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March/April 2019 ISSUE 61 • FREE






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March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead







Contents 14 Editor’s Letter [ SIMPLY NOW ]

24 Travel Far:

The Romance of the Rails Peru’s Hiram Bingham train is the height of elegance

26 Staycation: A Weekend’s Worth of Adventure in Henry County

From driving a real race car to riding in a vintage aircraft, the region has thrills galore

28 Approved: Down To Earth Eco-friendly alternatives for five common household products




36 Home: Mod Life


A family of five makes a move to simplify their life

42 Wellness: It’s Like a Sauna in Here


Treat your body to a designer detox at Buckhead’s new infrared sauna studio

44 Tastemaker: Creativity In Bloom Travis Ann Bull brings life to her elegant botanical arrangements


52 On Stage: Scoring the Blockbusters


70 Review: Tex-Mex Meets Wild West Meets Deep South Tastes converge at neighborhood sports bar Big Sky Buckhead

76 Tastemaker: Yay For Yumbii Let’s taco-bout the brand Carson Young built

30 15 Minutes With: Jon Lester

Brian Brasher’s music stars in big-time movie trailers and marketing campaigns

The star MLB pitcher may play for the Chicago Cubs, but Atlanta is his forever home


56 Literary: Dr. Darria

81 Events: Places to go and things to do

32 Kids: Great Kids Reads A perfect literary checklist for children of all ages

Hacks Into Motherhood

And in short, snappy bursts that won’t stress parents out

85 Charitable: A spotlight on philanthropic and social gatherings

March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead 


Photos: 36, 59, 70: Sara Hanna. 85: Lahcen Boufedji.



Serving Buckhead, Brookhaven and Sandy Springs MARCH/APRIL 2019 | ISSUE 61 P.O. Box 11633, Atlanta, GA 30355 For advertising rates, call: 404.538.9895 Publisher and Founder


Joanne Hayes Chief Financial Officer

Sonny Hayes Editor-in-Chief

Jill Becker Creative Director

Alan Platten ValueStream Media Chief Photographer

Sara Hanna Vice President, Sales & Marketing

Cheryl Isaacs Account Executive

Bill Garst Website Development Management

BHG Digital Director of Audience Development

Lia Picard Copy Editor

Ann Hardie Interviewing people is what Ann Hardie enjoys most about being a writer. She loved getting to know the athletes-posing-asregular-people she talked to for this issue’s “Buckhead at Play” cover story (see page 59). She considers herself a mediocre athlete at best. Although she can’t relate to the thrill of winning a marathon or scoring a hat trick, she is newly inspired to find a sport that makes her forget about work and the bills. Hardie lives in Atlanta with her husband and their athletic 16-year-old twins.

H.M. Cauley Contributing Editor

Jennifer Bradley Franklin Contributing Writers

Jennifer Bradley Franklin H.M. Cauley Rebecca Cha Carly Cooper Jessica Dauler Mickey Goodman Angela Hansberger Ann Hardie Michael Jacobs Daryn Kagan Amy Meadows Amelia Pavlik Lia Picard Sue Rodman Giannina Smith Bedford Muriel Vega Karon Warren Contributing Photographer

Lahcen Boufedji Graphic Designer

Layal Akkad We welcome all contributions, but we assume no responsibility for unsolicited material. No portion of this publication can be reproduced in whole or in part without prior written permission. Copyright © 2019 by Simply Buckhead ®. All rights reserved. Printed by Walton Press, Inc. Distributed by Distributech and Distribution Services Group.


March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead

Legal Counsel

Scott I. Zucker



Read Simply Buckhead online at

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In his early 20s, Sam Arthur turned down a contract with a major league soccer team and opted instead to finish college and pursue a career with more longterm prospects. We think you’ll see, though, from the shot of Arthur on our cover and the one at right, that he’s still got game. In fact, you’ll find him out on the field most Wednesdays and Sundays when he suits up to play in two local rec leagues. Read more on page 59.

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March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead 




[ E DI T OR ’ S L E T T E R ]


had severe asthma as a child, so I wasn’t

very athletic. I was happy to cheer from the sidelines, though, Photo: The Headshot Truck

and over the years, I became a huge sports fan. At one point, I could name all of the 30 NBA teams and their top scorers, could tell you the difference between an I formation and a T formation in football and knew how many laps there are in the Indy 500. I can’t spout off stats or analyze games like I used to, but I do still listen pretty exclusively to the sports talk stations on the radio. (If you need someone well versed in music for your Wednesday night trivia team, I am not your gal!) Having never hoisted a gymnastics, golf or any other trophy up over my head, I was impressed with the stories of the six local athletes profiled in this issue’s “Buckhead at Play” cover story (page 59). Whether they’re competing individually or on a team, they are giving their all in their chosen sports and have the ribbons and medals to prove it. Even if you’re not a sports junkie like me, I think you’ll enjoy reading about these amazing area competitors. But there are plenty of other topics on our pages to pique your interest as well. Carly Cooper chews the fat with the founder of Atlanta’s first food truck (page 76). Jennifer Bradley Franklin rides the rails in Peru and checks a trip to Machu Picchu off her bucket list (page 24). And in honor of Earth Day, Jessica Dauler reports on some green alternatives to everyday household products (page 28). Hopefully you’ll agree this issue is a real winner.

Jill Becker


March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead
















N E W S | L O C A L S A L U T E | T R AV E L | A P P R O V E D | 1 5 M I N U T E S W I T H | K I D S



The Romance of the Rails P24

The Hiram Bingham's Pullman-style cars harken back to the golden age of train travel.

If a trip to Machu Picchu is on your bucket list, consider getting there in style aboard Belmond's luxury train that goes from Cusco to Aguascalientes.

March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead 


LEARN HOW TO LEAD HEALTHY TEAMS Hear from world-class speakers including Gayle King, Patrick Lencioni, Dr. Caroline Leaf and Andy Stanley.

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Building Leaders Worth Following


March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead


Karon Warren


few months ago, the city of Brookhaven reopened Skyland Park next to its former site on Skyland Drive. Essentially, the city and the DeKalb County School District swapped parcels of land so the school system could build a new elementary school. Brookhaven received $4.75 million in the deal, which helped pay for the revamp of the park, and any remaining balance will go toward the purchase of new park space elsewhere in the city. Skyland offers a lot to enjoy, including amenities not found in the city’s 13 other parks, such as a pair of sand volleyball courts and a charging station for electric cars. Other features are a playing field, shaded playground, hammock area, granite seating wall overlooking the green space, as well as a new picnic shelter, restrooms and

table and benches. Within the park, canine owners will find two separate areas for large and small dogs. In addition, SKYLAND PARK visitors can charge their phones and other 2600 Skyland Dr. N.E. Brookhaven 30319 electronic devices 404.637.0500 at two canopied tures powered by parksrec built-in solar panels. n

NEWS CLIPS MEN’S FASHION OUTFITTER OPENS ATLANTA SHOWROOM Continuing its success as a brick-and-mortar retailer as well as a digital men’s clothier, Indochino has opened a new Atlanta showroom at the Shops Around Lenox. The Vancouver-based firm first gained popularity online by offering custom madeto-measure suits at off-therack prices, which customers designed with the assistance of a “style guide.” “We’re setting a new standard for

apparel in Atlanta by providing shoppers with the luxury experience of designing a garment that’s tailor-made just for them without a high price tag,” says president and CEO Drew Green. “We call it affordable luxury.” Indochino 3400 Around Lenox Rd. Atlanta 30326 470.481.2289


customer demand, Casper Sleep Shop recently opened a second location at Lenox Square. Founded in 2014, the company’s mission is to improve sleep and modernize the mattress industry by delivering quality, comfortable sleep products. These go beyond just mattresses to include pillows, sheets and duvets. There’s even a selection of dog beds available. Besides encouraging shoppers to lie down on and test out a mattress, the store also allows customers to book a

nap to experience a variety of products in one of four miniature homes within the store. The new Buckhead shop joins Atlanta’s first Casper location in Ponce City Market. Casper Sleep Shop 3393 Peachtree Rd. N.E. Atlanta 30326 470.747.7754

SANDY SPRINGS ON FAST TRACK TO GROWTH According to a new report, Sandy Springs continues to attract quite a following. After looking at 15 key data sets

for more than 500 U.S. cities of varying sizes, WalletHub named Sandy Springs one of the 30 fastest-growing cities in the country. Ranked at number 29, the city was one of three Georgia cities to crack the top 100, with Atlanta at number 64 and Athens-Clarke at number 65. Using data from the last seven years, the study considered such factors as population growth, unemployment rate decrease, median house price growth and median household income growth.

March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead 


Simply Buckhead

17th South

Atlanta Pet Life

P.O. Box 11633, Atlanta, GA 30355 • 404-538-9895



Mickey Goodman

A hurricane didn't keep Il Giallo's Leonardo Moura (left) and Jamie Adams from riding to raise funds for No Kid Hungry.

Chefs Fight Hunger Outside the Kitchen These restaurateurs can ride Leonardo Moura and Jamie Adams are known for creating memorable meals at their Sandy Springs restaurant, Il Giallo. They’re also known for their philanthropy, particularly bicycling in the 300mile Chefs Cycle to raise funds for No Kid Hungry, the national organization that works to end childhood hunger in the U.S. by providing free breakfasts and summer and after-school meals for the one in six children living in homes that don’t regularly have enough food. Adams is a five-year veteran of the race and an intrepid cyclist, but 2018 was Moura’s first time to attempt the three-day event. “We had pledges of $12,000 and were set to go when the original ride in Charlottesville, Virginia, was

canceled due to the devastation caused by Hurricane Florence,” says Moura. “We decided to create our own 300-mile, three-day ride around the Atlanta metro area on the same days the race had been scheduled for, September 25-27.” The duo not only met their goal, they also raised $16,000, a portion of which went directly to victims impacted by the hurricane. On day one they rode the Silver Comet Trail to Rockmart and back. On day two they pedaled through Chastain Park, then up through Alpharetta, Woodstock and Canton. On day three, the duo rode from Il Giallo to Lake Lanier. l For more information, visit

Veteran Volunteer Honored Local woman recognized for service to ill children Elizabeth Correll Richards of Buckhead had a connection to Camp Twin Lakes long before she was old enough to volunteer. Her father, Pete Correll, former CEO of GeorgiaPacific, helped secure the company’s donation of 115 acres near Rutledge, Georgia, for the campsite designed

Celebrating the award-winning partnership between Sharecare and the Atlanta Hawks are city councilman Amir Farokhi, Sharecare CEO Jeff Arnold, Hawks VP of basketball Dominique Wilkins, Harry the Hawk and Hawks announcer Bob Rathbun.

Making Georgia Healthier Local organizations awarded for inspiring fit choices Sharecare and the Atlanta Hawks recently received the NBA Partnership of the Year Award for providing the best campaign of the 2017-18 season aimed at making Atlanta and Georgia among the healthiest places to live in the U.S. They bested stiff competitors from corporate/NBA team collaborations, including Fitbit and the Minnesota Timberwolves, and Lexus and the Los Angeles Clippers. “We’ve always been in awe of the power that sport has to rally people together toward a common purpose,” says Dawn Whaley, president of Sharecare. “Because of the love the fans have for the Hawks and the Hawks have for the fans, they are perfect partners to help us inspire a movement to improve the health of Georgians.” During the season, Sharecare and the Hawks hosted a number

Ultimate Camp Twin Lakes volunteer Elizabeth Correll Richards was recently recognized for her years of service.

to serve seriously ill children. “Giving back to the community has always been important to my family, and after college and marriage, I wanted to figure out a way I could make a difference by serving organizations that involve children,” says Richards. She was drawn to Camp Twin Lakes, where

she was recently honored for her two decades of service with a fellowship in her name. It grants six recent graduates one-year appointments that focus on leadership training and personal growth. Her association with the camp is a perfect fit for Richards, who has watched so much growth during her decades as a volunteer. She’s served on the board of directors for 17 years, including a stint as its chairman, and is currently governance chair, a three-year position for past chairs. For the next five years, she’s also leading the strate-

of free community events to help engage fans in their wellbeing. The Heartbeat Festival, for example, offered cooking demonstrations, CPR training, a 3-on-3 basketball tournament and an appearance by the team’s mascot, Harry the Hawk. According to Sharecare CEO Jeff Arnold, fans who improve their health using the Sharecare app can earn prizes and rewards in addition to tickets to upcoming Hawks games. Participants begin by downloading the app and taking the RealAge assessment that determines the biological age of their bodies based on diet, exercise and health history. They then receive actionable tools and recommendations and can track their progress. l For more information, visit or

gic planning commission. “I’ve seen Camp Twin Lakes impact the lives of more than 10,000 kids every year,” she says. “The time they spend with other kids like them is powerful, and they blossom right in front of your eyes.” l For more information, visit

Want to nominate a volunteer, company or nonprofit that makes Buckhead, Sandy Springs or Brookhaven a better place to live? Please contact:

March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead 



Above: Acts that have graced the stage at the Harrah's Cherokee Event Center include everyone from Alison Krauss and Willie Nelson to Alice Cooper and Sammy Hagar. Above: The gaming options include blackjack, craps, roulette, poker and slots. Right: Harrah's Cherokee features both indoor and outdoor pools.

A Mini


in the Mountains

Can’t make it to Sin City? Head instead to nearby Cherokee, North Carolina


very once in a while, when someone asks me what I did for a living back in the day, I’ll tell them I was a blackjack dealer. I don’t remember why or how my telling this little fib started, but I do know that I like to play blackjack. And if I’m having a good day, I can make my initial $20 investment last for a solid hour or two. While Georgia doesn't have any casinos where I can get my blackjack fix, luckily there’s one about three hours north of Atlanta in Cherokee, North Carolina. The Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort is an Indian-owned hotel/ casino located on 56 acres at the base of the Great Smoky Mountains. When it opened back in 1997, video poker and video slots were the only gaming available, but today it offers everything from craps and roulette to daily no-limit,



Jill Becker

hold ’em tournaments and regular World Series of Poker circuit events. If gambling isn’t your thing, though, there’s plenty else to do without leaving the property. You can work up a sweat at the fitness center; lounge by the indoor or outdoor pool; unleash your inner Mariah Carey during karaoke night at the SoundBytes sports bar; or challenge your friends to a game of pool, bowling, Ms. Pac-Man or one of the other arcade games at the entertainment center. Another amenity that appeals to guests is the 3,000-seat Event Center, where acts such as Foreigner, Reba McEntire and Earth, Wind & Fire take the stage. Once named one of the top 25 hottest clubs in North America by Billboard magazine, the venue is intimate enough that there’s really

March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead

The Creek Tower, which added an additional 532 rooms, was part of a $633 million expansion.

no such thing as a bad seat. If rest and relaxation are more your speed, you might want to partake in the Asian Bathing Ritual, Coconut Poultice Massage or one of the other dozens of rejuvenating treatments at the Mandara Spa. Pre- or postpampering, chill out by the cozy fireplace and enjoy a cup of tea and bites of fresh fruit or trail mix. You certainly won’t go hungry at Harrah’s Cherokee. The on-site eateries include a Johnny Rockets, Pizzeria Uno, Brio Tuscan Grille and Ruth’s Chris Steak House. At the Chefs Stage Buffet, fill your plate—again and again— with everything from pot stickers and pizza to barbecue and brownies. When it’s time to finally hit the sack, your room will be waiting for you in either the Creek, Soco or

Mountain Towers. There are 1,108 rooms in total spread across 21 stories, making the hotel the largest in North Carolina. The Creek Tower rooms are the newest and most modern, but the large jetted tubs in the standard rooms at the Soco Tower are a draw for me. Despite all those accommodations, if by chance Harrah’s Cherokee is full up, note that a sister property, the Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel in Murphy, North Carolina, is only an hour away. Odds are you’ll have a great time no matter which location you choose. n HARRAH’S CHEROKEE CASINO RESORT

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March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead 



The Romance of the Rails STORY:



Below: The luxury train features polished Pullman-style cars.

Jennifer Bradley Franklin

he chilled pisco sour is tart and boozy, live music from a three-piece band is filtering in and the rugged Andes Mountains are as jaw-dropping as you might expect as the luxuriously appointed Hiram Bingham train meanders through Peru’s scenic Sacred Valley. I find myself thinking that this is how travel should be. So often, going on a trip is about arriving at and exploring the destination, with the actual journey reduced to a necessary obstacle to be overcome. But on my recent trip from Cusco to Aguascalientes, the town at the base of Machu Picchu, the journey by train was one of the highlights. Named for the American explorer who rediscovered the now-famous ruins of a massive 15th-century Inca citadel, the Hiram Bingham, owned by the Belmond hospitality company, is full of enough grandeur and Old World glam-

Right: The author takes in a colorful trackside farm.

Will Franklin

Peru’s Hiram Bingham train is the height of elegance

Above: The observation car provides optimal viewing of the Peruvian landscape along the route from Cusco to Aguascalientes.

our to make every mile a pleasure. We started our day with an early morning flight from Lima (Delta has nonstop flights to Lima from Atlanta) to Cusco, regarded as South America’s archaeological capital. My husband and our two friends hopped in a cab for a 25-minute ride through the colorful city streets to the Poroy train station. While waiting to board, we enjoyed a gratis flute of chilled sparkling wine and watched the gleaming navy rail cars—one dining car and one bar car—pull into position, and were entertained by a group of Andean dancers, stomping and twirling intricate patterns in their vibrant costumes. The Hiram Bingham’s Pullman-style cars harken back to the golden age of train travel, with luminous wood paneling, gleaming brass fixtures and richly patterned carpet. The oversize windows were polished to a high shine, primed for copious photos sure

March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead

to be taken along the three-and-ahalf-hour trip. As the train pulled away, our English-speaking host invited us to order a handcrafted cocktail or local beer from the bar and offered some expert commentary about the sights we would see along the way. We chose to snuggle into some leather club chairs to enjoy pisco sours and live music while the train meandered along the 57-mile route, the scenery changing every few minutes.

In our cozy booth, we eagerly tucked into brunch. Still-steaming bread came with salted butter. Delicately smoked salmon, fished from the rushing rivers nearby, sat atop a creamy avocado puree with fresh corn salad. The main course was traditional Peruvian grilled beef, forktender and sauteed in rich jus, with rustic Andean mashed potatoes. The decadent meal ended with the chef’s signature corn cheesecake, with a crispy corn flour base and purple corn and elderberry sauce. Each course was paired with sommelierselected South American wines. As excited as I was to experience Machu Picchu, one of my top bucket list items, I could’ve spent all day

Jennifer Bradley Franklin

Above: Machu Picchu is one of those landmarks that has to be seen in person to fully appreciate its grandeur.

onboard this spectacular train. Fortunately for our little group, the thoughtful Belmond service didn’t end when we reached the station. On the ground, we were greeted by an expert local guide who accompanied us on a short and winding bus ride to the citadel entrance. Just minutes after crossing the threshold, there stood Machu Picchu in all its ancient glory. It was surreal seeing the precisely sculpted terraces and temple buildings framed by mystical lowhanging clouds and illuminated by bright rays of sun. Experiencing it firsthand surpassed even my wildest travel dreams. For their age, the Incas were the height of sophistication—in culture, art, astronomy, mathematics, architecture and

Below: Guests head to the Hiram Bingham bar car to stretch their legs and enjoy a top-notch cocktail.

design (that whole human sacrifice thing notwithstanding)—and it’s easy to see why this UNESCO World Heritage Site was voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007. “In the variety of its charms, the power of its spell, I know of no place in the world which can compare with it,” wrote Bingham, who brought the mountaintop city to the wider world’s attention in 1911. Though he was talking about Machu Picchu itself, he could have easily been writing about the spectacular train journey to get there that would one day be named in his honor. n

Book your own Belmond Hiram Bingham journey at

March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead 



Left: Satisfy your need for speed by turning some laps at Atlanta Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Racing Experience.

Above: One of the adventures available in nearby Hampton is taking flight in a historic military aircraft.

A Weekend’s Worth of Adventure in Henry County From driving a real race car to riding in a vintage aircraft, the region has thrills galore


hile Atlanta certainly has a lot to offer, it could be hard to find some entertainment that really gets your blood pumping. That’s where Henry County comes in. Just an hour south of town, it overflows with adventure for all excitement levels. Those with a need for speed will find it at the Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton. While the track is home to an annual weekend in February full of thrilling NASCAR events, why settle for just watching the races when you can ride in a car yourself? That’s exactly what I did during my visit. Through the NASCAR Racing

Experience, I climbed into a real race car with an experienced driver, and within minutes we were speeding off pit road and entering turn one. Seconds later, we were flying around the speedway at more than 150 mph. At first, it doesn’t seem that fast; in fact, in the beginning it feels eerily similar to darting around Interstate 285— obviously not during rush hour. But it doesn’t take long for those G-forces to kick in as you enter yet another turn. And if you want a true sense of how fast you’re going, look out the window at the wall. Seeing the blur of those numbers and words painted on the concrete definitely clues you in. If you're more ambitious, consider signing up for a driving class so you can take the wheel yourself. If that seems more than you want to experience, Get ready for a unique tree-climbing experience at Panola Mountain State Park.


March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead


Karon Warren

you always can take a track tour or attend a race instead. Surprisingly, riding in a race car is not the height of adventure in Henry County. Right behind the speedway, you can take flight with the Army Aviation Heritage Foundation. Composed of veterans, their families and numerous volunteers, the foundation actively seeks out and restores flyable historic aircraft representing Army aviation from the Vietnam War to present day. The inventory includes Cobra AH-I and Huey 66-16624 helicopters, a Cessna 01-D Bird Dog airplane and more. The foundation takes the education of these aircraft beyond just the spoken word. The public can ride in them at air shows, special events and regular flight days at the foundation’s hangar in Hampton. I can’t begin to describe how amazing it was to take off in a Huey 66-16624 helicopter, riding in the back with the door open (yes, we were strapped in). Having flown in a Huey as a high school JROTC student, I thought I was prepared. Not even a little. Back then, we didn’t fly with the doors open; that was a brand-new experience. Couple that with the stories the foundation’s veteran pilots share about

their flying time during their military service, and it provides unique insight into the situations they faced on a daily basis. If you’re looking for adventure closer to the ground, make your way to Panola Mountain State Park in Stockbridge. Here, you can step back in time to the days when climbing trees was a regular pastime. This climbing is quite a bit different, however, as you use a harness and pulley system to reach the treetops. It’s an interesting and entertaining challenge as you try to hoist your way up into the branches. I never quite got the hang of the pulley system, and thus didn’t make it high up into the tree. That’s OK, though. It just gives me a reason to make a return visit for another funfilled Henry County staycation. n

DETAILS Army Aviation Heritage Foundation NASCAR Racing Experience Panola Mountain State Park excursions


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5920 Roswell Road, Suite C-205, Sandy Springs, GA 30328 (Located just outside of 285 off Roswell Road)

Hours of Operation Tues-Sat 9-7 Sunday 12-5 Mondays Appointment only

March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead 



Sally B’s Skin Yummies: Foaming Hand Soap ($18) We all know the importance of regular hand washing, but many of the soaps we use contain toxic chemicals that are bad for us and the planet. Sally B’s certified-organic foaming hand soap is made with fewer synthetics, so it’s free of harsh ingredients and comes in artificialfragrance-free scents such as lavender, lemongrass and peppermint.

Despite nationwide recycling programs, many of the plastic water bottles we use every year wind up in landfills. Break the habit of reaching for plastic H2O containers with these Hydro Flask bottles that come in a variety of sizes and colors. Perfect for all-day hydration, they're easy to refill, are made of bacteriaresistent stainless steel and keep water refreshingly cold for up to 24 hours.

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DOWN TO EARTH Saving the planet is a huge task, but making the swap to sustainable and naturally derived materials can help make a difference. Any day, but particularly Earth Day (April 22), is a great time to explore the benefits of replacing your usual products with eco-friendly versions to help reduce the negative effects they have on the environment. Here are some examples. STORY:

Jessica Dauler

EcoHome Atlanta: “Love Where You Live-Buckhead” Flour Sack Towel ($15)

Savi Provisions: Repurpose Compostable Tableware (prices vary) When you need to use disposable table and picnicware, make sure to opt for the compostable variety. Repurpose makes it the company’s mission to replace disposable plastics, traditionally made from petroleum, with these more eco-conscious alternaSavi Provisions tives. The main difference is in the composition 1388 Dresden Dr. of renewable, non-toxic resources. And unlike some Atlanta 30319 competitor brands, these won’t melt when filled 404.869.1818 with hot foods or crumble under a second helping.


March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead

The year-old EcoHome boutique has an ample selection of products and gifts that are both sustainable and effective. This year, vow to ditch wasteful paper towels in favor of these flour sack towels. Each one is made from earth-friendly, durable materials and can be reused for a number of household tasks, proving to be both versatile and decorative. EcoHome Atlanta 2385 Peachtree Rd. N.E. Atlanta 30303 404.948.2901

Williams Sonoma: Epicurean Eco and Gripper Cutting Boards ($34.95-$49.95) Creating a green kitchen doesn’t have to mean compromising on performance. As one of the most frequently used kitchen tools, these cutting boards are as practical and sturdy as they are handsome. They're lightweight and are constructed Williams Sonoma of materials that 3393 Peachtree Rd. N.E. won’t dull your Atlanta 30326 knives or absorb 404.812.1703 unwanted odors.




Jill Becker   PHOTO: Sara Hanna

on Lester has been called one of the most successful players in major league baseball. A sportswriter recently touted the Chicago Cubs pitcher as one of the top five best free agent signings of all time, and another declared, “When the team needs a stopper? Lester is the guy you want on the mound.” The 35-year-old leftie heads into his 14th season with five All-Star nods, three World Series rings and a career record of 177-98. But while he may don a Chicago Cubs uniform when he takes the field, he lives in Buckhead five to six months out of the year. “Atlanta is our forever home,” says his wife, Farrah, with whom he has three children.

old Yankee Stadium. Walking into that bullpen, there was just so much history.

[high] cure rate. I had chemo and was back at spring training in February. I was pretty lucky.

What do you think of SunTrust Park? I love it. They did a really good job with it.

When did you start playing baseball? I was 6 or 7. My mom was my coach for the first three or four years.

You made your major league debut at age 22 in June of 2006, and just two months later, were diagnosed with cancer. Did you think your career was over before it even had a chance to start? Yes and no. The kind of cancer I was diagnosed with [nonHodgkin’s lymphoma] has a

You’ve since started a foundation called NVRQT (for “Never Quit”), and one of the things you do is to put on these events called Road Rallies for kids battling cancer. Tell us about them. Instead of going to the hospital to visit sick kids, we bring them out to the ballpark and let them watch batting practice and meet the players. We give them food vouchers too so they can have the full [game-day] experience.

What game stands out the most after all these years? My no-hitter on May 19, 2008, against the Royals [he was playing for the Boston Red Sox at the


time]. I pitched the full nine innings. I didn’t think I had it until there were two outs in the eighth inning. I walked a guy in the ninth, then got two quick outs. What’s your favorite ballpark to play in? The one that stands out is the

March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead

Do people recognize you in Atlanta? I can pretty much fly under the radar, even in Chicago.

You’re in your mid-30s and have been playing a long time now. Any thoughts about retiring?

I’ll retire when it becomes too hard to pitch, when it becomes a grind, when the joy is gone. How do you keep yourself in playing shape these days? My game has changed on a lot of levels over the years. You learn how to take better care of your body. I’ve done everything from cryotherapy to hyperbaric chambers to floating pods (or nap tubes, as I call them). As you get older, you try different things. Who’s your sports hero? Growing up, it was Ken Griffey Jr. I got to see him play every summer and got to meet him in 2008 during my first full season in the majors. I had a Mariners jersey, and he signed it for me. You’re from the Seattle area originally and play for the Cubs in Chicago. How did you end up living in Atlanta? In the minors, I knew a couple of guys who lived here. My best friend lives in south Georgia, so I would come down to visit him, and he got me into hunting. I now have 1,500 acres in southwest Georgia. It’s our farm, our getaway. We have deer and ponds that we fish. We hear you also like to play golf and recently participated in the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions in Orlando. Are you any good? Kind of. It’s funny, I’ve pitched in front of thousands of people, but it’s a strange feeling golfing

in front of 50 people at an event like that. Where do you like to play in town? I just joined Cherokee [Town and Country Club] and have played it a couple of times. What are some of your favorite places to go in Atlanta? We’re big restaurant people. On date nights, my wife and I go to Canoe or Umi. We used to go to Chops quite a bit. It’s probably my favorite, but it’s a hard place to take the kids. Although we don’t usually discriminate when it comes to bringing our kids along to restaurants; we just get an early reservation. What’s your favorite sports movie? Major League. All of the baseball movies, really. What’s the best book you ever read? I’ll say this, the book that I didn’t struggle reading cover to cover was The Da Vinci Code. I found it fascinating.

TRUNK SHOW Thursday, March 21 & Friday, March 22 Couture Eveningwear Designer Alex Teih

If you could have dinner with any three celebrities, living or dead, who would they be? Babe Ruth. A president; JFK would be cool. And either Tiger Woods or Michael Jordan. Let’s say the world is ending tomorrow. What would your last meal be? A big Oscar-style rib-eye, a fully loaded baked potato, broccoli and a good bottle of wine. n

March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead 





ne of the easiest gifts an adult can give a child is to read to them. It’s an activity that can be done as soon as they’re born and can continue long past the time they’re old enough to read themselves. According to a Kids & Family Reading Report by Scholastic, the majority of both kids and parents enjoy read-aloud time together. To help parents and caregivers discover books youngsters will enjoy hearing, and that the adults will enjoy reading too, we’ve put together this list with the help of some Buckhead parents.

3. Hungry Bunny by Claudia Rueda 4. Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann

5. If I Were a Unicorn… by Jellycat

Age 3-6 Children between these ages are generally most interested in picture books. In the Scholastic survey, parents said they enjoy reading Dr. Seuss, Curious George and Goodnight Moon to their children. Here are some other winning picks. 1. Do Not Lick This Book by Idan Ben-Barak

2. Mae Among the Stars

Newborn to age 3

by Roda Ahmed

Board books are the best choice for this age group, as they can usually turn the chunky pages easily and a little gnawing doesn’t hurt the book. You can find countless popular children’s books in board form, but here are a few newer classics. 1. Hi-Five Animals! by Ross Burach 2. Mr. Bear’s ABC by Virginie Aracil

3. Baby Monkey, Private Eye


by Brian Selznick and David Serlin

4. The Wonky Donkey


Sue Rodman

in this age group include Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Magic Tree House, Junie B. Jones and Pete the Cat. Here are more recommendations. 1. Owl Diaries by Rebecca Elliott 2. The Princess in Black by Shannon

COMIC BOOKS Not all kids like to read novels, and that’s OK. Comic books are a great way to entice a reluctant reader. Hart Chamberlain of Oxford Comics, located off Piedmont Road in Buckhead, says to listen to what children already like and match the comic book to their tastes. Here are a few favorite titles Chamberlain suggests. 1. Adventures of the Super Sons by Peter J. Tomasi

2. Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke 3. Bone by Jeff Smith 4. Star Wars: Jedi Academy

Hale and Dean Hale

by Jeffrey Brown

3. Henry and Mudge

5. Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales

by Cynthia Rylant 4. I Survived by Lauren Tarshis 5. Dog Man by Dav Pilkey

by Nathan Hale

Age 8-12 This is the age when kids begin to transition to chapter books. Often they get hooked on a particular series, such as Harry Potter, Percy Jackson and Dork Diaries. You might also try these titles. 1. Ranger’s Apprentice

Teens Don’t forget teens. Although school reading tends to take center stage, a good book can lure them away from the cellphone or video games. You may be familiar with some of these from the movie versions, but others may be welcome surprises. 1. The Hunger Games

by Craig Smith

by John Flanagan 2. Warriors by Erin Hunter

5. Kipper Story Collection

3. The Secret Series

2. The Mysterious Benedict Society

by Mick Inkpen

by Pseudonymous Bosch 4. Fablehaven by Brandon Mull

Age 6-8

5. How to Train Your Dragon

Good books or series for youngsters

by Cressida Cowell

by Trenton Lee Stewart 3. Divergent by Veronica Roth 4. The Land of Stories by Chris Colfer 5. Scythe by Neal Shusterman n

March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead

by Suzanne Collins

The Official School of Atlanta Ballet

Register for our Summer Day Programs Classes for ages 2 & up 2 Convenient Locations Buckhead Centre at Chastain Square 404.303.1501 Virginia-Highland Centre at Amsterdam Walk 404.883.2178

Learn more at Photo by Kim Kenney.

March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead 


Travel. Toast. Taste. MARCH 11-17, 2019


March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead

HOM E | B E AU T Y | W E L L N E S S | TA S T E M A K E R | RE A L E S TAT E



A crystal chandelier reflects off the Cohens’ Cantoni dining table, a regular gathering spot for gourmet family meals.

Mod Life P36

“Now we have a house where everything works.” –Chantel Cohen

Photo: Sara Hanna

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Above: Chantel and Kevin Cohen with their two pooches, Thunder and Bourbon.


Below: The Cohens’ modern Buckhead abode is set on a spacious lot surrounded by woods.

March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead


Sunlight streams into the main living space boasting contemporary furnishings from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams and Restoration Hardware.

Giannina Smith Bedford   PHOTOS: Sara Hanna

evin and Chantel Cohen met in Los Angeles 30 years ago and always admired the modern homes on the West Coast. At the time, Kevin was a story editor at United Artists film studio, and worked on movies such as the Academy Award-winning film Rain Man. His work would later take them to Hong Kong, where they rented a modern apartment with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Victoria Harbour. But in 2000, when Kevin went to work for Turner Broadcasting System and the family—then of three—moved to Atlanta, modern homes were not very prevalent. “What passed for modern homes at the time were any structures made out of stucco, and realtors warned us away from those homes because they tended to mold, were not in demand and had low resale value,” says Kevin. As the Cohen clan grew to five, plus two dogs, the need for space and functionality be-

came more important. So in 2017, they began a search for their dream abode. “In the years since we arrived, there‘s been an influx of real modern homes, although for some reason most of them look the same,” says Kevin, who now runs his own consulting business, DoubleMan Group. “In fact, if you go inside them, they either have very few windows or, if there are windows, they look out over a not-so-pleasant view.” The Cohens toured a 3,000-square-foot home near Phipps Plaza only a few days after it went on the market. They loved the open floor plan and its four bedrooms, four bathrooms and two offices. Plus, the double lot offered lots of space for their dogs to roam, a stunning array of trees and a meandering stream. “We wanted something that was modern, clean, minimalist and that reflected my California style,” says Chantel, a therapist and life coach who runs CWC Coaching & Therapy.

Left: A built-in media unit separates the kitchen from the living space. Right: The open-slat stairs run up all three levels of the home. Below: Sleek and simple, the kitchen features dark hardwood cabinets that warm up the stone, metal and tile.

Above: Kevin’s office features a midcentury desk given to him by his politician father.

Below: In Chantel’s office, a statement-making artwork shows the electoral college map from 2000.

“We wanted to take our lives in a different direction. We wanted [a home] we could grow into as we age.” –Chantel Cohen metal coffee table and blue Milo Baughman chairs. They often sit in the uncluttered space observing hawks, woodpeckers and other creatures through the tall windows, which take up nearly half the room’s wall space. In the adjacent dining area, the Cohens added a dramatic chandelier from Restoration Hardware, which Kevin says “throws off gorgeous rainbows when morning or afternoon sunlight hit the crystals.” The chandelier also illuminates the sleek kitchen done with granite countertops and a dining area with a Cantoni table and blue velvet chairs from West Elm.

Nearby, a Dutch door opens into Kevin’s office, which is anchored by a midcentury modern desk that belonged to his father, William S. Cohen, a former Maine senator and secretary of defense under Bill Clinton. Next door, Chantel’s office strikes a playful vibe with a red sofa from IKEA, a Lucite coffee table and one of the couple’s favorite works of art, a mixed-media piece by their friend Leslie Sokolow. Much of the home’s art tells a story and has come from the Cohens’ travels around the world. Some of their favorites are works


At the time, the home was owned by builder Ray Bongers, who has an affinity for modern structures despite being known as a builder of traditional homes. “This was the second modern home he built,” says Kevin. “The Bongers were selling so they could begin work on a third modern home.” Since moving in, the Cohens have embraced a more minimalist lifestyle and are slowly adding distinct accent pieces to personalize the residence. On the main level, the living room features a Restoration Hardware sofa, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams glass and

March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead 



Above: The master bedroom offers a pinchme view of the grounds. Left: The only thing Chantel would change about the master bathroom is to add a bathtub. Right: The Cohens’ oldest son, Connor, comes home from college to his very own first-floor suite.

by Choisy, an artist in Saint-Paul de Vence, France, and New Orleans artist James Michalopoulos, who went to Kevin’s alma mater Bowdoin College in Maine. A Michalopoulos painting of a woman in red is one of the few pops of color in the third-floor master bedroom. The treehouselike view through the floor-toceiling windows in the master was one of the home’s major selling points, and today it offers the busy working couple a peaceful place to welcome each day and an ideal overlook for daily meditation. Kevin and Chantel share the third floor with their two youngest kids, 11-year-old Sofia and 14-year-old Jordan, who have also embraced the contemporary style. Jordan’s room, furnished with the same leather platform bed his parents have, is done in gray and black with blue neon accent lights and


a large black-and-white portrait of a lion from Modani in Buckhead. “He’s like a 27-year-old man,” says Chantel. “Jordan chose his bed and we chose the exact same one.” On the first level, the Cohens transformed Ray Bongers’ former office space into a bedroom for their eldest son, Connor, who is a freshman at Clemson University. The room features a 1960s-era bed passed down from Kevin’s parents, a USA map created through a collage of license plates and steer antlers brought back from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, which speak to Connor’s love of the outdoors. An attached storage garage is filled with his hunting, fishing and dirt biking equipment. The downstairs also has a media room that creates the perfect place for the family to gather for movie nights. Under the nearby stairs, a widened cubbyhole creates a cozy

March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead

kennel area for the Cohens’ black goldendoodle, Thunder, and Landseer Newfypoo (Newfoundland/poodle mix), Bourbon. Moving into a modern home, and into Buckhead, has been a big change for the Cohens, but one they are fully embracing. With a more streamlined approach to their living space, Chantel says they are able to focus on the more important things in life. “We wanted to take our lives in a different direction. We wanted something we could grow into as we age. We wanted the focus to be on spending time with our family and growing our business and being able to entertain friends,” says Chantel. “Now we have a house where everything works. We can have it looking great in 30 minutes. It’s reflective of our partnership and the importance of time with our family and the investment we’ve put into our careers.” n

CHANTEL COHEN’S TOP 5 BENEFITS TO LIVING IN A MODERN HOME 1. “It’s calming. Research suggests that a cluttered home is a stressful home and a modern home inspires a Zen-like minimalistic approach.” 2. “A corollary to minimalism is that the blank spaces lend more weight to the items you do furnish with. As has been said before, ‘It is the silence between the notes that makes the music.’” 3. “Soaring windows bring us closer to our surroundings. In our case, that means we can enjoy vibrant wildlife from the ground to the treetops like one would from an observatory tower.” 4. “An open floor plan allows for both personal space and a feeling of connection to family in the same room. It supports interaction rather than intrusion.” 5. “It’s much easier to keep clean. With fewer surface areas available to gather dust, it’s easy to maintain.”



Jennifer Bradley Franklin


search for the fountain of youth might lead to the bedroom. Far from being a myth, beauty sleep is real, since the quantity and quality of sleep can show up in our appearance. “Sleep is a time for overall repair and regeneration of the body,” explains Dr. Taz Bhatia, the author of Super Woman RX and founder of CentreSpring MD, a Brookhaven practice specializing in holistic, integrative and functional medicine. “A lack of sleep accelerates the rate at which we age.” Aside from the importance of getting enough shuteye to allow for the cellular turnover that can facilitate a glowing complexion and healthy hair, here are some products that can help take your ZZZZ routine to the next level.

Revision Skincare D.E.J. Night Face Cream ($150) This night cream from a brand known for proven results comes packed with 0.25 percent time-released retinol and Bakuchiol, a less irritating natural retinol alternative that helps boost results for more radiance and firmer skin. A dose of Vitamin C brightens, while rosemary and goji fruit extracts provide powerful antioxidant benefits. The new-to-market product also features prebiotics to balance skin’s microflora.

Josh Rosebrook Advanced Hydration Mask ($65 for 1.5 oz) If your skin is dry, this overnight mask could be your hydration holy grail. Made with botanical moisturizers such as aloe vera, shea butter and Indian senna seed, it feeds thirsty skin after just one use. Plus, with chamomile, lavender and rose essential oils instead of irritation- Available at: causing synthetic Aillea fragrances, the 3796 Roswell Rd. soothing scent Atlanta 30342 is reason enough 470.427.3992 to love it.

Available at: Julian’s Cosmetics + Skincare 705 Town Blvd. Atlanta 30319 470.355.3291

Elizabeth Arden Retinol Ceramide Capsules ($48 for 30) Perfectly portioned for one use, these tiny ampules pack a serious punch of clinically proven wrinkle-smoothing retinol and ceramides that help moisturize and soothe retinol’s sometimes harsh effects. In a consumer study, 94 percent of users saw a visible improve- Available at: ment in skin’s texture Macy’s after eight weeks. Tip: 3393 Peachtree Rd. be sure to massage Atlanta 30326 the lightweight serum 404.231.2800 into your neck too.


March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead

CosMedix Enhance Lip-Plumping Mask ($29) Much like the delicate skin around eyes, lip skin is particularly susceptible to dehydration. Plump your kisser with this glossy botanical formula that doubles as an overnight mask. Cocoa seed and shea butters provide intense moisture, while peptides enhance definition and fullness. Available at: Buckhead Grand Spa 3338 Peachtree Rd. N.E. Atlanta 30326 404.816.4511

DR. TAZ’S TOP TIPS FOR GREAT BEAUTY SLEEP TAKE A CRITICAL LOOK AT YOUR DIET. Everyone is different, but afternoon caffeine can impede sleep for some people, while evening sugar can be a problem for others. CREATE A SMART ROUTINE. If you’ve been operating in high stress, it’s important to manage cortisol, a stress hormone. Dr. Taz recommends winding down with a walk, meditation or restorative yoga stretching. MAGNESIUM IS YOUR FRIEND. The mineral relaxes the nervous system. Get your dose with a

relaxing Epsom salt bath or take a supplement (such as Dr. Taz’s own called Sleep Savior, in 200mg of the chelated form). UNPLUG TO MINIMIZE BLUE LIGHT IN THE BEDROOM. The sleep disruptor comes from devices such as computers, phones and tablets. APPLY ESSENTIAL OILS. The doc’s favorites to help lower cortisol include lavender, sandalwood and frankincense. To learn more or schedule a wellness consultation, visit

Bariatric Innovations of Atlanta & General Surgery

An Advanced Weight Loss Practice Call or visit: 404-250-6691

Regain Your Health & Mobility! We specialize in non-invasive, minimallyinvasive and robotic techniques for advanced weight loss and general surgery procedures. Let Dr. Srinivasa Gorjala, a board-certified physician, and our on-site dietician help you to live to your full potential with one of our medical or surgical weight loss programs.

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March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead 


Hillway Photography


Above: Infrared saunas are good because “your core heats up gradually, and you’re not breathing air,” says Perspire Sauna Studio co-owner Danielle Smith (top right). Left: With the advent of studios like Perspire, infrared saunas are no longer exclusive to doctors’ offices. Right: During a session, you can stretch, do a light workout or enjoy a movie on Netflix.



magine private infrared saunas where you can binge on Netflix while detoxing your body. Thanks to the new Perspire Sauna Studio in Buckhead, your sauna experience is about to get an upgrade from the days of sitting in a boring, hot wooden room with sweaty strangers. “In addition to the amenities we offer, there are some other differences between using a traditional sauna versus our infrared saunas,” says Danielle Smith, co-owner of the Perspire Pharr Road location. “For example, in a traditional sauna, people generally sit for 10 to 15 minutes with temperatures ranging from 160 to 200 degrees. But in one of Perspire’s infrared saunas, one can sit for up to 40 minutes with temperatures ranging from 120 to 158 degrees, which is good, because your core heats up gradually, and you’re not breathing hot air.”  Perspire was founded in 2010 as a spa-like alternative to the infrared saunas that were once exclusive to doctors’ offices. The first locations were in


California, but in late 2018, Smith and three business partners opened a studio in Atlanta. Here are her thoughts on incorporating infrared sauna visits into your wellness routine.  What are the top benefits of infrared sauna use?  A lot of our members rave about the reduction of pain they’re experiencing. The heat that occurs during a session helps certain blood vessels dilate, which brings relief to muscle and soft tissue injuries. The increased blood circulation also helps the body carry away metabolic waste products while delivering oxygen-rich blood to oxygen-depleted muscles. The sessions are a great way to detoxify your body of toxic metals such as lead, mercury, nickel, alcohol, nicotine, sulfuric acid and other organic and inorganic compounds. What’s a session like?  Each one typically lasts about 40 minutes. During the session, you can stretch, do a light workout and yoga,

March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead


Amelia Pavlik

or simply sit and enjoy Netflix or the other entertainment options. There’s also a chromotherapy component to each session. Chromotherapy is about using different colors to adjust body vibrations to frequencies that result in health and harmony. For example, you can adjust the light in your sauna to green if you want to address overall health or red if you want to improve blood circulation. The cost of a session is $39, but membership and package options are available.  What should I wear?  You can wear as little clothing as you like. That’s the beauty of the private sauna suite. But bring something loosefitting to put on after your session, as you’ll typically continue to sweat for another 20 to 30 minutes.  When and how often should someone use the saunas? For best results, we recommend at least three times a week. I prefer to sauna after a workout, because your

metabolism is already working, which means you’ll get an additional calorie burn. As I mentioned, a session can also help with muscle soreness and pain, which is another reason to come in post-workout. Do you have any advice for those new to infrared saunas?  You don’t have to stay in the sauna the entire time—listen to your body. I recommend starting at 140 degrees so it’s not too overwhelming. Lastly, you can share a sauna with a friend, but I recommend you try your first session alone. Sometimes additional people can be a distraction. By yourself, you can just relax and focus on how your body feels.  n

PERSPIRE SAUNA STUDIO 322 Pharr Rd. N.E. Atlanta 30305 678.705.9257



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surrounded by six hens, a rooster she rescued from oncoming traffic on Wieuca Road and her two dogs. “One of my passions is transforming mundane or ordinary objects into innovative live creations,” she says. Here, she delves deeper into how she taps into her creativity and what she hopes to achieve with her customized botanical arrangements. What made you want to start you own business? I needed to be my authentic self, which means gardening clothes every day, no makeup, loads of sunscreen, dirt on my unmanicured nails and a smile on my face. Where do you start when you take on a project? I always have creations on my mind. I start brainstorming and sketching different plant combinations as soon as I have a new project, and the design and concept are determined after meeting a client—even after a five-minute conversation. My concept is different from a florist. I embrace longevity, sustainability and [eliminating] unnecessary waste. All of my creations are in soil and often are compiled in eclectic containers that can be repurposed for years. Creating fun and unique compositions just comes naturally to me.


In Bloom Travis Ann Bull brings life to her elegant botanical arrangements STORY:


Amy Meadows

ravis Ann Bull knows that inspiration can strike anywhere and at any time when she’s beginning a project. For instance, when the owner of Travis Ann Botanicals visited a new client’s home to start work on a custom-


ized composition, the first thing that caught her eye was an outdoor rustic bench. “I immediately told my client that I wanted to turn it into a living bench,” Bull recalls. “It’s now filled with fresh mood moss, Spanish moss and bark, and soon the Creeping Jenny will start traveling up the feet.” It’s that kind of opportunity to do something unique that drives

March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead

Bull, who founded her namesake company in a converted garden studio in her home near Chastain Park several years ago. The native Atlantan had been creating botanical compositions for nonprofit events and auctions and as gifts for more than 20 years. When both of her children went off to college, she took inventory of what brings her joy on a daily basis and decided to start her own business. The results have interior designers, real estate agents and local residents throughout the area requesting her services, and she counts among her clients Lucy’s Market, Saks Fifth Avenue and the Four Seasons Hotel. Today, Bull works with a few clients at a time doing what she loves

What are some of your favorite botanicals? My belief is to have longevity in each creation, so I start with base plants that are easy to maintain. These are mostly shades of green that create a beautiful “blanket.” I love using silver lace ferns, button ferns and Fittonias. It’s important to research plants on horticulture websites and know what kind of maintenance they require. What’s the most rewarding part of your work? I love it when my clients are thrilled with their compositions. I have so much fun doing new and unique projects all the time. And I love bringing the outdoors inside and knowing that my creations enlighten and provide a calming ambiance to my clients. n





Sunday, April 28, 2019 12–4 p.m. The Home Depot Backyard Register online at an event of:

March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead 



I want to be. My husband and my son are the light of my life. The best part of my day is coming home to my guys. What’s the current state of Buckhead real estate? It continues to be attractive to people not only in our southern region, but frankly, internationally. For that reason, prices continue to rise. The low inventory, high demand is a challenge. We’re constantly looking for how can we help our clients find what they’re looking for. What’s changing in local real estate? You’ve probably noticed the 10 zillion cranes. There were about 6,000 new apartment units built in 2018. And you can expect an additional 18,000 units. That’s what’s being built. We anticipate some of those will transition into condos. You want to have places people can live that cover all price points. Can somebody with a $65,000 annual salary afford to live here? [Residences for people in that price range] have been waning over the last several years. These additional condos should help ease that shortage. What are the hot styles in Buckhead right now? We live in a city that embraces new things and new styles. But with architecture, there’s very much a classic component to it, especially in Buckhead. There’s more of an openness to modern, but it’s more transitional than a stark contrast.

There’s No Place Talking real estate with the CEO of a top Atlanta luxury home seller STORY:


Daryn Kagan

Like Home J

enni Bonura is all about home. As the CEO of Buckheadbased Harry Norman Realtors, she has a front row seat to some of the biggest, most luxurious houses in the city. She knows the market and what’s hot and what’s not. Bonura moved to Atlanta in 1999 to work with Anderson Consulting and switched to real estate a few years later. Her eye has always been on Harry Norman. One of Atlanta’s oldest and largest residential real estate firms, it was started by a woman, Emmie Norman, 90 years ago—something that has always inspired Bonura. She’s just wrapped up her second year as CEO.

March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead

Bonura and her husband, Don, and their 8-year-old son, Tyler, make their home in Peachtree Corners, but are constantly talking about moving in town. “This is an ongoing joke with my colleagues at Harry Norman,” she says. “They love to point out that they know people who can help me find the perfect home in Buckhead.” We recently chatted with Bonura to get the scoop on the local real estate scene and more. What’s your idea of a perfect home? The same as it was growing up. It was never a specific architecture. It was always to be connected to the people I love. Wherever they are, that’s where

What’s one of the top features your clients are looking for? Definitely highly tech-enabled homes, whether that’s security or integrating different features of the home. If you can operate all those things from your phone, that’s highly desirable. What’s one thing buyers should be looking for in a home that maybe doesn’t make their list? It’s not a sexy topic, but quality of the craftsmanship. Behind the walls. A lot of times people will focus on a great floor plan or how great a house looks. Yes, those are important, but the quality of the actual structure is something to consider as well. What’s one feature you couldn’t live without in a house? I love the hottest shower you can possibly have. It’s a simple thing, but boy, it makes such a difference. n

HARRY NORMAN REALTORS | 404.266.0266 3340 Peachtree Rd NE Ste 1700, Atlanta, GA 30326

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That music you hear in trailers for the latest movies? It might just be created by Buckhead’s own Brian Brasher.

Scoring the Blockbusters P52

“Our composers love sound design, and go out and record sounds from all over the place.” —Brian Brasher

Photo: Loli Lucaciu

March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead 



Loli Lucaciu




usician and composer Brian Brasher first dove into the music industry during his college years in Tallahassee, Florida, when he was a founding member of the rock band Creed. Collaborating on two of their number-one hits (“What’s This Life For” and “One”) made him realize he was passionate about the other side of music—the business itself. After leaving the band and acquiring sales experience at radio stations nationwide, a chance meeting with the head of marketing at the record label BMG exposed him to their music licensing division, which did background music for everything from TV shows to video games. There, he quickly learned he had an eye for picking captivating trailer music. Brasher transitioned to another firm where he continued to catalogue trailer music and kept getting drawn to one particular composer, Veigar Margeirsson. The Iceland native had composed the trailers for Batman


Begins and Ocean’s Eleven, and the two quickly became friends as well as business partners. In 2012 they co-founded Pitch Hammer Music and started to produce custom music and tracks for film trailers and theatrical marketing campaigns. In addition to composing, Brasher leads the company and is tasked with forming strategic partnerships, while Margeirsson focuses on managing composers and overall production. After a movie is filmed, and the footage gets sent to the trailer house to make those ubiquitous two-minute teasers, it’s time for the Pitch Hammer team to add sound to evoke emotion and/or excitement. They’ll either pick something from their extensive catalog or compose custom music based on the studio’s vision. “We’ll give them a couple of options—here’s a dramatic idea, and here’s a big, epic idea—as a starting point,” says Brasher. For example, for the fantasy thriller Ready Player One, directed by Steven

March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead


Spielberg, the studio requested a teaser of the “Pure Imagination” track from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Pitch Hammer deleted the vocals and replaced them with a 60-piece orchestra for the melody part. “They didn’t want the audience to know right off the bat what [song] it was, but just use the hook and make it recognizable,” says Brasher. To make the process more seamless for trailer editors, Pitch Hammer also developed a catalog of “cool, crazy sounds” called Trailer Fuel. “Some of our composers love sound design, and they go out and record sounds from all over the place. For example, they will burn something and record it,” says Brasher. With offices in Atlanta, Los Angeles and Iceland, Brasher and his team have found success in composing trailers for blockbusters such as Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Mad Max: Fury Road and Deadpool, plus video games such as Call of Duty. He says

Muriel Vega that in 2017, they were in more than a quarter of the marketing campaigns for major studios. When recording in Atlanta, the Buckhead resident taps old friends such as the Zac Brown Band and Collective Soul. He’s in talks with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra for upcoming projects and to add new compositions to the company’s music library. “We want to continue to grow and expand our artist-friendly catalog of bands for TV and film,” says Brasher. Brasher has moved across the country multiple times throughout his life, but in the end, he ended up back home in Atlanta. The growth of the film and entertainment industry in Georgia has cemented that decision. “It’s almost like the timing happened coincidentally,” he says. “I just love Atlanta.” n PITCH HAMMER MUSIC



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H.M. Cauley




rtrice Woodard remembers the days when gasoline was 35 cents a gallon “and you got a set of steak knives if you filled the tank,” he says. From those early years growing up in New York, he was fascinated by cars of all kinds. “When my buddies back in high school were working nine hours a day to pay for their cars, I built my own model cars,” says the now 66-yearold. “I was more interested in what made a car run, how to design it and


what it took to make it functional and pleasing to the eye. A ’66 Chrysler or a Corvette is cool, but I knew it all started with an artist in a design studio.” Woodard’s fascination with how cars look never left him, even while he went to the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan. While there in 1979, he produced his first piece of auto art. “I saw that McGraw-Hill [publishers] was looking for some cover art, and I went over there with my half-puttogether portfolio and pieces of car art,” he says. “They chose one of my works, and that was my first official job as an automotive illustrator.” The market for that sort of work is small, however, and so Woodard went

March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead

from school to spending four years in the military before returning to civilian life and teaching painting, drawing and ceramics to disadvantaged youth in upstate New York. Along the way he picked up a few projects for the auto industry, including the design of customized front ends that were produced in fiberglass. But most of his jobs were art projects for commercial and residential clients. Five years ago, Woodard and his wife of 35 years moved to Buckhead, and he enrolled at The Art Institute of Atlanta, earning an associate’s degree in graphic arts. Now he’s putting designs on T-shirts, doing fantasy and sci-fi illustrations, and using watercolors, spray paints, pencils and markers to create paintings of Ferraris, BMWs and Mercedes, along with classic Citroëns, Plymouth Barracudas and

Ford Cobras, to name just a few. The images are replicated from memory, photos or film images. Woodard is also working with the Atlanta Motor Speedway to create a historical retrospective around the contributions of minorities to the world of auto sports. “So few people are aware that so many people of color have made significant contributions,” he says. “As far back as 1935, they have been racing—and still are.” But don’t count Woodard among those tearing up the track. When it comes to driving, he relies on his trusty old Toyota Celica with 130,000 miles on the odometer to get him around. “Anything beyond basic transportation is just individual choice,” he says. “This car does what I need it to do, and that’s all anyone can expect from their mode of transportation.” n

To see samples of Artrice Woodard’s car art, visit artrice-woodard-jr.

March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead 



Dr. Darria Hacks Into Motherhood And in short, snappy bursts that won’t stress parents out STORY:


H.M. Cauley

eing an ER doc is nothing like parenting a 5- and 2-year-old. It’s considerably easier, insists Dr. Darria Long Gillespie, a Sandy Springs mom, writer and TV contributor who faces her biggest challenges the minute her kids wake up. “When I’m in the ER, I have too much to do and not enough time, but I’m in control. I know whatever comes through the doors, I can handle it because I have the tools,” she says. “But I wanted to figure out how to transfer that feeling to my everyday life. I wanted tools, and I wanted to give them to other mothers, too.” Gillespie’s parenting toolkit is her first book, Mom Hacks, a concise approach to taking control of the chaos parents often find themselves drowning in. Designed to be read in short bursts, the book provides tips and techniques Gillespie put to use in her own life. “When you buy a TV, you read the ‘quick start’ part of the manual, but many new moms jump into the big part first,” she says. “In this book, they can read the quick tips first—each is about 500 words—and troubleshoot by age with the index in the back. It has details, but who has time for that when you’re desperate to get your child to sleep?” Gillespie is quick to caution that the book offers no magic fixes. “That’s the whole point,” she says. “I can cope not because I have superpowers, but because I have the tools. I created a curriculum for moms so they have the basics, too.” Many of the suggestions grew out of her own research on parenting issues. “I’d go to the literature


and see what nuggets I could dig up,” she says. “Some days I found great ideas, and some days I found nothing.” Many of her favorite hacks are centered around the parent, rather than the child. For instance, she was perturbed by research that showed just being a mom puts a woman at higher risk for eating poorly, exercising less and sleeping badly. “I learned about time-restricted eating, which is how I lost 50 pounds after having each of my children,” she notes. “You eat within reason in a 9- to 12-hour window, and outside of that, just have water. Another hack for me was learning about sleep. I realized a huge portion of the problem was light. Our bodies are very susceptible to light, and now we have [electronic] devices with blue lights that we’re looking at until 10:30 at night. One of the big things I started doing was decreasing my use of devices or using blue-light-blocker glasses. We have routines for our children to go to sleep, but we forget to do that for ourselves.” Even with the best intentions, Gillespie realizes there are still going to be days when nothing works. “When there’s chaos, and you want to crawl under the table and cry, you’ll know you’re not alone, and here’s what you can do,” she says. “And it’s not just about how to do it; it’s about finding the joy in it, too.” n

March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead

MOM HACKS is available on Amazon and at

Lissa Webber with her own puppy, Ladybug.

Welcome Dr. Diana Denman Perimeter North Medical Associates is now offering services in endocrinology for the Greater Atlanta and North Fulton communities. Dr. Diana Denman is a fellowship-trained endocrinologist and board-certified physician who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment and management of disorders of the glands and hormones in adult patients. She serves with the same excellent, attentive care you are accustomed to, treating each patient with compassion and empathy. She accepts most insurance plans and is welcoming new patients in our Atlanta and Alpharetta locations.

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Diana Denman, M.D. Endocrinology Locations: Atlanta Office: 960 Johnson Ferry Road, Suite 300 Atlanta, GA 30342 Alpharetta Office: 3400-A Old Milton Parkway, Suite 130 Alpharetta, GA 30005

March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead 


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Ann Hardie   PHOTOS: Sara Hanna

At virtually all hours of the day and night, Atlantans are getting their sports on. They’re lacing up running shoes and ice skates, picking up paddles and oars, and blasting soccer balls and punching bags. They do it to be fit. They do it because they love to compete. They do it to be the best. And they do it because it’s just plain fun. March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead 




“I just love the camaraderie of belonging to a team.”


hen the call came from the Chicago Fire Soccer Club, Sam Arthur had a tough decision to make: leave college a semester early and follow his childhood dream of playing professional soccer, or pursue a career in wealth management after graduation. He chose the latter. “I decided I love soccer and that I would always play,” says Arthur, “but I didn’t want to count on it to provide for my family.” He has no regrets. Arthur, who is married and plans to have children someday, is a managing director


and wealth management advisor at Northwestern Mutual in Buckhead. He has placed in the top 1 percent of advisors within the company for five years running and has been named among Atlanta’s top 40 financial advisors under 40 for the past seven years. As for the sport he loves, which he constantly refers to as the “world’s game,” Arthur counts himself lucky to live in a city where he can get his fix. Of course, he’s an Atlanta United fan. But he still plays—a lot. On Wednesday nights,

March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead

he’s at his usual striker position at Atlanta Silverbacks Park playing in a 7v7 (seven versus seven) league. “It’s a great way to break up the week, relax and be outside,” says Arthur. He’s on the pitch again on Sundays, playing in the Atlanta District Amateur Soccer League. Like Arthur, most of his teammates, as well as the people he goes up against, played at Division I colleges. The competition helps keep Arthur honest the rest of the weekend. “I make sure I eat well, exercise, take care of myself and don’t do anything too foolish,” he laughs.

Giving up the chance to go pro wasn’t easy, especially for someone who picked up the sport at 4 years old and excelled from the get-go. Arthur captained the Greater Atlanta Christian School team that won a state championship and set the record for most goals in a season and career. He attended the University of South Carolina on a soccer scholarship and twice made All-Conference and twice was named an Academic All-American. “I wouldn’t say I’m the most athletic or the smartest person, but I managed to excel athletically and academically,” says Arthur. “I really work hard for things that are important to me.” The dedication, discipline and competitive streak that drove him in soccer now drive him in his work life, as does his penchant for teamwork. Arthur is in a leadership position at Northwestern Mutual, helping other financial advisors build their wealth management careers. He’s also established his own personal financial planning practice. “I just love the camaraderie of belonging to a team,” he says. “All in all, I’d say soccer has prepared me especially well for what I’m doing. And now I get to play soccer for fun.” n


ohanna Asher used to pass the Atlanta Rowing Club when she drove her youngest child to school and would catch glimpses of the crew teams and their oars harmoniously propelling boats up and down the Chattahoochee. It was almost as if the glimmering river and its blue herons and beavers were beckoning her to forgo the congestion and concrete jungle a block away on Roswell Road. These days, it’s likely Asher is in one of those boats. After signing up for a learn-to-row class through the club in 2011, the Sandy Springs resident became hooked. She now rows three times a week, if not more. She doesn’t row just for a break from the demands of the communications coaching firm that she runs with her husband, Joey. Or the friendships she has made. Or how, at age 55, she is the fittest that she’s ever been in her life. She also rows to win. Asher belongs to a group of 17 women who range in age from 24 to 71. They have a coach and take turns competing in eights, quads, singles and doubles in regattas around the country and the world. Last September, Asher’s teams finished second and third at the 2018 World Rowing Masters Regatta in Sarasota, Florida. “We started rowing for fun,” says Asher. “The more you do it with the same people, the better you get. And the better you get, the more fun you have.” The Atlanta Rowing Club, which supplies the boats and coaches, is the only rowing group in the metro Atlanta area for rowers beyond col-

“Having progressed in this sport has made me feel like an athlete.”

lege age. Although many members have rowed before, others like Asher didn’t know their port from their starboard when they started. As with any sport, the only way to get better is to practice, says Asher. And to make all the mistakes that novices make, such as putting the oars on backward, capsizing the boat and running aground on a sandbar. “My husband says my

rowing group should have our own reality TV show called Leave It On the Water,” jokes Asher. Asher not only has surprised her husband and her now-grown children with her rowing, she’s surprised herself. “I used to go to exercise class for some semblance of fitness, but I never saw myself as an athlete,” she says. “Having progressed in this sport has made me feel like an athlete.”

Rowing also has taken her to some pretty breathtaking places, such as Craftsbury, Vermont; Lake Bled in Slovenia; or a spot right off of Roswell Road. “It’s just so lovely and peaceful on the water,” says Asher, seated on the rowing club’s deck overlooking the river on a Saturday morning as a boat of eight rowers cruises by. “You just feel like you’re in a different place.” n




“Running has exposed me to people who may not have been part of my life otherwise.”


s a kid, Laurie Knowles couldn’t hit a ball or sink a bucket to save her life. “I wasn’t particularly coordinated and was an epic failure at all sorts of sports,” she laughs. “But I always knew I could run fast.” Knowles is very fast indeed, and the longer she runs, the faster she is. The Buckhead resident has competed in some 20 marathons (she’s lost track of the number of Peachtree Road Races). In November, at age 41, Knowles won the CNO Financial Indianapolis Monumental Marathon in Indianapolis, Indiana, setting a new course record of 2:37:52. (Her


personal best is 2:36:01.) But it was Knowles’ finish at the 2017 New York City Marathon that qualified her for the chance to compete for the fourth time to represent the U.S. in the Olympics. While earning one of the three spots on the 2020 Olympic team is a long shot, admits Knowles, she’s jazzed about the trials, which will be held in Atlanta next February. “It’s just so exciting to have the trials right here in our hometown,” she says. “I want a really good performance, and I am putting in a lot of work to make that happen.” For Knowles, running is about

March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead

competing, about staying centered and about fitness, too, although she admits her eating habits leave a lot to be desired. “My diet very closely resembles that of an elf—way too much sugar and chocolate,” she says. “And coffee is definitely my vice.” Running also has been Knowles’ connection to some of her most important relationships. She met her husband, Nathan, at the University of Arkansas, where they both ran track. (He still runs for recreation but prefers shorter distances.) Her bridesmaids were her teammates. Now, she often meets friends at Peachtree Battle or OK Cafe to run well before the sun

rises. “I’ve run with the same group of women so many mornings. We spend an hour and a half talking, bouncing things off each other,” she says. “As adults, I don’t think we often make time to have a ton of meaningful relationships. Running has exposed me to people who may not have been part of my life otherwise.” Getting the training and miles in to do well in the upcoming Olympic trials can be a little tricky these days. Knowles, who has an MBA from Georgia Tech in organizational behavior and marketing, is staying home to raise her children, 9-year-old Cooper and 4-year-old Mimi. “I think I’m more efficient with my time now,” says Knowles, who typically logs 80 miles a week. When she can’t get in the morning runs, she sticks to a route along the Chattahoochee or closer to home. “The streets of Buckhead are just so beautiful,” she says. “I feel like you can’t go wrong running anywhere around our neighborhood.” But those runs are different from the ones pre-kids, when the miles were rewarded with leisurely breakfasts and a lot of self-indulgence. “Running is very, very important to me,” says Knowles. “But when I take my shoes off, time’s up. I put on my mom hat and go.” n


n many nights when Atlantans are crawling into bed, Martin Marek is stepping out onto the ice. It’s not unusual for the captain of the Crustaceans, Marek’s handpicked team that competes in the Atlanta Amateur Hockey League, to have a game at 10:45 p.m. that will go until well after midnight. Factoring in the time it takes to shed the gear, drive home to Brookhaven and come off the adrenalin high, Marek won’t get to sleep till after 2. Four hours later, he’ll be back up helping the kids get ready for school and himself ready to go to work as a records coordinator at Southern Company Gas. “One of the hardest things about the game is to be able to calm down and go to sleep at night,” says Marek, who didn’t rest at all the night he put the puck into the net for the first time. “But it’s worth it. With hockey, you’re either all in or you’re out. And I’m all in.” It took Marek four decades to discover ice hockey—and to unleash his inner athlete. “I never really played sports,” says the 45-year-old. “I never guessed I’d be doing this, not in a million years.” And certainly not after his initial foray onto the ice. Marek laced up the skates for the first time three years ago with the thought of helping his young son, Andrew, who had signed up for hockey at the Center Ice Arena in Sandy Springs. As the boy hung on to the side of the rink for dear life, Marek asked himself, “How hard can it be?” He found out on day one in the beginner’s class. “You know that scene where Bambi is on the ice? That was me,” says Marek. “My nickname was Bambi.” He’s come a long way since then. “For three years, I have been out here busting my butt, and it’s finally beginning to pay off,” he says. The competition isn’t soft by a long shot. The Atlanta Amateur Hockey League has more than 90 teams around the metro area. Unlike Marek, who grew up in Norcross, many of the 3,500

players in the league are transplants from chilly parts of the country where learning to walk and learning to skate go hand in hand. When he’s not playing for the Crustaceans—who, by the way, were the 2016 champs of their division—Marek is scheduling games at Center Ice for the 700 members of his Facebook group who want in on a pickup game. Those contests can start as early as 6 a.m. Marek

jokes that managing the group allows him to scout the best players for his team. “But really, I love the camaraderie and meeting like-minded individuals who love the thrill and the game as much I do.” Marek calls hockey a win, win, win. He has met a ton of friends and

become a total health nut, which gives him a distinct edge. And there are just so many elements to the game that it keeps it interesting. “To me, hockey is like your first elusive girlfriend,” he says. “You think you have her figured out, and then she throws you a curve.” n



“For three years, I have been out here busting my butt, and it’s finally beginning to pay off.”


“[Becoming world chess boxing champion] was the craziest thing that has ever happened in my life. It felt like Rocky IV.”


ew people have likely heard that Atlanta’s own Matt Thomas is the newest chess boxing champion of the world. In fact, most folks probably don’t even realize that there is such a thing as chess boxing. The sport, equal parts brain and brawn, goes like this: three minutes of chess, followed by three minutes of boxing, three minutes of chess and so on. You win by checkmate, knockout or decision. If marrying chess and boxing seems a little whacky, Thomas argues the two make a perfect match because both are about controlling movement and space. “If you control



the center of the board in chess, that’s like controlling the center of the boxing ring,” he says. “That allows you to control the pace of the match and dictate your opponent’s moves.” Thomas compares pawns to blocks, rooks to uppercuts, knights to hooks and the all-powerful queen to the mighty jab. “All of these may sound like forced parallels, but I think the psychology is sound,” he says. The idea of chess boxing first appeared in a 1992 French graphic novel. Though the sport hasn’t taken hold in the U.S. (a fact Thomas hopes to change), it has in other parts of the world, including Russia, Germany

March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead

and India, where Thomas won the 90-kilogram (198-pound) division at the 2018 Chessboxing Amateur World Championship last July. Thomas himself had never heard of chess boxing until a few years ago. He was recovering from shoulder surgery to fix a boxing injury and happened upon a video of a match on YouTube. “It found me at my most vulnerable. It felt like my destiny,” says the 28-year-old. He knew he had the boxing part down—he grew up just outside Philadelphia with that iconic Rocky poster over his crib. After taking a $2 boxing class as an undergrad at the University

of Georgia, he became obsessed. “Boxing became my hobby and my passion,” he says. He’s channeled that passion into his Buckhead-based nonprofit, Brawl for a Cause, which puts on Vegas-style charity boxing events. The boxers are everyday folks who train for eight weeks while raising money for a cause of their choice. In 2018, the Brawl for a Cause event held at Mercedes-Benz Stadium raised more than $200,000 for 30 charities. Another black-tie event is scheduled to take place at the Georgia World Congress Center on April 6. Even though Thomas had played chess competitively as a kid, he had to get better to compete on the world stage. He reached out to Carlos Perdomo, the founder of Chess Atlanta, who let him train with his students. “That first day, I got manhandled by 8- to 12-year-olds. I didn’t win a match,” says Thomas. “I went home and sobbed.” Then he thought about the hundreds of people who have participated in Brawl for a Cause. “A lot of them overcame their fear and doubt,” he says. “So it was time for me to talk the talk, walk the walk and fight the fight. I went back the next day.” It’s a good thing. It was Thomas’ moves on the chess board that allowed him to prevail at the world championships against a formidable opponent—the boxing coach of the India team who was being cheered on by hundreds of his countrymen. Thomas could count the Americans in his corner, himself included, on one hand. “It was the craziest thing that has ever happened in my life,” he says. “It felt like Rocky IV.” n




ili Ding picked up a pickleball paddle for her husband. She had heard about the sport that was booming around Atlanta and thought it’d be something that she and Mike, who had recently retired, could do together. “I didn’t want him just sitting inside the house watching television,” says Ding, who lives in Brookhaven. These days, however, Ding plays pickleball for herself. And she is turning out to be quite the natural. “I aspire to be as good as she is, and that’s a really big aspiration,” says her husband without a tinge of jealousy or bruised ego in his voice. To be fair, Ding, who is originally from Kunming in southwest China, had a distinct advantage starting out: She grew up playing badminton. Pickleball combines elements of that sport with tennis and pingpong, and is played on a surface with the same dimensions as a doubles badminton court. “There are a lot of people who play pickleball who have a tennis, pingpong or racquet sports background,” she acknowledges. There are a lot of people who play pickleball, period. The sport’s beginnings go back a half-century to a backyard party on an island near Seattle. In recent years, pickleball has taken off. In 2018, it was the country’s fastest-growing sport according to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association, and it counts Bill and Melinda Gates among its enthusiasts. Still, not everyone shows the proper respect of the skill that pickleball demands, says Ding. It could be the funny name, which as the story goes, is derived from a dog named Pickles who was at that backyard party way back when and kept absconding with the ball. “People have asked me, ‘Isn’t it tennis for old people?’” says Ding. “Once you’re in it, you figure out that it’s competitive and is for people of all ages.” Ding and her husband usually play three times a week, often at the Family Life Center in Buckhead and at Hammond Park in Sandy Springs. They don’t play together or against

each other so much anymore. Ding’s gotten too good, says her husband, who dotes on her accomplishments. She and her doubles partner have won three of the five tournaments they’ve competed in. Ding plans on taking lessons to get even better. One thing she doesn’t need is lessons on developing a killer instinct. Her strength is her smash. She has hit competitors with the ball, though not intentionally, and she always feels bad afterward. “I am aggressive—maybe too much,” she says. “But when I see the chance at an overhead, I don’t want to miss it.” n

“I am aggressive— maybe too much. But when I see the chance at an overhead, I don’t want to miss it.”


ENDURING ULTRA HIGHS Justin Epstein chases the physical and mental challenges of vertical climbs and 100-mile runs Jacobs


ife is all or nothing for Brookhaven resident Justin Epstein, so when seven fitness friends suggested pursuing ultramarathons at the start of 2018, he jumped in with both soon-to-be-aching feet. “With me, there’s never a no,” says Epstein. “Anything that’s endurance and pushing yourself physically and mentally, I’m about.” That’s how Epstein made those seven friends: scaling Stratton Mountain in Vermont 17 times in 21 hours to cover more than 29,000 feet—the height of Mount Everest—in a challenge known as 29029. It’s an event created by Atlanta entrepreneur Jesse Itzler, a friend and inspiration to Epstein, who has also completed Itzler’s Hell on the Hill vertical challenge. “I always do stuff like that. I kind of need it,” says the 36-year-old CEO of the Premier Agency PR firm. “It’s the thing that resets me.”

Ultramarathons became a second job for Epstein as he increased his training from 25 to 75 miles per week. He ran Georgia’s Cloudland Canyon 50K in February 2018. His first marathon, the Publix Georgia Marathon, followed in March. He completed 80K (nearly 50 miles) in the North Face Massachusetts Endurance Challenge in June. Some days he trained at 5 a.m.; others, he ran at 10 p.m. He clocked 20-plus miles some Saturdays to meet his goals, all while cramming in enough calories, water and sodium so that he only lost 12 pounds. His knees swelled. His feet blistered and bled. His toenails fell off. “It probably maximized my life in the best way possible in every area, because you value time with loved ones more,” says Epstein. “You have so little time that you want to make sure whatever you’re doing, you’re doing it well.”

Game, Set, Match “A

tlanta has the largest local recreational tennis league in the U.S. and a reputation for being the king of tennis,” says Emmy Powell, marketing director of the Atlanta Lawn Tennis Association (ALTA). And she has the statistics to back up

All that training led up to the Leadville Trail 100 last August: 100 miles within 30 hours at elevations of 9,200 to 12,620 feet in the Colorado Rockies. But Epstein didn’t finish. He fell a few minutes off the required pace and was pulled off the course more than 20 hours and 72 miles in. He says it was disheartening but also motivational. “I never want to feel that way again,” he says. Expecting his first child with his wife, Kara, in April, Epstein has scaled back the training, although he’s sure more vertical challenges and another 100-mile run are in his


that claim. Atlanta has a whopping 500 more courts than RaleighDurham and 400 more than Miami, both top cities for the sport. No matter the skill level, there’s a place for every player within ALTA, whether it’s the social coed league

sponsored by Red Hare Brewing Company that serves up pizza and beer along with fast-paced matches, or teams for men, women, mixed doubles, wheelchair athletes or boys and girls. All are welcome and simply need to fill out an application and pay the $25 dues. Players are placed on teams that match their skill level. But it’s the individual players not the statistics that keep ALTA at the top of the tennis world. Consider Buckhead resident Patty Escalona. A lifelong player, she joined ALTA when her children were toddlers. She played for about a year until her family moved to London in 2009. When she moved back four years later, she was able to “pick up with the same Patty Escalona’s ALTA team celebrates an A1 tournament win.


March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead

future. “If watching Netflix is your thing, that’s your thing. If it’s cooking as a hobby, that’s your thing. We all need our thing,” he says. “We need to have something we can lean into a little bit, and for me, I just happened to stumble into this. And I’m really happy I did.” n

Photos: Jeff Winner

STORY: Michael

STORY: Mickey


team at the Buckhead YMCA,” says Escalona. “I stepped right back into a circle of friends.” The team not only plays competitive tennis in the A1 league; they play together off the court. “We celebrate birthdays, Christmas, Cinco de Mayo—any excuse to get together,” she says. “The competitive tennis and lasting friendships keep us returning year after year.” With the goal of promoting tennis tournaments and junior development, ALTA was first registered with the U.S. Lawn Tennis Association back in 1934. League play began in 1971 with only 1,000 members and a handful of volunteers. Four years later, its ranks had mushroomed to 10,000, and today, it has 80,000 members from the four corners of the metro Atlanta area who play on more than 1,000 courts. n



Big Sky makes the term “sports bar” look good.


Tex-Mex Meets Wild West Meets Deep South  P70

Photo: Erik Meadows

Within Big Sky’s walls, a promising constellation of vision, concept and palate begins to manifest. March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead 



With the Tres Tacos, you have your choice of delicious beef, chicken and shrimp.

Tex-Mex Meets Wild West Meets Deep South B Chile-dusted popcorn makes a tongue-tingling appetizer.


ig Sky Buckhead reminds me of the small-town eatery I used to waitress at years ago in my pre-college days. No staff member was a day over 25, everyone was unerringly cheerful and, because it was last century, they were all blissfully cellphone free. (It’s a testament to the management skills of Big Sky owners Adam Berlin and Juan Calle that I never once saw a staffer examining a personal device. On the contrary, they were consistently customer-focused.) An exemplary and professional-beyondtheir-years waitstaff is just part of the package here, though. Within Big Sky’s walls, designed to resemble a vacation ranch out west,

March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead

Tastes converge at neighborhood sports bar Big Sky Buckhead STORY:

Rebecca Cha   PHOTOS: Sara Hanna

there are many bright spots, and after multiple visits, a promising constellation of vision, concept and palate begins to manifest. Big Sky has two levels joined by an exceptionally dark and rather vertiginous staircase. The first floor, where most of the action takes place, is all rustic, exposed beams and warm, earthy lighting. The cattle ranch decor contrasts with the blaring TVs (no matter where you sit, you can’t miss them), but I guess that’s the point of a sports bar. The upstairs has a similar Rocky Mountain feel but is typically restricted for special events such as trivia nights on Wednesdays and watching parties for high-profile sporting events. On my first visit, my companion and I ordered a round of signature cocktails: the Dark and Stormy, a spicy homemade, gingerbeer-based drink with lime and rum; and Rosemary’s Baby, a fruity, herbal concoction of Ketel One vodka, rosemary-infused simple syrup and grapefruit juice. It was a source of

amusement that our waitress was so young she didn’t have a clue where the latter’s name originated. “Polanski? Mia who?” Our attention was soon diverted to the Big Sky Nachos—certainly not the prettiest dish, but a mountain of flavor-packed bites of pickled jalapeños, fresh guacamole, garden tomatoes and greens smothered with a blend of American, Chihuahua and cotija cheeses. By the time the order of chicken wings arrived, we were Big Sky converts. After gobbling down two different versions—the fiery Buffalo XXX and Goose Island IPA BBQ—my companion and I were both dripping with sweat from the heat and considering whether to order more. Our Texas margarita on visit number two wasn’t exactly served up in a 10-gallon hat (more like a 12-ounce rocks glass), but darned if it wasn’t the finest comingling of lime and tequila this critic has tasted in ages. Made with Frida Kahlo Reposado tequila, triple sec

Above: Start your meal off right with a heaping plate of nachos. Left: The triple X Buffalo wings will have you dripping in sweat and begging for more.

Above: Made with fresh ground chuck and a branded Holeman and Finch bun, this is no ordinary burger.

I don’t care how unhealthy they are, don’t pass on the hand-cut, skin-on French fries. Left: The Fried Mac & Cheese Bites are served atop a tangy housemade marinara. Right: Big Sky’s Texas margarita does the Lone Star State proud. Below: Room for dessert? You can’t go wrong with the peach cobbler topped with vanilla ice cream.

and housemade sour, it was salt-rimmed liquid gold—slightly viscous, nicely tart and perfectly chilled. As we reviewed the menu, we watched as folks trickled in for trivia night. The 20somethings embraced one another with genuine affection, ordered up a bowl of fragrant chile-dusted popcorn, a respectable charcuterie and cheese board, and a round of craft beers (think Sweetwater and Terrapin) before huddling up for some pregame gab. Ever-punctilious chef Luis Damian did have a few misses that night. The Brussels sprouts, promised “crispy,” were actually blackened. The Mojo Chicken Bowl, advertised as a “healthy choice,” came with a moist and beautifully bronzed half chicken, but the breast was salty and the drumstick under-seasoned. Thankfully, the sides were a delight (if somewhat generic), especially the silky adobo black beans and crispy hot broccoli with chopped garlic and shallots. The Tres Tacos, a deal at three for $11, fared well, too. Of the four on offer, we chose the Buffalo-sauced chicken, the fried shrimp with chipotle aioli and the Americana, consisting of guajillo-marinated ground beef with veggies and cilantro. The tapioca flour coating used

to crisp the shrimp and chicken combined with the chiles’ heat and creamy sauces scored a home run. Visit number three presented an opportunity to check out the much-heralded weekend brunch. We resisted the $16 bottomless mimosas, which would have made driving home a challenge, but luckily scored a second-floor patio table with a view of Buckhead’s growing West Village. There are many fine menu choices at brunch, from the Fried Chicken Benedict to the Chorizo Breakfast Tacos. We opted for the Big Sky’s Original Burger, consisting of ground chuck seasoned with a secret adobo blend and served with onion marmalade, melted cheddar and smoky bacon, all on a Holeman and Finch bun. And I don’t care how unhealthy they are, don’t pass on the hand-cut, skin-on French fries. The Buffalo Chicken Sandwich was a Southern masterpiece as well—crunchy, ginger-buttermilkmarinated chicken strips coated in Buffalo sauce, a splash of buttermilk ranch and a side of addictive, chile-tinged sweet potato tots. It was a good 24 hours before we needed to, or wanted to, eat again. n

BIG SKY BUCKHEAD 3201 Cains Hill Place N.W., Atlanta 30305 404.228.8856 Prices: Starters: $4-$12. Sandwiches, salad and tacos: $11-$13. Entrées: $15-$19. Brunch items: $12-$15. Recommended dishes: Big Sky Nachos, Triple X Buffalo chicken wings, Goose Island IPA BBQ wings, Big Sky’s Original Burger, Buffalo Chicken Sandwich. Bottom line: A game-day hot spot offering finely tuned Southern fare with a Tex-Mex sensibility served by a flawless staff.

March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead 






Angela Hansberger


ome March 17, we have a valid justification for wearing green and drinking beer. But you don’t have to wait till St. Patrick’s Day to celebrate Irish culture. Both authentic and unique, Atlanta’s Irish taverns preserve a time and way of life full of laughter, comfort food and seriously smooth pours of the Emerald Isle’s signature dark brew. FADÓ IRISH PUB

Fadó Irish Pub From the light fixtures to the floorboards, Fadó’s interiors were manufactured in Ireland and shipped via freight containers to Buckhead. Three levels offer room to explore, including a rooftop patio boasting Irish murals and the “Grand House” featuring an oversized fireplace that beckons on cool or rainy days. “Fadó” means “long ago” in Irish


Gaelic, and the place is brimming with Victorian-era pub flourishes. The menu reads as an Irishinfluenced gastro pub, with a broad range of drinks from Irish whiskeys and craft beers to regional riffs on classic cocktails such as the Irish Whiskey Sour. Regulars love the beerbattered goat cheese with jalapeñoinfused honey and thyme as much as traditional corned beef and cabbage. Much like the live broadcasts of European sporting events shown on the TVs around the bar, there’s a little something for everyone here. Olde Blind Dog Irish Pub There’s usually a story behind an Irish pub’s name, and Olde Blind Dog’s is as charming as its interior. When trying to create an inspiring moniker, owner Ron Wallace looked no further than his trusted sidekick, his blind-in-one-eye bulldog. With decor imported from Europe and authenticity as its goal, the space has a lived-in feel. For a restaurant, it’s like a wonderland with multiple levels, carved-out snugs, cobblestone pathways, street scenes with signage and alcoves that feel like independent shops. Reclaimed wood, stained glass and ironwork heighten the Old World charm of the space. A Braveheart-era replica of Mel Gibson stands over the top level with wardrobe accents that change

March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead

with the season or sporting events. The pub’s menu is similarly stuffed with comforting Irish belly warmers such as the lamb stew served with a hefty wedge of housemade soda bread and Irish butter. And don’t skip the popular ale and cheddar dip made with Dubliner cheese; go ahead and order extra pretzel bread for dipping. Sticky toffee pudding is a delightful finale. Instead of green beer, opt for something from the lengthy list of 50 whiskies and 40 beers. Meehan’s Public House Meehan’s unassuming classic matte facade with jaunty yellow lettering over black paint opens to a dark and convincing ambiance of brick walls and dark wood. It’s chockfull of old art, photos of Ireland, stoneware flagons and sports memorabilia. The bric-a-brac accentuates the

rich mahogany, leaded glass, brass accents and wood flooring. Its dogfriendly patio is ideal for sipping pints on sunny days with your canine pal. The menu of pub classics will satisfy your Irish cravings where chips are fries, crisps are chips and rashers are bacon. Traditional throwbacks such as shepherd’s pie, bangers and mash, and fish and chips complement the burgers, buffalo wings and H&F pretzels with housemade mustard and queso. Along with rotating taps of premier Irish imports and local craft and microbrews, more than a dozen Irish whiskeys are available to choose from. A fun cocktail/dessert hybrid is the Chocolate Milk, consisting of Guinness with vanilla cacao syrup. n

DETAILS Fadó Irish Pub 273 Buckhead Ave. N.E. Atlanta 30305 404.841.0066 Meehan’s Public House 227 Sandy Springs Pl. N.E. Atlanta 30328 404.843.8058


Olde Blind Dog Irish Pub 705 Town Blvd. N.E. Atlanta 30319 404.816.5739


Paradise Beach Getaway, Island Memories Your island paradise is just minutes off I-95, at the King and Prince Resort. There's something for everyone – from water sports, to island history, to biking and playing on the beach. You’re on island time, and it's all yours.




Culinary News & Notes 


Lia Picard

FRESH FROM THE FARM Area foodies will once again gather at the Heritage Sandy Springs Farmers Market when it reopens in mid-April. Returning to its new home in City Springs, the market features an array of vendors so you can stock up on everything from organic produce and fresh eggs to pastureraised meat and handmade chocolates, salsas, jerky and more. Stop by on Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to noon, April through September, or 9 a.m. to noon, October through December.

A Taste of Africa Feedel Bistro’s Tamar Telahun dishes on Ethiopian cuisine


he Buckhead and Brookhaven areas are known for their ample steakhouse options, so when Ethiopian restaurant Feedel Bistro opened its doors last September, it was a welcome change of pace. Feedel is the creation of Tamar Telahun and her brother, Simon. We spoke with Telahun to learn more.

to be a great cook. We were in the lounge business here in Atlanta and kept talking about wanting to do something different. We knew there were a couple of [Ethiopian] restaurants that were popular, or they at least gave a great indication that the city was happy to have that kind of ethnic food.

Why open an Ethiopian restaurant?

How has the reception been since you opened?

I guess the restaurant industry kind of runs in our blood. My mom has always been one of those women in the community who was known

Very exciting. We never advertised anywhere; we just opened. And we were so busy that first night. We were a little confused, like, “Who’s been telling people we have a grand opening today?” Come to find out, people just saw the “Coming Soon” sign when they drove by and decided to come in when they noticed we were open. The reviews started from there, and people just kept coming in, saying, “We read the reviews on Yelp.” For the uninitiated, what are the signature flavors and dishes of Ethiopian cuisine?

There’s a huge array of vegan food—a lot of red lentil, yellow split peas, cabbage and greens without any butter or meat in it. One of our


March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead

Although Ethiopian cuisine is heavy on vegetarian options, Feedel Bistro’s menu also includes meaty stews such as the Sagla’s Tibs Spris.

favorite appetizers is azifah, brown lentils served cold with onions and jalapeños, zest of lemon, lemon juice, salt and pepper. You can either eat it with injera, a spongy sourdough flatbread, or with pita bread. Shiro is a yellow chickpea and yellow split pea combination. It’s more of a puree, but you eat it with injera as well. Those are some of our comfort foods. There are a lot of choices, but vegan is huge in our community. Your mom raised you on Ethiopian cuisine. Is she involved in the restaurant?

She’s very involved. My mom is 81, and while she doesn’t come and cook every day, she’s very specific about how she does something. And once we started planning the restaurant, we obviously were going to her with every question. She said, “OK, this is what I’m going to do. I’m going to come in once or twice a week and make sure everybody’s doing the right thing. And I’m going to make sure that when they’re making the stews, I’m there. I don’t want them to drop the ball, because if you make Feedel Bistro the stew 3125 Briarcliff Rd. N.E. the wrong Atlanta 30329 way, it’s 404.963.2905 done.” n

FOOD NEWS Fifth Group Restaurants is opening a Buckhead outpost of Alma Cocina. The Mexican eatery will make its debut in the Terminus complex in mid 2019. When KarmaFarm opened its doors in December, it became the first certified gluten-free, fast-casual restaurant and bakery in America. It received the designation from the nonprofit Gluten Intolerance Group.

Looking to change things up for breakfast? Bell Street Burritos now offers its signature item every Saturday morning in combinations such as scrambled egg, cheese and bacon.

Start your morning off right with a Bell Street burrito.

Feel the luxurious grandeur of 92 WestPaces. Our discerning Buckhead address is within walking distance to the finest of Buckhead dining,  exclusive retail, and entertainment.


March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead 



FUN FACT Every week, Young makes it his mission to drive around parts of Atlanta that he’s never explored, making him a self-proclaimed expert at navigating backroads.


YUMBII Let’s taco-bout the brand Carson Young built


n 2017, Buckhead native Carson Young opened Yumbii Taco Shop in Brookwood Village. But he had introduced Atlantans to MexicanAsian street food flavors long before that. Touted as Atlanta’s first food truck, Yumbii was founded in 2010, bringing tacos and sesame fries to people around the city. “I’ve always had an interest in the hospitality business and creating innovative ways for people to experience food in new way. Yumbii was an extension of that idea and passion,” says Young, who has a business degree from the University of Mississippi. He visited Los Angeles in 2008 and saw the beginning of the gourmet food truck movement there. “I knew Atlanta would appreciate the convenience and novelty of a food truck,” he says. 


Today, he owns two Yumbii trucks, another food truck called The Queso Truck and Yumbii Taco Shop. He lives in Buckhead with his wife, two sons and two dogs. We spoke to him to learn more. How has the Yumbii brand evolved? At the beginning, we were only running one truck, so it was very limited. Now, Yumbii operates two trucks, a retail location and a large catering business. We’ve been able to expand the menu and the flavors as the operation has grown. What’s a typical day like in the life of a food truck? Even after eight years, it is still organized chaos at times. We turn a truck into a restaurant each day. That comes with a specific process of prepping, loading and getting the trucks ready at

March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead


Carly Cooper

8 a.m. The truck is out the door by 9:30, gassed up and on-site by 10:30. Then at 11, our team begins to serve hundreds of orders in a three-hour period during lunch. It’s really fast-paced and can be intense. But it’s also really fun. After service, the truck usually heads back to base, loads up again and then does the same thing for dinner. These days, it’s often catering a movie or TV shoot.   What surprised you about going from a food truck to a brick-and-mortar? Running a brick-and-mortar has been easier than I thought. We stay in the same place every day, so in comparison to the trucks, it’s less complicated.    What challenges do you face at Yumbii? A big challenge for us is determining the best geographical locations for growth. We are lucky because our

trucks have proven successful in so many Atlanta neighborhoods, but it also makes it difficult to narrow down our next physical locations.   What are your plans for the future? We will be adding more brick-andmortar locations. They will be similar to our current location on Peachtree Road: fast-casual with an upbeat environment. We also plan on expanding our food and drink offerings.    What do you like to do for fun that doesn’t revolve around food?  With two kids and a few businesses, it makes it difficult [to find the time], but I love to get out on the golf course. n



EXPERIENCE THE DIFFERENCE Pinnacle Fitness is the Premier Personal Training Fitness Center in the Buckhead area of Atlanta, Georgia with revolutionary equipment including the only Kinesis Wall in the area. At Pinnacle Fitness, you will be carefully guided by professional, certified trainers and a staff dedicated to your personal fitness and wellness program, which also includes nutritional guidance. It’s no wonder that members often define Pinnacle Fitness as a New York or LA facility with Southern charm - and with a commitment to have each of its members reach their own Pinnacle of Fitness.

OFFERING: Personal Training | Golf Fitness Classes | Tennis Fitness Classes | Wellness Programs

404.228.3705 Located in Buckhead at 3215 Cains Hill Place NW

FEATURED RESTAURANTS  A sampling of great eats in and around Buckhead BY: Wendell

Brock, Rebecca Cha and Angela Hansberger



1KEPT KITCHEN & BAR This hidden, club-like space took over the home of old-school French restaurant Toulouse in 2013. Manned by a trio of chefs with equal authority, the collaborative kitchen strives to keep up with the contemporary culinary game. When they nail it—with the likes of pimento cheese boards, fresh seasonal salads, old-fashioned pecan pies, killer brownies and what is surely the best steak frites in town—you’ll find yourself sated and happy. Start with a classic Sazerac, then drink in the ambiance. Proprietor Thaddeus Keefe attended Buckhead’s Atlanta International School as a lad, and this is his vision of the neighborhood of today: young, prosperous and ready to embrace the good life. Salads, starters and flatbreads: $6-$14 Entrées: $20-$27

BHOJANIC After a couple of meals at this North Indian restaurant in Buckhead, we’ve come to admire the flavorful, longsimmered home cooking. The samosa chat was a wonderful smash-up of potato-and-pea samosas topped with tamarind and mint chutneys and yogurt. As for the entrées, we loved

the intensely flavored goat curry and wanted to sop up every drop of the gravy with rice. This second location of Archna Becker’s beloved Decatur restaurant is an appealing minimalist space, and it’s easy to get in and out and have a solid and affordable meal. Tapas and appetizers: $4-$9 Entrées: $12-$18

BUCKET SHOP CAFÉ Atlanta’s answer to TV’s Cheers, this casual, family-owned spot across from Lenox Square is a game-day institution with seriously good pub grub, friendly prices and spirited, efficient service. Burgers, wings and sandwiches of all kinds dominate the menu. But one dish on the starting lineup deserves a special trophy: the chicken rolls. Perhaps they sound like a fusion experiment, but in fact, these crispy, deep-fried egg roll wrappers stuffed with chicken, cheese, sour cream, chives and Tex-Mex sauce (salsa mixed with ranch) are downright addictive. The Bucket Shop team gets extra points for its solid, ever-changing list of local craft brews. Starters: $6-$13 Sandwiches and burgers: $9-$13 Entrées: $12-$18

Co’m’s fragrant rice plate combo comes with a little bit of everything: a fried egg, bits of shredded pork, shrimp cake, veggies and protein of choice. (We like the pork-chop version, shown here.)

CO’M VIETNAMESE GRILL In a Buford Highway strip mall on the edge of Brookhaven, Co’m has been for some time now a favorite place for the vibrant, aromatic flavors of the Southeast Asian nation that ownerbrothers Duc and Henry Tran once called home. While Atlanta has pho shops aplenty, the stars here are the rice and noodle dishes, which can be ordered with heavenly grilled meats, chicken or fish. The pièce de résistance, though, is the grilled grape-leaf rolls, stuffed with bits of beef, lamb, salmon, duck or tofu and doused in a pool of sweet-fishy vinaigrette and sprinkled with crushed peanuts and crispy fried scallions. Heaven! Appetizers: $3-$10 Entrées: $7-$18


Bucket Shop Café’s salmon BLT hits all the right notes. And when it comes to sides, don’t waffle on the sweet potato fries.


March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead

At the tail end of Miami Circle is one of the most convivial joints in town. Head over for happy hour Monday through Thursday when most drinks and tapas are half price, and there’s live music. Yummy small plates of habanerospiced ahi tuna ceviche, smoky sundried-tomato mac and cheese (made with three different cheeses) and refreshing Granny Smith apple salad are some of our favorites. Still hun-

gry? It’s hard to pass up the succulent balsamic-y spare ribs and flavorful, crunchy calamari. If you’re with family (or a family of friends), consider the exquisite saffron-infused paella, made with authentic Calasparra rice. Tapas: $2.95-$14.95 (most in the $5-$8 range) Large plates (for two or more): $20-$24

F&B Like its predecessor, the much-loved former Brasserie le Coze, F&B delivers timeless Provençal fare in a classic brasserie atmosphere. The menu is bolstered by comfort dishes portioned with hunger in mind, but it’s also fortified with lighter salads, sandwiches and soups. Classics such as steak frites and skate wing with a brown butter sauce are deeply satisfying in their rustic charm. Mussels come piled high in a white wine and shallot broth, along with crusty French bread for sopping. The drink menu is built on interesting French wines and remarkable cocktails such as the well-balanced, bourbonbased Line of Destiny. Appetizers: $6-$18 Entrées: $11-$42 Desserts: $6-$8

HEARTH PIZZA TAVERN Sandy Springs is lucky to be home to Hearth Pizza Tavern, where worldclass pie is served up in a cozy corner of the Exchange at Hammond. Pizzas such as the Ring of Fire and The Cure would earn three Michelin stars if there were a pizza rating, and other menu items aren’t far behind. If you’re eating low-carb, go for the Tavern chopped salad, piled high with Italian meats and cheeses, or dig in to hot, crispy Brussels sprouts or zesty roasted cauliflower. If those don’t tempt you, then the steaming bowl of PEI mussels or an oozing, medium-rare Angus beef burger will be your best bet. Openers and salads: $6-$12 Burgers and sandwiches: $10-$12 Pizzas: $7-$19

KALEIDOSCOPE BISTRO & PUB Kaleidoscope is one of Brookhaven’s most popular watering holes. Fabulous small plates include pimento mac and cheese, roasted cauliflower seasoned with garlic and a touch of lime, and the smoked pork and pimento spring rolls. The steak frites with garlic-heavy chimichurri is exceptional, as is the poutine, a Canadian treat consisting of crisp, hand-cut fries smothered in gravy and mozzarella. Looking for somewhat lighter fare? Go for the fried chicken club salad tossed with sundried tomatoes, fresh avocado and golden chunks of bird. A table on the pet-friendly patio guarantees topnotch people-watching. Appetizers: $5-$12 Salads, pizzas and burgers: $7-$14 Mains: $13-$19

SALTYARD Saltyard offers a menu of small plates with reverence for local farmers and the current growing season. Employing global imagination, it heightens these dishes with international seasonings and flavors to create worldly comfort food. With an ever-changing menu, Saltyard is never the same place twice. Rustic dishes such as crispy duck confit and super-tender grilled octopus are masterful in their simplicity and Saltyard’s desserts are soul-satisfying. Pictured here: the chocolate nemesis with brandy cream, a nectarine coulis and malt dust.

depth of flavor. Raw and cured items such as the deconstructed salmon pastrami, while lighter, offer an equal flavor punch. This is not the place to skip the dessert course. The same amount of effort goes into the decadent chocolate nemesis with brandy cream as it does the entrées. Tapas: $5-$16 Large plates: $18-$25

TAKA SUSHI AND PASSION Chef Taka Moriuchi learned from perhaps the most famously finicky and cult-inspiring Japanese chef Atlanta has ever known: Sotohiro Kosugi, owner of Buckhead’s legendary (but now shuttered) Soto Japanese Restaurant. Today, Moriuchi holds court at his own sushi bar, where his impeccably fresh fish and hot and cold appetizers compare to the best Japanese food in town. The only difference: His prices won’t shipwreck your budget. Among our faves, the UPS roll is a delicious nod to the Atlanta-based Big Brown fleet, and the black cod and okra tempura are packages you’ll be happy to see arrive at your table. Appetizers: $6-$20 Nigiri: $2.50-$11 Sushi rolls: $4.50-$19.50

At Hearth Pizza Tavern, the ever-popular Ring of Fire is as close to perfection as pizza gets.

TREEHOUSE Occasionally, sitting at Treehouse feels more like a cookout. Neighbors and regulars have been coming here for the familiar comfort food and laid-back atmosphere for more than 20 years. Brunch is a big deal, with a large menu and generous portions of favorites such as the Georgia pecan waffle and Southern-style eggs Benedict covered with sausage gravy. It’s all about the patio here, and dogs are welcome guests. The chef works to enliven old favorites with as much attention to the all-American fried chicken sandwich as the New York strip au poivre. He also curates a mighty fine list of craft beers. Brunch: $8-$10 Appetizers: $3-$13 Burgers and sandwiches: $7-$10 Large plates: $17-$22

Hungry for more? Visit the Simply Buckhead website to read all of our Restaurant Reviews!

March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead 


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The 25th Lauren’s Run and CURE Childhood Cancer Annual Picnic Atlanta’s ultimate day of family fun with a 5k, 2k, and tot trot followed by an incredible picnic with inflatables, games, and lots more!

Sunday, April 28, 2019 | Concourse Office Park | Atlanta, GA Join the Celebration at: DIAMOND SPONSOR


March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead



E V E N T S | C H A RI TA B L E | S C E N E



Karon Warren

[ F E AT U R E D E V E N T ]




n March 9 at Lenox Square, the Who’s Who in Asian American Communities foundation invites locals to Asian SpringFest, a yearly event celebrating the most populous continent’s many ethnicities. Throughout the day, Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese and other Asian cultures will be highlighted with a variety of events, including dance, song, instrumental performances and educational displays of arts such as calligraphy and origami. In addition, a fashion show will feature a colorful and exquisite array of rarely displayed Asian costumes. Also, several local Asian leaders

will share stories with festival attendees, providing a further glimpse into the lives of these Far Eastern countries. Free and open to the public, Asian SpringFest serves a dual purpose for the WWAAC: to increase business with the Asian community abroad and here in Atlanta, as ASIAN SPRINGFEST well as building awareness March 9, 1-3 p.m. of Asian culFree tures and their Lenox Square 3393 Peachtree Rd. N.E. contributions Atlanta 30326 to mainstream America.

March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead 



The Bill Charlap Trio will jazz up the Atlanta Jewish Musical Festival in March.


[ M U S IC ]

Philippe Lévy-Stab

Celebrating Jewish Heritage MUSICAL PERFORMANCES TAKE THE STAGE AT VENUES AROUND ATLANTA Running March 7-16, the Atlanta Jewish Music Festival returns for a heralded 10th year, bringing a notable selection of acts to the stage. Held at venues such as the Atlanta History Center and Ahavath Achim Synagogue, the event kicks off with a performance by the Bill Charlap Trio playing the music of Leonard Bernstein. “Audiences can look forward

to performances focused on distinguished areas in which Jews have impacted the music world,” says festival director Joe Alterman. “For example, this season we pay tribute to Chess Records, uncovering the Jewish story of the label’s founders throughout an evening of blues songs once recorded by the likes of Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters and Etta James.”

ATLANTA JEWISH MUSIC FESTIVAL March 7-16; times vary Visit website for ticket prices and locations

March 23 the-pink-affair Held at the Grand Hyatt Atlanta in Buckhead, this annual fundraiser for TurningPoint Breast Cancer Rehabilitation will celebrate the theme “Jazz & Generosity.” Attendees will enjoy a seated dinner, open bar, raffle, live and silent auctions, and live music.

MONA KUHN AND CHRISTOPHER ANDERSON EXHIBITS Through April 6 Jackson Fine Art kicked off 2019 with exhibitions featuring contemporary photographers Mona Kuhn and Christopher Anderson. Kuhn’s “She Disappeared” takes the classical nude and moves it into the abstract, while Anderson’s “Approximate Joy” documents life in Shenzhen, China.


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Get Crafty AMERICAN CRAFT SHOW RETURNS FOR 30TH CONSECUTIVE YEAR One of the largest juried fine craft shows in the Southeast—and the longest running art show in Atlanta— returns to the Cobb Galleria Centre March 15-17. More than 250 contemporary artists will be on hand at the 2019 American Craft Show to showcase everything from fine jewelry and apparel to handmade ceramics, furniture and home decor. The event will


include local Buckhead artisans such as ceramics artists Adrina Richard and Lora Rust and wearable textile designer Anne Vincent. “I’m always excited to participate in American Craft Council shows, especially this one in my hometown,” says Richard. “The art and artists are juried to the highest standards. It’s always such a beautiful show.” For Rust, the oppor-

March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead

AMERICAN CRAFT SHOW March 15, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; March 16, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; March 17, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Adults $13 for one-day pass; free for children 12 and under Cobb Galleria Centre 2 Galleria Parkway S.E. Atlanta 30339

tunity to meet customers face-to-face is a draw. “As a local artist in the show for five years,” she says, “I’ve established loyal customers with a love of heirloom-quality handmade ceramics whom I might not have otherwise been able to reach.”

April 8 magic-monday-egg-hunt-1 Bring your toddlers and preschoolers to the Atlanta History Center for this annual springtime event, where they will search for colorful eggs hidden throughout the Smith Family Farm. Additional activities include games, crafts and visits with the Easter Bunny.

BEAUTY & THE BEAST April 13-14 beauty-and-the-beast Taking the stage at the new Byers Theatre at City Springs, Atlanta Ballet 2 will offer a unique one-hour presentation of the classic story with a production especially designed for kids ages 12 and under.

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March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead 


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The Black Eyed Peas Photos: Lahcen Boufedji



Jamie Foxx

hen Super Bowl LIII rolled into Atlanta Feb. 3, so did the crush of celebrities in town to see the Patriots battle the Rams. This year’s Big Game Big Give event, an invitation-only party thrown each year in the Super Bowl host city, was equally star-studded. Held at the Sandy Springs home of Jeff and Carrla Goldstein, it was hosted by Ludacris and featured a performance by The Black Eyed Peas. Actor Jamie Foxx sang and hyped up the 800-strong crowd before items such as an Aston Martin and a day on the set of the next Fast & Furious movie were auctioned off. Former New Orleans Saints player Steve Gleason was also on hand to receive an award for his longtime advocacy on behalf of people suffering with ALS, which he was diagnosed with in 2011. Gala proceeds benefit The Giving Back Fund, a national nonprofit that facilitates charitable giving by pro athletes and other high net-worth individuals.

Carrla Goldstein

CeeLo Green

Joanne and Sonny Hayes, Ludacris, Taboo

March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead 



PACKING A PUNCH We pull the curtain back on one of the tricks used to get the action shots for our “Buckhead at Play” cover story. PHOTO: Sara


March/April 2019 | Simply Buckhead


{Dazzling Spring}


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Luxury Estate on North Carolina’s Largest Private Lake ceiling. A large den is adjacent to the kitchen holds anSpectacular, gated lake front estate on the shores of WestAn exclusive, all-encompassing other fireplace. The gourmet kitchen features a Lacanche ern North Carolina’s largest private lake with 335 feet of manor for those who Cote D’Or double oven with gas burners, apron sink and shore at an elevation over 3,000 feet. Built by one of the only want the finest prep sink, walk-in pantry, and climate-controlled wine finest builders in the area, the home has every amenity North Carolina has to offer. cabinet. The master suite has a commanding view of the that you would expect including multiple stone fireplaces, lake with a sumptuous bath, “his and her” closets and an beautiful timbered flooring, plastered walls, elevator, Lu$5,975,000 | MLS# 90139 office. The ground floor opens out to a stainless outdoor tron lighting system, sound system, wine cellar and vault, grilling station, a heated aviary, hot tub, and a landscaped massage room, whole house generator, and more. The expansive living room has cathedral beamed ceilings, a floor-to-ceiling stone fire- lawn with irrigation leading to the double-slip boathouse. A covered breezeway place and a wall of windows. A walk through wet bar with custom beaded glass connects the main house to a double carport and a one car garage, with a game cabinetry and granite countertops leads to a large dining room with coffered room, theater, full bath and kitchenette above. Too many features to list all!

An Entertainer’s Dream Home in Highlands, NC Spectacular views from this exclusive 4BR/5.5BA estate home in Highlands, NC. $3,057,000 | REF# BUG896 You will be instantly captivated by the beautifully landscaped grounds and lovely gardens as you drive down the driveway to this home. You’ll love the sound of the babbling water feature that flows through the stone driveway and is visible from the kitchen window. This home has spectacular views of 30 mountains, including Satulah, Little Bear Pen and Shortoff, as well as overlooking picturesque Highlands. It’s the perfect home for entertaining, with its covered screened outdoor living space that boasts a stone fireplace for enjoying the cool evenings and spectacular sunsets. The soaring ceiling and open living room only add to the appeal. The living, dining, kitchen and award-wining bar area layout make it an easy flow for large groups. The oversized master bedroom and bath has two separate closets. With its own kitchen and fireplace, the terrace level is perfect for a guest retreat, mother-in-law suite, or spacious home office. There is abundant storage area throughout. Located in the exclusive gated community of Ravenel, which is very close to downtown Highlands. This fantastic estate home is just waiting for you so you can get a “jump start” on the season in Highlands!

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© 2019 BHH Affiliates, LLC. An independently owned and operated franchisee of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc. ® Equal Housing Opportunity.

Fusion Academy Buckhead 866.210.9479

Fusion Academy is a revolutionary, accredited private middle and high school where all classes are one-to-one: one student and one teacher per classroom. This allows scheduling to be customized and for teachers to personalize curriculum and teaching styles to each student’s individual strengths, interests, and learning style. Students may enroll full-time, take a class for credit, or utilize our tutoring services any time of the year.

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Making a Difference. Every


For almost 30 years, the professionals at FirstService Residential have worked tirelessly to enhance the value of every property in the communities we manage and the lifestyle of every resident in our care. As Georgia’s leading manager of condominium and homeowners associations, we know what it takes to create great communities that residents are proud to call home. We start by putting the right teams in place – local property experts who deliver genuinely helpful service. Then we back them up with the tools and resources that only the leading property management company can provide. That’s how we make a difference, every day, for great communities like yours. To see how FirstService Residential can make a difference in your community, please contact Ashley Pafford at 404.201.6988 or visit

Profile for Simply Buckhead

Simply Buckhead March/April 2019  

Simply Buckhead is the definitive resource for Atlanta's most dynamic intown neighborhood. With a commitment to journalistic excellence, the...

Simply Buckhead March/April 2019  

Simply Buckhead is the definitive resource for Atlanta's most dynamic intown neighborhood. With a commitment to journalistic excellence, the...