Page 1








Mountaintops MAGICAL




In this April 2017

Issue 203



Celebrating 200 Reasons We Love The Northside


16 26 44



Seeing Green Maybe it’s the azalea and dogwood blooms, or watching a winning stroke from golf’s masterminds. Either way, April entices a round of local links and the Northside abounds with courses on par with what the pros are playing.

Not Just Horsing Around Whether you’re picnicking at Atlanta Steeplechase or hosting a viewing party for Kentucky Derby 143, celebrate in style with these hometown spins on classic cocktails and canapés.

A Reinvigorated Redo Gal There’s routine spring cleaning. Then, there are home improvement projects that not only refurbish furniture, but fundamentally change people, too. With her husband Mark, Clarissa Gibson turned a passion for fixer-uppers into the thriving Cumming shop, The Gibson Co.

The Swag’s Magic Something magical has occurred for 35 years in the peaks of Haywood County, North Carolina. As Mother Nature rests, innkeepers Deener and Dan Matthews take the reins to provide their guests with an inimitable experience.

Primland’s Patrimony The land of legacy, Primland is an altruistic playground for both gentlemen and ladies in bountiful southern Virginia.




ON THE COVER Mountaintop vistas from the garden at The Swag Country Inn | Photo courtesy of The Swag Country Inn



4 | POINTS NORTH | April 2017

Editor’s LETTER

PointsNorth Atlanta PRESIDENT / CEO Witt Beckman PUBLISHER Carl Danbury Jr.


EDITOR Heather KW Brown CREATIVE DIRECTOR Robin Harrison

A Friendly Wager


DONNING A DERBY HAT HAS BEEN ON MY LIST OF THINGS TO DO FOR DECADES, and I’ve come dangerously close. In town once for a taste of Louisville, Kentucky’s culinary scene, I stayed at the beloved Brown Hotel, where I saddled up for a bite of its signature Hot Brown sandwich. I also drove past the famous horse park, packed with plenty of horses, trainers and jockeys, but desperately missing the frenzy and fashion. It was akin to arriving in Augusta, Georgia at any other time than during The Masters Golf Tournament, where I have walked the grounds of Augusta National, waited with bated breath at “Amen Corner” and heard the crowd roar firsthand. In anticipation of more sinking shots, Jennifer Colosimo provides a Masters cheat sheet, along with a rundown of our Northside courses — public and private — that challenge as much as entertain local golfers working on their game. Not a fan of pimento cheese during my trip to The Masters, I’ve finally turned the page with my southern roots, which makes me even more excited to share our April issue. Not only do we cover both of these historic sporting events, local chefs graciously shared recipes replete with pimento cheese for entertaining during the Run for the Roses. From legendary parks to Atlanta’s latest one, Colleen Ann McNally takes us for a sneak peek into SunTrust Park, the Atlanta Braves’ new home in Cobb County, for this month’s “Two-Hundred Minutes In” feature. “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” holds a whole new meaning for those of us with youngsters now able to enjoy the fervor of a screaming stadium more frequently. In complete contrast, Publisher Carl Danbury immerses himself into the serene mountains of North Carolina and Virginia during visits to both The Swag and Primland. Anyone who loves the transcendence and tranquility found in Mother Nature’s playground will want to settle in for his travelogues. While some find inspiration in those quiet moments of reflection, Cumming resident Clarissa Gibson, also known as The Redo Gal, revels in revitalizing. What others might deem as ugly furniture, she turns into the beautiful, must-have pieces for sale at The Gibson Co. Wager what you wish, but much like the Derby hat I’ll sport eventually, beauty can be in the eye of the beholder or the star of the show. I bet you just have to know where to look.


ALL POINTS INTERACTIVE MEDIA CORP. 568 Peachtree Parkway Cumming, Georgia 30041 770-844-0969 ©2017 Points North Atlanta All Points Interactive Media Corp. All rights reserved. Points North Atlanta is published monthly by All Points Interactive Media Corp. The opinions expressed by contributing writers are not necessarily those of the editor, the publisher or of Points North Atlanta. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without prior consent of the publisher. SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION: Points North Atlanta offers a 12-month subscription for $15. Visit for details.


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you read this, a new Masters champion might already be wearing his green jacket … and that means, it’s officially golf season. With warm weather that never really left in the first place, we’ve essentially had a year-round golf season, and most of you have been booking tee times since early December. Call it a perk of living in the South, and especially on the Northside, we’re lucky to boast some of the country’s mildest temps and fairest seasons, which inevitably brought many golf greats to build their namesake courses here.

No, I wouldn’t dare attempt to help tweak your

swing, nor do I have tips to help you sink more putts, but I can share some ideas on how to take advantage of an area that’s known for great golf. Read up on a few noteworthy public rounds, private memberships worth the penny and opinions by talented locals on either opportunity.

April 2017 | | 9

12 IN 2017


BOTTOM LEFT: Luke Ralston, superintendent of Bear’s Best Atlanta BOTTOM RIGHT: Lambert High School girl’s golf team members Christine McDonnell, Kate Owens, Alison Crenshaw and Loren Kim



hatever your reason for opting out of a private membership — be it limited time for rounds or the price tag — choosing to remain a free agent doesn’t mean you have to give up all of the exclusive perks. In fact, Superintendent of Bear’s Best Atlanta, Luke Ralston, told us any course is as good as its resources. With the right care and maintenance, even

public courses are worthy of high praise. If you’re an every-weekend type of golfer, you’ve certainly seen that point proven on this Jack Nicklaus-designed course in Suwanee, where each hole is inspired by different golf courses worldwide. In fact, it’s the only semi-private, daily fee course that’s part of the larger, private ClubCorp group (more on that later), and helps lead the way in a collection of courses that keep a large part of our community uncommitted to one course. PHOTOS COURTESY OF BEAR’S BEST ATLANTA; JENNIFER COLOSIMO

10 | POINTS NORTH | April 2017

GREAT GOLF Just ask the four-time State Champion Lambert High School girl’s golf team. Alison Crenshaw is a member at Bear’s Best, but also plays Legacy on Lanier for its additional golf outing perks and long, lakeside holes that can easily distract from counting strokes on such a challenging course. Another top-level lady on the team (which already won the season opener at Bear’s Best in February) is Kate Owens, who likes playing The Hooch Golf Club in Duluth. As a kid, Owens would play the executive course as a way to graduate from a Par-3 course and get more experience. If you’re contemplating the drive to Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, know that you’ve also got the chance to play after the sun goes down, as their additional Par-3 course and the driving range are both lighted. Jordan Baker, a senior member of Lambert’s boy’s golf team – State Champions in 2015 – said, “The few public courses here are really good. [I like Bear’s Best too, because] you get looks from Scotland, the West Coast, the East Coast … It’s a really interesting format. I have also always liked River Pines Golf because my very first tournament was [there] on their Par-3 course. If you have kids, it’s the perfect place to take them to get used to playing the game.”



sk any golfer and odds are, the one thing they wish they could change is when they started playing. Lucky for Owens, she first picked up clubs at the age of 2, when her dad turned quality time together into a trip to the driving range. Crenshaw was 10. Baker can’t remember a time when he wasn’t playing. “I’m jealous they started early and that they get to play every day,” said Brooks Youngblood, Lambert’s boy’s golf head coach. “They play all the time, and when you start as young as you can, the more exposure you get. You’ll get the feel for it sooner and it will make a bigger impact on your game.” Taking Baker up on his recommendation, one place young golfers can start logging those hours is at River Pines Golf in Alpharetta. In the past 25 years, the course has grown to include a top-ranked teaching facility that serves golfers of all ages, a Par-3 course and a winding 18-hole championship course along the Chattahoochee River. For novices, there’s Get Golf Ready, a session which teaches everything from what to wear and how to carry your clubs to etiquette, rules and – of course – how to hit the ball. Kids aged 6 to 17 can join the Junior Flames, a comprehensive program offering competitive play, instruction and course discounts. Perhaps more importantly, the program provides a window to the world of junior tournaments, better known as years of affordable instruction that can prove invaluable once scholarships are being sought. Golfers of April 2017 | | 11



any level can enlist professional instruction through adult clinics taught by some of the state’s best golf instructors. These include Mike Perpich, a Golf Magazine Top 100 instructor and Paul Belongie, one of the Top 50 U.S. Kids instructors. “With both of those guys heading up our program … we’ve got a lot of credibility,” said head golf professional Phil Wagoner, and last year’s winner of the PGA’s Bill Strausbaugh Award. This accolade recognizes the outstanding integrity, commitment to mentoring fellow pros and involvement in community and charitable activities needed to foster a top-level program. “We’re really in a great location, being the only public course in an area surrounded by private clubs,” Wagoner said. “We have a diverse offering, with not only the 18-hole course, but also the 9-hole Par-3 course, the large, grass-tee driving range and one of the best instruction programs in the area. All of that combined, that’s why people like to come here.”


Privacy Worth Paying For


espite luscious links off every main road, there’s no judgment for paying to play one course for the rest of your life. But if fairway monogamy gives you cold feet, there are some worthy options that allow for affordable commitment. Not only was St Ives Country Club named one of the Best Courses in the Country by “Golf America,” but it also boasts one of the most affordable memberships in our area for private play. The 18-hole, Tom Fazio-designed course features broad fairways, six tee boxes per hole and challenging play that’s beautiful enough (and geographically friendly enough) to walk. Here, you’ll find the new hybrid Mini Verde Bermuda carpeting their

greens, courtesy of a 2013 renovation. I mentioned ClubCorp’s semi-private course, but if you’re interested in something more exclusive, take advantage of ClubCorp’s Champions Club membership. Joining grants you membership to Atlanta National Golf Club, White Columns Country Club and The Manor Golf & Country Club, three of the most prestigious courses in the organization’s Atlanta market. It should be mentioned that this membership delivers unmatched perks for 32 unbeatable courses, plus several other iconic courses nationwide. This also means immaculate playing surfaces, discounted access, cart and food fees, plus unlimited access to amenities your entire family can enjoy. 2017 is an exciting year for ClubCorp, now celebrating their 60th anniversary, but even more so for members, as they can enter to win tickets to the Masters, a trip to New York City, California’s Napa Valley and more. The Standard Club, arguably one of the most exclusive courses in the state, also celebrates a big birthday this year. Its 150th anniversary invites current and future members to join them on May 6 for music, food, beatthe-pro games, sidewalk sales and more. Considered one of the Top 20 courses in Georgia by Golf Digest, this club is known for its 270 acres of seclusion and beauty. With no homes on the course, they used native trees, shrubs and grasses to naturally landscape the golf course and enhance the beauty of each hole. The result is a town favorite that plays to all levels of golfers.



hat allows for such a large collection of quality courses to entertain the masses and support the next generation? Ralston will tell you that it starts from the ground up. Be it classic Bentgrass, Bermuda or one of the industry’s newest hybrids, there’s a well-manicured fine line to making those strokes count. PHOTOS COURTESY OF RIVER PINES GOLF CLUB; CLUBCORP

12 | POINTS NORTH | April 2017


ATLANTA NATIONAL GOLF CLUB He would know – he’s worked everywhere from Carrollton’s The Frog as a young golfer to Washington, D.C.’s Trump National Golf Club. Ralston’s sense of home remains local, where he’s worked at the prestigious Capitol City Club in Crabapple, at Alpharetta’s The Standard Club and, since last year, at Bear’s Best.

WHITE COLUMNS COUNTRY CLUB Are you a Longhorns fan already? We don’t blame you. The camaraderie and competitive spirit that has made for five total state championships (adding to Lambert High School’s whopping 20 total) makes you want to watch these girls and guys in action. Follow their schedule online, and join them for the state tournament this year at Château Élan’s Golf Club. You can get in the spirit by playing Reunion Country Club, a standout public course not far from Braselton.

April 2017 | | 13


“The ultimate goal is to have fast, firm and true rolling greens 365 days a year, no matter what species the grass,” he said. He explained that Bentgrass (what you’ll see on most courses, including Augusta National) accomplishes this nine months out of the year, requiring a little extra hands-on time during the hot summer months. Bermuda grasses thrive in the hot weather months (meaning you’ll probably spot them if you’re playing along Florida’s 30A Highway this spring break), but don’t do well in the shade. Taken care of, either is a good option. “Pretty much every course is going to mow their greens, change the hole location and do a basic golf course setup every day,” Ralston said. How often this is done, he says, is what differentiates high- and low-end courses. You can do your part by filling your divots. PN


The Masters Cheat Sheet


hether you’re in the lottery for tickets, buttering up bosses to share passes or hiding the set you’ve got in a safe deposit box, there’s a list of tasks to nail down. While every day of the tournament promises a different experience, as a whole, any trip to Augusta National is what dreams are made of for millions. The road trip isn’t too far, either. We could spend pages citing tips, so instead, here are the biggest ones we can share for a priceless pass into the season’s classic opener.

BEST DAY TO GO | Pack up for Practice Day. As a fan, Wednesday’s experience is unmatched. Expect relaxed players willing to wave and maybe sign autographs. It’s also the last day of Master’s week that you can bring a camera to immortalize the memories many people only have one chance to make. The third day in practice round play leads into the Par-3 Contest, which stocks pros with fun caddies (like their kiddos) to make the most of their practice with no pressure. Plus, you’ve got early dibs on pimento cheese sandwiches and merchandise from the pro shop.

BEST HOLES TO SEE | The Finest of the Back Nine. Hardly a hole in the world compares to any of the trio that makes up “Amen Corner” — the blazing green, azalea-filled holes 11, 12 and 13. But if you want to take the road — err, path — less traveled, my favorite spot to set up (temporary) camp is Hole No. 10. Camelia is long, downhill, smooth and gorgeously challenging. It’s also the original first hole on the golf course, as designed by Alistar MacKenzie, and one of the most difficult holes, making it a ­pivotal point to watch the potential winners play.

BEST SNACKS TO EAT | Sammies and Swigs. How many pimento cheese sandwiches can you consume? That’s the better way to address this topic. And if Southern-style finger foods aren’t your thing … well, you might be out of luck. It’s hardly an unknown fact, even for first-timers, that despite what you thought you were craving, you’ll want to make room for plenty of cheese, egg salad, chicken salad and BBQ once you get inside the snack tent. Washed down with an ice cold beer, anything else is pretty much moot.

Pack the sunscreen, bring a chair and get there early. As one of the world’s most cherished events, you won’t want to miss a minute, no matter what day you go. PHOTOS COURTESY OF STOCK.ADOBE.COM

14 | POINTS NORTH | April 2017

Your Private Hometown Retreat… Premium golf, swim, tennis, and upscale dining all within our relaxed, member-owned, private setting.

Pristine golf on perfect greens, followed by al fresco dining, drinks fireside…all overlooking our beautiful grounds.

y ou n ev e r k n ew you cou l d have i t t hi s good! For St Ives membership information, and to set up your personalized tour, contact our Membership Director, Melissa “Mel” Furbish at 770.623.1239 or

We look forward to having you over to our place!

K Daze Four Roses' Proper Mint Julep





16 | POINTS NORTH | April 2017


K e KENTUCKY’S FAMED TWIN SPIRES MAY BE MORE THAN 400 MILES AWAY, but when the first Saturday in May comes

around the bend, the spirit of Churchill Downs Racetrack is alive and well across metro Atlanta. Some of us will even get an early start out of the gate thanks to the 52nd Running of the Atlanta Steeplechase, held April 22 at Kingston Downs near Rome, Georgia. In other words, Northsiders don’t need to travel far to participate in the well-fashioned festivities, and the philanthropic-minded ones prove their attendees aren’t just horsing around. Held at Chastain Horse Park during the live broadcast on May 6, Derby Day is Atlanta’s biggest Kentucky Derby-themed fundraising event and has been a Shepherd Center tradition since 1983. Their website estimates giving totals of $90,000 a year and, during its 34-year history, an incredible $4.5 million has directly benefitted patients by going exclusively to Shepherd Center’s Recreation Therapy program.      At its heels and gaining ground is the Child Development Association’s (CDA) ninth annual Down Home Derby at Iron Horse in Milton, also held May 6. With tickets priced at $150 per person, the event supports the CDA's mission to give families access to high-quality, affordable early education for children — and has sold out every year. This comes as no surprise, considering the mix of games including a wine pull and corn hole tournament along with live music, craft libations and gourmet dining. Perhaps you’d rather turn what’s often called “the greatest two minutes in sports” into the greatest garden party your backyard has ever seen. Regardless of where you place your wager, I’d bet that what makes a celebration or a lucky hat stand out is a personal touch. When it comes to adding flair to your Mint Julep or accompanying menu, we asked the folks from Four Roses Bourbon in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, as well as a few of our local favorites, to show us their takes on the classic cocktail — plus some Southern canapés to balance your imbibing. Another great resource, also offers plenty of history lessons (did you know it is the longest continually held sporting event in America?) and a


Atlanta Steeplechase, benefitting Bert's Big Adventure

April 2017 | | 17


CDA Down Home Derby

BLACKBERRY SAGE JULEP Courtesy of Four Roses Bourbon 2 ounces Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon ½ ounce Sugar in the Raw syrup (Turbinado sugar, equal parts sugar to water) 3 blackberries 2 sprigs of sage Muddle two blackberries with one sprig of sage in sugar syrup, then add Four Roses Small Batch, fill the vessel with crushed ice, stir and garnish with one sprig of sage and blackberry. Four Roses' Blackberry Sage Julep

18 | POINTS NORTH | April 2017

planning guide to keep hosts covered like a wide-brimmed floppy. What you do with the winnings is up to you. May we suggest something philanthropic? After all, giving back never goes out of style.

FOUR ROSES FANFARE When it comes to a lasting heritage, Four Roses Bourbon and the Kentucky Derby are neck and neck. In 1874, Colonel Meriwether Lewis Clark formed the Louisville Jockey Club and acquired land from his uncles John and Henry Churchill for a racetrack south of Louisville, Kentucky. It would be another decade before Four Roses founder Paul Jones Jr. set up a thriving business there; however, he claims production and sales as early as the 1860s in Atlanta. These were the days before air conditioning was commonplace, and the Mint Julep’s traditional pewter cup served more than an aesthetic purpose. “Pewter sweats on the outside, so it doesn’t water down the drink and keeps it nice and cold,” said Randall Roberts, president of Real Brands, Inc. PHOTOS COURTESY OF FOUR ROSES BOURBON; CDA DOWN HOME DERBY

and brand manager of Four Roses in Georgia and South Carolina. “Yes, it is easy to improve a Mint Julep, but it’s really just a way to get the bartenders in Louisville to play with Four Roses every year,” Roberts added. And for good cause, too. The first place concoctions from last year’s Four Roses Charity Cocktail Challenge benefitting the Folded Flag Foundation included unique ingredients such as curaçao, Fernet Branca liqueur, Aztec chocolate bitters and cayenne powder. If you’re not a fan of the conventional recipe, an easy tweak is to add fruit and a different herb.

PROPER MINT JULEP (ROSE JULEP) Courtesy of Four Roses Bourbon 2 ½ ounces of Four Roses Yellow Label Bourbon ¼ ounce of rich syrup

Add mint leaves and rich syrup to bottom of glass and, with the back of a bar spoon, lightly

(2 parts sugar, preferably

press the mint into the syrup

Sugar in the Raw; 1 part hot

and muddle along the sides of


glass. Add bourbon and pack

10 spearmint leaves

full with crushed ice. Garnish with bouquet of mint sprigs, a sipping straw in the bouquet and a dash of powdered sugar on top to complete the drink.

April 2017 | | 19


CDA Down Home Derby

A BLUE RIBBON BITE Of course, everyone’s favorite Derby food is the Hot Brown — an American hot sandwich born at the legendary Brown Hotel in Louisville. A bit more than a snack, this is traditionally an open-faced turkey sandwich topped with tomato and bacon, covered in Mornay sauce, then browned to perfection in the oven. Created from Milton's Cuisine & Cocktails' recipe, my first bite of a Hot Brown was during the 2016 CDA Down Home Derby and I was smitten from the start. While I can’t stack it up to the original from firsthand experience, the Brown Hotel lists the original recipe on their website for inquiring minds who’d like to compare. Meanwhile on Canton Street, Table & Main also takes the tradition up a notch. Chef Woolery “Woody” Back’s family celebrates the Kentucky Derby like a holiday and he didn’t hesitate to share his twist with turkey, tomato and bacon over a fried grits cake with a crawfish Mornay. In honor of his late grandmother, who always made Benedictine and holiday ham sandwiches on white bread, he also shared her recipe for another familiar Kentucky sandwich. 20 | POINTS NORTH | April 2017

“Benedictine spread came from a lady named Judy Benedict who wrote The Blue Ribbon Cookbook,” Back said. “It has become the spread of Louisville for what are their famous tea parties. While it’s typically paired with bacon, my grandmother loved a good brownsugary ham. Benedictine is basically cucumber and onion grated into cream cheese.” Last time I visited, Table & Main’s bar library included more than 50 bourbons, ryes and whiskeys, so I trust the good taste of General Manager Cindy Miller when it comes to a spin on the Mint Julep; one that has me looking forward to warmer months ahead. Likewise, I asked Chef de Cuisine Tonya Morris at Southern Art and Bourbon Bar to chime in. Located inside the InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta, the dual concepts come from celebrity restaurateur and cookbook author, Executive Chef Art Smith. With more than 70 handpicked bourbons on their shelves, the Bourbon Bar is also the ideal place to sample history in a bottle and find the one that best fits your taste. Some of the most enduring cocktails and dishes ever created were inspired in bars nestled in some of America’s most beautiful and historic hotels. Perhaps your next favorites will be inspired in your kitchen. PHOTOS COURTESY OF CDA DOWN HOME DERBY

GRITS HOT BROWN WITH CRAWFISH MORNAY Chef Woolery "Woody" Back at Table & Main Grits Cake

Some � the most

enduring cocktails and dishes ever created were inspired in bars nestled in some of America’s most beautiful and historic hotels. Perhaps your next favorites will be inspired in your kitchen.

1 cup stone-ground grits 4 cups milk ½ teaspoon salt ½ cup white cheddar 1 cup flour  2 eggs 3 cups Panko breadcrumbs First, bring milk and salt to a boil. Whisk in grits and cook on low for about half an hour. The grits should be stiff, not creamy. Next, stir in the white cheddar. Put the grit mixture in a greased cookie sheet, then put the cookie sheet in the freezer until the grits are very stiff. Cut out disks with a biscuit cutter and return to the freezer. In the meantime, put flour in one bowl, whipped eggs in another bowl and breadcrumbs in another. Dip grit disks in the order of: flour, egg and breadcrumbs. Fry in oil until golden brown, then drain on a towel. Crawfish Mornay ½ pound margarine 2 bunches green onions, chopped 1 cup parsley, chopped 2 tablespoons flour 2 pints half and half cream 1 pound white cheddar ½ cup sherry wine, to taste Red pepper, to taste 2 bay leaves 2 pounds crawfish Thyme, to taste Melt margarine while sautéing green onions and parsley. Next, blend in flour, then add cream and cheese until melted. When cheese is melted, add sherry wine, red pepper, salt, bay leaves, herb seasoning and thyme. Then, fold in crawfish and cook very low for 15 minutes. To assemble the hot brown, cover each grit cake with slices of smoked deli turkey, two slices of tomato, thick slices of cooked bacon. Finally, pour over the Mornay sauce and brown the sandwich under the broiler. Visit to see a photo of the assembled canapé. April 2017 | | 21

DERBY ENTERTAINING TURKEY CONFIT HOT BROWN Courtesy of Chef Derek Dollar of Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails

4 turkey legs

incorporated. Season

for approximately 4 hours.

Turkey Confit

1 cup Kosher salt

the turkey legs liberally

Remove from the oven

Hot Brown

¾ cup light brown sugar

and allow them to sit

and allow to rest for an

Picked turkey confit

2 tablespoons cracked

refrigerated overnight.

additional hour. When the

4 slices 1-inch thick honey

Next, preheat the oven to

turkey is cool enough to

wheat bread

6 sprigs fresh thyme

225 degrees Fahrenheit.

touch, pick the meat by

8 slices yellow vine-ripe

1 tablespoon dried basil leaf

Place the turkey in an



½ gallon vegetable oil

oven-safe pan and cover

black pepper

Smoked cheddar Mornay

with oil, then cover the top

Smoked Cheddar

Pork rinds

Combine all dry ingredients

of the pan with aluminum

Mornay Sauce

¼ cup sliced chive

in a food processor

foil and place in the oven

1 quart heavy cream

and blend until well

½ pound shredded smoked

Lightly brush some olive oil

cheddar cheese

onto the bread and grill for

2 tablespoons Dijon

approximately one minute


per side. Next, place two

1 tablespoon Worcestershire

pieces of yellow tomato on


each piece of grilled bread. Then, top with the confit

Milton's Cuisine & Cocktails' Turkey Confit Hot Brown

In a heavy-bottomed pot,

turkey and ladle about two

heat the heavy cream until

ounces of Mornay sauce

it scalds. Then, whisk in the

over the turkey. Top with

shredded cheddar, Dijon

crushed pork rinds and

mustard and Worcestershire


sauce until well blended. Next, season with salt and ground white pepper and blend with a stick blender.

PEACHY MINT JULEP Courtesy of Bourbon Bar Leaves from 4 to 5 mint sprigs 2 sugar cubes or ½ ounce simple syrup 1 ½ ounce bourbon (such as Four Roses)



• Gently muddle your mint. You

Courtesy of Table & Main’s Cindy Miller

¼ ounce peach Schnapps

want to open up the veins of

Dash or two of peach bitters

the mint leaves to release the

Peach slice for garnish

essential oils, not tear the leaves

Sugar for rim

to bits that get stuck in your

Mint sprig for garnish


Crushed ice

• Crushed ice is key. • Stir well. Once you have the

Place the mint and simple

drink built, take the time to stir it

syrup or sugar into a sugar-

gently until the glass gets frosty.

rimmed Old Fashioned glass.

• Go with your favorite bourbon.

Muddle well to dissolve the

If you have a favorite brand of

sugar and release oil and

bourbon, use it or something

aroma of the mint, then add

similar. The team at the Bourbon

bourbon, peach Schnapps and

Bar suggests choosing one of

peach bitters. Fill with crushed

the higher-end brands for the

ice and stir well until the glass

simple fact that bourbon is

becomes frosted. Garnish with

typically the only liquid in the

the mint sprig and peach slice.

julep so this (sweetened and

1 lime wedge 2 ounces American Spirit Whiskey 5 mint leaves 1 medium-sized strawberry, stems off, cut into pieces ½ ounce simple syrup  Large splash of club soda In a rocks glass, squeeze juice from lime wedge. Muddle all ingredients well and fill the glass with ice. Next, add whiskey and top with a large splash of club soda. Roll into a tin and lightly stir to mix, then return cocktail to rocks glass and serve.

flavored with the sugar and the mint) is what you will taste. Table & Main's Summer Julep

22 | POINTS NORTH | April 2017


12 IN 2016 BENEDICTINE Courtesy of Chef Woolery “Woody” Back at Table & Main,

BABY HOT BROWN WITH BOURBON BACON AND PIMENTO CHEESE Courtesy of Chef de Cuisine Tonya Morris at Southern Art Pimento Cheese 2 cups shredded, extra-sharp cheddar cheese 8 ounces cream cheese, softened

a recipe from his late grandmother 3 tablespoons grated cucumber, drained well with paper towel

Place all ingredients in a food processor. The green food coloring is optional, but was

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

what Benedict used. Place the spread

1 tablespoon mayonnaise

between crustless white bread slices and

1 teaspoon finely chopped green onion with

top with paper-thin slices of country ham to


create tea sandwiches. PN

1 drop green food coloring (optional, but a fun addition)

½ cup mayonnaise ¼ teaspoon garlic powder ¼ teaspoon onion powder 1 teaspoon minced jalapeño (no seeds) 1 (4-ounce) jar diced pimento, drained Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste Place the cheddar cheese, cream cheese, mayonnaise, garlic powder, onion powder, minced jalapeño and pimento into the large bowl of a mixer. Then, beat at medium speed, with paddle if possible, until thoroughly combined. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Bourbon Bacon 8 slices bacon 2 tablespoons bourbon 2 tablespoons light brown sugar Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay slices of bacon on the baking sheet. Next, mix bourbon and brown sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Brush bacon on both sides with bourbon brown sugar mixture, then bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the bacon is dark brown and crispy. Using tongs, remove and place bacon on a paper towellined plate and let cool for 10 minutes. Baby Hot Brown 12 Brioche Texas toast rounds (2-inch round slices, ¼ inch thick) 3 tablespoons olive oil 8 ounces thinly-sliced deli turkey 2 Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced Arrange bread slices on a baking sheet brushed with olive oil, then toast in oven on both sides until lightly brown. Remove toasted bread from oven and top evenly with warm, thinly sliced turkey. Next, place half a tablespoon of pimento cheese mixture on top of turkey and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until cheese is melted. Top with tomato slices and 1-inch cuts of prepared bourbon bacon, then place canapés on a platter and garnish with chopped parsley.

April 2017 | | 23

Counting ON ...





IF THERE’S ONE THING WE LOVE, IT’S A LOCAL CHEF who sharpens his skills in reputable culinary scenes and then comes home to open his own restaurant. Brian So, executive chef and owner of Spring, was recently recognized as a semifinalist for Rising Star Chef of the Year by the James Beard Foundation. Chef So left Kennesaw for the Culinary Institute of America in New York, then worked at The Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida before heading to San Francisco, California, and eventually back to the South. “I always planned to come back home,” said So, who admitted owning his own restaurant was the end goal long before he ever started culinary school. After recent stints in local kitchens, he found the perfect home for Spring, situated just off Marietta Square. Since the doors opened last May, creating a menu based on what local farmers deem best has kept the 29-year-old chef on his toes and the 44 seats inside his restaurant regularly rotating. Once you’ve snagged a seat, try the chicken liver pâté, an appetizer made with in-house toasted brioche, blueberry jam, pickled mustard seeds and shaved raw pistachios. PN


24 | POINTS NORTH | April 2017





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26 | POINTS NORTH | April 2017

52. & SUNDRIES SAWDUST The Inspiration behind The Gibson Co.

written by LINLEY MOBLEY photography courtesy of SAMANTHA TAYLOR PHOTOGRAPHY

April 2017 | | 27



A BRIGHT SATURDAY AFTERNOON, I parked in front of The Gibson Co., an old, quaint white house turned into a sweet, peaceful, inspiring store filled with furniture, art, gifts and more. On the porch sat a large, antique wagon wheel, and before I opened the door, I could already hear people laughing. The inviting aroma of coffee met me as I walked inside, and two smiling faces turned to greet me. Husband-and-wife team, Mark and Clarissa Gibson, opened The Gibson Co. last fall, and the shop’s charm and aura have kept people spreading the word ever since.

ONE WOMAN’S TRASH The shop is full of furniture that Clarissa has restored as well as unique pieces from local artists and crafters. Clarissa, also known as The Redo Gal, has always had a knack for turning something old and worn into something beautiful and treasured. “Anytime I’ve seen something get thrown out, I’ve always been really sensitive about it because I can immediately look at it and see just how beautiful it could be,” Clarissa said. “When we first got married, we were young and couldn’t afford much, but I knew how to make things pretty, so I started restoring old furniture to put in our home.” Clarissa’s talents truly came to light one day when her parents gave her some old chairs they’d found on the side of the road. As soon as she saw the chairs, she knew exactly how to revamp them. She bought supplies, painted and reupholstered them, then snapped a picture to show her mom. “When my mom saw the chairs, she was really excited and encouraged me to start doing this type of thing for other people,” she said. “I’d never thought about that before; this [knack] had always been something that came naturally to me and gave me a sense of peace. I loved the process of it — getting gross and grimy, covered in paint and sawdust and making something beautiful.” 28 | POINTS NORTH | April 2017

Clarissa continued working on different pieces of furniture for her and Mark’s house, and as she shared the photos of her completed projects with friends, talk of her talent quickly spread. Soon she started receiving requests from friends to restore furniture, and in 2012, The Redo Gal started to take off. Throughout the next year or so, Clarissa received so many requests she was able to quit her job as a daycare teacher to pursue her passion full time. She logged her progress, posting before and after images to a blog and Facebook page under the title of her trending nickname. “I loved seeing people fall in love with Clarissa’s work and recognize her talent, because I’ve always known it was there,” Mark said. “And it was amazing because all of a sudden, The Redo Gal became our main source of income.”

MORE TO GIVE As The Redo Gal gained traction, the Gibsons felt called to something bigger. They had always wanted something to call their own, something important they could leave for their two kids, Adiel, 8 and Lela, 6.

“We found ourselves standing in front of this little white cottage and it was kind of ugly, but that’s sort of my thing — turning ugly into beautiful.” CLARISSA GIBSON | Co-owner, The Gibson Co.

“Clarissa and I were sitting around one night and it came to us,” Mark said. “We started thinking about the possibilities of having a store where we could sell The Redo Gal furniture as well as give other local artists a place to sell their work. In just one night, we basically had our entire plan put together and everything started falling into place.” In June 2016, the Gibsons started piecing everything together. They approached local artists, began signing contracts and filling storage units with future merchandise. They planned to launch their store in September 2016; however, when September rolled

April 2017 | | 29

Clarissa’s DECORATING TIP for spring THE GIB S ON CO.

If you want to really add to a room, fresh or dried florals are the way to go. Eucalyptus is really popular right now. Throw that in an old jar along with some cotton stems — instant, easy décor!

30 | POINTS NORTH | April 2017



around, they found out the original plans for their space had fallen through. That same day, Clarissa drove past a small house that was just down the road from their home and directly beside Browns Bridge Church, which they attend. It was a place she’d driven by hundreds of times but never noticed. This time, she saw a “For Lease” sign stuck in the yard and pulled into the drive. “We found ourselves standing in front of this little white cottage and it was kind of ugly, but that’s sort of my thing — turning ugly into beautiful,” Clarissa said. “I just felt so much hope while I was standing there; I saw our future in this little house.” Everything clicked for the Gibsons at that point. Clarissa called the number on the sign and within an hour, the owner showed up and immediately handed her the keys. “He told me that he knew I was meant to be here,” she said. “It was pretty weird, but awesome at the same time.” The very next day, the couple signed the lease and started turning the 1930s house into the new home of The Gibson Co. Mark and Clarissa wanted to stay as close as they could to their original opening date, so with the help of their friends and family, they hunkered down and worked hard cleaning, painting, replacing floors and pulling weeds to make the little house into something beautiful again. Mark made countless trips to and from their multiple storage units, filling the rooms with Clarissa’s furniture and pieces from other local artists. Just two and a half weeks after signing their lease, they had turned a shabby white house into the warm and inviting artisanal shop they’d envisioned. On October 13, they hosted their grand opening party complete with live music in the courtyard and fare from Lake Burrito and Malvi Mallow.


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Historic CLAYTON

IN THE NORTHEAST GEORGIA MOUNTAINS “ THE MOUNTAINS ARE CLOSER THAN YOU THINK!” 9 0 m i n u tes f r om Atl a n ta , Gr een vi l l e & Ash eville

OFF {KICK the Season} Sat April 29th – Sun April 30th

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Sat July 15th 6pm-9pm

TASTE WINE, FOOD, BEER & MUSIC Annual Clayton Crawl on Main St




COME ONE, COME ALL The Gibson Co. now showcases about 30 local artists. Each room of the shop is filled with goods ranging from candles, paintings and pottery to jewelry, bath bombs and throw pillows.

“Our goal is to help encourage artists to pursue their passions without having to worry about managing their own store or marketing themselves,” Mark said. “We want to take that burden off their shoulders and help give their artwork a good home.” “Another goal of the store is to provide unique and well-made items that are affordable for people on a budget,” Clarissa added. “We don’t want it all to just sit here on the shelves; we want to sell it!” Although The Gibson Co. is still in its first year, Mark and Clarissa have already opened their event space and have big ideas for what else the store could offer. “We’d love to get some food trucks out, host little art festivals or concert series,” Mark said. “We don’t want to just be another store in the community; we want to do what we can to be an active part of the community and give back.” Clarissa agreed, adding, "It's great to have a place to call our own, and the shop allows me and so many others to express ourselves through our craft, but more than anything, I love the relationships I’ve made with our team, the artists and the people we see come in the store.” Among the many artists they team with are The Rooted Elm, Vintage Roux, Angelic Whimsy, Elena Grace, Southern Escentuals, Suburban Mom in Jeans, Krysteli Art, Mountain Hope Pottery, Measures of Grace, 4 Purple Turtles and Lori Keim of Sweet Georgia Blue. Keim said, "It has been a pleasure working with The Gibson Co. — this new little gem of a store in Forsyth County. They enthusiastically incorporate my paintings with all the other unique, locally made treasures. It is truly a beautiful place to shop.” Like any successful entrepreneurs, Mark and Clarissa are proud of what they’ve accomplished so far with the store. Above all, they just want to create a place where people feel welcomed, loved and accepted — no matter what. PN

32 | POINTS NORTH | April 2017

Contact The Gibson Co. at 404-859-4611 if you’d like to host an event at the shop or in their courtyard.



Superior Pools


April 2017 | | 33

Counting ON ...

53 No

FARMHOUSE FINDS. WELCOME TO CRABAPPLE, an historic district created by crossroads and one that continues to thrive thanks to engaged residents and vibrant business owners, like that of Urban Farmhouse. Kim Hirsch, a local interior designer, opened her shop in a restored 19th-century farmhouse in 2011. But Hirsch’s own road didn’t begin there. Hirsch started this journey by leaving her job in healthcare to become a full-time mom, which freed her to pursue a passion for interior design. Soon, she ran a home décor shop in Florida, which she sold after four years to move to Georgia. Hirsch had no intention of opening another store, instead wanting to focus on her interior design business — but serendipity soon knocked at her door. “After we moved to Milton, I would pass by this farmhouse every day,” Hirsch said, adding “It had to be this house.”


34 | POINTS NORTH | April 2017

written by LINLEY MOBLEY

Months of renovation work later, she was back in business. Today, the wares at Urban Farmhouse are only part of the experience. ”It’s exploring the space and interacting,” she said, relaying that rustic, repurposed, organic items highlight the home’s authenticity as much as the staff and customers do. Her entrepreneurial spirit doesn’t stop there, as Hirsch also operates Urban Farm, a meticulously restored barn onsite that can be rented for weddings or other events, including one of our own. On April 11, Points North Atlanta and a

select group of Crabapple businesses invite you to celebrate the launch of New York Times bestselling author (and fellow Milton resident) Karen White’s latest, “The Night the Lights Went Out” with a book signing and refreshments from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. “When I moved to this area, I fell in love with it immediately,” Hirsch said, emphasizing that her business continues to enrich her life. “I love being able to turn around and enhance the lives of others by giving back to the community in so many different ways.” PN

HIRSCH’S TIPS FOR THAT COVETABLE FARMHOUSE VIBE: • It’s all about simplicity while keeping things organic. • Old is good and helps to keep things authentic. • Keep large pieces neutral and add color using pillows, throws and accent pieces. • Only buy what you love and be selective where items are placed. Less is more!

Spring Break TA K E A

WHEN VISITING the Blue Ridge area, most will agree the ideal place to stay is in a cabin. For over a decade, Mountain Top Cabin Rentals has been a premiere luxury cabin rental provider. They offer water frontage cabins, Mountain View cabins and wooded setting cabins in Fannin County, generally a 5- to 20-minute drive from downtown Blue Ridge. Some are pet friendly, for those wishing to bring their furry family members along. Others are close to each other, for large groups looking to stay near each other. While reading reviews and articles across the web and magazines, it’s easy to note that top rated customer service is just one of the many things that

keep customers coming back. As of 2017, TripAdvisor has recognized MTCR with the prestigious 2016 Hall of Fame Award, which is reserved for establishments that have received a Certificate of Excellence status based on traveler reviews for a minimum of 10 consecutive years. The cabins themselves offer an array of luxurious amenities: Wi-Fi, king beds, satellite television, beautiful stone fireplaces inside as well as outdoor fireplaces on party decks with flat screen TVs, hot tubs, rustic fire pits for marshmallow roasting, game rooms with pool tables and air hockey and of course, serene locations. All cabins have central heating and air for added comfort, well-equipped kitchens, on-site

laundry and plenty of windows for enjoying vistas. MTCR also has four individual rental suites (224 West Main Suites) and one newly updated cottage (Bungalow ’46) downtown for visitors who desire to be within walking distance to chef-owned restaurants, boutique shopping and seasonal festivals with rates starting at just $89 per night. You’ll fall in love with

m 866-402-2246 m

this charming mountain town, its friendly people, adventurous attractions, wonderful eateries and beautiful scenery. Go once and you’ll see why so many come back year after year. m

MTCR lists about 65 luxury hand-selected cabins for rent and accommodations in downtown Blue Ridge.


April 2017 | | 35


Kitchen & Baths


WHERE DO YOU BEGIN EACH NEW MORNING? Where do you go to relax and unwind after each day? Our kitchens feed our families and our bathrooms become personal sanctuaries to replenish our souls. All things considered, it’s no surprise that these spaces in our homes are the ones most commonly renovated and reimagined. When you’re ready to start your next home improvement project, turn to people you can trust: Points North Atlanta’s partners in luxury design and construction.

HANDCRAFTED HOMES With more than 40 years of experience in the business, you can trust the qualifications of Judy Mozen and Randy Urquhart with Handcrafted Homes, Inc. to take the stress out of remodeling and solve any dilemma. Handcrafted Homes has both a master-­ certified remodeler/green-certified professional and a universal design-certified professional on staff. These certifications require taking continuing education classes every year, meaning that their team is always up to date on the latest techniques and design trends.

Sustainability and energy efficiency are always

considered a top priority when homeowners ­collaborate with this Earthcraft remodeler/builder.

Likewise, Handcrafted Homes prioritizes custom

remodeling and pays attention to the details that will PHOTOS COURTESY OF HANDCRAFTED HOMES

36 | POINTS NORTH | April 2017



truly make your home one of a kind. Whether you are interested in using reclaimed wood or installing a standout pewter bar top that is sure to wow your guests, they will work with you to suit your design needs exactly.

They start by going over an itemized cost analy-

sis with you, so that you aren’t dealing with surprises coming from the wallet later. Then, they coordinate your budget requirements with a schedule of completion based on two-week increments – you can track your progress!

Need help value engineering? The team at

Handcrafted Homes is also expert at recommending where to spend and where to save to fit your budget requirements, with added help from the design professional on staff, if desired. 505 Boulder Way, Roswell, 770-642-1010,

April 2017 | | 37


12 IN 2017

Kitchen & Baths

“Artisan Custom Closets have wonderful,

passionate employees who give 100 percent every day,” she said.

After 21 years in the closet industry,

Carlquist understands every nuance of creating custom cabinetry. Investing in cutting-edge technology has been a priority and set Artisan Custom Closets apart with true screen-tomachine technology. Every order is created in a computer-aided design (CAD) program that speaks directly to the machinery to ensure the end product is exactly what customers are shown and expect. Being a local company means that everything is built in the manufactur-

ARTISAN CUSTOM CLOSETS Simple, affordable, luxury! These notions are at the

ing facility in Marietta; this allows any issues to be addressed immediately while still keeping the same-day commitment to the customer.

very heart of Lisa Carlquist, founder and owner of

Artisan Custom Closets in Marietta, Georgia. From

et companies with only closets, Artisan Custom

Although people traditionally associate clos-

handpicking the very first employees who are experts

Closets also provides storage solutions for laun-

in the field, Carlquist has built her business from

dry rooms, garages, kitchen pantries and offices.

the ground up. Carlquist’s success can be attributed

Call today for your free in-home consultation

to her dedication to quality, not only in the product

and see how your space can be transformed.

but also in the work it takes every day to make each

600 Wylie Rd., Marietta, 770-790-5368,


38 | POINTS NORTH | April 2017


Kitchen & Baths

12 IN 2017



• No longer do light fixtures, cabinet hardware and faucets need to match. Instead, mix

Laura Bloom, owner of Home Expressions

bronze and gold tones to blend with silvers

­Interiors in Alpharetta, is an award-winning

for a more casual look. Black stainless finish

interior designer and remodeling expert, earning

is being offered by appliance manufacturers

Best of Houzz Design & Service recognition

as a sleek, but also fingerprint-resistant,

in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Lucky for us, Bloom


shared the top kitchen and bath trends:

• Eliminate the dusty gap below your ceiling

with tall cabinets by utilizing this space for added storage, which creates the illusion of a

bigger kitchen. Open shelving creates display space, while allowing easy access for everyday items.

• All kitchens are finding warmth with rustic

elements of wood and brick on walls, beamed

ceilings and butcher block inserts.


• The preference for the last few years of freestanding tubs has also increased our use of

wall tile throughout the bath for a retro-modern vibe.

• Hi-Tech built-in audio, hands-free faucets and with water-saving fixtures.

White remains popular, but so is the return of color! Be daring and color your cabinets,

For more of Bloom’s insider tips, stop in her

or stay more restrained by just adding pops

showroom or schedule an in-home interior

with your range, a bright sink or big bold

design consultation today.

knobs. Even floors can be used as a dramatic backdrop to a neutral kitchen by using boldly

5530 Windward Pkwy., Suite 110E, Alpharetta,

patterned tile.


40 | POINTS NORTH | April 2017

Award-winning Alpharetta Interior Design and Remodeling Company 25 years of creating quality interiors that uniquely reflect our client’s personalities on budget, on time

Best of

2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017

Visit our furniture and accessory showroom at 5530 Windward Parkway, Suite 110 E

678-242-0480 hom eexpressionsinteri or s.c om

April 2017 | | 41


Kitchen & Baths

CHATTAHOOCHEE SHOWER DOORS All shower doors are not created equal. When planning your bathroom update or remodel, do not assume that all shower doors are the same.

Sure, all jewelers have works of art made

from precious metals, but each jeweler has its own specific way of working the materials to make varying levels of quality and beauty. The same is true of shower doors.

When you are selecting the crown jewel of

your bathroom, you want a truly professional craftsman that specializes in frameless shower doors. That’s the process behind Chattahoo­ chee Shower Doors, where they specialize in frameless shower doors. Their designers and installers do exclusively that, all day, every day, allowing them to provide the most professional frameless shower door installation experience. 10360 Medlock Bridge Rd., Johns Creek, 770-497-1977,

* CITY PLUMBING & ELECTRIC SUPPLY CO. Locally owned, City Plumbing & Electric Supply Co. has provided the area’s top contractors and local homeowners with the widest variety and latest trends of kitchen and bath products since 1954. Rated among the top 150 plumb­ ing distributors in the nation, they continue to offer the first-choice brands you know and trust, like Kohler, Sub-Zero/Wolf, Hinkley, KitchenAid, Bosch and many others. 

As some of the largest showrooms in metro

Atlanta, North Georgia and North Carolina, their seven locations showcase an immense amount




of product selection. Their showroom staff are


knowledgeable in all three product categories:

We’ve made it this long by being LEGITIMATE, QUALIFIED, and RELIABLE for remodelers.

provides their customers with the best service

bath, lighting and appliances. Frequent training possible, whether it be a custom home build from breaking ground to completion, a kitchen and bath remodel or a simple update.

730 E.E. Butler Pkwy., Gainesville,

Judy Mozen, MCR, GCP • Randy Urquhart, UDCP

Cumming; 770-887-1420; 32 B.H. Lee St.,

w w w.Ha n d craf t edHomes

770-532-4123; 6030 Georgia Hwy. 400 North, Jasper, 706-253-2489, PHOTO COURTESY OF CHATTAHOOCHEE SHOWER DOORS

42 | POINTS NORTH | April 2017

Frameless Shower Specialists LICENSED & INSURED

Clean lines that stay Clean VISIT OUR SHOWROOM 10360 Medlock Bridge Rd. Johns Creek

Showroom Hours:

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With Silver Oak, you get one company that is able to design your space, provide material and manage construction. From inspiration to installation, we are there every step of the way.

LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR PROCESS AND SEE OUR KITCHEN AND BATH PHOTOS AT SILVEROAKREMODEL.COM. Call today to set up a free consultation or visit our showroom to browse our wide selection of cabinets, countertops and tile. ATLANTA SHOWROOM 3605 Presidential Pkwy. 770-982-6688

April 2017 | | 43

Heavenly VIEWS 54 NUMBER



THE CHORAL DIRECTOR GOT IT RIGHT when he chose “Nearer, My God, to Thee” on an otherwise typical Sunday in late September.

“There let me see the sight, An open heaven; All that Thou sendest me, In mercy given; Angels to beckon me, Nearer, my God, to Thee”

I left Cumming after church and drove straight up U.S. Route 23 North to Waynesville, North Carolina. Turning onto Hemphill Road, past Smoky Mountain Christmas Tree Farm and Trails End RV Park, which seemed like a suitable name, through Pot Leg Road to Tumbling Fork Road and Flossie Bell Lane. Finally, the entrance to The Swag Country Inn appeared on the left. Summoning all of the nerve I possess, I began the steep ascent up Swag Road gaining 1,000 feet in altitude, 2.5 miles in distance and more than 50 switchbacks on a gravel road built in the summer of 1970. Harold Bryson, who did so with a dynamite crew, three bulldozers and 150 truckloads of gravel, called the road his best work ever. Gasping with a huge sigh of relief to have reached the summit, I found a parking spot and climbed the hill PHOTOS COURTESY OF CARL DANBURY; THE SWAG COUNTRY INN

44 | POINTS NORTH | April 2017

y April 2017 | | 45


to the historic Swag house. As I walked into the breezeway, or what is referred to as the Dog Trot, “the view” came into sight. Framing the photo-worthy scene was an American flag billowing in the soft afternoon breeze. The sky looked like a melting orange Creamsicle with puddles of clouds resting just beneath the mountain peaks. Haywood County, North Carolina has more mountain peaks rising above 6,000-plus feet than any other county east of the Rockies. The views from The Swag, positioned atop the Cataloochee Divide — the long ridge that forms one of the boundaries of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park — are extraordinary. In this part of the Smokies, inspiring vistas may be commonplace, but few inns anywhere may surpass the overall experience provided by owner and innkeeper Deener Matthews, her seen but seldom-heard staff of well-doers and her husband Dan. Born 20 miles from The Swag in Canton, North Carolina, Dan later lived in New York and was, in fact, the rector of Trinity Church Wall Street in lower Manhattan on 9/11. That pastoral presence is now felt at the Matthews’ property, originally born as the family’s second home. The living room is made from large tulip poplar logs that once were once part of the Lonesome Valley Primitive Baptist Church in Tennessee. The communal dining room, with its two long tables typical of the log cabin era, is built from rare chestnut wood. For a while, The Swag became a church retreat. Then in 1982, when the World’s Fair came to Knoxville, Tennessee and hotel rooms there were scarce, the Matthews decided to open the inn to fairgoers. They nearly had a full house, and some guests elected to skip the fair. Perhaps it was the incredible 250-acre property that captivated them, but most likely, it was Deener’s demeanor and The Swag’s incomparable penchant for hospitality.

THE MATTHEWS’ WAY The accommodations are luxurious, but not in an ostentatious way. That would be incongruous with the area, the setting and the Matthews’ way. The 14 rooms, cabins and suites feature original artwork, rustic antiques, woven rugs and handmade Holloway quilts. Guests can relax in a sunken brass tub, Jacuzzi, hot tub or enjoy a sauna in certain rooms. The Matthews’ Suite, which I enjoyed comes complete with a brass tub, steam shower, sauna and a private natural stone outdoor shower, an indulgence I highly recommend. The cathedral-beamed living room with wet bar and stone fireplace combined for a peaceful afternoon of reading prior to a social hour and dinner. Guests congregate at the Dog Trot for hors d’oeuvres PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE SWAG COUNTRY INN

46 | POINTS NORTH | April 2017

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and drinks each evening at 6 p.m. Since Haywood is a dry county, guests must supply their own alcoholic beverages during their stay, but soft drinks and tea are provided. Watching the sunset while enjoying the camaraderie of new friends was enjoyable, but dinner with Deener, Dan and several other guests offered a more meaningful exploration of why a stay at The Swag is so tempting. During the evening’s meal, guests shared small portions of each course, and themselves. Several were returning guests, such as the husband and wife from Rome, Georgia, and the couple who drove up the mountain just for dinner. Seated across the table to my left was Gay Bryant, an artist and hiking enthusiast from Oak Ridge, Tennessee, who discovered The Swag along with her husband David for the couple’s 30th anniversary. Since then, Bryant has spent the past four seasons leading Swag guests for morning hikes, sharing her knowledge of wildflowers, plants and Smoky Mountain lore. In the afternoons, she helps guests explore their creative sides with entry-level instruction in watercolor painting and relief printmaking. Not only an accomplished artist, Bryant is one of 510 hikers to have become a member of the 900 Miler Club, which signifies the completion of all maintained trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. April 2017 | | 47




PECIAL EVENTS WITH THE SWAG’S HIKING EVENT LEADERS like Bryant are scheduled throughout the season. The very popular Walk in the Wildflowers with master naturalist and certified National Park interpreter Esther Blakely begins the schedule on April 23 through

28. Bob Collier, an avid birder and specialist in wildflowers, will be the hiking leader May 7 through 12. More than 1,500 species of wildflowers are found in the Smokies. Those who sign up for the two-night package will enjoy a hearty breakfast, picnic lunch, evening hors d’oeuvres and a four-course dinner daily, as well as receive a wildflower book, a commemorative hiking stick and a Swag backpack with a Swag picnic blanket.

Blakely also will lead two amazing excursions for wildlife enthusiasts on

Sept. 7 and 21. These Sunset Elk Experiences will take guests to Cataloochee Valley during the rut, when the male bulls engage in a shrieking called bugling and enter into antler wrestling matches with other males for dominance. This early fall ritual and four-hour sunset sojourn is a unique experience offered to only four guests for each of the two days.

The Swag Cooking School, which typically sells out for each session, will be

offered again this year from May 21 to 23, July 30 to Aug. 1 and Nov. 12 to 4. The Swag culinary team leads guests in four informative cooking lessons. Classes

“No matter how many times you hike a particular trail, it’s always a new experience,” Bryant said. “The seasons change, and even if you go the same way 50 times, you will see new and beautiful things. The seasons are different and the light is different. ‘Nearer, My God, to Thee’ is a beautiful analogy, because that’s how I feel.” When Bryant paints, she tends to go to nature. “You really never get tired of it. The first year I went up there and became a special events leader, I hiked every single month during the season. I wanted to do it to see which was my favorite month of all. I found that it just does not matter,” she said with a laugh. “I love to hike in the winter because you can see so much more when there are no leaves on the trees.” While there are plenty of very strenuous hikes near The Swag, Bryant said the Catoolochee Divide Trail that runs along the crest of the mountain range is really just a walk in the woods. “It undulates somewhat, but not until you get to Hemphill Bald is there a steep incline, and still it’s not bad. A lot of people who have never hiked before do that with me, and it’s just beautiful. If you have more time you can go as far as you want,” she offered. The Swag has their own beautifully maintained nature trail and is every bit as scenic as the trails in the park, according to Bryant. It’s about a 2-mile walk with very interesting vegetation to see along the way. “Those who want to really log their mileage typically go off by themselves, but those who like stories and Smoky Mountain lore will go with me,” Bryant said. No matter if you hike, enjoy a spa treatment, have a romantic picnic for two on Gooseberry Knob or simply relax in the Chestnut Lodge library with a good book, Bryant confirmed there is a pleasant, magical vortex that captivates guests at The Swag. “It’s such a different kind of a place. The whole staff including Deener and Dan, of course, make you feel like family. I see a lot of couples come, and one will want to stay in their room and read, and one will come on a walk. But, before another day or two is over, they are both walking together. There is such a good spirit that makes people want to join in, to feel at home and to be comfortable with what they’re doing up there,” Bryant said. “They’ve got guests that have come for years and years, that sit and tell stories, and there are some that feel they are part of the family after just one meal.” Mealtime at The Swag has the feel of a Thanksgiving dinner with family members you rarely see, but those with whom you would like to visit more often. It’s as if a fond memory came into focus during your stay that has been missing from your daily routine, yet it is one that can be recaptured by ascending The Swag Road. Sounds heavenly, doesn’t it? PN

are informal and provide plenty of opportunity to interact with chefs. All equipment will be provided, including a complimentary Swag chef’s apron to take


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April 2017 | | 49

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55 NO.


Plentiful Paradise Mountain Roads Point to Primland’s


written by CARL DANBURY | photography courtesy of PRIMLAND

THE TRADITIONAL VIRGINIA GENTLEMAN ENJOYS THE OUTDOORS. I should know, I went to high school with several and it was these memories of them that brought me to Primland. Whether it’s shooting sporting clays, grouse, pheasant or turkeys, deer or wild boar, it truly doesn’t matter. Some enjoy fishing, some enjoy golf, some enjoy hiking or biking, but whatever the pursuit, the outdoorsman rules on off days. Located near Meadows of Dan, Virginia, not too far from the Blue Ridge Parkway, Primland Resort provides all the elements to attract fair outdoorswomen as well, but it is quite simply a nature-lover's playground. Primland is only 22 miles from Mayberry (Mt. Airy, North Carolina), two hours from Charlotte and about three hours from Raleigh. The resort is popular with Carolinians (40 percent of guests), Virginians (20 percent) and this Northsider.

ROOTED IN HISTORY The 220-mile trek from The Swag to Primland took about four hours not including a few purposeful and lengthy stops along the way. I arrived on a day of damp disappointment. It was rainy, foggy and clammy. When you’ve heard how incredibly beautiful the 12,000-acre property is prior to your visit, but are trudging painfully from Mount Airy to Primland Resort’s south gate in a shroud of misty fog, and then make an even slower trek from the entry to the Lodge April 2017 | | 51

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LEFT: Three Tree Houses perched on the edge of the mountains offer peak-side accommodations ABOVE: Primland Vice President Steve Helms

in pea-soup conditions, anyone’s mood can be dampened. Upon arrival, however, the hospitable greeting by the valet was as welcome as a hot cup of tea, as was the glorious Main Lodge that awaited. Primland was once part of a 70,000-acre tract deeded by then Governor Lord Brooke to William Austin in 1747. Approximately 50 years later, the land was awarded to Revolutionary War hero and father of Confederate general Robert E. Lee, Harry "Light Horse” Lee. During the course of the next two centuries, much of the land changed hands and tracts were sold off in smaller parcels. Industry first arrived in 1910 in the shape of the Rosslyn Lumber Company, which purchased much of the land for their timber operations. In 1937, Samuel Spruce acquired the land and used the Eli Thomas Lumber Co., which had a sawmill in nearby Stuart, for processing. Behind what is now the Highland Course’s 18th hole, was once a slide that went down the mountain, along with a wooden chute that enabled logs to be sent downhill all the way to the Dan River below, and then to the sawmill. Virgin timber was plentiful and the area was heavily forested with American chestnut. Eventually, French businessman Didier Primat, whose fortune was gained as a stockholder in the Schlumberger oil field services company, began acquiring timber land in the U.S., according to Primland Vice President Steve Helms. Primat eventually purchased large tracts of land in Taswell County, Virginia, Terrell County, North Carolina on the Alligator River, and the land that would become Primland in 1977. “Where one of the mountain homes we rent now stands, the Bobcat house, there was a one-room schoolhouse there and 80 kids were registered,” Helms said. “There where a lot of squatters back in the day on this land.” In 1925, moonshiner Sandy Slate, who was shot by revenue agents, was buried on the property, according to Helms. But by the 1940s, everyone had started moving April 2017 | | 53


out of the area. Factory, textiles and furniture jobs moved to the bigger cities nearby. Helms’ own history is also tied to this land. He was born and raised in Meadows of Dan and still resides on his 100-acre family farm. He attended Meadows of Dan Elementary School, graduated from Patrick County High School in nearby Stuart (originally incorporated at Taylorsville, but renamed in 1884 in honor of Confederate Major General JEB Stuart). Helms then attended Longwood College in Farmville, where he received a bachelor’s degree in business administration. After graduating from college, Helms became involved with Primat’s original timber operations. By 1981, the newly named Primlumber had developed Primwood Kinlin, which soon became the largest distributed wood bundled product in the marketplace. In 1986, the name Primland was selected as the umbrella name for all the property’s affiliated companies; that included a huge preserve for outdoors enthusiasts, offering a variety of activities from hunting and fishing to sporting clays and horseback riding. It would be another 20 years until Primland opened its breathtaking 18-hole championship golf course designed by Donald Steel. The Lodge opened in 2009 and was followed by The Spa in 2010.

THE GREAT INDOORS After checking in, I was directed to the Oriole Pinnacle Cottage. The ground-floor suite’s would-be inspiring 54 | POINTS NORTH | April 2017


views of Dan River Gorge, The Lodge and Highland Course were temporarily placed on hold. Instead, the creature comforts in my suite, such as the flat-screen television and sumptuous sofas were enough to provide a bit of solace before heading back to the lodge for dinner and drinks in the 19th Pub. Upon entering The Lodge, I began a bit of snooping around. Beneath the entrance level is a parking garage, as well as The Spa, an indoor pool, fitness center, locker rooms, golf shop and my personal favorite, The Games Room equipped with a regulation pool table, table tennis and three digital HDTVs. Back to the main floor, the twostory glass encased wine room, caught my attention as I waited for my dinner companion. The 19th Pub is a lively spot for either lunch or dinner, with access to the outdoor dining patio. A nice collection of spirits and moonshine cocktails are offered during happy hour, as well as craft beers and wine. Intriguing appetizers include Byrd Mill (of Ashland, Virginia) corn bread and the house specialty, Pig Candy, made from maple syrup, cayenne pepper and bacon. In true farm-to-table tradition, the menus for both the 19th Pub, and elements, the fine dining restaurant at The Lodge, source a bounty of Virginia Highlands foodstuffs from local, organic and sustainable farms to create innovative and exciting cuisine. Two of my favorite dishes during my stay were at elements: local petite greens Caesar salad and the slowcooked Virginia Farm Egg, served with Byrd Mill grits, and bits of country ham, asparagus and mushrooms. For the main course, try the North Carolina trout, marble potatoes, port wine jam, leeks and wild laurel butter paired with a Nerello Mascalese from Sicily, Italy – a seemingly odd pairing that worked magnificently. If are in the mood for a bit more exploration, you can enjoy a nine-course tasting menu created by Executive Chef Ernest Bledsoe during dinner service in The Lodge kitchen with sommelier Karl Kazaks’ wine pairings. While the first evening wouldn’t allow it, the unique nighttime attraction for many at Primland is the telescope in the Observatory where, on clear nights, guests can see galaxies 27 million light years away. The Celestron CGE Pro 1400 telescope has a 44-millimeter eyepiece with a 70-times zoom lens, allowing for ultimate stargazing opportunities.

CLEAR SKIES AND PAR-FIVES The new day brought better weather and the ability to see things a lot more clearly. First, I enjoyed a few hours of sporting clays at one of the nation’s premier clay shooting facilities. Progressing through the mile-long course with 14 stations and several years of personal shooting rust, I was presented with a variety of targets April 2017 | | 55


that simulate the flight path of game birds. My guide for the morning was local gentleman, Marcus Heath. An expert shooter who also guides turkey hunts on property, Heath patiently encouraged me, offered simple to understand pointers and seemed pleased with my progression, particularly so when I pulled off a double or two. Marcus also led me on a shortened version of Primland’s 150-minute tour of the property via recreational terrain vehicles (RTVs). There are many sights to see along the way, but the Virginia countryside was enough for me. I skipped the tomahawk toss and the archery instruction, as the skies were clearing and the golf course was beckoning me. Course architect Donald Steel designed the Highland’s holes. He has designed roughly 85 courses around the world and redesigned another 500 or so more, 20 of them major projects by his estimation. Steel’s minimalist style compares favorably to those of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw. A unique routing that included five Par-5s and five Par-3s was built on what Steel said was the most difficult site he’s ever encountered. “We were determined we would die in our attempt to build the course,” Steel told’s Brandon Tucker. “The land was so rugged. Steel built massive greens at Primland, even though he prefers a naturalist’s approach. “The views are the thing that people talk about.

Primland Racing Experience: Aug. 13 to 15 Spend three days with nine-time Le Mans winner and motor racing legend, Tom Kristensen, as well as elite endurance competitor, Harold Primat at this exclusive event. Hug every hairpin turn on the famed Virginia International Raceway as the pros whip you around the full course

If you cover up the views, it doesn’t reach its full potential.” He also told in October 2012, that the mountaintop site was the last thing on his mind until he was told it had once been used for farming, and he was given a topographical map. “Our salvation was a topographical map with all the contours and that gave us an idea where the valleys and the plateaus and the slopes were. Piece by piece, we put together a coherent layout. There was a lot of earth moving involved. As you know, I’m more of a minimalist, but up there you had to be a maximalist. Otherwise, you couldn’t have built the golf course,” Steel said in the 2012 interview. Once the golf course had been completed, Primat decided to build The Lodge, a 72,000-foot structure perched on one of the highest ridges with 26 guest rooms featuring nine different floor plans with a mixture of kings and double queen suites – all with exceptional views. The ultimate accommodation is The Pinnacles Suite, which has 1,800 square feet of space and is located directly below the silo-designed Observatory, providing stunning views of the stars. Lodge amenities include a spa, an indoor pool, fitness center, recreation area, a ballroom, golf shop, locker rooms, a fully outfitted boardroom, meeting facilities, a theater and indoor parking. In addition to The Lodge, three Fairway Cottages and four Pinnacle Cottages, Primland also maintains 11 mountain homes for guests who want more privacy and more space to spread their wings. Speaking of wings, three intimate, ledge-perched Tree Houses —the Barn Owl, Golden Eagle and Coopers Hawk — have been built around the solid branches of treetops, each giving way to sweeping views of the majestic Kibler Valley and the North Carolina Piedmont from the comfort of huge private decks. Pets and children are not allowed, but comfort most definitely is. With relaxation front of mind, the Tree Houses feature a large studio with king bed, 400-thread-count Frette sheets, lush duvets, elegantly stitched quilts and a bathroom with soaking tub. They also include a four-wheel drive vehicle for when guests are ready to get back to exploring ­Primland’s great outdoors.

in an extraordinary racing machine, absorbing every white-knuckle second of G-force thrills.

Then, enjoy two nights in one of the Tree Houses, Fairway Cottages or spacious Moun-

tain Homes. Additional highlights of this special event include an exquisite reception and dinner, an awards ceremony followed by a Southern Soulful buffet with live music and a golf tournament on the acclaimed Highland Course. This is a rare experience, not to be missed. For reservations, contact Rebecca Moore at 276-222-3837 or r­

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Indoors or out, experiencing all that Primland has to offer was an exercise in retracing my roots right back to the Virginia gentlemen that first taught me how to hunt grouse. A plentiful paradise here, indeed. PN

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VININGS + CUMBERLAND written by COLLEEN ANN MCNALLY written by LAUREN VASTINE Nodding to their ever-changing charm and steady draw, we’re highlighting ways to spend 200 minutes in a different Points North Atlanta community for each of our 2017 issues. Whether you spend all 200 minutes in one place or divvy it up to discover several, enjoying your time in this neighborhood starts now.

ONE OF MY EARLIEST memories of visiting Vinings is from an afternoon in early spring. I was a high school freshman standing on the soccer field of The Lovett School with butterflies in my stomach. The private school sat like a royal estate on 100 acres along the banks of the Chattahoochee River. It was was not only large enough to have its own parking deck, but as I suspected, possibly the funds to offer scholarships to the swift kick of players running circles around my public school’s team. After the game concluded early with a “mercy rule” call, we rationalized our loss with this logic and a round of milkshakes from

the nearby OK Café. I don’t recall being upset at the final score; I only remember being in awe of this beautiful little nook of the Paces Ferry neighborhood, perhaps the same way children feel about Hogwarts the first time they watch a Harry Potter film. Through the pine trees on Lovett’s campus, I also got my first glimpse of Canoe, the illuminated letters of the restaurant’s sign analogous to matchboxes I’d seen in my parents’ kitchen. As a 15 year old, I knew instantly there was something one-of-a-kind about that place and that one spring day, I would go back to watch the sunset from Canoe’s inviting patio on the other side of the river.

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Fox Sports Midwest Live! in St. Louis, Missouri’s Ballpark Village

BRAVES IN THE 'BURBS First, it’s worth noting a few facts about Vinings. It falls between the junction of metro Atlanta’s beating arteries (Interstates 75 and 285), suburban Smyrna, the adjacent edge of Cumberland Parkway’s sprawl and the affluent section of Buckhead along West Paces Ferry. The road gets its name from entrepreneur Hardy Pace who settled along the

banks of the Chattahoochee in the early 1800s, accumulating more than 10,000 acres in the verdant hills northwest of Atlanta. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, remnants of his 17-room antebellum home, which also functioned as General Sherman’s brief headquarters while planning the siege of Atlanta, remain today. By 1936, when Mrs. Eva Edwards Lovett decided to



Atlanta Braves


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move her school from a home in Midtown to the wooded campus off West Wesley Road — a mile away from the historic Pace Home — it was considered a true country day school. Fast-forward to the present day. Vinings now hosts corporate skyscrapers, a world-class arts venue, top shopping and its latest attraction, the Atlanta Braves. While construction and hype have

both been building for years, this month marks Braves Country’s official change of address to the brand new SunTrust Park. Like many metro Atlantans, I won’t soon forget watching the summer sun set on Turner Field, while names like Chipper Jones, John Smoltz and Tom Glavine were called up to bat, or when celebratory fireworks burst above the downtown skyline. The announcement of the


April 2017 | | 59

Two-Hundred MINUTES IN ... V ININGS + CU MBE R L A N D franchise’s choice to abandon the “Ted” was met with mixed emotions from many, to say the least — as if we might lose our collective memories of being there, too. However, as I chatted with Jeremy Strife, vice president of Braves Development and general manager of The Battery Atlanta, with the clock ticking down toward first pitch, I stopped looking back and starting looking forward to the changes. “The Battery Atlanta is the first master planned, mixed-use development that is anchored by a professional sports stadium,” Strife said. He cited examples of similar concepts such as Patriot Place, adjacent to Gillette Stadium in Massachusetts, L.A. Live by Staples Center in California or Ballpark Village in Missouri, but explained how these assets were retrofitted to an existing venue. “What that means is, from the ground up, we [were able] to determine angles of buildings, paths of egress, drive patterns, parking deck locations, pedestrian bridge locations and bike stations. We were able to create an experience unlike any other in the world. When we combine that with Comcast and the 15 miles of fiber and multi-terabit speed we have running throughout the ballpark and the mixed-use Battery Atlanta, you really have this new recipe out there. If you’re going to do something from the ground up that’s never been done, there’s no playbook for creating a legacy asset like this.” How did Strife, the executive team, consultants and developers call their plays? “First, we want to provide

Chef Todd English of Todd English Tavern at Live! at The Battery Atlanta


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SunTrust Park

the best, highly monetized, professional sports experience out there. That starts with SunTrust Park and all the great clubs, amenities and different venues within the ballpark to enjoy, but it also extends to outside the ballpark,” he said. There may be 81 home games on the Braves 2017 schedule, but The Battery Atlanta is designed to be a compelling and active destination 365 days a year. The 1.5-million-square-foot complex offers boutique shopping, a Mizuno Experience Center, a Harley Davidson Retail Center, a 264-key Omni Hotel, 500plus residences, Comcast’s

regional headquarters at One Ballpark Center and more. “Come early, stay late,” is the mantra, whether you have a ticket to one of SunTrust Park’s 41,000 seats or not. For those that are claiming seats, Strife knows that approximately 55 percent will bring a child with them. Depending on the child’s age, fans might have to explain why the lyrics of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” sing about peanuts and Cracker Jack popcorn. The culinary heavy hitters The Battery Atlanta has amassed will be serving modern bites with heightened sophistication. Those aimed at April openings are:

Antico Pizza, Hugh Acheson’s First & Third Hot Dog and Sausage Shack, Terrapin Taproom serving Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q and last but not least Live! at The Battery Atlanta (three concepts under one roof, including Todd English Tavern as well as Sport & Social). Next month’s roster includes Linton Hopkins’ steakhouse, C. Ellet’s, Marc Taft’s FEED — Fried Chicken & Such, Wahlburgers – and the list continues to lengthen.;;



THOUGHTFUL TRANSPORTATION Let me guess what you’re thinking: it all sounds tempting, but will I have to sit in traffic? Strife didn’t hesitate to answer. “Because this is a master-planned asset, we

Pink eye? Red Eyes? Tired Eyes?

were able to determine the best ingress and egress patterns for the property,” he said. “There’s a ring road surrounding the property and a bifurcating road that takes you from [State Route] 41 all the way to Circle 75 [Parkway] called Battery Avenue.” This equates to five ways to enter the property from those surrounding roads, creating a more efficient option depending on which direction you’re going or coming. “The big difference most people will notice on game day is that parking is spread 360-degrees around the property, rather than in one spot, like at Turner Field.” A partnership with Waze, the community-based traffic and navigation app that shares real-time updates on road conditions, will help direct people coming from, for instance, the Northside to the appropriate parking lot. You may have also noticed construction on pedestrian bridges, one that crosses 285 and leads to the Cobb Galleria Centre

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The Coca-Cola Roxy Theatre at The Battery Atlanta

and another that crosses 75, which both should be open by first pitch on April 14. These could be good options for those who live and work in the area. If you’re close enough to bike, Strife encourages that option as well, by using the same path across the bridges to connect to the Silver Comet Trail. His team is working on getting another green pathway to connect to the old Vinings area, too. At The Battery Atlanta, cyclists will find more than 100 bike locations onsite, including a 50-bike station which shelters bikes and provides lockers. “People who want to stay fit and stay off the roads by biking to The Battery will have a safe and secure place to store their belongings while visiting,” Strife said. “Not only are we going to make it easier for you to get here, but once you get here, we’re going to accommodate you further. We want to make it an easy decision for our community members to access our site.” Fans can also take Uber to

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Atlanta Ballet’s “Firebird” at Cobb Energy Centre

designated drop-off locations, hop on a private Braves shuttle from key points of interest in the area and count on Cobb County Police to oversee 30 key intersections around the ballpark for smooth flow of vehicles and safe passage for pedestrians and cyclists. For those curious about all the ins and outs, The Braves official website offers a wealth of info and regular updates. Will these combined efforts actually make a difference? We’ll have to wait and see. Then again, there’s plenty

to do if you choose to “stay late” and let the traffic pass.



WORLD-CLASS ARTS After you catch a fly ball, you could catch a show from up-and-coming acts thanks to the revival of The CocaCola Roxy Theatre. Strife credited Live Nation Entertainment, which is

owned by Liberty Media, the same parent company as the Braves, for helping to bring back the name of a late, great Atlanta stage for a newly constructed venue. “The theater sits anchoring our north plaza on Battery Avenue [and measures] about 53,000 square feet with about 4,000 standing room capacity, second level mezzanine and custom bars,” Strife said. “They’ll be doing 40 shows a year in addition to being a venue for private events; [they’re] anticipating 20 to 30


Read Shop

private events per year.” The English Indie rock band, Glass Animals, warms the stage with the first show on April 8, followed by Georgia’s own Corey Smith on April 22. On the other side of Interstate 285, athletes who practice ballet more often than baseball might enjoy Atlanta Ballet’s “Firebird” at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, with performances running April 14 through 16. Amid so many changes occurring across our city’s professional sports

teams, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that America’s oldest ballet company is also winding up for a home run. Following John McFall’s retirement in 2016, Gennadi Nedvigin was named Atlanta Ballet’s fourth artistic director in the company’s 87-year history. Under Nedvigin’s leadership, the 2017 season presents fresh takes on some of the finest familiar works and new classics, while also bringing in some of the world’s most sought-after choreographers to elevate the ballet’s


April 2017 | | 63



international profile. If you miss seeing it for yourself this month, keep an eye out for future surprises.



VININGS JUBILEE Meanwhile, across Interstate

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75, more legacy assets await in the historic heart of Vinings. By the mid-1900s, much of Hardy Pace’s property had passed to his heirs, and in the late 1960s, Pace’s great-greatgranddaughter, Earle Carter Smith, put one tract of land in the heart of the historic Vinings up for sale. The Vinings local who stepped in to buy the land envisioned a gathering place, created with turn-of-the-century

architecture to celebrate the community’s colorful past. According to their website, “To ensure a degree of historic continuity, local architects studied the style of the historic homes still standing in Vinings and designed the shops and restaurants in Vinings Jubilee in the same style and spirit.” While the neighborhood’s exterior may retain the feel

of a 19th-century genteel Southern outpost, inside the shops and restaurants, modern provisions and menus abound. Where to first? Pick the recently renovated Read Shop, a charming concept from entrepreneur Dan Collier who is known for The Merchant Atlanta, Collier Candy Company and Archer Paper Goods. When Read Shop reopens April 9, you will be able to enjoy a

coffee while browsing their selection of greeting cards and bestselling titles as well as regionally and southeast-driven publications. A few steps away, Willow Green is another local shop worth a stop. This floral garden and home interiors boutique specializes in live florals, greenery and planted containers that can make your patio as eye-catching as say, Canoe’s.



FLOAT AWAY AT CANOE I’m far from the only one that has fallen in love at first sight with Canoe. The restaurant has been included on lists such as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s “Most Romantic Restaurants,” Eater Atlanta’s “20 Classic Restaurants Every Atlantan Must Try” and was inducted into Nation’s Restaurant News Fine Dining Hall of Fame in 2005. Will these recognitions be enough to keep a legacy alive if the next generation of diners doesn’t embrace the restaurant in the same way? It has taken more than a decade, but I’ve decided this will be the month to finally have the dinner I’ve dreamed about there. Now that the reservation is made, the only decision left

is between their ever-popular slow braised rabbit, sunchoke and goat’s cheese ravioli with candied garlic jus, or Executive Chef’s Matthew Basford’s favorite of the moment: Kung Pao octopus with rice noodles, broccoli and peanut. Basford also hinted the spring menu is right around the corner and will definitely feature kangaroo as well as some lighter dishes for the changing season. For a more casual evening, head to the colorful gardens and grab a seat at the picturesque River Bar. This year, Canoe is partnering with Terrapin Beer Co. (the official craft beer of the Braves), and the bar is exclusively serving their brews. The fun kicks off with a beer dinner and whole hog roast on April 6, and continues with the “Song of the South” series — live tunes each Wednesday, opening with Kate & Corey on April 19. In anticipation of my visit, I skimmed a few restaurant reviews online. Their consensus? It’s classical or casual. Historic and happening. Full of choices, but collectively one of a kind. Perfect for a special occasion, or making an occasion special. I suppose you could say the same about SunTrust Park and The Battery Atlanta, or the greater Vinings community as a whole. How will you spend your time here? Batter up. PN

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TOUR MILTON’S FINEST NEW HOME at the “Designing for a Difference” Clarity Farm Showcase Home and Tour between April 19 and 23. Hosted by Children’s Charities, Inc., the festivities kick off with a black-tie, Southern soirée on April 19, where attendees can enjoy a private tour of the home, signature cocktails, gourmet hors d’oeuvres and live music. Funds raised will support the construction of an all-inclusive play park for children with disabilities in North Fulton and surrounding areas. This safe haven for children with all abilities and disabilities will include all of the expected playground features as well as Americans with Disabilities Act-approved picnic tables, a zip line, sensory center and a music center.


PREP Atlanta: “Truck & Tap Woodstock [was] in Points North magazine! Check PREP Atlanta’s sister concept in Downtown Woodstock! Different food truck each day, craft draft, Zach, Cliff and the gang!!!”

OOPS! IN THE MARCH 2017 issue’s “Off the Page”

section, we incorrectly spelled Kelly Lackey’s last name.

Find more local happenings at Send submissions a full two months in advance to


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Points North April 2017  

Points North Atlanta Magazine April Issue

Points North April 2017  

Points North Atlanta Magazine April Issue