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POINTS NORTH ATLANTA • DECEMBER 2017, ISSUE 211

HOLIDAY FEASTS

AN INTERNATIONAL MEDLEY

200 MINUTES IN WOODSTOCK

SKILLFULLY SOUTHERN RED LAND COTTON

DECEMBER 2017

CEL EBR AT ING 20 0 ISSUES INSIDE OUR NORT HSI DE NEIGHB ORHOOD S

Celebrating

200 ISSUES

POINTSNORTHATLANTA.COM

INSIDE OUR NORTHSIDE NEIGHBORHOODS


In this December 2017

Issue 211

ISSUE

POINTS NORTH Atlanta

Celebrating 200 Reasons We Love The Northside

10 22 32

10

40

Holiday Dishes and Traditions December in the South means the same thing for a lot of people, but we think the biggest reason to celebrate is the myriad of colorful traditions, family feasts and holidays that make our community a melting pot to moon over.

200 Layers to Love The year in print has let us celebrate out loud all of the things we love about our Northside neighborhoods, be it food and festivities, travel adventures, notable locals and more. As we reach the 200th reason why we love the Northside (toasting with a few slices of party cake), we reflect on a few of our favorites.

Red Land Cotton Mark Yeager has been growing cotton since 1983 in Moulton, Ala., but 18 months ago he was encouraged to begin making sheets, pillowcases and towels from his own cotton. These Skillfully Southern, made-in-the-USA products are comforting in more ways than one.

Our Favorite Southern Cities Undiscovered pockets of history and culture, intriguing nuances and timeless favorites in both Nashville and Birmingham make these destinations worth many return trips.

DEPARTMENTS

ON THE COVER

EDITOR’S LETTER 6 Our 200th Anniversary Cake, by COUNTING ON 8 Shirley Hughes | photo courtesy of TWO-HUNDRED 60 Kelle Mac Photography, kellemac MINUTES IN photography.com OFF THE PAGE 66

32 facebook.com/pointsnorthatl

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION 50 The Golden Years twitter.com/pointsnorthatl

instagram.com/pointsnorthatl

pinterest.com/pointsnorthatl

PHOTOS COURTESY OF JENNIFER COLOSIMO; RED LAND COTTON

4 | POINTS NORTH | December 2017


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Editor’s LETTER

PointsNorth Atlanta Atlanta PRESIDENT / CEO Witt Beckman PUBLISHER Carl Danbury Jr. EDITOR Jennifer Colosimo ASSOCIATE EDITOR Christine Kirk

D

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Robin Harrison

Soak up the spirit.

SENIOR ART DIRECTOR Shannah J. Smith CONTRIBUTING WRITER Linley Mobley

DO WE NEED A LITTLE HOLIDAY MAGIC, OR WHAT? With countless tragedies across our country, whether senseless and manmade or uncontrollable weather forces, it’s been a difficult season to swallow. And while many people continue to grieve, others grab hands and stand strong together. I look forward to being able to gather up the ones I love and hold them tight all throughout the holidays and I know that being able to do so is something in itself worth celebrating. That’s one of the things we’re doing here at Points North Atlanta. We’re celebrating with a multi-layer “party” of poignant neighborhood coverage in 200 intuitive issues. We hold no bars against the fact that December is already famous for inviting us to overindulge in the sweets department. But as a whole, we felt pretty good about it, since we learned that all over the world, this month reigns supreme for family traditions centered upon big, festive feasts … many ending with dessert. Read about them in Linley Mobley’s festive foods feature on page 10. In my own family, it gets messy on Christmas Eve with salty baccala tossed in Grandma Colosimo’s spaghetti sauce. Once we’ve had seconds (and thirds), we pass fruits and nuts around the table to eat together to symbolize our blessings throughout the year. Elsewhere, platters passed with homemade this and that, rich colorful dishes of creative sides and plenty of sugary snacks are not just a Southern thing. Nope, near and far — but specifically near — we’re enlightened by a calendar chock-full of different holidays and family gatherings all celebrated right here in our neighborhood. In a time where we’re desperate for a little unity, it’s vibrantly inspiring to know family is the thing standing strong. As this year ends and the season of celebrating truly peaks, I wish you and yours many, many blessings. Whether in food form or not, enjoy.

ADVERTISING 770-844-0969 sales@pointsnorthatlanta.com SENIOR MEDIA CONSULTANT Karen Poulsen ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES George Colmant Linda Ladd-Roberts CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER Tiffany Willard

ALL POINTS INTERACTIVE MEDIA CORP. 568 Peachtree Parkway Cumming, Georgia 30041 770-844-0969 pointsnorthatlanta.com ©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 pointsnorthatlanta.com for details.

JENNIFER COLOSIMO, EDITOR jenni@pointsnorthatlanta.com

Please Recycle This Magazine

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE WILLETTS | WILLETT PHOTOGRAPHY

6 | POINTS NORTH | December 2017


Test Toys and Meet Santa at North Point Mall Located in Center Court

November 10th through December 24th N O R T H P O I N T M A L L 10 0 0 N O R T H P O I N T C I R C L E , A L P H A R E T T A


S

Counting ON ...

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SWEET DREAMS

written by CHRISTINE KIRK

SHIRLEY HUGHES USED TO DREAM ABOUT SPRINKLES. “When you have 16 weeks of no sugar, you start thinking about all kinds of things you want to do the day you step off stage,” she explained. A disciplined background in figure competition seems an unlikely catalyst for a bakery business, but Hughes took note of her cravings and turned them into the inspiration for Sweet Cheats, a sweets shop that makes indulging totally worth it. How did Hughes go from plain baked cod and strenuous hours at the gym to a landscape of sugar and buttercream icing? It all started with the Chocolate Dream cupcake. In 2011, Hughes made her signature treat for a group of fellow competitors going to their first show. “I couldn’t really afford big grab bags, so I baked them cupcakes,” she recalled. “They went nuts about it.” Word spread, and requests for her cupcakes at other shows came flowing in. “The third week, somebody called and said ‘Hey, do you mind bringing some cupcakes to our show?’” she said. “They needed 100 of them. I’d never done that many before, maybe six or nine.” After an all-nighter with a few friends, Hughes pulled off the request and realized she was onto something. “Training went from five days a week to one day a week, just because of orders and delivery,” she said. “I thought about it. Do I really love this enough to step away from competing?” “I was on my third year of competing,” Hughes said. “I was kind of ready to go. Ready to stop dieting. Next thing you know, I was asked to do the Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic in Ohio, and they asked me to bring 4,000 cupcakes.” Thus, Sweet Cheats was born and now focuses on turning little indulgences into moments to savor. Inspired by the cravings she had during her competition days, Hughes has expanded her repertoire from her signature Chocolate Dream. She now offers a complete line of cupcakes such as the Creamy Coffee Delight to the White Chocolate Obsession cupcake, a pistachio flavored cupcake with white chocolate chips and buttercream icing. “The flavor profiles, especially the early ones, came from dieting,” she explained. “I wanted white chocolate pistachios, and no one made those. So I made a white chocolate pistachio cupcake.” Hughes’ original location in Cabbagetown has been joined by Sweet Cheats Marietta, located in Parkway Center. She also expanded her offerings to include custom cakes, cake pops, breads and other goodies for events and weddings. It all started with a custom cake for an insistent girlfriend, and now Hughes has moved onto more challenging designs. “I did a Tesla car,” she remembered. “It was a lot of pressure. He worked for Tesla, and I’d never done a three-dimensional cake at the time.” Hughes’ degree is in art history and she has worked in galleries during her time in Charlotte and Charleston. Her visual understanding of art has enhanced her abilities in making custom edible designs. “I started to tighten up my skills. I studied more,” she said. “I looked at technique and motion and how things would flow together.” Now, Hughes spends more time in the kitchen than in the gym, but everything has led her to this point. “I still wake up at the same time as when I was training,” she said. “So I’ve wondered if that was training me to do what I’m doing now at 3:30 a.m.” sweetcheatsatlanta.com PN PHOTO COURTESY OF KELLE MAC PHOTOGRAPHY

8 | POINTS NORTH | December 2017


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December 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 9


If

written by LINLEY MOBLEY

YOU’VE LIVED IN THE SOUTH YOUR WHOLE LIFE LIKE I HAVE, you may believe that every holiday season looks like this: On Thanksgiving, people stuff themselves full of turkey and dressing, pumpkin pie and mac n’cheese before spending hours watching football (or sleeping) on the sofa. Black Friday begins about five hours after Thanksgiving dinner, when deal-happy family members head for long lines to capitalize on once-a-year sales. Most will spend the next month shopping for every family member, friend, neighbor and pet they have, until Christmas Eve, where many find themselves merrily crammed into one small house with lots of extended family members, knocking back eggnog before the last minute wrapping ensues. On Christmas Day, more turkey – maybe a ham – gets stuffed and served, dressing, green bean casserole and cranberry sauce are passed around, stockings are taken down and wrapping paper covers the floor. Imagine if your holiday season is celebrated uniquely – like many families in Metro Atlanta — as they occur thousands of miles from your cozy home or possibly just around the corner. Sometimes we fail to see that there are thousands of people around us who live and celebrate life in a completely different way. With a little help from these tasty traditions, I hope you’ll discover a holiday treat that you and your family can incorporate into your own special season, no matter what you’re celebrating. PHOTOS COURTESY OF JENNIFER COLOSIMO; ADOBESTOCK.COM


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Hanukkah in the South

PHOTOS COURTESY OF

You most likely know the story already – Greek soldiers descended upon Jerusalem destroying the holy temple. There wasn’t enough oil to keep the lamps burning, so the people living there rode to find more, knowing the lights wouldn’t stay burning. But miraculously, the flames continued flickering for eight nights. That’s why Hanukkah is called The Festival of Lights, and why a menorah holds eight candles, one lit each night. The parts of the story you may not know are a little more … tasty. In fact, as Alpharetta resident Gina Kellis tells us, the oil plays a pretty big part today, from a culinary perspective, at least. And when she started describing her friend Ziva’s recipe for sufganiyot (her kids seconding her enthusiasm in the background), I couldn’t help but agree. The jelly-filled, powdered sugar-covered doughnuts are a popular Hanukkah party staple amongst other oilfried favorites, like potato latkes. “Every family has a different recipe for latkes,” Kellis said. “When you go to a party, December 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 11


A HOLIDAY MELTING P OT people will bring them, but there will be all different types depending on where your family came from. German, Austrian and central European latkes are usually made from shredded potatoes mixed with ingredients and then fried. My family, we’re Polish/Russian, we grate our potatoes first, so it’s smoother, more like a pancake.”

Texas Style Pork Tamales

The variation in tradition goes further than the kitchen. “Every night we light the Hanukkah candles,” Kellis said. “We light my grandmother’s menorah. It’s a family heirloom that carries a lot of meaning for us. It’s the same menorah she lit for my father and his family and now we light it for my family. We say prayers. We sing songs and play games like Dreidle. We eat Hanukkah cookies, doughnuts, latkes and give gifts. We go to a Hanukkah party, usually. “But I am a Southern Jew,” she added. “My parents were raised here, too. I know that some of the traditions we have are different from the way they do it up north, or overseas. It’s really interesting to hear about those.”

SUFGANIYOT RECIPE FROM ZIVA SHAVIT 2 eggs, beaten 1 tbsp vanilla extract 1/4 cup sugar 1 cup flour 1/2 cup ricotta cheese 2.5 tbsp baking powder Stir all ingredients together, except oil, and make ping pong sized balls to fry in deep oil. Fill each ball with Nutella, jelly or other filling. Sprinkle powdered sugar on top

Want a shortcut? Let 1 bag of dinner yeast dinner rolls rise for a few hours. Then, fry them in deep oil until golden brown. Fill each roll with desired filling. Sprinkle powdered sugar on top.

LATKES

RECIPE FROM GINA KELLIS

:

3 medium potatoes 1 medium onion 2 eggs 1/2 cup matzoh meal (or flour) 1/3 cup cup oil (for frying) 1 tsp salt

Heat oil in pan on medium high heat. Spoon mixture into pan using small

12 | POINTS NORTH | December 2017

Peel potatoes and cut into small chunks. Grate the onion. Blend the onion and the potatoes, eggs, meal/flour and salt (minus the oil) in a food processor or blender.

pancake-sized scoops. Fry each side until golden brown. To cool, place fried latkes on paper towels to remove excess oil. Enjoy with sour cream or applesauce, as desired. Makes about 24 latkes PHOTOS COURTESY OF JENNIFER COLOSIMO; ADOBESTOCK.COM


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Mexico’s Las Posadas

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HIS HOLIDAY, which means “the inns,” is celebrated in Mexico December 16-24. While each community celebrates a little differently, most people follow along the same theme – honoring the nine-day journey that Mary and Joseph took from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Normally, each night a friend or family member hosts a celebration at their home. Children dress up as characters from the story, passages of scripture are read, children take their turns at a piñata and, most importantly, a feast is served. Traditional food and drink include empanadas, buñuelos (deep fried dough) and a steamy cup of champurrado – a type of hot chocolate thickened using maize flour and spiced using cinnamon, star anise and vanilla. One of the most traditional foods served during Las Posadas, according to Chef Kevin Maxey at The El Felix in Alpharetta are, of course, tamales. “Tamales are truly a labor of love, and the more hands you have to help, the better,” said Maxey. “It’s the perfect dish to make if you have a couple of days to spend with family, because there are a lot of little tasks that can be divvied out, allowing you to catch up with friends and family while you work.” Maxey’s amazing tamales recipe will feed the entire family, and then some, which is perfect for a season when hosting responsibilities abound.

TEXAS STYLE PORK TAMALES THE CHILI PASTE:

THE MASA:

20 dried ancho chile peppers, stemmed and seeded 5 dried morita or chipotle chili

10 lbs fresh ground masa 2 lbs lard 1 cup pork stock 2 tbsp salt, or to taste 1/2 cup chili paste, or to taste

Soak chile peppers in water until soft. In a food processor, grind chilies into a thick paste, adding the soaking liquid as needed. Set aside to use in filling and masa.

THE PORK FILLING: 1 5 lb pork butt 1 large onion, quartered 8 garlic cloves 2 tbsp salt 1 tbsp black pepper 1/4 cup lard 4 tbsp ground cumin 1 cup chili paste salt and pepper to taste Cover the pork with water in a deep, heavy pot and boil with onion, whole garlic cloves, salt and pepper for 90 minutes, or until the meat’s internal temperature reaches 175 degrees. Reserve at least 2 cups of pork stock. Remove the pork, allow to cool, then shred the meat, discarding bone and excess fat.  Melt the lard in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add cumin and chili paste and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, until fragrant. Add shredded meat and enough stock to moisten the mixture. May need additional salt and pepper to taste. Filling may be prepared a day ahead.

On a large work surface, knead the lard into the fresh masa for 10 to 15 minutes, adding pork stock a little at a time until the masa is cohesive and soft. Add salt and chili paste to taste. You can test the masa’s readiness by dropping a small amount in a glass of water: if it floats, it is ready to spread. 

THE TAMALES: 5 bags dried corn husks that have been soaked in water overnight Take a husk and thinly spread 2 or 3 tbsps of the masa on its smooth side, covering the bottom two thirds of the husk (a 2-inch wide putty knife works great for this). Down the middle of the masa, place about 1 tbsp of filling. Now fold one side of the husk over the filling, followed by the other side. Then fold the top down to cover. Steam tamales 90 minutes. Allow to cool and enjoy. Makes about 120 tamales


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Cuba’s Noche Buena

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N CUBA, the open celebration of Christmas is still relatively new. Under Fidel Castro’s atheist rule, Christmas was banned in Cuba in 1969. However, after Pope John Paul II visited Cuba in 1997, the tradition of Christmas started to make its way back into the communities (even if it was a little secretive at the time). With years of persuasion from the pope, the ban on Christmas was officially lifted in 2007 and families were allowed to openly celebrate the holiday. Cubans celebrate Christmas much like we do in the U.S., with gifts and huge family celebrations. However, Christmas Eve is definitely the heart of their holiday. In Cuba, Christmas Eve is called Noche Buena, which means, the good night. Families come together and celebrate with a large feast incuding roasting an entire pig. Often, the feast starts around 10 p.m. and lasts until it’s time to open gifts at midnight. “For me, Nocha Buena was safe, warm and comfortable – a time when family got together to eat and make new memories,” said Lazaro Tenreiro, owner and chef of Lazaro’s Cuban Cuisine in Roswell. “We would listen to the elders reminisce on family history and traditions. That always made us (the younger generation) dream of making our own memories and traditions to pass on to future generations.” Families enjoy dishes such as black beans, fried plantains, rice pudding and rum cake, but according to Tenreiro, Noche Buena could not be complete without roast pork and yuca con mojo.

ROAST PORK AND YUCA CON MOJO MOJO SAUCE:

YUCA:

20 medium cloves garlic, finely minced 2 tsp ground cumin 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper 2 tsp fine sea salt 3 medium onions, thinly sliced 1/3 cup fresh lime juice 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 lbs fresh Yuca 1 tsp fine sea salt Fresh parsley to taste

In a pan, heat olive oil on medium heat and sauté onions for about 2 to 3 minutes depending on your preference. Add minced garlic and turn off heat. Add all other ingredients and mix well. Use about a fourth to pour over Yuca and the rest goes over the pork before serving.

PORK: 12 to 14 lb bone-in pork butt 2 tbsp fine sea salt Place pork in deep roasting pan. Set oven at 200 degrees. Rub salt on pork. Cover pan with tin foil making sure foil is tight and pan is completely sealed. Place in center oven rack and cook overnight for 9 to 10 hours. Pour Mojo sauce before serving.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF ADOBESTOCK.COM; CHRISTINE KIRK

Peel Yuca down to white flesh. Make sure you peel pink second skin. Cut in half lengthwise in 2 to 3 inch chunks. Place Yuca in pot and cover with water. Place on stovetop on high heat. Add salt and bring to a boil then reduce to low medium heat and cook for 25 to 30 minutes until Yuca is tender and breaks easily when stabbed with fork. Remove from stove, drain water. Place in serving dish and top with Mojo sauce. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.


FESENJOON

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Iran’s Shab-e-Yalda

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HAB-E-YALDA is the winter solstice celebration in the Persian culture, which lands on the 20th this year. This holiday has been honored since ancient times, originally formed to celebrate the birth of Mithra, the goddess of light who defeated darkness. “Shab-e-Yalda really brings families together,” said Stephen Kaplan, partner and CFO at Rumi’s Kitchen in Alpharetta. “Everyone stays up together until late in the evening just talking, laughing, listening to music and playing games.” Traditionally, red fruits and nuts are eaten, to symbolize a few different things including: pomegranates, which symbolize the circle of life; watermelons, symbolizing health; and dried nuts, which are the holiday’s symbol for prosperity. Shab-e-Yalda would not be complete without a steaming bowl of Fesenjoon, which executive chef and owner Ali Mesghali shared with us.

12 IN 2017

2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breast tenderloins Salt and pepper 2 tbsp canola oil 4 cups shelled walnuts (about 1 lb) 1 onion, thinly sliced 2 cups pomegranate molasses 1/2 cup grated butternut squash 1/4 tsp cinnamon 1/4 tsp ground saffron 2 cups chicken broth 4 tbsp sugar Steamed basmati rice Preheat the oven to 350. Heat canola oil in a frying pan. Add in thinly sliced onion and pan fry on medium heat until golden brown. Lightly season chicken with salt and pepper, and add to frying pan. Cook until chicken is browned. Remove from heat and set aside. Spread walnuts on a baking sheet, and bake until toasted, about 5 minutes. Pulse in a food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to a large pot and add 2 cups water. Place over medium-low heat and simmer, partly covered, stirring it occasionally for 20 minutes. Add 2 cups pomegranate molasses, sautéed chicken, squash, cinnamon, saffron and 1 cup chicken broth.

Adjust flavor with sugar, salt and pomegranate molasses, so it is tangy but also a bit sweet. Simmer gently, covered, until the sauce is a dark walnut color with a layer of oil on the surface, 35 to 40 minutes. If the pan looks dry, add additional broth or water as needed. Adjust flavors again, and stir so the walnut oil is well mixed. Bring the mixture to another gentle boil with the lid ajar, then continue to simmer on low heat until the sauce has thickened and the chicken is cooked through, 10 to 20 minutes. Make a final taste test, and adjust flavors to your liking. To serve, stir so that the walnut oil is evenly absorbed. Serve hot with steamed rice.

December 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 15


A HOLIDAY MELTING P OT

PHOTO COURTESY OF JENNIFER COLOSIMO

16 | POINTS NORTH | December 2017


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China’s Dongzhi

ONGZHI IS THE WINTER SOLSTICE FESTIVAL celebrated in China, which falls on the 22nd this year. Families come together to celebrate both the darkness and the light, and like any good holiday, it’s not complete without a lot of good food. Since this holiday focuses on the longest night and shortest day of the year, it encompasses the concept of yin and yang. Since the yin attributes of cold and darkness are the strongest during Dongzhi, traditional dishes are focused around food meant to warm the body and soul including wonton, tangyuan (rice balls), mutton and noodles. After Dongzhi, the yang attributes of warmth, light and positivity are welcomed in. “For my family, Dongzhi would never be complete without dumplings,” said Mimi Lin, who owns WeiDao in Johns Creek with her husband. “In fact, they are part of any big traditional meal we eat when we get our family all together.”

PORK DUMPLINGS FILLING: 1/2 lb ground pork 1 tbsp soy sauce 1 tsp salt 1 tbsp Chinese rice wine or dry sherry 1/4 tsp freshly ground white pepper, or to taste 2 tbsp sesame oil 1/2 green onion, finely minced 1.5 cups finely shredded Napa cabbage 4 tbsp shredded bamboo shoots 2 slices fresh ginger, finely minced 1 clove garlic, peeled and finely minced 200g (1/2 lb) Dumpling wrapper (check your local Asian grocery for this)

DIPPING SAUCE: 8 tbsp soy sauce 1 tbsp rice vinegar 2 tsp sesame oil Add the soy sauce, salt, rice wine and white pepper to the meat, stirring in only one direction. Add the remaining ingredients, stirring in the same direction, and mix well. Place a small portion (about 1 tbsp) of the filling into the middle of each wrapper. Wet the edges of the dumpling with water. Fold the dough over the filling into a half moon shape and pinchCOURTESY the edges to seal. PHOTOS OF Dumplings can be boiled, steamed or pan fried.

December 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 17


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Cheesy Tradition

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HILE THERE ARE MANY different holidays to celebrate throughout the world, there are also a variety of ways that families right here in the Northside celebrate the same holiday. “To me, Christmas smells like fondue,” said Andie Adkins. Adkins, who lives in Sugar Hill with her husband and three girls, grew up looking forward to Christmas Eve not because it was a time to open gifts, but because it was a time to crowd around the coffee table with her parents and three siblings and stuff themselves with fondue and all the accompaniments. Now that most of her siblings are married and have kids of their own, Fondue Christmas Eve has become a much grander ordeal. “And a new tradition has even been born out of what we all started,” said Adkins. “Chocolate fondue for dessert!” 18 | POINTS NORTH | December 2017

ADKINS CLASSIC CHEESE FONDUE 3/4 lb Emmenthaler or Gruyère cheese 2 tbsp flour 1/2 cup dry white wine 1/2 cup water 1 garlic clove, peeled and slashed salt and pepper to taste 2 tbsp kirsch Chunks of French or Italian bread Toss cheese and flour together until all trace of flour disappears. Pour wine and water into fondue pot. Add garlic clove and heat until air bubbles begin to form. Add cheese slowly, stirring constantly with a fork until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Discard garlic. Stir in kirsch. Using fondue forks, dunk french bread (cut earlier so it has time to dry out), boiled potatoes, meats, veggies, and even apples into the cheese and enjoy!

PHOTOS COURTESY OF


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181

Cajun Christmas Eve

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HARON ROWAN AND HER FAMILY also have a unique Christmas Eve family tradition. Rowan has lived in Suwanee for years but grew up and attended ­college in Louisiana, which means her holidays are full of Cajun influences. Every Christmas Eve she makes a big pot of traditional gumbo that she and her family enjoy together.

TRUE CAJUN GUMBO ROUX: 2 cups flour 2 cups vegetable oil

GUMBO: 3 lbs shrimp 1 pint crabmeat 1 green bell pepper, chopped 3 celery stalks, chopped 3 onions, chopped 1 bay leaf 1 bag of frozen chopped okra 1 28oz can stewed tomatoes 1 lb Andouille sausage, sliced into rounds Tony Chachere’s original seasoning, salt, and pepper to taste Make roux by heating an iron skillet on the stovetop and combining the flour and oil. Keep heat on a low-medium temperature, constantly stirring them together until the roux color resembles an old penny. This is a slow process and will take 30 mins -1 hour of careful, constant stirring so it won’t burn. Once the roux has darkened add the bell pepper, celery, onion and seasonings. Cook until vegetables are tender then transfer the mixture to a larger stock/soup pot. Add can of stewed tomatoes after chopping into smaller pieces. Add okra and bay leaf then cover it all with water. Let simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Add sausage and shrimp. (You can cook sausage on the side first to reduce the amount of grease in the gumbo). Cook until shrimp is pink. Add the crabmeat the last few minutes. Remove the bay leaf before serving. Serve with rice and french bread. Enjoy ... it’s especially better on the second day. PHOTOS COURTESY OF ADOBESTOCK.COM ; JENNIFER COLOSIMO; ALPHARETTA CVB


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New England Niche

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HIS NEXT RECIPE, given to us by Jonathan Schwenk, co-owner of C&S Chowder House in Roswell, comes from a New England Christmas tradition. Schwenk, who grew up in the northeast, remembers his mother making mincemeat pie every Christmas. “While the adults loved it, it was never my favorite as a kid,” Schwenk said. “We’d make faces at it, and go straight for the pumpkin pie or apple pie instead!” Although he has vivid memories of hating it during his childhood, Schwenk eventually came to appreciate the aromatic, flavorful holiday treat.

MINCEMEAT PIE CRUST:

L I G H T, F R E S H & D E L I C I O U S

2 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 cup vegetable shortening 4 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed and cold 1/2 tsp salt kosher

FILLING: 1/4 lb unsalted butter 1 cup raisins 1 cup dried currants 1/2 cup golden raisins 1/2 cup dried cranberries 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint 1 tsp grated orange zest 1/4 cup orange juice 2 tbsp lemon juice 1/4 cup molasses 1 Granny Smith apple, cored and chopped 1 tsp lemon zest 1/2 tsp nutmeg 1/2 tsp ground cloves 1/2 tsp ground allspice 1 tsp kosher salt 1/4 cup dark rum 1/4 cup brandy

GLAZE: 10900 Medlock Bridge Road, Suite 105 • Johns Creek, GA 30097

770-662-50 0 0 • w w w.l e me ko n g c ui s i n e. com 20 | POINTS NORTH | December 2017

2 tbsp salted melted butter 1 tbsp milk 2 tbsp sugar

PHOTOS COURTESY OF ADOBESTOCK.COM ; JENNIFER COLOSIMO


12 IN 2017

Make the crust in a small bowl, mix ½ cup of the flour with Ÿ cup of ice water until a paste forms. In a medium bowl, combine the remaining 1 ½ cups of flour with the shortening, butter and salt, cutting in the shortening and butter until pea-size pieces form. Add the flour paste and gently knead until the dough comes together. Pat into a 1-inch- thick disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight. Meanwhile, make the filling in a large saucepan, combine all of the ingredients except the rum and brandy. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens and the apples are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the rum and brandy and let cool to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 375. Cut the dough in half. On a lightly floured work surface, using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out each half into a 12-inch round about 1/8 inch thick. Fit 1 round into a 9-inch pie plate. Spread the filling in the pie shell, then place the other pie crust on the top. Pinch top crust and bottom crust together and crimp decoratively. Brush the pie with the melted butter and drizzle over the milk. Sprinkle with the sugar and make 8 small slits in the top. Set the pie on a baking sheet and bake for about 1 hour and 45 minutes, until the crust is golden. Transfer the pie to a rack to cool completely. PN

December 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 21


200 Issue Anniversary Cake by Shirley Hughes, Sweet Cheats Bakery

PHOTO COURTESY OF KELLE MAC PHOTOGRAPHY

22 | POINTS NORTH | December 2017


200 Layers TO LOVE written by JENNIFER COLOSIMO

IT’S COMPARABLE TO THE RELATIONSHIP YOU HAVE WITH YOUR OLDEST FRIEND. You’ve known each other for decades, learned things from each other, experienced fun times and endured heartache together. You’ve watched the world evolve, tried new things and treasured the traditions you’ve created. The result is like the cake pictured here — layer upon layer of delicious nostalgia that leads to that marvelous layer of icing. No stranger to a tasty metaphor — especially when it’s dessert — we’re celebrating our version, our relationship with the Northside communities, by mirroring this layered confection to the many layers of stories that we’ve been able to share for more than 200 issues. In fact, this is No. 211. Perhaps you’ve followed along with that list. Since January, we began detailing some of the 200 reasons we love living, working and playing in the Northside. You’ve potentially spent at least 2,400 minutes checking off what we’ve given you, but it is the layers of quality that stir up a deeper affinity for our neighborhood. They’re the ones that don’t require any time in the car or to circle a date on the calendar, just some perspective that allows us to truly appreciate where we live.

December 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 23


200 L AYER S

Uncle Jack’s Meathouse

183 184 Jenny Salter & Lauren Smith, It Takes Two Events

POIGNANT PERSONALITIES

UNFORGETTABLE FOOD

Often, the stories we tell are serious and historical. More often, they’ve been joyous, inspiring and captivating. That’s because in all cases, we strive to tell a story that you’ve never heard before. It’s the story of a person — the person who founded a business, had an idea, cooked that dish, sang that song or invented that product. That is our bread and butter, and bringing that human element onto the pages is what we believe provides us any story worth telling. Introducing you to the guy wearing the chef’s hat might become the reason to make a reservation. Digging into the history of a local developer’s ties to the neighborhood offers new perspective on forward progress. It’s reading material outside the scope of what you will find in a blog or in some other publications, but instead becomes a conversation between friends, passing on “what’s good” from one neighbor to the next.

It’s hard to say that writing about food isn’t our favorite thing — because it is. Luckily, we live in an area concentrated with enough of a variety to provide something for any kind of eater, and it’s rare we’ve been disappointed. From nuanced eateries and futuristic menus to traditional diners and special event mainstays, international options and classic Southern staples, there’s a constant influx of new places to experience or a steady list of old faithfuls to revisit. We revel in the good-humored rivalries between family-owned Italian restaurants, or staking a claim on who has the best NY bagel, deciding on which chips-and-queso favorite will win tonight’s dinner out, or which steakhouse should host our special occasion. Having too many good options in this case, is a pretty good problem to have.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF MELISSA SCHOLLEART PHOTOGRAPHY; UNCKE JACK’S MEATHOUSE; ALAN BROOKS; YARD HOUSE | BRESLOW PARTNERS

24 | POINTS NORTH | December 2017


The Battery Atlanta: Yard House

Fresh oysters from local restaurants PHOTOS COURTESY OF

December 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 25


200 L AYER S

185 TICKET TO TRAVEL

We’re a local magazine, but we love to pack our bags. That’s especially true when we’re traveling somewhere exotic, somewhere we’ve never seen or to a place that’s been on our bucket list (and probably yours). In addition, rounding up tantalizing locales across the map is what makes us appreciate home so much. Even just in the past few years, our staff highlighted the best in tropical vacations and some of the country’s best snowy slopes, jet setted for a taste of what exists overseas and even did so via non-traditional transportation — be it by foot, on two wheels, inside a snow cat or in skates — to see what a destination may bring just one step farther than a brochure.

California

186 THE LOCAL ALLURE

Southern Cross Dude Ranch

Frequent flyer miles and champagne tray arrivals may be something we swoon for, but because we love where we live more than that, we often choose to spend those vacation hours right here. That should come as no surprise — for every white sandy beach or sprawling vineyard, the Southeast has a boutique brewery, waterfall hike and mountain vista to rival it, to name a few. Whether in state or just a few hours away, our region delivers scenic drives along winding roads, historic tours in historic cities and activities to keep a multi-generational family entertained for an entire weekend. If you can hop in your car and be there before the sun goes down, we’ve done it — or we’re doing it — and we remain your resource for finding out what the locals do for fun. PHOTOS COURTESY OF KIM CARROLL PHOTOGRAPHY; SOUTHERN CROSS DUDE RANCH

26 | POINTS NORTH | December 2017


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BEAR VALLEY SERVICE LLC 10390 Alpharetta Street • Roswell, GA 30075 landrover-repair-atlanta.com December 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 27


187

200 L AYER S

AN ARTFUL EYE

As a magazine, it’s no secret we love a visual work of art. It’s why we’re so proud of our covers and seek out vivid photography to illustrate the stories we tell — it’s even why we’ve chosen to let those photographs do the telling of our stories in many cases. One might assume the era’s best talent lives deep in the city, but what we’ve delighted in is finding those talented individuals living right next door, finding inspiration in the same places we live, work and play. Seeing the fruits of their labor, celebrating it as a community and being able to share it with an even wider audience is what we value most. In addition, outside the city we’re closer to getting our finger on the pulse of artisans working with rare mediums or old-world craftsmen that are still in practice today.

Old Mill Park PHOTOS COURTESY OF

28 | POINTS NORTH | December 2017


188 A CHARITY HUB

Whether the annual location of ShamRockin’ for A Cure or simply a calendar packed with charitable reasons to run, shop, eat and compete, the Northside loves to give back. And we’ve loved being able to play a role — whether actively, or as a supporter — in many of the great causes throughout the area. We’ve featured men and women leading the causes, told stories to generate awareness and helped promote fundraising opportunities in print and online. We’re proud to be a member of the community — one that can link arms with our neighbors and make a difference with what we do best.

189 SHOPPING SPREE

When you ask the employees that represent our local communities, they’ll cite many elements that attract visitors and keep locals happy alike. One common denominator among them is the impeccable (and growing) shopping offered north of the big city. Multi-use developments — arguably a buzz word for the decade — have popped up in many neighborhoods, and offer high-end shopping, fun boutique spots and unique storefronts depending on where you are. An extra perk includes a more intimate way to shop, an easier way to get to the store you love and never a lack of options when it comes to finding exactly what you’re looking for.

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200 L AYER S

190

ADVENTURE AWAITS

Whether you moved here last week, or you’ve been around as long as we have, you know there’s more to this area than good schools and tennis teams. In fact, as our zip codes become more concentrated with active young families, the decision to make outdoor plans is more and more of a no-brainer. And this area answers. Whether manmade, like the multiple greenway trails that are continuing to expand and connect our communities even now, to the natural hiking trail options from Kennesaw Mountain to the North Georgia mountains, there’s never an excuse to stay on the couch and we’ve been one of the first voices to encourage getting out there.

191

Big Creek Greenway, Alpharetta

NICHE NEIGHBORHOODS Outsiders describe the trip to the burbs as going way up north, heading “OTP” or driving halfway to Tennessee (if you ask some in-town dwellers). To those of us living here, it’s simply home. And it’s no secret why this is where our heart is — we’ve been telling you so for almost 18-plus years. That we’ve been able to experience it with you, sharing the view of each of these unique pockets of the Northside through our journalistic lens, makes us feel like a part of it. We’ve watched and reported on each neighborhood as they’ve evolved into a network of sprawling communities, blending a little bit (or a lot) of history and adventure with impressive progress that still nods to nostalgia. As a whole, the entire Northside is a blend of born-here, raised-here locals and Atlanta transplants mixed with international ex-pats and people who were tired of the snow. We’re neighborhood-dwelling families and people wanting to be closer to the mountains and farther from the city, in better schools or well off the beaten path. We’ve still got traffic, but occasionally there’s a side road where no one even thinks about blowing a horn. It’s the beauty of the Northside, and that doesn’t even scratch the surface. In short, it means there are infinite stories we have left to tell. PN PHOTO COURTESY OF ALPHARETTA CVB

30 | POINTS NORTH | December 2017


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192

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Red Land Cotton

B ED, B ATH AN D FAM I LY B ON D written by CARL DANBURY | photography courtesy of RED LAND COTTON

V

ISIONS OF COTTON SHEETS on a clothesline gently billowing in the breeze on a warm spring afternoon are imbedded in the minds of many of us born prior to 1980. The smell and the feel of them once they were laid upon your bed were as comfortable as a grandmother’s hug. Back in the day, those linens were produced in textile mills all over the Southeast using cotton that was grown and ginned nearby. But many of those mills closed when business owners went looking for more competitive solutions elsewhere, such as Mexico, India and Indonesia. Like some other manufacturing industries, the number of textile jobs lost from 1994 to 2016 in four of the top five textile producing states in the U.S. (Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina) was 242,846, according to the Congressional Research Service and the U.S. Department of Labor. Yet, research shows that American consumers appreciate American made products, and Mark Yeager December 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 33


and his daughter Anna Brakefield are attempting to capitalize on an even narrower market. Their company, Red Land Cotton in Moulton, Ala., produces pillowcases, duvet covers, shams, two-ply bath towels, dishtowels and decorative pillows with sassy or clever Southern sayings. All are manufactured using the cotton grown

on Yeager’s Red Land Farms and ginned at Yeager Gin Co. Bales are then sent to Graniteville, S.C., where the cotton is spun into yarn. The yarn is then transported to Gaffney, S.C., where it is woven into greige cloth. The greige cloth is then shipped to Flintstone, Ga., near Fort Oglethorpe, where it is finished and then put up for cut

and sew. The finished fabric is delivered to the cut-and-sew facility, DWP Contract Cut and Sew in Moulton, where it is cut, sewn and packaged. As for the towels, the Red Land cotton goes from Moulton to Graniteville where it is spun into yarn, and then to 1888 Mills in Griffin, Ga., where the yarn is woven, finished, and cut and sewn into towels. The towels are the only American-made, two-ply bath towels on the market.


RED L AND COTTON

PHOTOS COURTESY OF

December 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 35


RED L AND COTTON


SPINNING A YARN Yeager has been sustainably farming about 5,500 acres of cotton in the red soil of Lawrence County, Alabama since 1983. He founded Red Land Farms four years later, and then began operating his own cotton gin in 1994, which helped him maintain strict control over the quality of the cotton fibers he produces. His cotton is grown in the shadow of Bankhead National Forest near Moulton. In mid-2015, Yeager posted a video of an employee loading bales of cotton with a fork lift on Instagram, and his sister, June Martin, who lives in Dallas, Texas, commented that she’d like to have some sheets made from that Alabama cotton. Not one to miss out on a business suggestion, Yeager began bandying the idea with his wife, three children, church group and others. “I had the idea in the middle of 2015, and by the spring of 2016, we were committed to the project,” Yeager said. The sheets used as a model for the first Red Land offerings were discovered after his Methodist Sunday School class, according to Yeager. “We reached out to friends asking them if they had any old linens that we could try, and to take them to somebody to cut up and have them analyzed,” Yeager said. Daphne and Bob Sittason found a set of sheets that had been made for Bob’s great, great grandmother, Madeline Gray in the 1920s. The sheets had been laundered countless times and were still holding up. A sample was cut from the flat sheet and sent to Cotton, Inc. in Cary, N.C., where it was carefully reverse engineered to provide Red Land with the original formula of how those sheets were produced. Red Land named its lace-trimmed sheets and pillowcases as a tribute to Madeline Gray. By October 2016, the first Red Land Cotton heirloom-inspired sheets were manufactured and shipped.

WEAVING A FUTURE The response from the local community and consumers fueled the business during the first holiday shopping season.

“We were really surprised by the response from everyone at Christmas time last year. We were brand new, we had just begun shipping our sheets in October and we had a great Christmas season,” Brakefield said. “Once January and February hit, we were starting to understand what it feels like not to be in a holiday season, but this first year of fully being in business and selling and shipping product has really gone well. I fully believe we have seen sales growth every month.” Brakefield, an accomplished graphic designer, advertising professional and Auburn University graduate left her job in Nashville and moved home to help her father with sales, design, marketing, publicity, fulfillment and more. Red Land is sowing seeds online and via social media, and word is spreading about the family’s 100 percent Southern brand. “The fact that these products are all homegrown and made in the South particularly speaks to the Southern consumer,” Brakefield said. “But, it also hits on our area’s rich textile history and utilizing those resources that have been decimated. That is a major point. It’s cotton grown in the South, and people appreciate all of the assets we still have in the South to create

beautiful and well-made textiles. I think that’s a reason why people will want to shop with us. But beyond that, the feeling of our fabrics, the fact that we weren’t going to settle for anything that you could buy in a department store, that we took an old bed sheet, had it reverse engineered, and worked with textile engineers to recreate the old 1920s weave from these sheets. Attention to detail is important to our consumer.” Red Land sheets use a thicker yarn than what is traditionally used in sheeting, and the fabric is not finished with harmful formaldehyde resins. They also sell fitted sheets, flat sheets and pillowcases separately, which allows consumers complete flexibility in how they choose to make their bed. “If a person is obsessed with really high thread counts, they are probably not going to be interested in our sheets,” Yeager said. “But, if you look at the reviews, the people who have bought them have absolutely loved them. They breathe well and they are substantial. I guarantee you a set of our king-size sheets outweighs anybody’s sheets. But, that doesn’t mean they are cumbersome on your body or hot. The air flows well through them. It is just like those December 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 37


RED L AND COTTON

you would have found in your grandma’s house in the mid-’60s.” Red Land Cotton is focused upon providing its customers with more color options in the future, but Brakefield said it is important to keep doing what it has done right before worrying about further expansion and growth. The company doesn’t rely heavily upon the wholesale side of the business and prefers its consumer-direct sales model both online and at their shop at the corner of Lawrence and Main streets in Moulton. “It was a big deal to be able to launch our towels. It is completely different; a different supply chain and process that we had to put together. Looking ahead into 2018, we already have some ideas about a few new things to add into the line, but there is something to be said for not growing so fast that you outgrow your capabilities and your customers,” Brakefield said.

SOWING SEEDS OF APPRECIATION After graduating from Auburn, Brakefield pursued a career in New York and Nashville before returning to Moulton. “I spent a great deal of my early childhood and onward focused on getting out of Moulton. I have come back with more skills and things to offer. My journeys outside of Moulton were beneficial. There is something to be said about a small town community, and a community that respects agriculture,” she said. “There also are a lot of great things to be said for the cultural richness that happens in a big city, but small towns and cities are what keeps America going. I probably could not have had a newfound respect for Moulton had I not experienced other things,” Brakefield said. Moulton has taken ownership in supporting the new business. “We had our grand opening on the square with our new storefront. The community really came out. There is a good deal of happiness for new industry in the town and that is uplifting,” Brakefield continued. “We started working in December 2016 with a small group of women here in our hometown to cut and sew our sheets. That has been amazing, and I think it has been a blessing to both parties. Recently, I think they have hired three new people and with the addition of our new storefront we have been able to add two new people to our group. Slowly but surely we have been able to have a positive impact on the feeling that something is happening in downtown and that it’s a good thing.” PN redlandcotton.com 38 | POINTS NORTH | December 2017


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&

NASHVILLE

Nashville's Union Station Hotel

40 | POINTS NORTH | December 2017


&

BIRMINGHAM Extend Relevant Renaissance written by COLLEEN ANN MCNALLY

Birmingham's Grand Bohemian Hotel

PHOTOS COURTESY OF UNION STATION HOTEL; GRAND BOHEMIAN HOTEL

December 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 41


RELEVANT RENAISS ANCE

193 NASHVILLE Necessities Number

T

ENNESSEE’S FAMED MUSIC CITY may clock in

less than four hours from the Northside, but the drive can feel much longer as anticipation builds with each curve along winding mountain roads. It’s akin to the buzzing excitement before your favorite star takes the stage for a live concert. Although I had experienced both the glamour and grit of Nashville before, this visit would be different. Nashville has exploded in recent years with success stories that don’t necessarily involve record deals. This time around, I ventured to the burgeoning Nashville beyond Broadway, hot chicken and cowboys — and from this perspective, no boots are necessary.

Germantown Inn

LEATHER AND LUXURY The Union Station Hotel Nashville, an Autograph Collection hotel, was my first stop so I could hand car keys to the valet and stow luggage in one of the property’s luxurious guest rooms. Located in a turnof-the-20th-century former railway station, the hotel is in the heart of Music City. It’s an ideal homebase for travelers whose intended target is the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, the resurrected Ryman Auditorium, the numerous nightspots on Broadway, Music Row’s mighty record label offices, radio stations, recording studios or Bridgestone Arena, home to the National Hockey League’s Nashville Predators, conference basketball tournaments and main-act concerts. A noteworthy ballad of another kind unfolds within the walls of Union Station. Beneath a heavy-stone Richardsonian-Romanesque design and designation as a National Historic Landmark, the hotel’s lobby

42 | POINTS NORTH | December 2017

is a showstopper: a soaring, barrel-vaulted ceiling with gold-leaf medallions and 100-year-old, original Luminous Prism stained glass reigns over marble floors, oak-accented doors, bas-relief details and stately limestone fireplaces. Originally built to accommodate the eight passenger railroads that served Nashville in 1900, the building was transformed into a boutique hotel in 1986, and just last year was reimagined with an extensive $15.5 million dollar renovation to seamlessly preserve the authentic architecture while incorporating contemporary details. From cowhide headboards and leather touches to custom wire chandeliers and commissioned sculptures, the combination embodies what Nashville is and what Nashville has become. Hungry for more of it, I hopped in an Uber and headed off to get my fill.


NEIGHBORHOOD SPOTLIGHT As East Nashville has developed its own vibe, communities like 12 South, the Gulch and Germantown have also evolved with their own distinct styles. The latter’s renaissance is responsible for an enclave of restaurants like Rolf and Daughters, City House and 5th & Taylor – just to name a few – as well as the charming Germantown Inn. Located in one of the oldest buildings in the historic neighborhood, the two-story, Federal-style house dating back to 1865 is now an inspired six-bedroom luxury boutique inn. Opened in December of last year, each light-filled suite is named for a former president with connections to Tennessee, complete with colorful presidential portraits by a local artist. In fact, the inn itself is a celebration of the vast well of creativity in the city, with custom pieces commissioned by local talent, from the drapery fabric to the wallpaper to custom lighting. If you’re traveling with a large party, consider booking all six suites and making yourselves completely at home in Nashville. germantowninn.com

EAST OF NORMAL My next stop was the historic East Nashville neighborhood. A short drive from Broadway’s entertainment district, this eclectic enclave has a distinct vibe. From the dishes lining eatery menus to the sounds filling intimate music venues, it’s apparent that locals have broader tastes than what is portrayed on television or at the annual Country Music Association (CMA) awards celebration. But rumor has it, if you mingle with the patrons of the local hangouts, you’re bound to meet more than a few musicians and songwriters. Sample this theory at Vinyl Tap, part draft house and part record store, located at the corner of Greenwood and Porter. Founded and co-owned by Todd Hedrick, a fourth generation local, the casual atmosphere encourages sipping while you shop through

a variety of genres. Stay late and sample live in-store action from rising stars. Feeling hungry? The wise will take their growling stomachs to The Pharmacy Burger Parlor & Beer Garden. It’s a tough call between the brew or gourmet shakes and signature burgers or housemade, smoked ‘Wursts, but it’s a win-win either way. Appease your sweet tooth at Olive & Sinclair Chocolate Co.. Tennessee’s first and only bean-to-bar chocolate company since 2007, a century-old method for stone ground grits using melangeurs (two giant granite rollers on top of a granite slab grinds cocoa nibs to paste and then liquid) inspired their technique for “Southern artisan chocolate.” Only pure cane brown sugar is added for a robust flavor, making it even sweeter to indulge with buttermilk white chocolate, aged cacao in bourbon barrels, Duck Fat Caramels and Smoked Nib Brittle

PHOTO COURTESY OF GERMANTOWN INN

December 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 43


RELEVANT RENAISS ANCE trade and smell the ink as you pull your own keepsake print, but the real lasting impression is Nashville’s evolution as a world-class city.

CULINARY CROSSROADS

Chauhan Ale & Masala House

using Benton’s Bacon. Learn more with a factory tour, offered every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the hour and lasting about 35 minutes. Tours are $5 per person and include samples — debatably one of the best deals in Nashville.

A LASTING IMPRESSION Speaking of tours, be sure to book tickets in advance if the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is on your Nashville bucket list. This massive, self-guided museum suggests allowing about 3 hours for the best experience, but tickets are valid all day so visitors can come and go as they please. Additionally, the museum offers an off-site tour of Historic RCA Studio B, which played a pivotal role for hitmakers ranging from Elvis Presley, Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton to modern rockers like The Strokes. Short on time? Opt to spend just one hour at Hatch Show Print, one of America’s oldest letterpress print shops, which now operates out of the Country Music Hall of Fame. In their iconic style, designer-printers create more than 500 colorful posters each year for venues, businesses and organizations around the globe. Tours offer the chance to handle the tools of the

44 | POINTS NORTH | December 2017

The evolution also is echoed in the food scene, with Strategic Hospitality leading the charge. Owned by brothers Benjamin and Max Goldberg, the duo has shaped the city’s dining landscape by continuously introducing innovative, one-of-a-kind concepts. These range from a kitschy honky tonk called Paradise Park to Pinewood, a trendy coffee shop and restaurant with six bowling lanes and outdoor pools. Then, there’s Bastion, a cocktail bar and hangout in the Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood that snagged a semifinalist spot in the 2017 James Beard Awards for Best New Restaurant. It’s no coincidence that Bastion translates to “stronghold,” or “a place or system in which something (such as an old-fashioned idea) continues to survive.” For an effervescent evening, I ventured to Le Sel in Midtown, Strategic’s fresh take on a French brasserie. The artful interiors are as appealing to the eye as the creative cuisine is to the tastebuds. Back at Union Station, the hotel lobby was busy with people preparing for Cochon 555. This epic culinary competition celebrates heritage breed pigs by gathering renowned chefs, sommeliers and barkeeps, and it starts in New York and makes a dozen stops before the Grand Cochon in Chicago. A look at the tour’s lineup is further evidence that when it comes to amassing the country’s top food cities, Nashville can’t be missed. After reluctantly checking out of the Union Station, I had one more place to check off the list: brunch at Chauhan Ale & Masala House. The local favorite is surrounded by funky street art and helmed by Food Network rockstar, Chef Maneet Chauhan, who has made history by beautifully colliding her Indian roots and zest for travel with her affection for Southern cuisine. Take for instance, the house Bloody Mary with vindaloo curry, or the deviled eggs made with tikka masala, tandoori chicken and bacon. Just like Chauhan’s newfound hometown, she shows no signs of slowing down. Next door, she recently opened Tànsuŏ, a contemporary Chinese restaurant — reason enough to plan a return visit soon. When the Bloody Marys arrived, they brought me back to the present moment. Both hot and refreshing, the mix was quite unlike anything I had tasted before — just like the new Nashville. unionstationhotelnashville.com countrymusichalloffame.org chauhannashville.com


The Grand Bohemian Wine Blending Room

194 BIRMINGHAM Buzz Number

PHOTO COURTESY OF CHAUHAN ALE & MASALA HOUSE

B

IRMINGHAM, ALABAMA’S LARGEST CITY, was founded at the crossing of two railroad lines in 1871, and was a city born from the iron and steel industries. Maybe it shouldn’t be surprising that Birmingham’s strength and endurance from the early 1960s, when it held a complex role in the civil rights movement, to present day has unearthed a flourishing 21st-century city with new stories to tell.

December 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 45


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RELEVANT RENAISS ANCE

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The Nutcracker 2017

FLEET WOOD DANCE THEATRE, INC. presents

ENTERTAINING FOR THE ENTIRE FAMILY! December 14th: Thursday @ 7:30pm December 15th & 16th: Friday and Saturday @ 8pm December 16th: Saturday @ 11am & 3pm December 17th: Sunday @ 2:30pm For Tickets visit tututix.com/fleetwood For Girl Scout Troops-11 am performance/Backstage tour/patch call 678-356-2779 For general information: email us at Fleetwooddance1@gmail.com or 678-356-2779 BLESSED TRINITY PERFORMING ARTS THEATER 11320 Woodstock Road, Roswell, Georgia

When I learned that The Kessler Collection, known for its select group of artistically inspired hotels and resorts across the country, had opened the Grand Bohemian Mountain Brook in the fall of 2015, in Birmingham’s most affluent neighborhood, I took notice. Since I had enjoyed past experiences at the Grand Bohemian Charleston and the Bohemian Savannah Riverfront, I took the boutique addition to the Birmingham market as a sign of the shifting times. When I pulled my car into the portico, I couldn’t hand my keys to the valet fast enough. Not only does the Mountain Brook iteration include an art gallery, wine blending experiences and a vibrant rooftop restaurant and lounge that is on par with its Charleston counterpart, but it offers more. Before entering the lobby, guests pass the Poseidon Spa. Take the elevator to the third floor where the cooking school opens into Habitat Feed & Social, the ideal place for both fine dining and colorful conversation. Whether for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner or dessert, the restaurant’s menu is exemplary. The cooking classes, held in a state-of-the-art learning kitchen, maintain a full schedule of classes, like “Southern Staples” and “French Delights,” to learning knife skills, mastering the grill

PHOTOS COURTESY OF GRAND BOHEMIAN HOTEL; LARRY O. GAY

46 | POINTS NORTH | December 2017


or crafting a menu inspired by Mexican food trucks. With a shared ethos of the wine blending course, the beauty of a stay at a Grand Bohemian is that, by design, discerning travelers are encouraged to create a one-ofa-kind experience. From here, carry your cocktails onto the rooftop for views of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens or Lane Parke, the upscale, mixed-use center with boutique shopping, hip eateries and Revelator Coffee.

GOOD PEOPLE AND GOOD BEER Albeit tempting, to only stay in the cushy environs of Mountain Brook would be but a small slice of what is happening in Birmingham today. Art lovers flock to Sloss Furnaces, a National Historic Landmark that produced iron for nearly 90 years during the early days of the city’s emergence as an industrial giant. Today, it is a city-operated museum, the only facility of its kind being preserved anywhere

Sloss Furnaces

Sunday Services 8:45 am & 11:00 am Everyone Welcome!

A positive path for spiritual living Rev. Jennifer Sacks

FELLOWSHIP

Christmas Eve Concert 7:00 pm and Service at 7:30 pm New Year’s Eve Service 7:30 pm

3597 Parkway Lane | Peachtree Corners, GA 30092

www.UnityAtl.org

December 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 47


RELEVANT RENAISS ANCE

The Lyric Theatre

in the world. Since 2015, crowds have swarmed the grounds each summer for the two-day Sloss Music & Arts Festival gathering 40 bands on four stages with plenty of craft beer, plus live iron pouring demonstrations for a unique celebration of the creative culture brewing in Birmingham. Mark your calendar now for the 2018 fest, scheduled for July 14-15. Speaking of beer, the booming industry played its own role in revitalizing another neighborhood, according to the New York Times. “Avondale neighborhood is where artists, restaurateurs and young entrepreneurs are taking over brick warehouses and Queen Anne cottages,” wrote Chaney Kwak. “Since the neighborhood’s eponymous brewery (Avondale Brewing) took up residence inside a 19th-century firehouse, hip hangouts like the wood-fired pizzeria Post Office Pies, the live music venue Saturn and the garage-turned-brunch hot spot Rowe’s Service Station have followed suit, with mainstays like Saw's Soul Kitchen still dishing it out.”

Good People Brewing, which opened on the southside in 2008, purchased Avondale Brewing in October and plans to continue producing beer under both labels. Good People created four of the highest-rated beers in the South, according to BeerAdvocate. In the heart of the city’s downtown, the trend of revitalization continues. For a historically rooted stay, consider the landmark Redmont Hotel, which dates to 1925 and just completed a $20 million renovation last year. Nearby, The Lyric Theatre also re-awakened after decades of dormancy and its own multi-million dollar restoration. Likewise, Pepper Place was formerly a Dr. Pepper plant turned into a must-visit spot. The burgeoning area includes a popular farmers market, shops and restaurants like OvenBird, a casual, live fire restaurant from Chris Hastings of the local favorite, Hot & Hot Fish Club. PN grandbohemianmountainbrook.com birminghamal.org PHOTO COURTESY OF TED TUCKER

48 | POINTS NORTH | December 2017


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December 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 49


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

THE

Golden YEARS

PHOTO COURTESY OF ADOBESTOCK.COM

50 | POINTS NORTH | December 2017


12 IN 2017

Soleil Laurel Canyon

Soleil Laurel Canyon SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

THE

Golden YEARS

TUCKED AWAY IN THE NORTH GEORGIA

step-less entry access and wide doorways.

foothills of Canton, Soleil Laurel Canyon is

Residents enjoy their membership in a

more than a beautiful community of mainte-

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with an arts and crafts room, billiards

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lounge, fitness center, gourmet teaching

your whole life to enjoy. These low-main-

kitchen, indoor heated saline lap pool and

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take advantage of all that this community

social calendar of events.

offers, including the impeccably maintained

Outside the clubhouse, residents can

landscaped grounds, in-home security

relax in the heated lagoon-style pool,

monitoring and maintenance and cable TV.

community garden and greenhouse, on the

Soleil Laurel Canyon offers a selec-

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with our full-time USPTA-certified teaching

man-style single-family homes from the

professional. The Fairways of Canton golf

mid $200s to $400s for adults 55+ with

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homes ranging from 1,500 square feet to

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almost 3,000 square feet. All of Soleil’s

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new floor plans include elegant details

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and are designed for aging-in-place with PHOTO COURTESY OF SOLEIL LAUREL CANYON

52 | POINTS NORTH | December 2017


less worrisome and time spent together is much more rewarding. For more information about Belmont’s range of care and programs, call us today. Belmont Village Johns Creek, 770-813-9505; Belmont ­Village Buckhead, 404-252-6271; www.belmontvillage.com Belmont Village Senior Living

Inspired Belmont Village Living Senior Living

INSPIRED LIVING AT ALPHARETTA is a vibrant and innovative community that

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

THE

Golden YEARS

AT BELMONT VILLAGE SENIOR LIVING,

offers assisted living, memory care and

couples are at our core, and the range of

independent living options. Whether you

our services offers options for your varying

are active and independent, need a little

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have spent most of their lives together to

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design a rewarding lifestyle that is uniquely

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yours and can bring you joy.

pected changes in your health are creating

Our vibrant community sits on lush

a challenge for either you or your spouse,

scenic acres, conveniently located with

Belmont Village Senior Living may offer you

easy access to Old Milton Parkway, GA 400

a solution.

and to Alpharetta’s exclusive restaurants

Changes in either health or memory

and shopping. Purposefully designed with

loss can be stressful for both partners,

a variety of services and amenities, Inspired

especially when one becomes the care-

Living at Alpharetta features a serene pond

giver. Belmont’s tiered program structure

with a pier, fenced-in dog park, putting

allows both partners to interact with their

greens, swimming pool with a tiki bar,

peers socially and maintain their own

breathtaking views and beautifully land-

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tour! 470-509-5995, inspiredliving.care PHOTO COURTESY OF BELMONT VILLAGE

54 | POINTS NORTH | December 2017


12 IN 2017

Cresswind Lake Lanier

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

THE

Golden YEARS

communities at Cresswind. With Kolter

Longleaf Communities

Homes’ award-wining Cresswind active

LONGLEAF COMMUNITIES offers unsur-

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Living. As you enter the gates of each of

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and a connection to a community of like-

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homes in Cresswind at Lake Lanier’s final

your welcome into the Longleaf family.

Cresswind DISCOVER GEORGIA’S BEST active adult

phase is ready for you to experience, and

56 | POINTS NORTH | December 2017

Residents enjoy the best in amenities

currently, you can also tour 11 brand-new

along with a lock-and-go lifestyle that

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Peachtree City, the newest Cresswind

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active adult community in the Atlanta area.

settles in. Our communities are specifically

Check out the Go Guide to Active Adult

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grandchildren or relaxing with a sip of wine PHOTOS COURTESY OF CRESSWIND LAKE LANIER


Experience the warmth of the gracious retirement lifestyle you deserve!

Make your move to Cottonwood Estates and become a part of something special ... a sense of family, friendship and belonging that welcomes you home each day. We’ll take care of the cooking, housekeeping, and transportation. WE WOULD LOVE TO HAVE YOU AS OUR GUEST FOR A GUIDED TOUR OF OUR BEAUTIFUL COMMUNITY. IT’S ALL INCLUDED: • Three chef-prepared meals served daily • Caring on-site managers available 24 hours a day • Scheduled local transportation • Planned activities, outings & special events • Weekly housekeeping & linen service • All utilities paid (except telephone) • Monthly rent, no buy in fees or leases • And so much more!

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Call today to arrange your complimentary chef-prepared meal and personal tour! December 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 57


St. George Village amongst new neighbors and friends, you will be at home at Longleaf. Enjoy open living spaces that offer the

LOCATED ON 20 BEAUTIFULLY landscaped acres in historic Roswell, St. George

ideal flow for entertaining one guest or

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fine and casual dining rooms and wellequipped fitness center to a wide array of educational, travel and social activities

Serving Someone Special Home Care of Georgia

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Our mission is to give your loved one the compassionate care they so richly deserve, because we believe… “EVERY PERSON EQUALS SOMEONE SPECIAL”

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58 | POINTS NORTH | December 2017

see why the St. George Village retirement living experience is so exceptional. 770-645-2340, stgeorgevillage.com

Serving Someone Special Home Care SERVING SOMEONE SPECIAL Home Care provides personal care, companion services and nursing services to residents of Cobb, DeKalb, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett


Cottonwood Estates and neighboring counties. Serving

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professionally and affordably. Per-

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678-242-0334 n

sonal Care services offer assistance to

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of daily living in their home. Com-

home.

panion/Sitter services offer non-med-

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SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

THE

Golden YEARS

December 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 59


Two-Hundred

MINUTES IN ...

W O O D S T O C K writtenbybyLAUREN CHRISTINE KIRK written 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.

LEANING LADDER

Q

MAIN ST.

TOW NE LA KE PK WY.

ARNOLD MILL ROAD

MILL ST.

Q

FREIGHT KITCHEN & TAP

TRUCK & TAP SOUTHERN Q LOCAL Q EL

WHEE LER S T.

FASHION CUPCAKE Q PIE BAR

Q

MADLIFE STAGE & STUDIOS

Q

CHA MBE RS S T.

M ST .

E. M AIN ST.

MAR KET ST.

To REFORMATION BREWERY

Q

Q

60 | POINTS NORTH | December 2017

CENTURY HOUSE TAVERN

HUBBARD RO AD

DEAN’S STORE/ WOODSTOCK VISITOR’S CENTER

Q

FOXTALE BOOK SHOPPE NORTHSIDE HOSPITAL - Q CHEROKEE AMPHITHEATRE

Downtown Woodstock

WOODSTOCK CALLS ITSELF “a city unexpected,” and when you consider the surge of growth the area has experienced during the last decade, the moniker fits. This city is anything but new with a long history dating back to the 1800s. Woodstock had its first growth spurt in the early 1900s as a stop on the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. Now, walk along Main Street by those same historic tracks and you’ll see century old homes with old and new histories compose the backdrop for a bustling, young (and hip) cityscape. For a community 30 miles north of Atlanta, Woodstock has successfully reinvented itself as a destination. After visiting some local hotspots and talking to the people of Woodstock, I found that this area is a hub for reinvention.


195 NU MBER

LEAPS OF FAITH

Spend a little time talking to the faces behind the storefronts lining these historic streets, and you’ll find there’s something unexpected in most of their origins. Take for example, Pie Bar, right on Main Street. Lauren Bolden has taken the art of making pie and turned it into a well-received livelihood. “My husband and I were working traditional jobs. A few years into our jobs, we were ready for a change,” Bolden said. She’d been baking pies for a while, and her first guinea pigs were family and coworkers. She brought in various pies to the office for people to try, gathering intel along the way. “A lot of people will give you a lot of feedback for free pie,” she laughed. She graduated from being the most celebrated employee in the office to selling her pies at local farmers markets. “I started selling pie anywhere anyone would let me,” she said. This included local Reformation Brewery, as well as the popular Woodstock farmers market. The pies were well received, she fostered the beginnings of a following through word-of-mouth recommendations, and finally they decided to take the leap. “We quit our jobs,” she said.

Pie Bar

At only 25, the idea of launching your own business can be daunting. But, with Bolden’s pie-making savvy and her husband’s business acumen, it was a carefully measured move. Now, the Bolden’s formulate their pie-

theory using the tried-andtrue methodology of community feedback. Most of the pies available were developed after holding pie tastings in Woodstock. So, they know what people like, and traditional flavors win out when you’ve

added a little spin. You’ll want to try a slice of the Salted Caramel Apple Streusel or the Bourbon Chocolate Pecan. Personally, I went fork deep into the Peanut Butter Cream, and I haven’t met a pie I liked better since.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF DOWNTOWN WOODSTOCK; PIE BAR

December 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 61


Two-Hundred MINUTES IN ... WO O D S T O CK Reformation Brewery

Pie Bar

In addition to providing a daily rotating selection of pies on the menu, the Boldens have created Pie Provisions, which is a take-home mix you can use to create your own pie crust with ease. Recently, Pie Provisions became available at the Woodstock Target and in all Atlanta-area Fresh Markets. “It’s got really great ingredients to be able to help those people who do feel a little bit of pie anxiety to be able to make that pie at home,” she said. If you want even more guidance, you can purchase the specific tools that Bolden swears by, like her rolling pins. Apart from developing Pie Provisions, Pie Bar is here to stay, exclusively in Woodstock.

62 | POINTS NORTH | December 2017

Century House Tavern


“Our focus is not necessarily to grow wide with Pie Bar, but to grow deeper within our community,” Bolden explained. “We want to continue to service our community in whatever way we can and be that community gathering space for a slice of pie.”

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NEW PERSPECTIVES Spencer Nix is CEO and co-founder of Reformation Brewery, one of the Atlanta area’s most celebrated craft breweries. He’s lived in Cherokee County his whole life, about a mile from what is the now the flourishing downtown area of Woodstock, except for his time in seminary. When I think of unexpected, the idea of a former pastor handing you a beer qualifies. However, Nix and the team at Reformation aim to “Set Beer Free,” which is a motto that comes from reevaluating our understanding of beer and merging our love for it with moderation and a respectable set of values. Reevaluating “beer culture” has led Reformation to develop some pretty tasty brews and a great reputation surrounding their label. The brewery’s popularity expands well beyond their hometown, but they have a strong foothold in Woodstock and are expanding with a second location on Elm Street. The new location will be a hub for development and working on some experimental beers, which according to brew

master and co-founder Nick Downs, is a collaborative effort at Reformation. “Typically, we sit down as a team and walk through what we are trying to achieve,” Downs explained. “Color, taste, style, bitterness and aroma are all factors we take into account. From that point on, we’ll develop a recipe that is in the middle of all the targets. From there, we taste it and adjust the recipe.” With an open-air patio that is often host to food trucks, the Keeping Room is a popular place to grab one of their brews – and now, with new legislation, take a supply home with you. “We’re open really long hours on Saturdays; from noon to 10 p.m., so if you’re looking for that family-friendly atmosphere, you can come earlier in the day and just hang out,” Jessica Miller, marketing manager for the brewery, said. She also believes Woodstock is the perfect place to liberate the gift of beer. “It’s such a vibrant, active space. The trail systems around here are awesome. There’s live music and great places to eat. It’s really a live-work-play sort of environment.”

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LOCAL PASSIONS Aside from Reformation, there is a whole scene emerging that is set on defining Woodstock as a destination of its own. The residents are a trek outside of the city, but they’ve made their hometown a

complete stop, so many don’t feel they need to travel to get the best out of their evening. There’s an air to Woodstock that lets you know that some of the best spots are right here in town. For foodies, Woodstock is always a mention when it comes to Vingenzo’s. Arguably a restaurant that has put this city on the map for non-locals, it’s not the only one worth considering. Take, for example, Century House Tavern. Here, you have a restaurant set in an historic old home that is serving up the finest cuisine in a semi-casual style. The building is also known as the Hubbard House, and it’s been here longer than most of the downtown area. Originally slated for Asian cuisine, the Woodstock community couldn’t bear to demolish that bit of history. As it turns out, it was a good move on their part, with a concept that fits the community and brings the finer things of the city right into the neighborhood. Century House Tavern is operated by Jon Hayano and James Beard-nominated chef Daniel Porubiansky, a protégé under famed chef Guenter Seeger, who trained at Le Bernadin in New York and was chef de cuisine at Bacchanalia before coming to Woodstock. “The opportunity to work in my own backyard was pretty amazing,” he said. Only a few minutes down the road, one could say that Woodstock got lucky to have such a renowned chef in their midst. Another draw is that Porubiansky is passionate about sourcing food locally.

Ultra-locally. “I have a great network of farmers; people I use on a regular basis,” he said. Most menu items include details as to where the ingredients were sourced. It’s both transparent and proud, in the best sort of way. “I’m the local guy. Wherever you see ‘local’ on the menu, it’s not just Georgia or the Southeast. It comes from right here,” said Porubiansky. Porubiansky is passionate about food, and sets the new standard for cleverly conceived cuisine at this historic house right on Main Street. A little less pomp and a little more circumstance are noticeable on the menu. “I had to learn Woodstock,” he said. That statement was more out of a respect for his patrons than any ego-centricity. “I have the same expectations,” Porubiansky said, when asked about the difference between in-city dining and his current endeavor. “I’m going to cook what I want to cook, but I’m also going to cook what they want to eat,” he explained. “There’s enough food on this menu to remind you of fine dining.” Here, you’ll find homage more to purist cuisine; ultra-locally sourced ingredients, seasonal dishes and portions that aren’t skimping. A lot of the care taken is driven by Porubiansky’s culinary upbringing. He isn’t short on praise when it comes to his mentor, Geunter Seeger. He has come a long way, learning the ways of food through apprenticeship. “I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I walked into a true culinary field. He took me under his wing. I wouldn’t be sitting here in

PHOTOS COURTESY OF PIE BAR; REFORMATION BREWERY; CENTURY HOUSE TAVERN

December 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 63


Two-Hundred MINUTES IN ... WO O D S T O CK front of you if it wasn’t for that man,” he said. “He taught me how to respect food.” Now, what does it mean for a chef to respect food? While I’m chowing down on his signature torchon and duck ham, paired with perfectly pickled okra and rainbow carrots, he provided me with in-practice examples. “I don’t buy filleted fish,” he said. “I buy whole fish and I cut it myself. I want to see that fish. I want to see its gill, its eyes. When you see a fish with clear eyes, you can see into its soul. I want to make sure that fish didn’t die in vain. I’m going to take care of that fish. I’m going to treat it well. We don’t just throw our food around. We handle it with care. That’s the love of food.” Aside from loving food, there’s a family growing here at Century House Tavern. Porubiansky has surrounded himself with people that respect the food, respect the mission and love the community. He knows he’s got a good thing going. “I have a great team,” he said. “People come, and they stay. They like it here. You don’t see that in restaurants these days.”

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TAKING IT FROM THE TOP So complete are the offerings at MadLife Stage & Studios, that someone should name a pair of jeans after Mike and Kerrie Levi. The couple had envisioned creating a honky tonk on Main Street in downtown Woodstock, similar to

64 | POINTS NORTH | December 2017

those you’d find on Lower Broadway in Nashville with doors and windows swinging open to the street, with strains of live music enticing passers-by to stop in for a long neck beer and a bite of food. That concept might have worked had it passed muster with the zoning board, yet the eventual product is several steps above an ordinary honky tonk, and plays second fiddle to no music venue in the Atlanta area. The MadLife Grill is an inviting dining/bar area with several flat screen TVs and occupies the front part of the MadLife building. It looks out upon a courtyard with a small performance stage that faces Main Street. The performance venue, located from the middle to the rear of the building, sports a long bar flanking one side, while the state-of-the-art control room/recording studio/video production room flanks the other. In between is a sizable stage, about 10 rows of high top tables and chairs, while in rear and above is a loft that accommodates more patrons, another bar and some great stage overlooks. I told the Levis, that even though I had visited Woodstock frequently, and have researched local performance venues, that I had heard nothing about MadLife before interviewing them. “We hear that a lot. People know about MadLife today primarily through word of mouth and Facebook,” Mike Levi said. “Making that first impression with our audience and getting them through the door, that’s the trick.” The Levis decided upon Woodstock because they

themselves had become frustrated about having to travel so far south to enjoy live performances in relaxed settings. “If you love music and you live up in this area, you were basically stranded,” Mike said. “We love Eddie’s Attic, but the last time we went to Decatur to see a show before we opened MadLife, it took us two hours on a Friday night to get to there.” Upon opening, the Levis booked talented touring musicians, but no matter how adept they might have been, few fans got caught up in the MadLife experience. “There were many mediocre nights. Then, we were convinced to book a Bon Jovi tribute band by one of our two general managers, and ‘Bam’ we sell 400 tickets to two shows,” Mike said. “We are trying to come up with the right balance. There are some great tribute bands around town, and we are grateful for them all. Most are really professional and a lot of them are just as good as the bands were. We think that eventually we are going to achieve the right mix of original artists, local artists and touring artists to accommodate our patrons,” he said. “I think Woodstock’s evolution as a cool little town is helping, because we do get a fair number of people coming from Roswell and some from Alpharetta. Some of that is because we’re drawing them here, and in some cases they’ve been told Woodstock has become a cool place to visit.” Musically and aesthetically, MadLife has all the capabilities to draw in talented musicians, and in turn more

music fans. In terms of providing a great guest experience, hiring a talented chef and Dead Head David Berry (The Horseradish Grill and McKendrick’s Steak House) can help appease discerning diners, and that’s another feather in the venue’s cap.

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EVERYTHING YOU NEED Woodstock’s development and unique destinations are sure to garner the attention of the public soon enough. It’s been a kind of explosion in the downtown area, and there’s a scene developing here that can’t go unnoticed for long. With live concerts being offered at the Northside Hospital-Cherokee Amphitheater, to book signings and author events at Foxtale Book Shoppe, there are plenty of reasons to visit. Freight Kitchen & Tap is a must-visit restaurant formed out of an old train car right on the tracks in downtown. The building is from 1912, and they’ve kept a lot of aspects of its history while simultaneously incorporating new cuisine and an arrangement of craft drinks to marry the historic with the new scene. Their motto is “Eat-DrinkLocal,” and it’s pervasive in both their drink and food menu. Local spirits that aren’t commonly offered, like Atlanta-based Fiddler Whiskey or Georgia’s own Richland Rum are on the drinks list. The food is also thoughtfully prepared, using produce obtained by


Southern Local

MadLife Studios

another local start-up, Forerunner Foods. They saw the need for a logistical solution for distributing small-production local produce to restaurants, and now you have a so-to-speak highway for true “farm to table” in a restaurant setting. Using about eight different farms, nearly all the produce is brought in locally, with the exception of non-feasible items that are instead carefully sourced from reputable national providers. Plus, there’s plenty of shopping to be had while walking the streets. Between Southern Local and Fashion Cupcake, you’re sure to find something unique when it comes to local fashion. Amanda Topper, owner of Fashion Cupcake has a diverse history between studying Visual Arts at Emory to her career as an Atlanta Falcon’s cheerleader, but she’s comfortably reached her entrepreneurial goals with

her boutique right here in Woodstock. “Since I was a little girl, I dreamed of having a shop,” she said. “All of the sudden, everything sort of fell into place in Woodstock. We were the only ones on our block for almost a year, but I knew it was a time for growth and I never imagined what it has turned into 4 years later.” The Leaning Ladder will teach you there’s more to olive oil than you ever knew. If you aren’t sure about its benefits, consider that Porubiansky sources his oils directly from this shop for use in the dishes at Century House Tavern. During my time in Woodstock, he wasn’t the only one who recommended them, either. Lauren Bolden from Pie Bar said, “You have to go in there.” Note taken. Their menu of olive oil reads like fine wine, with subtle flavor notes and origins being the cusp of the experience. They

also host cooking classes and events with renowned chefs. Naturally. For just a good old time, many locals wander down to Truck and Tap. A huge menu of craft, domestic and imported beers are available, and when you get hungry, just out back there’s a food truck. The food trucks rotate daily, so you don’t have to hunt them down, they are right there for you in one beer-filled location. Honestly, there’s so much to do in this town, it’s no wonder that people are leaving the city to come for a visit. For the locals, it’s home; and there’s no reason to leave.

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REMEMBERING OUR ROOTS It would be remiss to overlook

iconic Dean’s Store in Woodstock, which has been a part of this emerging community since 1906. Originally opened as a drug and general store, Dean’s Store has played a pivotal role in the center of this community. It once was the first Coca-Cola fountain in the area, but now functions as a welcome center and sort-of historical museum dedicated to the area’s rich history. Many would consider it the “heart” of Woodstock, including retirees that still gather here for morning chats. They’ll be happy to tell you about the bygone days so we don’t forget our roots. Change is inevitable and growth can be positive, but, when you come across a place like Dean’s Store, in a delightfully emerging community like Woodstock, you can get a glimpse of the warm, hospitable South. PN orderpiebar.com reformationbrewery.com centuryhousetavern.com madlifestageandstudios.com foxtalebookshoppe.com freightkitchen.com shopsouthernlocal.com shopfashioncupcake.com leaningladderoliveoil.com truckandtap.com visitwoodstockga.com

December 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 65


Off the PAGE

RUN POST

GET ACTIVE FOR A GOOD CAUSE at many charitable races and fun runs this month on the Northside. Dec. 9 brings to Cumming The Santa Shuffle, which supports local autism organizations; and to Marietta, the annual Sleighbells on the Square benefitting The Children’s Emergency Fund. On Dec. 16, support The Salvation Army at the Jingle Jog in Johns Creek. Find your perfect race at rungeorgia.com

Markay Gallery: “Thank you Points North Magazine for highlighting our gem of a town. We’re so glad you spent 200 minutes here to get a full Marietta Square Experience with our many museums, eateries, theatres and art galleries.”

GIVE THE HOLIDAYS CAN BE DIFFICULT for families living in poverty, but you can make a difference this year by donating to or volunteering with Cobb Christmas. What better way to spread Christmas cheer than giving back? Nearly 90 percent of the money raised directly benefits those less fortunate this season. With your help, Santa won’t be skipping anyone’s house this year. cobbchristmas.net

SEND We love to hear feedback from readers. Get in touch by email at editorial@pointsnorthatlanta.com.

GO AVALON IS MAKING THIS HOLIDAY SEASON MAGICAL. Visit Avalon on Ice through January to show off your skating skills at a Rockefeller Center-inspired rink. If you’re a bit rusty, try private lessons or visit Skate School on Sundays at 11 a.m. Plus, make a visit with Santa extra memorable by taking advantage of Avalon’s RFID technology. Santa’s Naughty or Nice book will be preloaded with your choice of personalized details about your child like their name and Christmas wishes. experienceavalon.com Find more local happenings at pointsnorthatlanta.com/calendar-of-events Send submissions a full two months in advance to calendar@pointsnorthatlanta.com

PHOTOS COURTESY OF MARKAY GALLERY; AVALON

66 | POINTS NORTH | December 2017


Points North December 2017  

Points North Atlanta 2017 December Issue