p.m. to discover that a political rally for a gubernatorial candidate was just wrapping up. The place was packed; even as the candidate left, potential supporters lingered. A high-energy mood vibrated between the lively conversations and music. The server from our previous visit recognized us and made his way to our table for drink orders. Both the tequila-based Shining City and vodka-based The Wrong Man impressed with balanced sweet-tart refreshment. Drinks here are interesting, refined. “We focus pretty heavily on cocktails,” says Karl Injex, who owns The Sound Table along with his wife, Mouna Essa. “The philosophy is that the food is designed to complement the bar and music programs. We want the food to be very a la carte and modular so you can put together a meal or flavors to work with the various cocktails. This is a place where you
can actually have a nice, intimate dinner, and then you don’t have to go anywhere else for a nightclub. We bring the two together.” The Sound Table is a community hub where you might bump into international tourists or neighbors while satisfying taste buds and ear drums. n
THE SOUND TABLE 483 Edgewood Ave. S.E., 30312 404.835.2534 thesoundtable.com Recommended: Unvanquished ($12), Darker Half ($12), PEI Mussels ($12), Shrimp Chorizo Tacos ($12), Oxtail & Grits ($14). Bottom Line: The Sound Table serves high-quality cocktails and food at value prices, accompanied by mood-setting music that ramps up as the night progresses. The casual space has a welcoming vibe.
' ' ' ! i a p n ay''Ka
S and Drink Sake I
f you’ve been to a Japanese restaurant, odds are you’ve tried sake. The ancient, fermented drink is deeply rooted in Japanese history, but in the U.S., it’s underappreciated and often relegated to sake bombs or served hot to make it more palatable. Fatini Jiap and Billy Oei, sake advisers at Nakato on the edge of Morningside, are looking to change that. They worked at Nakato for seven years without giving sake much thought. But when the opportunity to get certified presented itself in 2015, they took it and became sake evangelists. The class was offered through the Sake School of America, a Los Angeles-based organization centered on sake training and education with classes around the country, Atlanta included. It’s an intensive, one-day class, and for Oei and Jiap, it was enlightening. “We didn’t know that sake has so much depth, and it’s a drink full of culture,” says Jiap. It’s
true: sake first appears in Japanese texts dating back to 712 A.D., is a staple of Japanese households and is a key component of major Japanese holidays. The two returned to Nakato armed with sake knowledge and began educating their customers. “People try it once and think, ‘Oh my gosh, I don’t like this!’ But they don’t realize that there’s so much variety,” Jiap says. Now with a better understanding of sake’s nuances, Jiap and Oei (and the 11 other sake advisers at Nakato) help customers make informed choices. If you’re uninitiated in the ways of sake, here’s a primer: Sake is referred to as a rice wine, although “wine” is a misnomer. Sake is fermented with yeast and is more closely related to beer. The rice used to make sake is inedible and grown specifically for sake production. It’s “polished,” which means its outer layer has been removed, allowing easier access to its starchy center. Different sakes use varying degrees of polished rice, typically between 50% and 70%.
Nakato spreads its love for the Japanese rice wine
Sake has four main categories: junmai, honjozo, ginjo and daiginjo. Junmai is the purest form, made with rice, water, koji (mold) and yeast. Honjozo has the same attributes as junmai, but the addition of distilled alcohol brings out aromas and flavors while creating a longer shelf life. Ginjo uses rice that’s been 60% polished (as opposed to 70% in junmai). This makes for a sake that’s more floral with a smoother finish. Daiginjo means “big ginjo” and uses rice that’s been 50% polished. It’s a super-premium sake and the sake brewery’s most prized bottle. Usually the best rice is used, and extra precautions are taken during production, such as using smaller tanks and a specialized koji. “Each ingredient affects the taste of the sake, especially what type of water is used,” says Oei. Cloudy sake is usually referred to as “unfiltered,” but this is another misnomer, Jiap explains. “All sake is filtered. If not, everyone is going to get a tummy ache. People just assume it’s not filtered because it’s cloudy, but what’s different is that cloudy sake still has rice solids that
| STORY: Lia Picard | | PHOTOS: Erik Meadows |
weren’t fermented all the way.” This type of sake is called nigori, which means “cloudy,” and it’s usually sweet with a creamy mouthfeel—a perfect match for spicy food. Ready to give sake another try? Start with Kitaya, a junmai daiginjo. It’s balanced, crisp and dry, complementing foods that aren’t too bold in flavor. Jiap especially likes it with sashimi. For something more fruit-forward that packs a punch, try Dragon God. Unlike most sakes that have been pasteurized twice, it’s only been pasteurized once, which gives it a bit of a creamier texture and fuller body. If you want to learn more about sake without committing to a costly certification class, Nakato offers a tasting class this month in its traditional tatami room that seats 16 people. n
Nakato Japanese Restaurant 1776 Cheshire Bridge Road, 30324 404.873.6582 nakatorestaurant.com
SIMPLY BUCKHEAD www.simplybuckhead.com
P.O. Box 11633, Atlanta, GA 30355
17TH SOUTH www.17thsouth.com
Jeff Collins and Jenny Levison at Souper Jenny Westside’s garden
n Belly up to the South’s best barbecue at the ninth annual Atlanta BBQ Festival. The delicious showdown takes place at Atlantic Station on Saturday and Sunday, May 5 and 6. Tickets start at $8.
atlbbqfest.com n Just in time for patio weather, the BeltLine has a new bar. Lingering Shade Social Club opened in February at Irwin Street Market and offers a low-key locale for cocktails, beer and shared plates.
lingeringshade.com n If you can’t get enough of the grain bowl craze, swing by Recess in Krog Street Market. The latest concept by Castellucci Hospitality Group opened in late February with a healthy alternative to their usual indulgent Mediterranean fare.
Ready, Set, Grow Souper Jenny Westside shows the community how urban farming is done
ouper Jenny Westside has a not-so-hidden secret. Like its funky counterparts in Brookhaven, Buckhead and Decatur, it serves up nutritious soups, salads and sandwiches. But, adjacent to this restaurant, nestled among apartment buildings in the back of a parking lot, is a farm. The Souper Farm is just under an acre and supplies produce for Souper Jenny’s affiliated nonprofit, the Zadie Project whose mission since 2016 has been to provide soup and urban farming education to under-served populations. But head grower Jeff Collins wants people to know that anyone can visit the farm and learn how to grow their own fruits and vegetables. “Our focus is on children and edu-
| STORY: Lia Picard | | PHOTO: Erik Meadows |
cating them about where their food comes from, but it’s also for adults and anyone who comes here to see the unlimited possibilities of what you can grow on a parking lot,” Collins says. When Souper Jenny founder Jenny Levison opened the Westside location in 2015, she knew that she wanted a property to farm on. She had picked the location largely because of its ample parking lot, but the rubble didn’t exactly scream farm . Instead, it was littered with dead trees and trash. But then, an epiphany. “One day we were sitting around talking about finding a piece of property, and I was like, ‘Oh, my god, it’s right here. We should talk to our landlord.’” Levison recruited Collins, a horticulturist by trade, to spearhead the project, and in October 2016 he got to work. By January the farm was up and running, along with the nonprofit.
It’s now hard to believe that the lot was once a cement wasteland. A true learning farm, the beds and containers demonstrate what anyone can do at home in his or her own yard or balcony. Ideas range from the sophisticated rainwater collection system to a basic method of gardening with fabric pots made from spun water bottles and a mixture of hemp and cotton. Collins explains that, unlike a plastic container, these pots allow the roots to breathe. They’re also an ideal way for someone with limited space to grow vegetables. Visitors can wind through the raised beds and glimpse the flourishing produce. Stop by this time of year and you’ll find broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, garlic and carrots. Diners can take their food purchased at Souper Jenny to tables and chairs in the back of the garden. The area also serves as a
rustic event space with proceeds going to the nonprofit. Not sure how to start flexing your green thumb? “Just to get going, I would plant a bunch of stuff,” Collins says. “I would never rely on one item. I would start with some arugula— buy some arugula seeds, it rarely doesn’t come up. And then maybe lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers. I like to recommend that people try cherry tomatoes.” Why cherry tomatoes? So many people have squirrels in their yards and lose tomatoes to them, but planting high-producing cherry tomatoes means a better chance at victory. Collins offers workshops at the farm (you can find a schedule Souper Jenny Westside online) and is 1082 Huff Rd. N.W., 30318 available every 404.603.9977 Friday for “of- souperjennyatl.com fice hours.” n
WHETHER IT’S BIRTHING LITTLE-KNOWN LOCAL BANDS OR PLAYING HOST TO HOUSEHOLD NAMES, ATLANTA IS A MAJOR PLAYER ON THE NATIONAL MUSIC SCENE. SOME OF THE CITY’S LONGSTANDING VENUES EVEN CLAIM FAMOUS MUSICIANS AMONG THEIR LOYAL FANS. HERE, THREE ACTS SOUND OFF ON WHAT’S SHAKING UP ATL’S MUSIC CIRCUIT THIS SPRING.
o many, Walt Disney World is the happiest place on earth, but for Coy Bowles, the Decatur-based guitarist for the Zac Brown Band, that distinction belongs to Northside Tavern. The Westside dive bar with a rough exterior may seem like an eyesore to a younger wave of Atlantans, but to blues lovers, it’s an Atlanta institution. Bowles was a Northside Tavern regular before becoming a touring musician in a famous country music band or a published children’s book author (his latest, Behind the Little Red Door, comes out in May). He started going in 2000 when he was 19 years old. His friend caught wind of his budding interest in the blues genre and said, “Man, we gotta take you Northside Tavern.” After negotiating with the cop posted out front, Bowles convinced the officer to let him stand outside and peer in. “The door opens up, and it’s a young Sean Costello [legendary Atlanta guitar player], and my universe just exploded,” Bowles says. “I thought people would be sitting around drinking, but they were twirling around, going bananas and dancing. Pretty girls, ugly guys, the whole nine.” After five minutes, the cop shut the door and told Bowles to scram, but those five minutes were all Northside Tavern needed to spark something in him. When he moved back to Atlanta a few years later, he lived up the street so he could go every day. Now that he tours the country and has two young children, Bowles doesn’t make it to the Tavern as often as he used to, but it will forever hold a special place in his heart. We chatted with Bowles to find out what makes Northside Tavern so special and what it means to the city.
How has the area surrounding Northside Tavern changed since you started going? How do you think it will impact Northside Tavern? Ten years ago, it was the kind of place you stayed inside, and when you had to leave, you could hang out at the front door, but you weren’t going to
hang in the parking lot and see what mischief happened. Ultimately, I think [the changing area is] good for Northside Tavern. If that area were to keep getting more and more crime-ridden, it could’ve affected it in a negative way. You have to worry about the Chicago thing, though. Chicago was known for blues and hot dogs, but the blues joints couldn’t make enough money to keep up with the cost of living. They shut the blues joints down, and now you just have hot dogs. What makes Northside Tavern special? First, it has seven nights of music, and it never fails that the quality of music is really amazing. There’s a leave-your-attitude-and-BS-atthe-door-and-bring-your-personality vibe. There’s a lot of Georgia Tech kids, a lot of 25- to 35-year-old couples coming in to dance, and then you have guys that just got out of jail or might be riding through on a bike down to Florida. Are you personally connected to the owners? I became good friends with Ellyn Webb, who recently passed away. Her brother, Tommy, now runs the joint. I had good communication with her before she got too sick. I would check in on her because I was on the road and not going there as much as I used to. I would ask her how things were going, if she needed help with anything. I told her, “If anything ever happens to this place, make sure you give me a call, and I’ll try to pull every string possible to keep it alive.” Atlanta without Northside Tavern is a music scene without a heart or soul. How is Northside doing since Ellyn’s passing? It’s doing well. [Tommy] is doing small things to repair it and put a new stage in. The changes aren’t dramatic; you may only notice if you go frequently. He’s cleaning it up, but not to the point where it’s losing its edge.
How does Northside compare to bars you see around the country? I haven’t been anywhere that compares to it even slightly, except in Chicago where there’s a place called Kingston Mines. They’re like kissing cousins or something. They have a similar approach with bluesbased music seven nights a week. Have any big names come through Northside Tavern? I used to host a jam on Tuesday nights, and as jams go, there are good days and bad days. One of the days was really slow, and this younger guy was begging to play a jazzy tune, so I was like, “Sure, man, go ahead.” I’m in there playing, and this young guy is up there in the wrong key, and every 14th note is majorly wrong, but we just go with it. Dave Matthews walks in and sits right in front of us. He made about 30 faces, like a dog listening to a record player, and he got up and walked out. We ended the song, and I remember thinking, “There was my chance.” What’s the best act you’ve seen there? I think Northside Tavern wouldn’t be what it is if it wasn’t for Mudcat (Danny Dudeck). He talked to Ellyn and said, “Let’s get the music scene happening here again. I’ll take care of it.” He really turned it into what it is. He put in a lot of time and energy and found the right players to play, and he’s been playing there for God knows how long every Wednesday night. He’s a character: He can play and sing blues like no one else, and he’s guaranteed to have a good time. He’s been doing it for a long time and isn’t jaded at all. What’s your go-to drink? Forever it was Jack and Coke. But then I realized there was a thing called “health” and that that Jack and Coke is the worst thing for you. So now I go for a Mexican beer or PBR. There’s a giant painting of PBR on the side of the building, so it kind of comes with the territory.
Which nights are the best for first-timers? Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. Mudcat plays on Wednesdays, and he’s the centerpiece. The place really blossoms on the weekends, though. If you roll in there at 10:30 p.m. on a weekend, and you’ve already had a couple, then you’re going to fit right in. It’s a place to let your hair down, too. If you’re not a great dancer, you can dance like no one’s watching, and no one will care. What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen go down there? Well, there’s a pole right next to the stage, and it’s just a support beam, but it’s notorious for attracting drunk girls who want to relive their stripper days. I’ve seen some hammered girls try to do some routines, and it’s an epic fail. Another time, the crew from “Stomp” came in and started beating on stuff without telling people who they were. It was a flash mob before flash mobs existed. Twenty people come in and start beating on stuff with the band, and the whole time you’re like, “Am I tripping, or did this just happen?” What does Northside Tavern mean to Atlanta? I really think that as a city, and people who live in a city, we have to be protective of these kinds of places and their weirdness and creative energy. To some people, they look like a scar on a city— especially in [Northside Tavern’s] spot where it’s worth X amount of dollars and can make infinite amounts of money if it turned into [something] else. But the fact that it has blues and people who come in from all over the world and leave there thinking, “God, man, Atlanta just has this thing to it, you know?” To me, that’s how you experience the city. Going to some fancy restaurant that could be anywhere else doesn’t add that vibe. But having a place that has an edge and its own breathing life and eco-system within it is what makes cities what they are. n
BIGGEST | STORY: Lia Picard |
Photo: Courtesy Coy Bowles
Zac Brown Band guitarist Coy Bowles waxes poetic about Northside Tavern, his favorite ATL music venue
Mandolin maestro and folk band frontman Chris Thile fills big shoes as the host of “Live from Here,” which comes to the Fox May 19
Photo: Devin Pedde
| STORY: Jodi Cash |
hris Thile is familiar with life on the road. The prodigious mandolin player began performing onstage at age 5, touring bluegrass festivals in the family camper and forming Grammy Award-winning Nickel Creek by 8. His is the kind of talent that appears perhaps once in a generation, and at an early age, it was the impetus for worldwide travel. His musical gifts extend beyond the ability to play Bach from memory—he’s also a prolifically creative writer. He’s composed his own work as a solo artist, as well as for Nickel Creek and his band, Punch Brothers. When American Public Media prepared to replace Garrison Keillor after 40 years as the creator and host of “A Prairie Home Companion,” eyes turned to Thile, the versatile musician who first appeared on the show more than two decades ago when he was 15. For Thile, the transition came like many things in his life: naturally. He’s studied the art of the interview since his adolescence, though he’s typically on the answering end of it. Now the tables have turned. As the host of “Live from Here,” the refreshed variation of “Prairie Home,” Thile is able to combine skills. He interviews fellow musicians, and they improvise performances for a live radio audience. His musical charisma translates to equivalent ability in the art of conversation. Now, the traveling variety show is making its way to Atlanta for a performance at the Fox Theatre on May 19. We talked with Thile about his new gig.
How does being on tour with “Live from Here” differ from touring you’ve done in the past? I get to go home [to Brooklyn, New York] in between [shows], which is really lovely. I get to see my wife and my little boy. And the massive difference is that every show is different, so you’re not going somewhere and putting on the same show. You’re in a different town, like you do when you’re touring. For instance when Punch Brothers go on tour, we’re presenting a body of work, usually something having to do with the last record. You’re doing a lot of the same material night in, night out, which is a wonderful experience in its own right. You really get time to just sharpen things and present a given piece of music exactly how you hear it in your head, but the downside to that is every now and then you might just not be feeling it and go, “Ugh, this song again?” You never mean to mail it in, but occasionally you might find yourself going through the motions. Ulti-
mately, I love having the balance of both because there’s that rough and tumble aspect of “this is all brand new; we’ve never done any of this before.” There’s that excitement, but then, of course, mistakes happen. You just have to shrug it off and go, ”Well, that’s live radio for ya!” You’re recording another Punch Brothers album in between broadcasting shows. How does having so many projects help you stay inspired? I’m a blessed person to have all these things going on, each of which I’d enjoy enough to have it be the only thing I’m doing. I can’t believe I get to spend my life doing this. Absolutely each one gives you fuel for the fire, and you learn something from one project, and you apply it to the next one. What’s it like to be a radio host, responsible not just for music but for conversation? I try to apply the years of being on the other side of the microphone to coax the best, freest, easiest, funniest answers and the most enticing conversation out of musicians, particularly, but sometimes I interact with comedians as well. It’s all really fun. What’s your favorite thing about hosting “Live from Here”? One of the most thrilling aspects of hosting a radio show is getting to show people things that I think are great. That happens to me all the time; we’ll be on the bus traveling, and one of my bandmates will put on something that I’ve never heard, and my life is better. So the opportunity to do that for a large group of people on a weekly basis is pretty thrilling. Are you excited to play at the Fox Theatre? I’ve gotten to play the Fox twice before with Nickel Creek, but it’s been a long, long time. I can’t wait to get back there. The Fox is a historical, brilliant-sounding theater where so much epic music has been made. It’s gonna be a really exciting night for me, for sure.
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What else are you most looking forward to doing in Atlanta? Part of my routine is I always go out to dinner and start working on my opening monologue [and prepare] a couple of things I’m going to say about the show, and in Atlanta I would love for that to happen at Holeman & Finch. I love that place. The cocktails are great; the food is amazing. n livefromhere.org
| STORY: Jodi Cash | | PHOTO: Nathan Bolster |
t took a little coercion for Emily Braden to openly pursue her music. For years, she wrote songs because she felt like it. Despite being surrounded by musicians as a former music major at the University of Georgia, she kept her songs to herself and forgot they existed nearly as soon as she’d completed them. When she finally played her music for a friend in Athens, things began to take shape. “We were like, ‘Let’s play this in public,’” recalls Braden. She and her boyfriend, Jack Blauvelt, formed a band and dubbed it Neighbor Lady, a name that still encapsulates their quirky spirit. “We are not the hot girl next door that you fantasize about,” she says. “We are your chill buds who might knit you a sweater because we care about your wellbeing
and we had the extra yarn.” With a rotating cast of fellow musicians, they began performing her music, and later, Braden and Blauvelt moved to Decatur and picked up Andrew McFarland on drums and Merideth Hanscom on bass. Although Braden had been casually involved with a band in Athens, the other three members had all belonged to heavily touring bands Reptar, Chief Scout and Dana Swimmer. The new lineup gave Braden the push she needed. “I think we all decided this was something we believed in and something we wanted to do,” she says. “Before, it was something that was really fun, and I had all these songs, and it was just like friends hanging out.” As a foursome, the sound is dynamic. Braden’s voice is powerful and sultry, with the subtlest of South-
The release of the debut LP “Maybe Later” brings a world of possibility for local upstart band Neighbor Lady
ern twangs, and it’s met with retro psych-folk guitar and rhythm. The quality of the group’s performance is unwavering both in recording and onstage. Even at first listen, Neighbor Lady is nothing short of captivating. “We’re all really good friends, so it’s, like, really fun to just do anything, whether we’re recording an album, writing a song or just hanging out,” says McFarland, who spent nearly a decade touring with Reptar before pursuing his own band, Semicircle. “We all trust each other’s tastes and each other’s ideas. We’ll be able to run through a ton of different ideas that we have until we land on something right, which is hard to do. There’s not a lot of ego in the band, which is nice—and rare.” Now, the songwriting process is still centered on what Braden brings to the table, but it’s a shared, collaborative
experience. “I will write the skeleton of the song, the chords and a general structure, give it to them and we’ll hash through it and give it a vibe,” she says. “Sometimes it changes completely from how I originally viewed it, but that just makes it 100,000 percent better, and it’s really cool.” With the release of the debut LP, “Maybe Later,” on May 11, Neighbor Lady is preparing for an album release show on May 18 at 529. Then they’ll hit the road on a tour across the country. And for Braden, tour is, at very least, a time to see the world with people she loves. “I’ve been to San Francisco, and I’ve been to Tennessee, and that’s about as far north as I’ve been,” she says. “So I’m very excited to go to all these different places, play music and hang out with my buds.” n
Happening WHAT’S GOING ON AROUND TOWN | STORIES: Claire Ruhlin |
CRAFTING CHANGE MODA TURNS THE SPOTLIGHT ON “CRAFTIVISM” IN ITS LATEST EXHIBITION
he Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) examines the intersection of crafts and activism—or craftivism—in its latest exhibition, Making Change: The Art and Craft of Activism. Curated by Betsy Greer, author of Craftivism: The Art and Craft of Activism, the exhibition features works by artists, activists and crafters from across the globe. For Greer, the notion of craftivism stems from the idea that crafting
can be used to make a difference, whether in protesting against materialism or creating items for charity. The exhibition highlights the use of everyday materials—yarn, glue guns, sewing needles—to create a dialogue and protest injustice. “Being able to discuss your viewpoints through a creative medium has always been important, I think, but now it’s even more important because it gives people on different sides a chance to discuss difficult is-
A quilt by Chawne Kimber reads “I can’t breathe,” in honor of Eric Garner, who was suffocated by NYPD officers in 2014.
sues,” says Greer. “You may not agree on something, but you can always come back to what is being made and that someone has taken time out of their usually hectic lives to create something about a political issue.” With many crafted works made from recycled or salvaged pieces, craftivism also emphasizes the use of sustainably sourced materials and creates discourse about consumerism, says Greer. “I’ve seen a fair number of textile projects come from
the wealth of materials left at creative salvage places and thrift stores.” The exhibition will showcase a range of works in various media, including fiber, paper and ceramics, and will highlight social issues throughout history and in the present. “I hope [visitors] think more about how they can use their own creative skills to share their viewpoints,” Greer says. “I hope it invokes questions and sparks conversation.” n museumofdesign.org
EVENTS Coming up...
BREW AT THE ZOO
KENTUCKY DERBY BRUNCH May 5 Tipple + Rose Tea Parlor and Apothecary Dust off your best derby hat for the Kentucky Derby Brunch High Tea at Virginia-Highlands’ cozy shop, Tipple + Rose Tea Parlor and Apothecary. Guests can choose from a selection of entrees that includes shrimp and grits, avocado lump crab meat in endive and house-roasted brisket, as well as scones, macarons kombucha and, of course, tea. Vegetarian substitutions are available, and the best hat and the best dressed win a high tea for two. Reservations are required.
MOTHER’S DAY BRUNCH May 13 5Church
It’s safe to say that there’s no shortage of springtime festivals in Atlanta, but not many of them allow guests sip libations among more than 1,000 animals from across the globe. Enter Brew at the Zoo, held Memorial Day weekend at Zoo Atlanta. Now in its 11th year, the event has become an Atlanta
tradition, with tickets selling out every year. Guests can choose from more than 70 beers and a limited selection of wine, and they’ll have a chance to experience the zoo after-hours. The evening also includes live music from local bands, including All The Locals, 30Vice and Alex Ahn. VIP tickets earn guests early entry at 4:30 p.m.,
along with exclusive beer and wine pours, and an airconditioned VIP Lounge. Proceeds from the festival support Zoo Atlanta’s efforts to preserve species and their habitats, as well as field programs for wildlife and land everywhere from Atlanta to Africa. n zooatlanta.org/event/ brew-at-the-zoo
THE SIXTH ANNUAL OLD FOURTH WARD ARTS FESTIVAL MAY 26–27 This May, Historic Old Fourth Ward Park will come alive with artwork by more than 100 local and regional artists during the sixth annual Old Fourth Ward Arts Festival. The two-day event celebrates arts, crafts and the local community, and is presented by the Atlanta Foundation for Public Spaces that works to support the arts community through festivals and events. “Historic Old Fourth Ward Park has quickly become one of the focal points of the rapidly growing area,” says Randall Fox, head of the foundation. “When the festival started about six years ago, the area was just beginning to blossom around the park. The arts festival has grown with it and has become part of the culture of the Old Fourth Ward.”
Guests are invited to browse an assortment of works, including paintings, photography, ceramics, glass, jewelry, woodworks and handcrafted items. The all-ages festival also features live music, art demonstrations, food, drinks and a children’s area. And with the park nestled just off the Atlanta BeltLine, dogs are also welcome. “Guests of the festival often walk or bike from their homes and spend the afternoon in the park, shopping, enjoying the arts, visiting the food trucks and making a day of it,” says Fox. “It has quickly become one of the focal points of the rapidly growing area.” n oldfourthwardparkartsfestival.com
This Mother’s Day, treat your hardworking mom to an indulgent brunch at 5Church. From 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., the Midtown restaurant will serve a brunch buffet complete with sweet and savory dishes, as well as skyline views. Cost is $40 for adults and $18 for children ages 12 and under (tax and gratuity not included). Feel like dinner instead? A limited menu will be offered for dinner service from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m.
ATLANTA MARGARITA + TACO FEST May 19–20 Historic Old Fourth Ward Park Who says Cinco de Mayo festivities have to end after May 5th? Sample tacos and margaritas from a selection of Atlanta’s best Mexican restaurants and food trucks at the second annual Atlanta Margarita + Taco Fest, hosted by Food-O-Rama Events. The two-day festival, held in Historic Old Fourth Ward Park, will feature more than 40 taco vendors and 12 bars as well as live music. Entry is free, and a drink wristband is $6.
ATLANTA JAZZ FESTIVAL May 26–27 Piedmont Park One of the country’s largest free jazz festivals, the Atlanta Jazz Festival returns to Piedmont Park for Memorial day weekend with nationally acclaimed jazz artists. Produced by the Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, the event highlights the history and versatility of jazz and shares the music with a diverse audience, from seasoned jazz connoisseurs to newcomers.
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A native of Columbus, Georgia where her family has been a part of the real estate industry for over two generations, Missy is more than prepared, and suited, to help her clients achieve the American Dream of home ownership! Her natural entrepreneurial mind has allowed her to create her own e-commerce business in addition to consulting businesses as a Financial Analyst.
Having a career as a commercial photographer and being part of a family that is rooted in real estate, it is no surprise Tom would merge both to make a new career! Tom loves the intown lifestyle, history and architecture and wants to help his clients discover the intown he loves. He has called the Morningside/Virginia Highland area “home” for the last 20 years and is ready to help you make it yours too!
Baja California, Mexico: Morningside: Sherwood Forest: Piedmont Heights: Villa, Los Cabos 1598 W. Sussex Road N.E. 1625 Friar Tuck Road 1963 Lebanon Drive N.E. 3BR • 3BA 5BR • 5BA • 1HBA 6BR • 7BA • 1HBA 4BR • 3BA Engel & Völkers Los Cabos Advisor: Ken Covers Advisors: m&m group Advisor: Juan Jaramillo Offered for $3,950,000 Offered for $2,150,000 Offered for $2,595,000 Offered for $489,000
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17th South is an upscale lifestyle magazine serving Midtown, Westside, Virginia Highland, Inman Park, Grant Park, Ansley Park, Reynoldstown,...
Published on Apr 25, 2018
17th South is an upscale lifestyle magazine serving Midtown, Westside, Virginia Highland, Inman Park, Grant Park, Ansley Park, Reynoldstown,...