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June 2021 ISSUE 79 • FREE Serving Buckhead, Brookhaven, Sandy Springs, Chamblee, Dunwoody and Westside





Proven. Focused. Better Together.

Two relationship-driven banks, both leaders in banking the Music and Sports industries, have joined forces. The combination of First Horizon and IBERIABANK creates a leading financial services company with a dedicated team of bankers that understand the complex financing structures, income streams and planning needs of individuals and companies in Music and Sports.

MUSIC & SPORTS ©2021 IBERIABANK, a division of First Horizon Bank.

9 locations in Metro Atlanta to serve you firsthorizon.com/better-together

MEALS ON WHEELS ATLANTA and HOME Real Estate announce a new The HOME THE HOME FundFund supports senior supports senior

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collaboration, HOME is joining the fight to address the long-term issue of senior hunger and isolation in Atlanta.




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A cadre of satisfied customers is the mark of any successful business, and it’s a goal Scott Csaszar takes seriously. As CEO and Founder of Flawless Painting, he’s been exceeding expectations with indoor and outdoor painting projects for more than 21 years, after being downsized by corporate America. He saw Atlanta’s need for a high-quality painting company and has built his business with a philosophy of “one house, one satisfied customer at a time” and his professional motto of “attention to detail is our distinction.” Scott uses his decades of management and business experience along with the skills he learned working with his older brother’s construction company, to help Flawless Painting thrive. The perseverance and grit he developed through his days as a semi-pro baseball player continue to help him in everyday business operations. He covers the greater Atlanta area, working with new homes upgrades, simplifying, second homes, businesses and retirement communities. Scott continues to grow and network with top professionals in Real Estate, Design and General Construction, to be an extension of each other’s services. He appreciates the entire process and feels a sense of satisfaction as the projects come full circle. Scott attributes a large part of Flawless Painting’s success to his ability to attract quality, skilled painters. He prides himself on developing long-term relationships and taking care of his employees. Scott has had the opportunity to work on multiple TV shows in Atlanta, and he recently stepped into an exciting new project, painting the interior and exterior of a house in Rosemary Beach, Florida to be featured on an upcoming HGTV special. While the majority of Scott’s business is residential, he also enjoys the more complicated commercial projects, including churches, car dealerships, medical offices and finished spaces. Scott’s consistent focus on the customer has earned him the coveted Houzz Customer Service Award for the past seven consecutive years. Most recently Scott has decided to take on a new challenge and expand to the well-known Emerald Coast along Highway 30A. He’s eager to bring his signature philosophy of keeping his customers happy to Florida.






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JUNE 2021

Photos: 30: Patrick Heagney, 39: Bobby Quillard, 53: Sara Hanna, 64: Joann Vitelli


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53 COVER STORY 12 Editor’s Letter

25 Approved: Sweet Dreams


Luxury nursery finds to complete your baby’s new haven

15 News: Gym-Dandy

26 Pets: Better With Age

Boutique fitness center coming to the Westside

Two Atlanta-based animal experts share top tips for taking care of your senior pet




39 Fashion: Golden Girl

64 Review: No Bones About It Westside’s Bone Garden Cantina: the ultimate soul food

Healing Powers

28 Kids: Camping With Kids

From model to entrepreneur, “Real Housewives” star Cynthia Bailey continues to shine

Art boosts spirits

Tips for your first family camping adventure

42 Wellness: Straight Up

68 Foodie Journal: Understated Elegance


How to get your body back to its proper alignment

Omakase pop-up Mujō finds a permanent home in West Midtown

30 Home: Bigger and Better

44 Tastemaker: Running For It

Texas transplants make a Brookhaven new build home sweet home

Founder of rnnr Kate Arsenault wants all runs to be fun

70 Tastemaker: Like Father, Like Son

16 Local Salute:

20 Travel Far: River Royalty Explore the Mighty Mississippi aboard the luxurious American Countess passenger steamboat

22 Staycation: Going on Tour Making music and memories in Macon

34 Bulletin Board:

24 15 Minutes With:

Foam, Fun and Functionality

Brandon Winfield

Louis Friedman’s business empire is built on boundless creativity and innovation

The iAccess Life founder talks tech and accessibility


46 On Stage: Family First Entrepreneur Nicole Walters tackles reality TV in “She’s The Boss”

Following in his father’s footsteps, John Metz expands his empire with the opening of The Woodall [ SIMPLY HAPPENING ]

75 Events: Places to go and things to do

June 2021 | Simply Buckhead 



Serving Buckhead, Brookhaven, Sandy Springs, Chamblee, Dunwoody and Westside JUNE 2021 | ISSUE 79 P.O. Box 11633, Atlanta, GA 30355 simplybuckhead.com For advertising rates, call: 404.538.9895 Publisher and Founder


Joanne Hayes Chief Financial Officer

Sonny Hayes [ E DI T ORI A L ] Managing Editor

Karina Antenucci Senior Contributing Editor

Jennifer Bradley Franklin Creative Director

Alan Platten Contributing Home Editor

Giannina S. Bedford Copy Editor

H.M. Cauley Contributing Writers

H.M. Cauley H.M. Cauley became an Atlanta freelance writer after leaving the land of hoagies and soft pretzels in 1990. Since then, her work has appeared regularly in various local and national publications. For Simply Buckhead, she frequently writes about art and literary topics, and as the copy editor, has the pleasure of ferreting out misplaced commas, style errors and her personal favorite, dangling participles. Since finishing her Ph.D. in 2017, she has been a journalism instructor at Georgia State University. When she’s not writing or teaching, she works on her French fluency and her plans to get back to Provence as soon as possible.

H.M. Cauley Rebecca Cha Carly Cooper Caroline Eubanks Lauren Finney Harden Mickey Goodman Angela Hansberger Taylor Heard Michael Jacobs Vivian Lee-Boulton Amy Meadows Vanessa Pascale Rust Claire Ruhlin Ginger Strejcek Mary Welch [ PHO T O GRA PHE RS ]

Sara Hanna Patrick Heagney Joann Vitelli [ SALES & ADVERTISING ] Vice President, Sales & Marketing

Cheryl Isaacs Account Executive

Michelle Johnson Graphic Designer

Layal Akkad [ DIGITAL ] Website Development Management

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 © 2021 by Simply Buckhead ®. All rights reserved. Printed by Walton Press, Inc. Distributed by Distributech and Distribution Services Group.


June 2021 | Simply Buckhead

BHG Digital Director of Audience Development

Mike Jose Legal Counsel

Scott I. Zucker

SimplyBuckhead.com Facebook  facebook.com “Like” us at LivingWellATL

Twitter twitter.com Follow us @SimplyBuckhead

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[ BEHIND THE COVER ] People talk about “making magic” in the entertainment industry, and our dream team converged on Reach Records on Upper Westside to photograph multi-talented musician and producer Lecrae for our music-themed cover. Stylist and designer Octavius Terry (at right) created a custom three-piece suit to elevate the in-studio shoot to a high-fashion affair. After a busy day of national television interviews and filming a forthcoming documentary, Lecrae slid into Nyssa Green’s chair and got to work on our Simply Buckhead cover. It was no surprise that he was at ease—the suit fit like a glove, and we started the shoot in a studio where he regularly produces hits. Then photographer Sara Hanna started playing “Coming In Hot,” his hit song with Andy Mineo. As soon as the catchy beat dropped, the top-selling superstar came alive in front of the camera, trying fun poses and showing his personality. Magic indeed!

Photographer: Sara Hanna Producer: Jennifer Bradley Franklin Photography assistant: Chris Rothman Hair and makeup: Nyssa Green Stylist: Octavius Terry Styling assistant: Vin Mykel, fashion marketing student at The Art Institute of Atlanta Wardrobe: Custom three-piece canvas denim printed tunic tuxedo ($2,295) and white leather holster bag ($345) by OCTAVIUS MARSION; “The Highland” eyewear ($405) by OCTAVIUS MARSION X Native Ken; “Skate Authentic” shoes in off-white ($60) by Vans

Mobile Notary Service Open 24 Hours The convenience and flexibility of a service that will come to your location, saving you time and keeping you safe.

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For information, email us at advertising@simplybuckhead.com or call 404-538-9895


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Serving Greater Atlanta

June 2021 | Simply Buckhead 



JUNE 2021

[ E DI T OR ’ S L E T T E R ]


usic has a funny way of working into our psyches, doesn’t it?

I can hear a song I haven’t heard in years, and it has the transportive power to take me back to a memory as quickly as any photo, flavor or scent can. You may be surprised to learn that Buckhead has a rich music scene—one that’s thrived in the past, is dynamic in the present and is primed to continue building a legacy for the future. The stories were too good not to explore in our music-themed “The Beat Goes On” cover story. In it, our writers explore history that might surprise you, uncover favorite hotspots for music-makers, look forward to some of the up-andcoming stars primed to make a splash and places where you can get your kids involved in music right in our backyard. I had the honor of profiling multitalented, Grammy Award-winning recording artist and producer Lecrae, who appears on our cover. He’s a serious hit-maker, and though he could’ve chosen anywhere around the world to call home and headquarter his Reach Records recording studio, he chose Buckhead’s neighbor, the Upper Westside. Read on to find out why. This issue is jam-packed with other stories you won’t want to miss: Giannina S. Bedford offers tips for taking a camping trip the whole family will enjoy, Karina Antenucci catches up with Cynthia Bailey of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” and Angela Hansberger offers sommeliers’ recommendations for under-the-radar white wines, just in time for summertime sipping. Sara Hanna

Wishing you a joy-filled start to the summer, all! Jennifer Bradley Franklin Senior Contributing Editor


June 2021 | Simply Buckhead

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



River Royalty P20

There's plenty to love aboard the American Queen Steamboat Company’s newest ship, American Countess.

Glittering crystal chandeliers, leather stools, creative cocktails and high-end wine make the onboard bar feel ultra-chic.

June 2021 | Simply Buckhead 


Atlanta's Hippest Luxury Watch Store Awaits SwissWatchExpo, the Internet's #1 choice retailer of authentic, pre-owned luxury watches, just opened its newly renovated showroom in Buckhead, Atlanta! Choose from thousands of watches in stock, from dozens of the best watch brands: Rolex, Omega, Cartier, Patek Philippe, Breitling, and more!


315 East Paces Ferry Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30305, USA (404) 814-1814 | info@swisswatchexpo.com


June 2021 | Simply Buckhead


Ginger Strejcek



et pumped: TruFusion fitness center and yoga boutique is set to open its first Georgia location later this year at The Interlock, a new mixeduse development on the Westside. Offering everything from barefoot bootcamp to hot Pilates, the expanding franchise is crushing it with unlimited access to a blitz of training, workshops and group classes—up to 240 per week in 65 different styles— taught by certified instructors. “Not only do we offer four fitness studios under one roof with everything from yoga, barre, Pilates, weights, cycling and more, but we offer a unique

atmosphere that is relaxing and spa-like yet urban and edgy,” says Brett Cortese, TruFusion franchisee. State-of-the-art technology, including sound-reactive lighting and fine-tuned humidity and heat, creates a dynamic experience for the body and mind, he says. “Some of our studios will feel serene and relaxing but other spaces will be invigorating with the heat turned up to really get the blood flowing and get in a fantastic workout.” The lofty interior, grounded in natural elements such as wood and stone, also features a reception area, living garden wall,

kombucha station and retail section stocked with Lululemon gear, yoga mats, bike shoes and the like. Luxe locker rooms have showers and steam rooms. Tapping into the community vibe in the high-energy setting, the center will occupy a 13,000-square-foot space at 14th Street and Interlock Avenue with direct access to the parking deck. n TRUFUSION 1115 Howell Mill Road N.W., Suite G201 Atlanta 30318 trufusion.com

NEWS CLIPS TAKING THE WHEEL Greg Mabry assumes the role of General Manager at Bentley Atlanta, where he’s been an integral part of operations for the past 14 years. In his new position at the luxury car dealership, he’ll be hiring and training staff, developing merchandising strategies and creating effective marketing programs. “This promotion is an achievement that I’m proud of because it gives me the opportunity to elevate the brand within the Atlanta community, bring freshness to the store culture and set new business performance records,” says

Mabry, who enjoys connecting with Bentley owners. “They are unique individuals with fascinating stories. I take pleasure in helping them treat themselves to the Bentley experience.” bentleyatlanta.com BLOCKBUSTER VIDEOS Congrats to Dunwoody’s The Davis Academy students Will Morrison and Ariella Lewis, the only Georgia students whose documentaries won awards in C-SPAN’s national 2021 StudentCam competition. Morrison placed second, with a $1,500 cash award, for The Missing Piece for Au-

tism, about the impact of COVID-19. Lewis earned an honorable mention nod and $250 for Equality and Protection for All: Laws and the LGBTQ+ Community. With more than 2,300 participants, the 17th annual contest challenged students to explore the most pressing issues facing the country. The 150 winning videos can be viewed at studentcam.org. MAKEOVER MAGIC With the summer season in full swing, Bella Medspa has a sure-fire way to get that golden glow. The spa now offers the buzzy anti-aging

platelet-rich plasma treatments at both its Buckhead and Alpharetta locations. Applied through injections or micro-needling and using the body’s own PRP, the procedure lifts and firms the skin like face fillers but also builds collagen by stimulating tissue growth. “PRP is quickly becoming the go-to for anti-aging skincare with injectable PRP taking over the beauty industry,” says Alethea Joy Tinkle, owner of Bella Medspa. “Our clients are seeing improvements in their elasticity and tone, even mentioning we have turned back the clock five years.” bellamedspaatl.com

June 2021 | Simply Buckhead 




Mickey Goodman Left: Liza Montag, Caroline Andros and Cate Thompson, students from The Lovett School, painted HeArt Boards to honor healthcare workers and donated them to the A.G. Rhodes Nursing Home.

Healing Powers Creating Leaders Changing lives The C5 Georgia Youth Foundation recently received a $225,000 Chickfil-A True Inspiration Award to expand the five-year leadership program that serves under-resourced middle and high school youth. “In addition to being able to expand to the Westside, it helps support C5 Georgia alumni in college and careers,” Executive Director Jackie Cannizzo says. Up to 72 high-potential seventh graders with at least a B average are selected from partner schools in metro Atlanta, including Path Academy in Brookhaven. “We work with our kids through 12th grade,” Cannizzo says. The intensive program takes place after school and on weekends, but the core experience is the 30-day summer camp at Camp Adahi in Menlo, Georgia, during the first two years. Students are unplugged from technol-

Front row (L-R): Jackie Cannizzo, Brandon Wilson, Serena Ellingsworth, Jonathan Grant. Back row (L-R): Brandynn Campbell, Jonah Bushell

ogy and focus on leadership development, social awareness, community service and career readiness. “Our kids report that the camp experience is transformational,” Cannizzo says. In their fourth year, students tour Georgia and surrounding states to visit the colleges they may want to attend, and during summers of their last year, seniors attend sessions on the Emory campus where they choose a topic of study and learn to apply critical thinking skills. “We have a 100% high school graduation rate, and 95% either attend post-secondary schools, join the military or start careers. Our students have earned over $10 million in scholarships,” Cannizzo says. l For more information, visit c5georgia.org.

The Food Rescuer Small organization, big results What began in 2004 as a small social action project operated by congregants at Temple Sinai in Dunwoody has become a major food rescuer. During 2020, Second Helpings Atlanta diverted more than 1.9 million pounds of surplus food from landfills and delivered almost 1.6 million meals from area restaurants to agencies.


June 2021 | Simply Buckhead

Under the leadership of Executive Director Andrea Jaron, Second Helpings Atlanta has become a major food rescuer.

“In addition, we provided 400,000 meals to our partner agencies through our new meal delivery program, the 90-Minute Model,” Brookhaven resident Andrea Jaron,

Art boosts spirits After a disappointing art show in Paris in the early ’80s, Atlanta-based artist John Feit returned home with an idea to use his talent to benefit others. His first endeavor was creating a gigantic mural on the children’s floor at Northside Hospital. During the process, a young patient wanted to paint, so he handed her a brush. Initially, he was distressed at the mess she was making but soon realized that she was more important than the artwork, so he created a new model that included patients and volunteers. It was such a success that Feit left his corporate job in 1984 to establish The Foundation for Hospital Art. Today, his son, Scott, is executive director of the nonprofit that recently celebrated the donation of its fifty-thousandth painting to

executive director says. “We calculate that volunteers can leave their homes or offices, pick up the food and load it into the vehicles, unload it at one of our 45 partner agencies and return home within 90 minutes.” SHA has always operated on a shoestring and only has two refrigerated trucks. “One is small with 450,000 miles on the odometer, and Whole Foods donated a new one,” says Jaron. “Last summer, Mercedes-Benz USA lent us a total of five Sprinter vans, and we were able to hire drivers.” They also rent a 24-foot refrigerator truck to accommodate large donations from Amazon and HelloFresh distribution

Executive Director Scott Feit celebrates the donation of the fifty-thousandth painting.

7,500 hospitals in 195 countries painted by 1 million volunteers. To commemorate the event, the organization returned to Northside Hospital to create a six-panel work of art for the children’s floor painted by cancer patients. “Studies show that patients have better outcomes if they’re surrounded by art,” Scott says. “Our designers outline objects on individual panels and add small dots to indicate the colors. Volunteers purchase kits and paint, and return them to the Foundation for distribution.” People of all ages can become involved. The newest program, HeArt Boards, pays tribute to health care workers. As part of that initiative, students at The Lovett School recently donated a number of panels to A.G. Rhodes Nursing Home. l For more information, visit hospitalart.org.

centers. The hope for 2021 is to raise money to purchase a new truck. The organization also prepares decorated bags filled with shelfstable foods for the Snack Pack program for kids in virtual classrooms. l For more information, visit secondhelpingsatlanta.org.

Want to nominate a volunteer, company or nonprofit that makes Buckhead, Chamblee, Dunwoody Sandy Springs, Brookhaven or the Westside a better place to live? Please contact: editor@simplybuckhead.com

TR AV E L NE A R Right: The rooftop pool at The Joseph offers a view of downtown Nashville.

Eric Laignel

PC Haas and Haas Photography

Below: The caviar service at Yolan comes with burrata, prosciutto and potato pancakes.

Karina Antenucci


he honkey-tonk bars and plethora of historical music attractions and museums are musts on first or second visits to Nashville. Having hit the tourist checklist during previous stays in Music City, this year, I was looking for a more refined and subdued weekend away. With husband and child in tow, I found it at The Joseph, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Nashville, located in the heart of downtown’s SoBro (South of Broadway) district. One of the 297-room hotel’s most distinct features is its more than 1,100 original artistic works decorating every space including a full gallery on its conference room floor. Pulling up to the valet, we were greeted by a giant living wall and neighboring video screen playing performance art that set the tone for the artistic presentations inside. A most beautiful front desk, embellished with custom-designed leather by bootmaker Lucchese featuring monarch butterflies and state flowers, awaited us at check-in. On the way to our room, I caught a glance at the lobby bar chandelier by Misha Kahn. Made of copper and colorful blown glass, it looked like a UFO preparing to land on the copper bar, where the team was hosting a monthly wine tasting. Inside our executive king room, a bold nature print by Jason Middlebrook hung on the wall. As we settled in, the hotel graciously sent up additional Frette linens so that we could carve out a sleep-


June 2021 | Simply Buckhead

ing space on the midcentury leather couch for our 3-year-old. She was over the moon about her first hotel stay and having the bellman hand her a new backpack (designed by Margherita Missoni for the Luxury Collection) with a coloring book inside. However, it was confusing why the in-room iPad wouldn’t play Frozen and the landline didn’t have FaceTime (oh boy, thought her parents). We made our way up to the rooftop for lunch at Denim, a relaxed indooroutdoor, poolside bar. The glimmering heated pool with rows of lounge chairs and curtained cabanas looked divine but hadn’t opened for the season yet in March. So we sat at a high-top table inside and admired the view of the city from 21 stories above. The adults enjoyed kale and little gem salads along with bites of the kid’s brick-oven-made Margherita pizza. Denim is also a great spot to chill after a workout at the fitness center featuring Peloton bikes or a treatment at the 5,500-square-foot Rose spa and salon on the same floor. I tried the 90-minute Healing Herbs & Botanicals Massage ($215) that began with a lovely warming foot bath steeped with rose petals followed by a CBD-infused massage to soothe aches and pains. After some downtime back in the room, an early dinner at Yolan, The Joseph’s fine dining Italian restaurant by the revered Tony and Cathy Mantuano, was next on the agenda. My husband and I braced for our first Michelin-chef-prepared dinner with a toddler. Lifting up her legs to show off her gold shoes to everyone who walked by aside, it ended up being

Below: An executive king room at The Joseph, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Nashville.

Above: The couple's treatment room at Rose.

Eric Laignel


Jim Kruger

A Southern Rose

The Joseph is Nashville at its most refined

DETAILS: The Joseph, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Nashville Room rates from $399 615.248.1990 thejosephnashville.com Yolan yolannashville.com

fine. She scarfed down housemade cacio e pepe pasta like it was mac ’n’ cheese, as her parents toasted with Champagne brut and an old fashioned in asymmetrical crystal stemware made by Bottega del Vino in Verona, Italy, using centuries-old techniques. We settled into the C-shaped leather booth for a four-course meal, which turned out to be the highlight of our stay. Every morsel of my

delicate scallop crudo with smoked trout roe; linguine fra diavolo with clams, mussels and black garlic; and pesce of the day, was devoured. With scant room for dessert, I split the Torta Caprese, a dark chocolate delight with honeyed pear and pecan brittle, with my daughter and then called it a night. On this short weekend away to Nashville, The Joseph turned into our destination. Next time, perhaps we’ll venture out a bit more—but we know where we’ll be staying when we do. n

June 2021 | Simply Buckhead 



Above: Live music on the baby grand piano creates an elegant, festive atmosphere.

RIVER ROYALTY Sailing on the American Countess is a luxurious way to navigate Mississippi River.

Explore the Mighty Mississippi aboard the luxurious American Countess passenger steamboat STORY:

Jennifer Bradley Franklin


don’t know about you, but my sense of wonder has completely shifted over the last year. I used to crave far-flung trips and the discovery of cultures abroad, but so many months spent closer to home have heightened my appreciation for regional exploration. I discovered plenty to love aboard the American Queen Steamboat Company’s newest ship, American Countess, as I traveled on its maiden voyage from New Orleans to Natchez, Mississippi. A college best friend and I flew to New Orleans to kick off the trip. After

receiving a negative COVID test—a requirement for embarking—we struck out for an afternoon of French Quarter exploration, making the requisite stops for Central Grocery’s original muffuletta and powdered sugar-dusted beignets and chicory coffee at Café du Monde. Crowds of revelers that might’ve irritated me a year earlier felt like a balm for my travel-starved soul. That night, we indulged in a classic NOLA meal at famed chef Dickie Brennan’s Tableau. The next morning we convened at Mardi Gras World, a dockside event

space, to celebrate the christening of the American Countess. Though the paddlewheeler was river-worthy a year ago, the pandemic left her waiting to set sail. AQSC’s founder, CEO and visionary John Waggoner, thanked the builders who converted the 23-year-old casino vessel into the stunning structure it is today. The crew of experts sliced the ship in two and added 60 feet of space in a stunning stem-to-stern overhaul. Waggoner’s daughter and ship “godmother,” Angie Hack, officially christened the ship by smashing a bottle of bourbon on the bow before welcoming the 100 or so guests aboard. The ship, designed to accommodate up to 245 guests, is nothing short of spectacular. We first settled into our roomy deluxe outside stateroom, spreading out in 192 luxuriously appointed square feet, complete

Below: A stateroom's private deck is a perfect spot to watch passing scenery.

with a veranda and a restroom with a full-sized shower. The main deck features an expansive bar and lounge with 80 feet of panoramic windows, clubby sofas and a baby grand piano. A diminutive fitness center is the place to work off the calories consumed at the formal dining room, round-the-clock room service or the snack bar stocked with freshly popped popcorn, cookies, espresso drinks and soft-serve ice cream. Even better, the third-floor deck has a wrap-around walking track so guests can get their steps in while absorbing the river backdrop as they float by. Desktop rocking chairs provide a more relaxing spot to take in the views, while the second deck game room offers backgammon, chess tables and a variety of board games. While the structure itself is impressive, the programming offered throughout the voyage is equally so. Chef Brennan led a cooking demonstration, as did “Mississippi biscuit queen” Regina Charboneau. Waggoner’s son-in-law and executive bourbon steward, Kirby Coleman, hosted an informative Old Forester bourbon tasting where we learned the finer points of proper tasting technique (did you know that we have one dominant nostril?). We took a shore excursion to the antebellum Nottoway Plantation; completed in 1859 at a staggering 53,000 square feet and 64 rooms, it’s the largest such home in the South. On both nights of the voyage, after indulging in regionally inspired fine Southern fare, we settled into the ship’s theater for live entertainment by a four-piece band and four-member singing and dancing troupe. The iconic riverboat anthem “Proud Mary” infused the room with electric energy. Later, another vocalist brought me to tears as he sang “What a Wonderful World.” I feel grateful to be exploring the world again with wonder-filled eyes. n DETAILS

Above: The ship's Grand Lobby is a prime gathering spot.


June 2021 | Simply Buckhead

The American Countess offers routes along the Tennessee, Ohio, Cumberland and Mississippi rivers. americanqueensteamboatcompany.com

June 2021 | Simply Buckhead 



Below: A statue of Otis Redding honors the musician on the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail.

IF YOU GO Stay 1842 Inn 877.452.6599 1842inn.com


Caroline Eubanks

Downtown Grill 478.742.5999 macondowntowngrill.com H&H Restaurant 478.621.7044 handhsoulfood.com Ocmulgee Brewpub 478.254.2848 ocmulgeebrewpub.com

Above: The 1842 Inn is a stunning Greek Revival mansion in historic Macon.

Do Capricorn Studios 478.257.5327 capricorn.mercer.edu

Left: A display at Capricorn Studios features items from the label’s Southern rock acts.

Making music and memories in Macon STORY:

Caroline Eubanks


ocated in the heart of Georgia, Macon has often been a stopover for me when traveling south to Florida. But until recently, I never actually experienced the city, which feels more like a small town. Despite the hour and a half drive from Buckhead, the pace is considerably slower in this charming place. In the spring when I visited cherry blossoms brightened the city and its many historic homes. With an idyllic setting, it’s no surprise that Macon has been a source of inspiration for poet laureate Sidney Lanier and musicians such as Otis Redding and Little Richard. My parents grew up listening to the Southern rock bands that launched their careers from this town, so I booked a spot on Rock Candy Tours and brought them with me. The music-themed walking and bus tours


June 2021 | Simply Buckhead

are run by husband-and-wife team Jessica Walden and Jamie Weatherford. Walden is the daughter of Alan Walden, co-founder of Capricorn Records in Macon, where rock artists such as The Allman Brothers recorded their albums, while Weatherford’s family has a candy manufacturing business. Rock Candy drove us to the cemetery where members of The Allman Brothers Band are buried and the Macon City Auditorium, one of the many music venues and where Redding’s funeral was held. Another essential stop is Capricorn Records’ headquarters. Long boarded up since the business closed in 2002, it reopened in 2019 and again welcomes musicians to perform and record there thanks to a partnership with Mercer University. Check out its small museum with artifacts such as a fundraising poster for Jimmy Carter’s presidential run, hosted by Capricorn, and photos of its roster of artists. For more music fun, visitors can see musicians perform every weekend at venues such as Grant’s Lounge, which hosted Lynyrd Skynyrd and the like back in the day, and Society Garden, an outdoor bar and music venue in

the Ingleside neighborhood. The Allman Brothers Band’s legacy also can be found at Macon’s eateries. Head to H&H Restaurant for soul food, which at one time fed starving artists and now is decorated with posters and pictures from Southern rock groups. The fried chicken biscuit is the ideal fuel for a day of exploring. Continue your musical food tour at Downtown Grill, an intimate steakhouse formerly known as Le Bistro. It was here that Cher and Gregg Allman were engaged in one of its cozy booths. The restaurant is known for its steaks, pasta dishes and fried green tomatoes. If you’d prefer a casual meal, Ocmulgee Brewpub serves juicy burgers and beer made in-house. Get your burger as I did, topped with a fried green tomato and with a side of hand-cut fries. After a full day of touring, I spent my night in Macon at the 1842 Inn, a historic bed and breakfast. The Greek Revival home was a private residence before becoming an inn. After a breakfast of grits and eggs, I took a look at the “wall of fame” of past celebrity guests such as actors Barbara Eden and Jack Mc-

Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park 478.752.8257 x222 nps.gov/ocmu Rock Candy Tours 478.955.5997 rockcandytours.com Society Garden 2389 Ingleside Avenue Macon 31204 thesocietygarden.com

Below: The Ocmulgee Mounds have been inhabited for more than 17,000 years.

Caroline Eubanks

Going on Tour

Right and above: Photos courtesy of Visit Macon

Caroline Eubanks

Right: Jessica Walden leads a group on a tour of Macon’s music landmarks.

Grant’s Lounge 478.746.9191

Brayer, as well as Oprah Winfrey. Before heading home, I woke up early to take a walk around the Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park. Recently redesignated, the park traces the Native American tribes of Georgia back 17,000 years and hosts seasonal lantern tours, the Ocmulgee Indian Celebration and archaeology digs centered around the ceremonial earthen mounds made of Georgia red clay. Navigating the miles of trails and climbing the stairs to the top of the mounds, I had the place nearly to myself. The only reminder that I wasn’t alone was the sound of a train’s horn as it cut through the park, signaling that it was time for me to go. n



Amy Meadows


t was Brandon Winfield’s first day as program manager for the It Takes a Village Pre-Accelerator at Buckhead’s Atlanta Tech Village in early 2021, and he was having a full-circle moment. Only three years earlier, he was working to get his own mobile app, iAccess Life, out into the market; each day, he drove by Atlanta Tech Village and wondered what it would be like to work in that space. Now, he was both the CEO of his startup and mentoring diverse tech entrepreneurs through the ATV role. Winfield never expected to be a leader in the tech arena. As a boy, his goal was to be a professional motocross rider, and he was on track to realize that career aspiration. At 12, American Honda sponsored him on the amateur national circuit. However, in 2008, when he was 14, a motocross accident left him paralyzed from the waist down. Even with the challenges he faced, he refused to let his injury stop him from living life to the fullest. But when he started to travel with friends at age 18, he noticed inconsistency in terms of accessibility. He could get into many buildings in his wheelchair, but he often couldn’t do things like access the restroom. In 2014, Winfield conceived the idea for iAccess Life, a free mobile app that allows people with disabilities to rate and review the accessibility of lifestyle venues, from restaurants to bars to hotels, for their parking, entrances, bathrooms and interior spaces. Since its launch in April 2019, the app has amassed more than 18,000 ratings for 4,600 unique locations in all 50 states and 30 countries. What are your goals for the iAccess Life app? There’s a common misconception about people who have this type of lifealtering injury that they don’t want to go out and have fun. That is the last thing I wanted for myself. I’m very independent, and I wanted to go out and enjoy myself. But people in this community need guidance. You need to know before you go. When I was looking for resources for myself, I couldn’t find anything. We want this to be like the Yelp of accessibility.

the Holy Grail of Atlanta tech. One of my friends introduced us to an app development team through ATV, and they saw the vision. We had a twoand-a-half-hour meeting, and we signed a deal. The rest is history.

How did your concept find its way to ATV? Atlanta Tech Village is

How does Atlanta rate when it comes to accessibility? I would give the city four


June 2021 | Simply Buckhead

[out of five] stars on accessibility. Gentrification and the construction of new buildings have made things more accessible. Of course, there’s room for improvement. But we’re getting there, and the city is addressing the issues. And there are just so many places I can go and have a good time. We have music, movies, art, food

and culture. We really do have it all here in Atlanta. Are you surprised by your success in the tech space? I don’t have a tech background, but when I’ve put my mind to something, I’ve been able to achieve it. So it does and it doesn’t surprise me. It’s just been so cool, from getting our first deal to working on my own startup

to having an office here [at ATV] and the chance to mentor underrepresented founders through the It Takes a Village cohort. Being part of the Atlanta tech ecosystem has been really great. n iACCESS LIFE 770.421.5269 iaccess.life


Sweet Dreams There’s no place better to lean into the adorable and charming than a nursery. By investing in sophisticated styles up front, you can have a room that grows with your child. Get inspired by these finds that will have your little ones lulled to sleep in luxurious style. STORY:

Lauren Finney Harden AERIN for Visual Comfort Dover Floor Lamp ($599)

Caracole Miroir de Fleur Mirror ($750) An elegant option above a changing table or dresser, this mirror from Caracole stands out thanks to its refined yet simple tulip silhouette, easily adaptable for styles ranging from traditional to more modern. Bonus: Your baby will love making silly faces in it with you.

Kit Kemp for Andrew Martin Mythical Land Print (to the trade)

Topography 727 Miami Circle Atlanta 30324 844.633.3211 topographyhome.com

One way to elevate a nursery is through a dramatic wallcovering. Be it a repeating graphic or something sweeping like these panKravet els from Kravet Couture, wallpaper ADAC can make a significant impact on the 351 Peachtree Hills atmosphere of a room. The soothing Ave. N.E., Suite 139 blush tones on this “mythical land” Atlanta 30305 motif will have any parent feeling 404.816.7941 kravet.com calmer during witching hour.

Circa Lighting 3078 Roswell Road N.W. Atlanta 30305 404.233.4131 circalighting.com

Pehr Play Mat ($84) Baby brand Pehr, which you might know for its wildly popular gender-neutral clothing, applies its Scandinavian style to this play mat. It’s 100% cotton and reversible, and comes in gray and yellow tones perfect for tummy time, independent play and everything in between. It fits right in at relative newcomer Born Baby, which has been offering Buckhead baby clothing, gear and more in clean, sophisticated styles since 2020. Born Baby 3229 Cains Place N.W. Atlanta 30305 678.626.1860 shopbornbaby.com

Larkin Swivel Glider (from $1,449) An absolute must in any nursery is a comfortable chair for parents to feed, read to or rock their kids. This glider from Ballard Designs not only glides but swivels, ensuring that baby will get the rhythmic rocking he or she needs. With dozens of fabric options to choose from, including performance Sunbrella fabrics, it’s a no-brainer piece that will grow with your child.

Georgia-based Circa Lighting is known for its high-power collaborations, and this AERIN for Visual Comfort lamp is no exception. Available in three finishes of gold gild, burnished silver leaf and aged iron, it’s perfect for nighttime feedings, story time and whatever else your day brings. Once your child graduates to the next phase of life, the lamp can live on in virtually any room of your home.

Ballard Designs 1235 Chattahoochee Ave. N.W., Suite 100 Atlanta 30318 404.603.7033 ballarddesigns.com

RH Marcelle Cane Panel Crib ($1,399) For the ultimate in polished nursery gear, rely on Buckhead staple RH. Its Marcelle Cane Panel Crib is representative of the brand’s signature mix of antique and modern-day style as evidenced by the solid oak and cane panels. The crib is as stylish as it is safe: It’s GREENGUARD-certified, meaning it has met or exceeded specific chemical emissions standards. The full set RH Atlanta includes a bassinet, The Gallery at the toddler bed, dresser Estate in Buckhead and changing table 3030 Peachtree Road N.E. topper to ensure Atlanta 30305 that the room is 770.804.9040 rh.com cohesive.

June 2021 | Simply Buckhead 




uch like kids, it can feel like our pets grow up way too fast. And when your furbaby is officially eligible for the senior discount (roughly 7 years old for dogs and 11 years old for cats), it’s time to switch up their self-care routines. Here, cat specialist Dr. Alison Bradbury at Sandy Springs-based The Cat Doctor and dog expert Dr. Duffy Jones, owner and founder of Peachtree Hills Animal Hospital, provide their professional opinions on how to care for your aging pets at home.

Keep an eye on their weight and adjust their diets as needed. “For weight and muscle management in our older cats, I often recommend supplements, such as Welactin Omega-3 or probiotics such as FortiFlora to promote healthy digestion. Recent long-term studies have demonstrated that cats on these supplements are living longer with better overall health,” says Bradbury, who also suggests cat owners speak with their vet if they feel a change in diet is needed. “Especially as dogs get older, a lot of times they have arthritis, so if they become overweight, it can make a big difference in their mobility,” says Jones. “Just remember, if you’re talking about a 10- or 15-pound dog, 1 pound is 10% of its body weight, so you have to be really careful to not let them get overweight.” At the same time, pet parents should also be mindful of too much weight loss. “Weight loss can sometimes be our number one indicator that something is going on, so [owners] should have a good feel of their pet’s normal weight,” he adds.


June 2021 | Simply Buckhead



Taylor Heard

Create a more accommodating home environment.

Visit your veterinarian more often.

“The simplest tip involves moving food dishes, litter boxes and bedding to one level of the home or a central location to make access easier,” says Bradbury. “It also helps to use low-sided litter boxes or food bowls that are slightly elevated. These changes are especially important for cats with mobility or vision issues.” With playtime being a key part to most dogs’ home lives, Jones advises dog owners to practice moderation in exercise. “We want them to exercise because once they lose muscle tone, if they’re not as active, that’s where we start to see ACL tears, hip problems and other types of traumatic orthopedic injuries. But we have to be careful. So I usually tell people instead of throwing the ball for 15 minutes, throw it for five. If you used to run with them, walk with them. Let them get that energy out, but don’t overdo it.”

“I encourage all of my pet parents to bring their cats for a full exam once a year, but for senior cats, I will often schedule recheck exams within a three- to four-month period,” says Bradbury. “Remember, cats age four years for each human year, so their health From left: Dr. Alison Bradbury, seasoned vet at status can change much more The Cat Doctor; Dr. Duffy Jones, founder of familyquickly, and subtle changes owned Peachtree Hills Animal Hospital. can be detected sooner DETAILS with more frequent exams.” Jones echoes the same advice: The Cat Doctor “I typically like to see senior dogs 4716 Roswell Road N.E. twice a year, sometimes four times.” Atlanta 30342

Ask questions! “We know dogs and cats, but you know your dog and your cat, so when you see changes, come tell us, and we’ll figure out what’s going on,” says Jones. n

404.257.0048 thecatdoctoratlanta.com Peachtree Hills Animal Hospital 3106 Early St. N.W. Atlanta 30305 404.812.9880 peachtreehillsvet.com

Beth Melberg Photo

“Hands down, the number one concern I get regarding older cats is a change in mobility,” says Bradbury. “Whether it is difficulty jumping, stiff back legs or not playing as much, these common signs of arthritis are often some of the first indicators of a cat moving into its senior years. I often recommend joint supplements, such as Cosequin or Dasuquin for cats, even in the early stages of mobility changes to help slow down progression.” For senior dogs, Jones says, “The first thing I typically tell people as their dogs get older is to watch for subtle changes in their everyday routine because subtle changes could mean significant disease— especially since dogs are really, really good at hiding these things.”

Alec Favale, Unsplash

Watch for any significant change in mobility.

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June 2021 | Simply Buckhead 


Courtesy of Dunwoody Nature Center


CAMPING WITH KIDS Tips for your first family camping adventure


amping can be challenging, but it also offers incredible opportunities for kids to learn life lessons. Plus, it’s a low-cost way to visit noteworthy destinations across the country—and the world. “Parents will be pleasantly surprised at how cheap it is to have a great time camping and give their kids a memorable experience,” says Jessica James, manager at Black Rock Mountain State Park in Northeast Georgia and mom to two outdoor-loving daughters. “The earlier you expose kids to [the outdoors] the better.” For those new to camping with kids, it’s important to set your first outdoor adventure up for success. Planning is key, says Amanda Desnoyers, a Dunwoody mom who camps regularly with her husband and five kids. “The more prepared you are, the easier it will be.” Read on for more tips from these family camping pros to make sure your first campout isn’t your last.

CAMPING PRACTICE Plan a backyard “run-through” before the big trip. Practice putting up the


June 2021 | Simply Buckhead

tent and making a fire to build confidence and familiarity. Kids can even spend the night in the sleeping bag and tent. “If you go to a park and you’ve never done those things, it can be stressful,” James says. “A lot of these things can lead to arguments within the family if everyone is anxious. Doing a run-through in the backyard is a great idea.”

RESEARCH LOCATION Check the weather and do your homework when selecting a campsite. Look for destinations with a playground or programs for kids, such as crafts or nature walks with rangers and naturalists. Every Georgia State Park offers a Junior Ranger Program, giving kids the opportunity to earn up to 59 badges for different site-specific activities. If you’re camping with three or four families, it doesn’t hurt to ask if the park ranger can organize a program, from painting pet rocks to a scavenger hunt, just for your group. “If you make sure the kids have things to do, they aren’t inclined to want to use their technology,” James says.


Giannina S. Bedford

PACK SMART Have a designated spot at home for camping gear and keep a master list of what you need to bring, Desnoyers says. In addition to necessary items such as insect repellent and a first aid kit, consider bringing a clothesline to hang up wet items, a broom to sweep the tent, tablecloths, skewers for marshmallows and lots of wet wipes. Instead of each child having his or her own suitcase, pack small bags of clothing for each day with clothing for all the kids. “You can keep them in the car and each night bring the next day's clothing into the tent, distributing the clean clothing for the next day, and packing up the dirty clothes into that bag,” Desnoyers say. “This minimizes the clothing spread all over the tent.” Pack toiletries in bags that are easy to tote to the bathrooms and don’t forget shower shoes. James also suggests bringing a wagon for little ones to load up for trips to the shower stations. A few games or favorite toys may also be good, but make sure to leave time for unstructured play.

“You’d be surprised how kids will entertain themselves, even if they don’t have a playground,” James says. “There are trees to climb and cool leaves and things to look at.”

FOOD Plan meals ahead and precook as much food as possible. “People will be extra hungry, and it's hard to sit and wait for something to cook over the fire, unless it's fast,” Desnoyers says. Plan on purchasing a bag of ice each day to keep the cooler cold and bring lots of readyto-go snacks for hikes and other activities.

MAKE IT SPECIAL Add some extra fun to your campsite with string lights and lanterns (don’t forget extension cords to run electricity to the tent if needed). Another way to turn up the merriment is camping with friends. “Share meal prep and bring supplies, and the kids will have a blast together,” Desnoyers says. “Book ahead of time to get adjoining campsites.” n




Bigger and Better P30

“One of Natalie’s absolute favorite things to do is to host company.” —William Brooks

The mostly white kitchen comes to life with a dark blue island, gold pendants and leather and brass barstools. Photo: Patrick Heagney

June 2021 | Simply Buckhead 



BIGGER AND BETTER Texas transplants make a Brookhaven new build home sweet home STORY:

Giannina S. Bedford   PHOTOS: Patrick Heagney

W Above: Natalie, Bridgette and William Brooks will welcome a new member to the family, daughter Madeline, this month. Below: The Brooks’ two-story, six-bedroom home was a huge upgrade in size from their Austin condo.


June 2021 | Simply Buckhead

hen William and Natalie Brooks moved away from their college town of Austin, Texas, they weren’t just changing geographic locations; they were changing lifestyles. In 2018, they traded a downtown condo for a new six-bedroom home in Brookhaven and began their lives as a married couple. Soon they were awaiting the arrival of their first baby, Bridgette, born in December 2019. To fill the 4,686-square-foot home, Natalie purchased furniture and accessories in line with her love of a modern-meets-glamorous aesthetic. But the two-story home’s interior still needed some work. “I thought I had bought enough new furniture to fill the house, but when we finished unpacking, it still felt as if we had just moved in and needed several more items to help tie everything together,” says Natalie, who relocated to Atlanta for her job as managing director at IT staffing and recruiting company Insight Global. Natalie searched for a designer on Instagram and was drawn to the colorful work of Gina Sims Designs. The only drawback was that the firm had a waiting list of several months. Natalie and William decided to save

some time by utilizing the firm’s eDesign services over traditional, full-service design. “I told them eDesign would be faster,” Sims says. “We email the floorplan, images of the items and spreadsheet of all the retail items, and [clients] order them.” The spacious open floor plan was the main focus. In the living room, where the couple had already purchased a modern, gray Room & Board sectional, Sims accessorized with a rectangular Crate & Barrel coffee table, striped square poufs and a leaning floor lamp, both from Wayfair. For color, she added green velvet chairs from Article and matching throw pillows on the sofa. “Gina is really good at bringing in pops of color, which was a little out of my comfort zone at first, but turned out to be exactly what we needed,” Natalie says. Sims also convinced the couple to layer two neutral rugs on top of each other, which they were hesitant about at first. The finishing touch was infusing more color via Wayfair art prints in complementing green and blue hues. “[The living room is] where we spend most of our nights and weekends relaxing with each other or with friends and family,” William says. “It’s our favorite place to hang out, watch

Above: The staircase, done in a custom runner and brass rods, leads to a photo display from the couple’s Austin wedding.

Above: Designer Gina Sims added warm wood touches to tone down the brass elements in the dining room.

Below: The family’s spacious, open floor plan is ideal for indoor or outdoor entertaining.

“Gina is really good at bringing in pops of color, which was a little out of my comfort zone at first, but turned out to be exactly what we needed.”–Natalie Brooks Above: The chic entry way provides a striking first impression upon arrival.

wood accents as well, which I would have never thought to do on my own.” The kitchen echoes the surrounding modern aesthetic with a dark blue island, white cabinets, elongated hexagon tile backsplash and brass hardware. Leather and brass bar stools from Global Home invite guests to sit and mingle below gold pendants from Progressive Lighting. Sims suggested the addition of a matte black sink faucet to contrast against the white quartz countertops. The home’s entryway was also brought to life with Sims’ decorative touch. An antique Turkish rug leads to a stairway outfitted with a custom blue and white runner accented with brass stair rods or, as Sims like to call it,

“jewelry for the stairs.” On the landing, a striking black-and-white photo gallery wall shares moments from the couple’s Austin wedding on New Year’s Eve. “It’s a great reminder of how our family began,” Natalie says. The nostalgia for the Lone Star State— where William grew up and the couple met—is felt throughout the home. It’s most prominently displayed in the master bedroom where a photo print of a Texas Longhorn presides over the West Elm upholstered sleigh bed that Sims dressed up in Ballard linens and Etsy pillows. “They wanted Texas, and this is where Texas was going to be,” Sims says. “Everything else was textures;


a movie, our favorite TV shows or a Texas Longhorn sports game.” In the nearby dining room, the round marble dining table from Restoration Hardware is encircled with blue velvet and brass chairs from Burke Decor. Natalie—an admitted fan of all things brass—picked out the ensemble, which Sims surrounded with warm touches of wood through mirrors and a marble and walnut bar cabinet from CB2. Presiding over the formal dining area is a Tilda chandelier from Arteriors. “I found myself adding a lot of brass accents—probably too many,” Natalie admits. “Gina helped balance out all the brass decor by bringing in a lot of natural

June 2021 | Simply Buckhead 



Above: The master bedroom features brown leather chairs in line with the earthy, Texasinspired design.

GINA SIMS’ TOP 5 WAYS TO INCORPORATE COLOR INTO A NEUTRAL PALETTE 1. Art. “Art can be invested in from a trip or a gallery, but there are literally thousands of low-cost options out there as well. Our favorites for eDesigns are printables from Etsy.” 2. Pillows. “Textiles really elevate a space. I insist on down inserts.” 3. Rugs. “Never go for a small rug. There are great guides online if you’re not sure of the size. If you can’t afford a fabulous rug in the size you need, consider layering it on

top of a rug made from a natural fiber like jute or sisal.”

Below: Bridgette’s recently completed “big girl” room is furnished in Jenny Lind twin beds, woodlandsthemed wallpaper and pillows by Laura Park Designs.

5. Paint. “Even with a neutral palette, it does not mean your walls need to be white or gray or beige. Consider a dark moody color and use light neutral art on top of that. The contrast looks amazing.”

muted, earthy colors in textiles; and wood grains to feel luxurious.” The modern yet slightly rustic vibe of the master bedroom is also felt in the upstairs nursery, which is anything but infantile. Sims worked her magic with a Lucite and wood crib from West Elm, a feminine tassel chandelier and artsy Selenite wallpaper by Faye Bell, creating an ethereal vibe. For the wall decor, she had a wood-slice cloud made and framed an image of an iconic Austin wall graffiti mural showcasing the words “I love you so much.” “William and I have taken many photos in front of [the mural] over the years. One of my favorites was taken while I was pregnant with Bridgette, and we used it as inspiration,” Natalie says. “Gina did an amazing job recreat-


Left: The design of the not-toofeminine, airy nursery was inspired by a piece of Austin graffiti framed on the wall.

4. Accessories. “Sets of boxes or vases or a lamp make great options to bring in fabulous color and are easily moved when the mood changes.”

June 2021 | Simply Buckhead

ing the mural with a custom color design to fit into our nursery.” The Brookses continue to nest and recently enlisted Sims to redo Natalie’s office now that she’s working from home more and outfit a “big girl room” for Bridgette who will become a big sister to a new baby girl, Madeline, this month. They also have dreams to install a pool and outdoor living space in their walk-out backyard. “One of Natalie’s absolute favorite things to do is to host company for dinners, parties or long stays,” Williams says. “When you come into our home, you are welcomed like family.” For now, they are focusing on their growing family and continuing to settle into their new address. It may not be Texas, but it’s become their home. n

Movies On THE TOWN Beginning at Dusk

Free movies

Thursdays, June 3rd – July 22nd (no movie July 8th)


New this year!

To Register and to Review Safety Protocols: Visit us on Facebook, Instagram or townbrookhaven.net/events

www.townbrookhaven.net Conveniently located on Peachtree Road adjacent to Oglethorpe University.

June 2021 | Simply Buckhead 




Giannina S. Bedford Bring a romantic glow to your garden pathway, porch or patio with Ballard Designs’ Solar LED Lanterns. Made of frosted white, outdoor-safe plastic, the beehive silhouettes are lit by solar-powered LED lights for easy portability. For cloudy days, the battery charges by USB plug. Available in 11-inch for $89 or 14-inch for $99.

Colored cabinets are just one way to elevate the design of a laundry room, says Danielle Stanley, design coordinator at Renew Properties.




Laundry Room Love L

aundry may not be fun, but the space you do it in can be. Tucked away from the main living space, the laundry room offers the opportunity to take design risks you may not be willing to embark on in your living room or kitchen, says Danielle Stanley, design coordinator at Renew Properties. Stanley works with clients across Buckhead and North Atlanta on custom home builds and large-scale renovations, many that include statementmaking laundry rooms. Below she shares her tips on adding style to an often forgotten-about space. Color & Texture. “We do a ton of color in laundry rooms, whether it be on painted cabinets, the wall color or the floor tile. And, while wallpaper can get pricey, when you’re working in a smaller space like a laundry room, it’s a great opportunity to incorporate nice quality, textured or statement wallpaper.”



Statement Lighting. “People think they just need a builder-grade flush mount fixture or canned lighting, but making a statement with elevated lighting is a fun way to jazz up a space and make it a little more enjoyable to be in.” Stylish Storage Solutions. “We’ve seen clients get creative in the way they store their dirty laundry with baskets that create a cohesive design and storage solutions—for instance, storing laundry pods in a funky vase or a cool jar and dryer sheets in a fun little tissue box. Things like that elevate the functionality of a laundry room with a design spin.” Art Display. “Clients often have sentimental things they don’t want to hang above the fireplace—art their kids made or special family heirlooms they can frame. Add those to the

n Congratulations to SCAD Atlanta’s 2020 Valedictorian, Jessica Ma (B.F.A. Interior Design, 2020), who was recently recognized by the International Design Awards as Emerging Interior Designer of the Year. Her project submission, “The Independent Living Inc.,” showcased a space designed to aid training for Autism Spectrum Disorder individuals to learn and practice

June 2021 | Simply Buckhead

laundry room to give it that personal touch. Some people just like wall art, whether it’s prints off of Etsy that give local artist flair or original paintings. Art is an easy way to add some dimension and interest.” Functional Feature. “When we are doing a custom cabinetry buildout, one of the things that clients tend to love and we think is a huge value-add is the concept of a trash can pull-out. Take the kind you would see in a kitchen and integrate that as a laundry pull-out. It’s a really functional way to tuck away the dirty laundry and keep things concealed.”

course the dog washing station as well. Dogs are a big part of our lives, and the laundry room seems like the appropriate way to incorporate some functionality for them.” n renewpropertiesllc.com A custom dog crate makes this laundry room dual-purpose.

Pooch Perks. “Dog-washing stations in laundry rooms are all the rage. We’ve done custom dog crates built in under the countertops; toe kick food bowls where the drawer spits out, and there is a bowl you can push into the cabinetry; and then of

independent living. It also received a Gold First Place award for Interior Design. The 15th annual IDA Awards, which celebrate visionaries of design from around the world, included 124 overall wins for SCAD students and recent alumni, the most in the college’s history. n Peachtree Hills gallery Spalding Nix Fine Art is showcasing its summer

show through July 16. The exhibit features new works by Southeast artists Carlyle Wolfe Lee, Jerushia Graham, Trish Andersen, Libby Newell and Blair Hobbs. spaldingnixfineart.com

n Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams has launched its first exclusive bedding line. Available at its Buckhead location, the European bedding is woven in generationally

owned artisanal factories in Portugal with a high thread count, long-staple cotton made without harmful chemicals. The four new modern bedding sets, starting at $75 to $95, include matelasse, vintage washed cotton percale, exposed button vintage washed cotton percale and porto striped bedding. The collection also includes throws and shams mgbwhome.com


Foam, Fun and Functionality

Zipline PlayScape, Friedman’s latest brand, keeps “children of busy parents amused for hours on end.”

Louis Friedman’s business empire is built on boundless creativity and innovation STORY:

Rebecca Cha


or nearly 20 years, longtime Sandy Springs resident and businessman Louis Friedman has been in the foam-based furniture business, launching popular lifestyle brands such as Liberator, Avana, Jaxx and others under his Luvu Brands umbrella. The company recently launched Zipline PlayScape, which Friedman describes as “a convertible kids play couch created with active and imaginative play at heart.” Inspired by world-renowned companies such as Estée Lauder and Red Antler, Friedman constantly strives to “make a difference by creating what others don’t and building brands that people love.” We recently chatted with the multicompany CEO to find out what makes this self-proclaimed “tinkerer” tick. What was your inspiration for starting a Jaxx Living division?


June 2021 | Simply Buckhead

Luvu Brands has been producing innovative soft foam seating since its inception in 2002. What began as a rejuvenation of the bean bag has since expanded into a modular foam furniture collection fit for indoors, outdoors, sitting, gaming, sleeping and everything in between. From outdoor loungers to chaises that fold out into guest beds, the Jaxx collection has something for everyone. You emphasize the importance of vertically integrated, sustainable manufacturing. Can you elaborate? We take our environmental impact seriously. As a vertically integrated manufacturer, millions of pounds of excess foam trim from production are repurposed into Jaxx bean bag microcushions to save scrap materials from winding up in landfills. Our packaging has undergone a redesign to reduce its size by 70% thanks to a revolutionary vacuum compression process that removes 90% of air from polyurethane

foam without sacrificing integrity. As our boxes shrink, so does our carbon footprint; using minimal space for shipments translates to less fuel in deliveries and fewer paper products in our packaging. This year you launched the Zipline PlayScape. What was your inspiration? Today’s parents are multitaskers. They’re career professionals, educators and playmates in one. We created the Zipline PlayScape to keep the children of busy parents amused for hours on end, especially at a time where the need for at-home entertainment is at an all-time high. Children are some of the best innovators on this planet; the Zipline PlayScape is a tool for them to exercise their creativity and see their ideas come to life in a way they can play and interact with.

What connection do you have to the local community? Core to our operating principles, we sew and manufacture our products in the U.S., supporting the American economy. Luvu Brands is a publicly traded company headquartered locally, in a 140,000-square-foot manufacturing facility that employs more than 200 people. We support our [Atlanta] community through job training with advancement potential and shareholding opportunities for sewists and manufacturing technicians. We believe in the power of self-expression and that people do their best work when they’re comfortable. We foster a culture of togetherness at the factory, with each department working alongside the next to merge ideas and specialties for unified results and relationships driven by passion and ideas. What were your biggest hurdles early on, and what advice would you give to dreamers with hopes of building their own business? Selling more than $240 million of branded products since inception was no easy feat, nor was manufacturing sewn products in the U.S., so I’d have to say those. My advice is to pick an industry that has growth potential and, if possible, patent your products and have built-in talent in marketing, sales and manufacturing. Most important, DETAILS love what you do and don’t Zipline PlayScape run out of monjaxxbeanbags.com ey before your Luvu Brands enterprise turns luvubrands.com a profit! n

FA S H ION | B E AU T Y | W E L L N E S S | TA S T E M A K E R



Golden Girl P39

“I walk towards my purpose daily and believe that the sky’s the limit.” —Cynthia Bailey

Fashion icon and recent newlywed Cynthia Bailey can’t stop, won’t stop. Photo: Bobby Quillard

June 2021 | Simply Buckhead 


Are you looking to sell your home? Now’s a great time— the average sales price was $426,000 in April, up 21.5% from the previous year.* Call me today and let me help you navigate the market to get your home sold. *Source: atlantarealtors.com

Jimmy Hutchinson approaches real estate with an athlete’s mindset. He lives by the mantra “opportunities don’t happen, you create them.” As a former SEC Champion football player at Auburn University, he’s a firm believer that hard work, preparation and determination earn results.

Jimmy Hutchinson jimmy.hutchinson@compass.com M 678.763.3499 O 404.668.6621 jimmyhutchinson.com

As a lifelong Atlantan raised in Marietta, his intimate knowledge of the city and array of contacts are key assets for his clients.

Proven Results

$37M Total closed escrow volume to date

180 Total number of closed transactions to date

$1.7M Total in pending sales or pending volume (under contract)

Jimmy Hutchinson is a real estate licensee affiliated with Compass, a licensed real estate broker and abides by equal housing opportunity laws.


June 2021 | Simply Buckhead



From model to entrepreneur, “Real Housewives” star Cynthia Bailey continues to shine STORY:

Karina Antenucci

GOLDEN GIRL any one trend or designer. “I have a very classic style. I don’t wear a lot of trendy things. My uniform is a black jacket and black pants, and I do love a good tuxedo suit,” Bailey says. This past fall, she broke up with her all-noir ensemble to don a rose-gold wedding gown. After a stressful time wedding planning due to COVID, which was documented on RHOA’s season 13, she wed TV broadcaster and author Mike Hill in a gown by Atlanta designer Nneka C. Alexander of Brides by Nona. “I knew I wanted

to work with a black female designer. Nneka showed me her sketches, and I was blown away. She translated my vision perfectly. I didn’t want to be a traditional bride and wear white. The rose-gold dress represented where I am in my life right now—my golden years,” she says. Busy as ever, Bailey continues to build her entrepreneurial empire. This year, she is looking to expand her luxury leather accessory collection, CB VIOR. The fashionista stepped out of the style arena to open The

Bobby Quillard

he greatest lesson Cynthia Bailey has learned from her 11 seasons on “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” is that it’s good to get out of your comfort zone in order to evolve. “I never thought I could do drama-based reality TV or was right for it. It’s been over a decade now, and I basically ended up on this show because I decided to take this leap of faith,” says Bailey, who began filming season 14 in May. In actuality, the 54-year-old reality TV star, entrepreneur and model was getting out of her comfort zone many years before the show began. At 18, the Tuscumbia, Alabama native was scouted by the coveted agency Wilhelmina Models and began pounding the pavement in New York City, going on casting calls for modeling gigs. “I started in what I call the ‘good old days’ of modeling. There was no social media. You really had to do your time to make it,” Bailey recalls. And make it she did. Bailey booked the cover of Essence magazine, which launched her career. “As a kid, I always looked up to the women in those magazines because they looked strong and confident. I was so honored to be on Essence’s cover not once, but twice,” she says. Fashion Week runway shows in New York, Paris and Milan and more modeling jobs in fashion magazines such as Vogue, Glamour and Elle ensued. In 2001, photographer Annie Leibovitz photographed Bailey alongside other black supermodels Iman, Beverly Johnson, Naomi Campbell and Tyra Banks for an iconic fashion spread in Vanity Fair. Bailey has lived in Atlanta for 11 years, and resides in Sandy Springs at, fittingly, Lake Bailey. In 2011, she became a modeling mentor with the launch of The Bailey Agency School of Fashion, which is now an exclusively online modeling school that trains up-and-coming talent. “So many people don’t know how to get started in the industry, and a lot get scammed out of thousands of dollars,” Bailey says. “Regardless of whether or not they have what it takes, we give hopefuls a safe haven to go through the training and an opportunity for exposure through our contests and competitions.” Though she does have a penchant for Ralph Lauren’s timeless pieces and Stella McCartney’s fun, chic and edgy designs, Bailey says her go-to look is more low-key. She embraces her own personal style rather than

Bailey Wine Cellar, a wine bar, and event space The Bailey Room at The Beacon in Grant Park in 2019. Additionally, she hints at future TV projects which may include a budget home-improvement reality show and a Matchmaking dating show, as well as scripted TV and film acting roles. “When I was younger, I looked at the 50s as getting old, but now I realize turning 50 was just the beginning for me. I walk towards my purpose daily and believe that the sky’s the limit,” she says. n

June 2021 | Simply Buckhead 



Free + True Raw + Wild Illuminating Honey Mask ($56) This silky mask is packed with raw honey and botanicals such as soothing lavender, clarifying rosemary and rejuvenating marigold. Pomegranate enzymes soften and dissolve dead skin cells, and pearl extracts brighten to invigorate a dull visage. Feeling charitable? $1 from every sale goes to save bee populations.

Botanics All Bright Instant Glow Mask ($13.99)

AILLEA 3796 Roswell Road Atlanta 30342 470.427.3992 aillea.com

Repêchage Vita Cura B3 Lifting Masks ($95 for a set of 5) Townsend calls these sheet masks the “gold standard for anti-aging.” Infused with the line’s B3 lifting concentrate, they offer immediate and visible smoothing of wrinkles. Intensely moisturizing, the mask uses hyaluronic acid, sea moss and fruit extracts to create an invisible film to lift and support skin for instantly beautiful results. Steve Hightower Hair Salon & Day Spa 646 Lindbergh Way N.E. Atlanta 30324 404.264.9006 stevehightower.com

Score more radiant skin in just 10 minutes with this plant-infused gel formula. Vitamin C helps wake up dull, tired skin, and natural alpha-hydroxy acids from the hibiscus plant boost your glow with a gentle peel. The formula is cruelty-free, vegan and comes in 100% recyclable packaging. Ulta Multiple locations ulta.com


Jennifer Bradley Franklin


f you’re like me, you’ve got a growing wardrobe of masks. I’m not referring to cloth face coverings designed to help stem the spread of germs; rather, I’m thinking of the concentrated beauty formulations that offer targeted skincare in minimal time. “I try to mask three times a week,” explains Tamara Townsend, esthetician at Steve Hightower Hair Salon & Day Spa in Buckhead. “Masking is treating the skin more potently than your everyday ‘cleanse, tone and moisturize’ [routine].”

Because mask ingredients tend to be more concentrated than daily skincare, it’s important to choose wisely. Applying a dehydrating clay mask or one infused with drying acids can spell disaster for skin that tends to be on the dry side, for instance. “A couple of years ago, there was a peel-off charcoal mask that was super-popular,” Townsend recalls. “That was terrible for almost everyone’s skin, except people who have extremely oily, congested skin with a lot of blackheads. If someone doesn’t have that, it would dry them out and make them raw.” If you have a regular facialist, esthetician or dermatologist, ask for expert recommendations about what types of ingredients will benefit your skin the most. When in doubt, choose a moisture-boosting mask. “If I’m not able to see somebody up close to analyze their skin, I recommend hydrating masks. Everyone, even those with oily skin, needs more hydration,” says Townsend. Look for ingredients such as hyalSteve Hightower’s Tamara Townsend helps clients achieve their best skin.


June 2021 | Simply Buckhead

uronic acid, often found in hydrating gels and sheet masks. Townsend suggests using a mask targeted to your skin type two to three times a week. Follow your regular skincare routine (ideally, cleanser, toner, serum and moisturizer), and use the mask on clean, dry skin after your toner step. Follow the mask’s instructions and then finish with your serum and moisturizer, and get ready to enjoy refreshed skin. n

Hanacure All-in-One Facial Set ($110 for four treatments) This buzz-worthy mask has taken the beauty world by storm, thanks to famous fans including Drew Barrymore and January Jones. The set comes with an applicator brush and four individual vials and packets. Mix the two and apply the thick, clear gel to the face, neck and backs of hands (all prime spots for premature aging). After 20 minutes, skin will look lifted, firm, bright and clear. Pores even appear smaller, and dark spots are less noticeable. If you don’t have time for an in-office facial, this at-home version is clutch before an event. Neiman Marcus 3393 Peachtree Road N.E. Atlanta 30326 404.266.8200 neimanmarcus.com


YOUR MOUNTAIN GETAWAY Lake living with a mountain backdrop.

Beautiful and completely unique, this home is situated on 1.5 acres of lakefront property on Lake Blue Ridge with picturesque lake and mountain views all year long. Come enjoy a summer evening in the hot-tub while enjoying a glass of wine and watch the sun set over the breathtaking North Georgia Mountains that reflect on Lake Blue Ridge like a mirror. This home has three bedrooms and three full baths, perfect for a family, or for hosting guests. If the mountains are calling to you, give me a call.

LA BAKER 706)455-0262

June 2021 | Simply Buckhead 



STRAIGHTEN UP How to get your body back to its proper alignment


ver time, it’s easy for your body’s alignment to fall out of its ideal position. After days of hunching over a laptop or a baby, walking in heels or exercising without aligning your body properly in relationship to gravity, your muscles and connective tissue will repeatedly stress the joints and can even change the shape of your bones. “After a while, this kind of misalignment can lead to loss of vital energy, pain and illness,” says Leslie Clayton, Pilates master instructor and owner of Body Awareness Studio in Sandy Springs. While it’s always a good idea to see a health care provider to rule out something more serious if you’re already experiencing discomfort, becoming more aware of the body’s ideal alignment is a good step toward preventing and alleviating pain.

rib cage, center of the pelvis and center of the knee are over the front or side of your ankle. “When you’re in your plumb line, your nervous system is going to relax. You’ll have more ease of movement. It’s easier to breathe,” Clayton says.

Be More Aware Start discovering your plumb line by becoming more conscious of how you are positioning your body and the gravitational forces moving through it. Modify your alignment as needed to achieve the plumb line posture. “Awareness is the key to correcting your posture. You can begin to feel when you’re centered or off center. When centered, the nervous system comes into balance, we move with more ease, and the body can self-regulate from the effects of stress,” says Clayton.

Discover Your Plumb Line

Please Be Seated

The “plumb line” posture is best for your body. This is when your ear, the side of your shoulder, center of your

An exercise Clayton suggests to find and strengthen awareness of your plumb line is similar to a seated ver-


June 2021 | Simply Buckhead


sion of yoga’s cat and cow postures: Using a chair, have a seat on top of your sit bones with feet balanced on the floor, relaxed thighs and neutral pelvis. Place hands on top of thighs, with upper arm bones positioned to the outer edges of your shoulders and look straight ahead. Roll slightly to the front and back of your sit bones until you can feel where the center is. Next, begin to move your core: Exhale and roll the bowl of your pelvis backwards, which makes the sit bones narrow and pelvic floor lift. Look down to feel your spine curl like a cat’s. Inhale and roll to the front of your sit bone while your eyes and chest look up, then extend the spine and arch the back. Repeat for three to five breaths. “Finish by sitting in your new awareness of the center for a minute or two,” suggests Clayton. It can help to work with a fitness coach to find your proper alignment and learn to feel for it. With practice and awareness, over time, your body will come back into its plumb line naturally. n

Vanessa Pascale Rust

Leslie Clayton, Pilates master instructor and owner of Body Awareness Studio.

BODY AWARENESS STUDIO 5549 Roswell Road Atlanta 30342 678.647.9366 bodyawarenessstudio.com

June 2021 | Simply Buckhead 



Distance Hat in Unicorn ($34.50): This packable hat is lightweight, has moisture-managing tech fabrics, is ultrabreathable, washable and quick-drying. Marathon Performance Running Sock in Skittles: (left) and Oreo (right) ($18 per pair): Tested through mud, water and sand over some serious miles, this crew sock is made to reject blisters and offers a cushioned footbed.

trail-running plan for kids and families—our virtual way to be able to do something this year. We also put on the Atlanta Grand Prix last fall, which was a 12-week event with six race routes, created by Atlanta Snack Club, that were scattered all over Atlanta. The courses were released on a Sunday night, and everyone had two weeks to run them on their own time. We heard from people that it gave them something to look forward to in running with all races canceled. We plan on doing the race again this year from May 31 to August 22.

Running For It Founder of rnnr Kate Arsenault wants all runs to be fun STORY:

Karina Antenucci


hamblee-born Kate Arsenault developed a passion for running as early as middle school in Roswell. Later, she coached track and taught sixth grade math, science and special education at Ridgeview Charter School in Sandy Springs. While she loved teaching, the mom to a 1- and 4-year-old needed a new professional outlet that she could work on in her own time. In spring 2019, she and her husband, Justin, launched rnnr (pronounced “runner”), a line of running accessories and apparel. The brand offers several lightweight and sweat-wick-


June 2021 | Simply Buckhead

ing running hats, running socks, Tshirts and water bottles in bold colors and styles. A new visor will launch this month as well. The products are available on rnnr’s website and at all Big Peach Running Company locations, including Brookhaven. “In 2018, my husband and I were in Colorado doing a marathon, thinking we’d come in dead last since we weren’t used to the altitude coming from Atlanta. But we were out there to have fun, and that’s what running is all about. It doesn’t have to be competitive or this big thing; it’s just something to go and do. We created the idea of rnnr to keep ‘running rad,’” says Arsenault, who has completed three marathons and the Peachtree Road Race several times.

Here, Arsenault chats about running, giving back and staying motivated. How has teaching influenced your work at rnnr? Teaching is what I went to school for, and I loved it. After launching rnnr, I still wanted to be able to give back and get kids running, so we take a percentage of sales and give it back to running programs for kids. We also partner with local run stores, schools and running professionals to introduce kids to the elements of running to build their passion for the sport. What’s your biggest pivot story of late? In 2020, we partnered with vert.run, a website that creates training plans. We had them design a couch to 5K

Why is it important for kids to run? For several reasons: I think one thing is that kids naturally want to run, and they have tons of energy. We’re so tied down to technology in school and during leisure time, and not moving builds up anxiety. Getting kids running alleviates anxiety, builds self-confidence and introduces them to a lifelong sport. You can run, no matter how fast or good you are, for your entire life. Do you run with your family? I met my husband running in the North Georgia mountains. Now I have two toddlers, and my kids go with me. I push my daughter, and my son rides his bike. It’s fun to do together. What makes rnnr products unique? Our whole thing is about keeping running rad. Brighter, bolder colors and more fun designs than your typical running colors. Our items stand out. As a business owner, how do you stay motivated when things get tough? Determination. Knowing that rnnr is something I wholeheartedly believe in. RNNR Running is a passion of mine, and the success rnrr.com of rnnr is also huge. n






Businesswoman Nicole Walters explores Atlanta with her family in reality show “She’s the Boss.”

Family First P46

“No matter what, if my family needs me, I am there.” —Nicole Walters June 2021 | Simply Buckhead 





Entrepreneur Nicole Walters tackles reality TV in “She’s The Boss” STORY:

Vivian Lee-Boulton


icole Walters, star of the new USA Network series “She’s The Boss,” is a powerhouse. While her multi-million-dollar personal development and business education company and considerable online influence earned her the show, the series focuses on Walters’ number one priority: her family. Walters is the CEO of Inherit Learning, a company headquartered in Brookhaven that helps companies and entrepreneurs grow and build sustainable, debt-free businesses. She started a daily blog, NapturalNicole, 12 years ago to document her natural hair journey. What began as a simple source of joy for Walters outside of her corporate work kicked off her online following. Walters expanded to the live video-streaming app Periscope and began discussing entrepreneurship and parenting with her followers. Eventually, Walters realized that she loved using the skills she learned in the corporate world to help others monetize their passions, and she quit her Fortune 500 job live on Periscope with 10,000 people watching. Since her blog’s creation, Walters has never missed a day of sharing her story online. “We had a lot of people tuning in every day for the journey,” says Walters with a big smile. “They were finding a lot of laughs, love and inspiration in seeing me build the business and our family. The [USA Network] producers wanted to help us share our story at a bigger level.” After noticing Walters’ online presence, USA Network’s producers reached out, pitching a reality TV show starring her family and business. Walters’ husband, Josh, a work-fromhome attorney, and the couple’s three adopted daughters made the


June 2021 | Simply Buckhead

decision to do the show as a unit. “Because we adopted our girls and our family was made in an unorthodox way, we’re actually really open. I may be The Boss, but I’m not really the boss. So we all sat down and had a conversation. Each step along the way, we figured out together what we were comfortable with and established our boundaries,” Walters says. The couple moved from Maryland two and a half years before “She’s The Boss” began filming just before the pandemic hit in the U.S., allowing the family to try new restaurants and meet people around town for the show. Once COVID-19 shut down production, they took a hiatus for the summer and returned to a quarantined set, filming almost entirely inside the Walters’ home. “The biggest adjustment was definitely the lack of control,” says Walters. “With cameras rolling every moment, they catch the good,

the bad, the funny and the ugly. But that let them capture exactly what we are like, a real American family.” The group loves to play pranks on each other, and after getting closer to the crew and producers, they carried their antics on to the set. “Our producer was [known] for wearing pink hoodies. On one of our days of filming, we all came out wearing matching pink hoodies,” laughs Walters. “Filming was just such a fun experience, and I’m super grateful that this show is positive for our family, positive for our community and positive for Atlanta.” As a corporate consultant, Walters found the move to Atlanta allowed her to be closer to a major airport, a key solution to spending more time with the family while also jet-setting to clients around the United States. Walters loves the environment of the Buckhead and Brookhaven areas, especially the schools and opportunities for her kids.

“Buckhead allowed me to have access to everything. I could have this great experience for my children but still live in this city of entrepreneurship,” says Walters. Even though Walters works 12-15 hours on the average day, she takes special care to start later and enjoy mornings with her family. She only works Monday through Thursday. Walters’ family-first mentality has helped build her dream and keep her grounded. “She’s The Boss” premiered on Feb. 25 on USA Network with a six-episode series. “People are looking to see positive television with a more diverse family, especially one that is imperfect, but still loving. I think we really nailed it.” n

NICOLE WALTERS nicolewalters.com


Gifts from the HeART

The variety of works at Jackson Fine Art, including the landscape below from artist Angela West, provides a wealth of gift-giving ideas.

Pick a memorable piece for brides, dads and grads this month STORY:

H.M. Cauley


he conundrum of gift giving doesn’t end in December. June can also be a prime problem season for those looking to make memorable presents to new graduates, wedding couples, dads for Father’s Day and Gemini or Cancer birthdays. For consummate givers searching for something more durable and personal than a gift card or check, the Buckhead area offers a wealth of options inside its numerous art galleries. At first blush, the idea of giving a piece of art, sculpture or photography may seem fairly farfetched. The questions that immediately come to mind do need to be considered, says Tiffany Hayes, managing director of Pryor Fine Art on Miami Circle. “I’d start by thinking about what the person’s likes and interests are. For instance, do they garden? Knowing that someone likes being outdoors might lead you to a still life with florals.” The fun of learning about her buyers and guiding them in an art search is what drives Anna Walker Skillman, owner of Jackson Fine Art. She advises the same approach for anyone considering making an artistic gift.


June 2021 | Simply Buckhead

“The best part of what I do is getting to know the person—what moves them, what can create an experience for them,” she says. “That comes down to knowing who the recipient is, who their favorite artists are and what they love. Keep a list of those things, and when it’s their birthday, we can find something available.” Givers also need to establish specific boundaries around price. Knowing exactly how much the budget will budge often defines the options. Be it $250 or $25,000, gallery owners can provide a wealth of options. “Many times, people want to buy something on a lower scale to give to a college grad or a young couple,” says Hayes. “We have some works, especially of emerging artists, around $500 that are a great way to help someone start a collection. Then they have a story behind the art, and won’t be so intimidated that they can’t buy another.” Another option if your price range falls under $1,000, is giving a print and a fine art book of the artist’s work. “That’s a great option, and though we don’t typically sell a lot of books, we can steer someone to special editions,” Skillman says. Skillman has also worked with gift givers to put together sample

printouts of possible gift ideas. “We may print some things and put them in small frames so the buyer can say, ‘Go in and select one of these artists.’ We’ve also had people who brought the recipient in, gave a price point and let them pick out a piece. That’s another great way to avoid giving a gift someone doesn’t respond to.” Hayes has taken a similar tack, making up an attractive certificate for a specific amount that allows the recipient to browse and find something that resonates. “Many times, people are nervous about whether the person will like it, and this way, the person gets to choose,” she says. The gift of art can go beyond just giving someone options, says Skillman. It’s also a learning process that can take some time as potential buyers explore their tastes, consider their en-

vironments and figure out price points. “A lot of people want to learn about art to get a sense of what they want,” she says. “Let them come in and talk about what their space is like, what they love, what they’re drawn to. We provide a warm and welcoming place to explore, and that process can also be a gift.” n

DETAILS Jackson Fine Art 3115 E. Shadowlawn Ave. Atlanta 30305 404.233.3739 jacksonfineart.com Pryor Fine Art 764 Miami Circle, Suite 132 Atlanta 30324 404.352.8775 pryorfineart.com

EXPLORE THE NEWEST PL ACE TO STAY. WORK. MEET. PL AY... AND MORE Welcome to Bellyard. Located at The Interlock, where kindred spirits come together to experience a creative and inspired environment.

OPENING SPRING 2021 1 Interlock Ave NW. Atlanta GA 30318 404.806.8333 | info@bellyardhotel.com BellyardHotel.com


June 2021 | Simply Buckhead 



Brookhaven author Liz Lazarus pens her third book

No Longer Silent STORY:

Mickey Goodman

PHOTO: Joann



ike her two previous books, Liz Lazarus’s latest, Shades of Silence, is as full of twists and turns as a roller coaster. Part mystery, part thriller, it launched in April and includes her trademarks: a serious social message—human trafficking— and a surprise ending. The book opens with a literal bang when a young girl appears inside Julianna Sandoval’s locked restaurant with a strange message for the owner whose pilot husband mysteriously disappeared while on a routine flight. Three months have gone by without a word about him until the stranger says, “He is not who you think he is.” But before Julianna can ask for an explanation, the young girl is shot through the window. The plot underscores the resilience of a woman faced with devastating loss who fears she has been betrayed by those she trusts most—her husband’s son and co-workers at the restaurant who are also good friends. Julianna has a thousand questions: What is the identity of the young


June 2021 | Simply Buckhead

woman? How was she able to enter the locked restaurant after hours? What is her connection, if any, to her missing husband? There is also an eerie connection to the past that she doesn’t see coming. Shades of Silence is told in first person from the points of view of the two primary characters, Juliana and a police detective, Paul Grant, who is assigned to the case. Lazarus weaves their stories together as tightly as stiches on a tapestry. Although she was editor of her high school newspaper and clearly had writing chops, Lazarus had no aspirations for a literary career. Instead, she headed to the Georgia Institute of Technology to study engineering. Just prior to graduation in 1990, she was brutally assaulted in the house she shared with two other students, but she was able to fight her attacker off. Lazarus dealt with the trauma before accepting a position in General Electric’s Healthcare Division (now GE Healthcare Systems), where she remained for 20 years. Every now and then, she heard a nagging inner voice urging her to write a book about her assault. Midway through her tenure at GE, she earned an MBA at Northwest-

ern’s Kellogg School of Management, lived in Paris from 1996 to 1998 and got her pilot’s license. Though six years had passed, the assault continued to haunt her. A conversation with her family about what is considered selfdefense under current laws sparked Lazarus’s interest in the criminal justice system. She took a leave of absence in 2009 and began doing research for her first book, Free of Malice, about a woman whose attack had striking similarities to her own. The plot revolves around the protagonist’s obsession to get the police to acknowledge a victim’s right to self-protection. “The deep research and actual writing helped heal my psychological wounds,” Lazarus says. Lazarus’s writing process begins with working out the plot, then researching the topic from every angle by attending webinars, interviewing experts, sitting in on trials and reading voraciously. “When I started Shades of Silence, I had no idea how police officers interview suspects, so I spent a lot of time at the Decatur Police Department where Captain Jennifer Ross imparted a wealth of information. I couldn’t have written the book without her.”

SHADES OF SILENCE ($14.95) is available on Amazon, and at Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million.

Her engineering background dictates a well-organized process. “I do a huge Excel layout and develop a master outline,” she says. “I even color code chapters and clues so I don’t leave anything hanging at the end. If I find gaps, I do more research.” Lazarus thought her first effort was “one and done,” and she had no intentions of writing another. “But when readers kept asking for more, I wrote Plea for Justice then Shades of Silence,” she says. The author currently works at ControlRad, a health care startup, and is busy writing her fourth book. n


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June 2021 | Simply Buckhead 








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Interested in joining our family? Contact us to schedule a workout.

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Sara Hanna

THE BEAT GOES ON Atlanta—and Buckhead, specifically—is a music mecca. With its storied history of stars getting their start here and up-andcoming talent using our neighborhood to launch their careers, it’s a great place to be, whether you’re a fan of old-school blues and jazz, country, rock or hip hop. Buckhead and the surrounding areas are also prime spots to live like a star, find teachers to engage the next generation of musicians and hear live music. Grammy Award-winning recording artist, songwriter and entrepreneur Lecrae, who has chosen the Upper Westside to house his studio, exemplifies the allure of Atlanta. Read on, music lovers!

William Rudolph

Mil Cannon of Imagini

Guy D’Alema.


June 2021 | Simply Buckhead 






Jennifer Bradley Franklin   PHOTOS: Sara Hanna


don’t do the most, but I do a lot,” Lecrae raps in his viral 2018 hit, “Coming In Hot,” with Andy Mineo, a tune that’s been used in social media posts by stars from Will Smith to Kim Kardashian. Though it’s not meant to be ironic, a lot is a colossal understatement: He’s a Grammy Award-winning rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, actor, entrepreneur, author, philanthropist, husband, father and a vocal Christian. Growing up in Houston with a single mom who played music constantly from a wide variety of genres, Lecrae Moore knew early on that he wanted to be an entertainer of some sort. At 11, he entered a talent show where he performed a medley by singing, rapping and dancing to the delight of the crowd. “I was nervous, but everybody loved it. I thought, ‘Oh, I might be good at this,’” he says. He went on to score a full scholarship for theater arts to the University of North Texas. “But I kept skipping class to go to the music lab. I was infatuated with working with the producers. I knew that music was the direction I needed to go in,” he says. He names singer, songwriter and producer Pharrell Williams as his biggest musical inspiration. Lecrae says, “I never imagined being the writer and the recording artist. I just wanted to make the music. My first album happened because I made all this music, but I couldn’t figure out what artist would sound right, so I just recorded [it myself].” This experience forever changed the trajectory of his life and career. In 2004, he released his first album, Real Talk. Other hip hop albums After the Music Stops, Rebel and Rehab followed, earning Lecrae notoriety among Christian radio listeners. Even though his rise to fame came through faith-based projects, Lecrae says, “I’m a musician who’s a Christian. My faith is very important to me. It’s the foundation on which I stand. But, when people approach my music, I want them to know that my music isn’t made with exclusivity in mind. If you would like to walk with me, I’d love to walk with you. We’ll journey together.”

Though he could have chosen anywhere to call home, Lecrae and his wife moved to Atlanta in 2009. One of his cousins raved about the city, so he visited for the first time after high school. “Atlanta provides all of the access to musicians, artists and industry veterans,” he says of the professional benefits. “It has the small-town charm, but it also has the big-city experience. Being able to access both of those is big for me.” The couple has lived here for 12 years, and five years ago, Lecrae moved his recording and production studio, Reach Records, from Grant Park to its current location on the Westside. His inclusivity and wide appeal have led to music and collaborations with artists from John Legend to Tori Kelly. In 2014, his seventh studio album, Anomaly, became the first to top both the Billboard 200 and the Gospel Albums chart, signaling his place as a true crossover hit-maker, selling

more than 3 million records at last count. He’s also expanded his performance repertoire to include acting, appearing in films including Superfly, Breakthrough and Believe Me. Lecrae’s ninth studio album, Restoration, dropped in August, and he’s currently working on the fourth iteration of his mixtape series, Church Clothes, set to release this summer. He likens a studio album to a fine meal where the chef agonizes over every element on every plate, while a mixtape album is more like a visit to a food hall, where everyone in the group can have a little bit of whatever they’re craving. “It’s the approach of ‘let’s create a lot of music and see what comes out of it,’” he says. “Albums can be a little more intense, [but with a mixtape] I’m just getting together with friends to have fun and see what we get. The bar is a little lower, but the quality is always amazing when that pressure isn’t there.”

The mononymous star won’t highlight a particular album or song that makes him most proud. Instead, he’ll talk about the ways he’s making a meaningful difference for people. Over the last year, he funded Love Beyond Walls’ “Love Sinks In” campaign to distribute portable hand washing stations around metro Atlanta to help homeless people access necessary hygiene, especially important during the pandemic. He’s also partnered with Headmaster Benjamin Wills to form and support Peace Preparatory Academy, a K-5 school that filled an educational void in the Atlanta neighborhood The Bluffs. Lecrae recalls listening to Lauryn Hill’s music when he was not much older than the children who now attend the school. “I was infatuated with the way she could be her honest, transparent self, and it could impact me so deeply,” he says. “I wanted to make music that would impact people deeply.” His music does move listeners, but Lecrae has found that the impact he’s making goes far beyond the songs he sings. “We’ve had No. 1 albums, platinum records and Grammy Awards, but when I drive through English Avenue, and I see Peace Preparatory Academy and those kids who can thrive because my music has created opportunities for them to have a quality education, I feel like I’m doing what Lauryn Hill did for me. That’s my greatest accomplishment. That’s what I’m most proud of.” n lecrae.com

BLUE MIRACLE Lecrae’s production company, Reach Records, has produced the soundtrack of Netflix’s new film Blue Miracle, released in May. Starring Dennis Quaid and Jimmy Gonzales, the movie tells the unbelievable true story of a group of orphaned Mexican boys who entered the world’s biggest fishing tournament to raise funds to save their home. The soundtrack features music by Lecrae and other Reach Records artists.

June 2021 | Simply Buckhead 



Photos: Guy D’Alema

Tina Turner flashes her signature smile during a night at the Limelight.

Supermodel Grace Jones poses with Limelight owner Peter Gatien at the club.



Mary Welch


ublicist Michael Parver never could figure out why people objected to the panther pacing up and down under the glass floor at the Limelight but not the crocodiles at Dante’s Down the Hatch. “Well, it was Buckhead in the ’80s,” he says with a laugh. And that may be enough of an explanation. The panther was eventually replaced with sharks, but that’s a bit beside the point, isn’t it? The Limelight was a nightclub that attracted worldwide attention and stars to Piedmont Road, next to what was dubbed the “Disco Kroger.” “Well, it was mind-blowing,” says Parver who handled the publicity when Rod Stewart, Tina Turner, Debbie Harry, Rick Springfield, Madonna and Gene Simmons all made the scene. “We had a special room for the stars where they could go, have free drinks and do their drugs. Mostly they stayed in that room, but I do remember Madonna going on to the dance floor maybe two times. The stars heard it was a wild place. We gave them special attention, and they enjoyed it.” While there were clubs like the


June 2021 | Simply Buckhead

Limelight that attracted stars, others such as the Great Southeast Music Hall, the Roxy Theatre, Theatre Under the Stars and Chastain Amphitheatre hosted many performers before they hit it big. The Great Southeast Music Hall was located where Lindbergh Plaza is now. The late Alex Cooley booked the bands, including the Sex Pistols. Billy Joel was scheduled to play but contracted laryngitis. (The fact that only about 30 people were in the audience probably wasn’t a factor in his sudden medical condition.) His opening act, an up-and-comer named Jimmy Buffett, played the entire evening to a tremendous response. Waylon Jennings reportedly pulled a gun on a band member there, and Phil Ochs wrote “Impeach Nixon and Agnew” on the wall. In 1996 Vince Gill and Reba McEntire opened the Country Star American Music Grill where Restoration Hardware is now, and musicians such as Tracy Lawrence, Neal McCoy, Charley Pride, Johnny Paycheck, Kenny Chesney, Trace Adkins and Trisha Yearwood attended the opening. “Vince and Reba only showed up for the opening night,” Parver says. “They didn’t know what they wanted it to be, and the food wasn’t that great.”

The Limelight was a popular Buckhead disco. The Bert Show’s Bert Weiss was the first radio DJ to interview Justin Bieber. Photo: Courtesy of The Bert Show

THE BUCKHEAD MUSIC SCENE IS FULL OF STARS, CRAZINESS AND MEMORIES Buckhead wasn’t just home to the wild. There was a piano bar at Zuzu’s on East Paces Ferry Road, and across the street, Otto’s featured live music downstairs. The Paul Mitchell Trio and later the John Robertson Trio with featured vocalist Rosemary Rainey attracted jazz lovers to Dante’s, which was possibly the country’s only six-night-a-week jazz club. What is now the Buckhead Theatre started out as a movie house in 1930, but in 1990 Alex Cooley and Peter Conlon turned it into the CocaCola Roxy Theatre. Aretha Franklin opened the place, and Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Lenny Kravitz, Bon Jovi, Leonard Cohen, Bryan Ferry, the Ramones, Elton John, Natalie Cole, David Byrne, Lyle Lovett, Indigo Girls and Mötley Crüe were among those who performed there. Tara Murphy, president of 360 Media, worked for Conlon as an intern. She recalls the time rising star Celine Dion needed some clothes. “I was also working at a dress shop, so I went and brought some slacks and things for her,” says Murphy. “She had a couple of hits and sold out the Roxy for two nights, which was a big deal.” Dion liked Murphy’s picks and asked her to join the tour as a stylist. “Can you imagine how different my life would have been if I went on the

road with her?” says Murphy, who also had the job of taking Jon Bon Jovi to the movies at Lenox. When the real estate development firm Taylor & Mathis wanted publicity for the groundbreaking of Buckhead Plaza, it hired Parver, who brought the entire Atlanta Symphony to play for the event. “We had bulldozers with ice and shrimp in the shovel. Wild!” says Parver. Atlanta, and particularly Buckhead, has always played an important part in the national music scene. The first country hit was in 1923 when Fiddlin’ John Carson recorded an album at a Nassau Street pop-up studio downtown. WSB Radio was the first station to play country music in 1922, and now the area is the hip hop epicenter with stars including Outkast, T.I., Ludacris, Waka Flocka Flame, CeLo Green, Lil Jon, Jermaine Dupri, Migos, Usher, Monica, Ciara and Janelle Monáe maintaining local ties. Hundreds of singers have been developed by vocal and development coach Jan Smith, including Usher and his protégé, Justin Bieber, whose first radio interview was on Q100. Buckhead has long been Atlanta’s epicenter for talent, creativity, style and a bit of wildness, and it still is today. n



Mary Welch


Brooks Sullivan


SAGE HAMMOND Mystic Wind is an Atlanta violinist who has performed all over the country, including at the House of GRACE ASBURY Blues in Chicago, the Fillmore auditorium to build his fan base and control in Philadelphia and his creative direction. Born Alexanthe Tabernacle in Atlanta. Although der Lloyd, he wrote and did vocal classically trained, Mystic Wind’s production for artists such as Musiq sound weaves contemporary, clasSoulchild, Austin Mahone and Tsical instrumental, folk, rock, Celtic Pain. He received a Grammy nomiand electronic music. That’s a lot of nation as a songwriter on Soulchild’s sound melding but it works; Sperry album, Feel the Real. His first album, calls it a “visionary new sound.” From a Seed, was released last year. Among the singles are “Summoning We also have our eyes on Nolan Spirit” and “Return to Your Rituals,” Bennett, whose musical resume which are available on iTunes, Apple belies his 21 years, and his soonMusic, Spotify, Amazon and Google to-be-released album, Rainbow Play, among others. Dream Interpretation, is highly anAtlanta born and raised, Culver is ticipated. His mom is Cindy Wilson undeniably multi-talented, says Sperof the iconic B-52’s, and the pair ry. The queen of electronic dance performed a duet in a living room music, Culver is a singer, songwriter, video during COVID. The singer/ producer and DJ. Now based in LA songwriter/musician started his first and New York City, she has racked band, Already Taken, when he was 9 up more than one million cumulawith his Dunwoody school chums. tive SoundCloud plays and has more Since then he has played in local than 30,000 followers on her Faceclubs with several bands, including book and Instagram pages. Array, which was named the Best Friends told Sperry about A-Lex, Youth Act, Country/Rock at the 2016 a Grammy nominated singer and Georgia Music Awards. n songwriter who used social media

June 2021 | Simply Buckhead 


Mil Cannon of Imagini

hen Justin Bieber walked into Jan Smith Studios in 2008 for basic vocal and artist development, he was a “fun kid with a natural talent, but he had never been in a studio,” says Smith. Usher, who worked with Smith and dubbed her “Mama Jan,” brought Bieber in after seeing him on YouTube. Smith lined Bieber up against a door frame and measured him. Every time he came back, out came the pencil, and she marked his growth. “He was just a little guy about to go through puberty,” she says. “It was important for him to be taller, and obviously he’s grown. When young guys would come in for development, they would go to the door frame and measure themselves.” They were literally, and figuratively, measuring themselves against Bieber in Smith’s Brookhaven studio. Smith works with about 200 artists at any given time. Some are trying to break into the business; others are trying to get to the next level and stay there. The city is “pregnant with talent,” she says. There are “artists here who are fabulous. It’s an exciting time in the music and film industry. The spotlight is on Atlanta, but it’s throughout Georgia NOLAN BENNETT and the South.” Smith is working with two artists she believes Another Smith protégé is Atlantan have the talent and desire to make it. Grace Asbury, a developing country Sage Hammond relocated with her artist and writer who has worked with family from Nebraska when she was Smith for three years. Her singles 15 so she could work with Smith. have done quite well, she says. “Both So far, they have produced several artists are now 21 years old, residing videos and songs, and are about in Atlanta and looking forward to takto release her debut album. She is ing the music industry by storm!” poised for major label involvement, Marcy L. Sperry, who founded the says Smith. “I heard her voice and boutique intellectual property and believe she has a unique thumbprint. entertainment law firm Vivid IP, has There is a difference between great her eye on three local talents: Mystic singers and really great artists who Wind, Leah Culver and A-Lex. are also great singers.”

Fear No Media



School of Rock teaches through a combination of individual lessons and group performances.


Photo of Joe Alterman: Stephen Payne Photography


randon Voss’ first taste of music education hit a sour note. Voss, then 9, eagerly accepted his organist dad’s offer to start piano lessons in Memphis, Tennessee, because music looked fun. But the elder Voss proved to lack the patience to teach his son, who then studied with more than 40 piano teachers over two years. That bewildering start proved fruitful for Voss, now a professional saxophonist who teaches music at the Fusion Academy Buckhead. “With me listening to so many different sounds, I heard so many different ways emotions can be expressed, so it made me curious.” Like other professional musicians who teach, Voss also learned that music education should start by the end of elementary school, that lessons should emphasize fun and a love of music, and that music education provides lifelong, lifechanging benefits.


June 2021 | Simply Buckhead


Michael Jacobs

From left to right: Huu Mai, Joe Alterman and Robert Henry had very different experiences with piano lessons as children.

Joe Alterman, a Sandy Springs native who started piano lessons at 5 and kept going the next six years only because his parents wouldn’t let him quit, says that even if he weren’t a professional jazz pianist and the executive director of Jewish cultural organization Neranenah, his ability to play music would pay off as a way to unwind each night. “Music is not only a universal language, but for a lot of people, music is a respite,” says Paul Nance, a drummer and the general manager of Buckhead’s School of Rock

Atlanta. “Music is a release. Music is a safe space.” Huu Mai, the accompanist for the Atlanta Boy Choir and a teacher of piano, voice, composition, violin and conducting, says, “My primary goal, along with helping them to become the best musicians they can, is about helping them become the best human beings they can.” Mai says music education teaches discipline, kindness and patience. “Everything we do is a composite of something that they can apply to some other part of their lives.”

Robert Henry, the choir’s interim director, adds leadership, responsibility and camaraderie to the benefits and says music helps overall grades as an extracurricular activity that can have a profound influence. Voss says that learning music develops relationships, connections, character, identity, creativity, critical thinking, motor skills and more. He also slips history and other subjects into his personalized lessons integrating music production, recording and songwriting with performance at Fusion Academy, a private school for sixth- to 12th-graders. “Learning shouldn’t be painful,” Voss says. “It shouldn’t be a drag.” Elexa Bancroft, who opened Atlanta Music Education for in-home teaching in 2011, agrees that fun is key, so her instructors bring G-rated versions of radio hits and musicals such as Hamilton to their students, who range from age 3 to 15. Bancroft got her start as a toddler



Here’s what you can expect to pay for your child to study music: LESSONS: Weekly half-hour lessons can be $140 per month online, as at Sandy Springs Music (sandyspringsmusic.com), and $190 (Atlanta Music Education) to $200 (School of Rock Atlanta) in person.

Above: The Atlanta Boy Choir is known for its pursuit of perfection but no longer uses the severe training methods of the past.

INSTRUMENTS: Monthly rentals range from $32.09 to $69.54 at Sandy Springs Music and $22 to $60 at Sandy Springs’ New School of Music (newschoolofmusic.com), which offers trial rates and discounts, the deepest of which are for its students. Buying a new instrument can cost as little as $30 for a ukulele at Amazon or more than $30,000 for a grand piano at Cooper Piano (cooperpiano.com) in Brookhaven. MUSIC BOOKS: They range from less than $6 to more than $20. EXTRAS: Budget for accessories such as straps, sticks, stands and picks, depending on the instrument. You also might pay fees for recitals, competitions and other events.

Above: Margaret Jane Reetz performs during an open-mic session at an Atlanta Music Education summer camp. The school is skipping its usual summer camp this year because of COVID-19. Right: Fusion Academy music instructor Brandon Voss says it’s important for students not to set ceilings for themselves in terms of genre, instrument or area of involvement with music.

screaming The Little Mermaid songs at the top of her lungs, then began voice lessons as an elementary school student who could match the high notes of her idol and peer, Charlotte Church. “What are some fun things to make that old dead guy more relatable?” says Bancroft, an opera singer who served as the Capitol City Opera’s education director before the pandemic and wishes her childhood piano teacher had been less by-the-book. “What’s a funny story about Mr. Mozart? Did you know that Mr. Beethoven loved macaroni and cheese?” Henry, who started playing piano at 7, relates Gustav Holst’s The Planets to John Williams’ Star Wars compositions to help his choir members connect with the music. Adding a dash of pop culture to the classics broke the boredom of piano lessons for Alterman from age 5 to 11. He still remembers his ex-

citement upon learning the opening notes to the “Happy Days” theme. He might have fallen in love with music sooner if he hadn’t suffered slaps on the wrist whenever he strayed from classical instruction. “Technique is necessary, but it’s only a means to an end, and music is the end,” he says. He urges parents who love music to play it for their children as much as possible and watch how they react. If toddlers bang on the table, for example, they might be budding musicians. Listen for whether that banging has a pattern and doesn’t sound like shoes in a dryer, Nance says. Also, observe whether a child seems like a natural entertainer and likes to be the center of attention. “I do think that all students have something musical in them,” says Bancroft, whose studio offers a free “fit session” to get to know the child, the parents, their interests and their goals.

Similarly, School of Rock offers a free 30-minute trial lesson to assess whether a child is ready. Some 5-year-olds are; sometimes Nance, who first took drum lessons at school when he was 9, tells them to come back in a few years. Many public schools have cut back on music programs, so Alterman says it’s “just important to have young people turned on to anything musical.” Henry, who has worked with the Boy Choir since 1997, acknowledges that its pursuit of perfection led to a militaristic reputation, but now it operates “with a little more love and care.” He has seen the benefits of a positive rehearsal atmosphere with the nearly 50 6- to 13-year-olds in the choir, including his son. “Once you go negative,” Henry says, “it’s really hard to go back, and you kind of lose that spark and connection with that young child.” That child could walk away from music because “for most of our students, we are the only music educator they may ever have,” says Mai, who found his own piano lessons such an abusive experience when he started at 7 that he’s not sure why he kept going. Parents, like teachers, need to be patient, Voss says. “Sometimes when we push, we forget to applaud the good things. We always look for criticism. That usually will push them away.” n

WHEN TO START There’s no universal “right” age to start music lessons, School of Rock Atlanta’s Paul Nance says, though he thinks third or fourth grade is right for many. He notes the physical limits: A child has to be able to touch the pedals and the highest parts of a drum kit, hit the right piano keys to play chords or hold a guitar or bass properly while reaching up the neck. All of Elexa Bancroft’s instructors at Atlanta Music Education train on the ukulele to address the physical challenges for young students. The instrument is smaller and cheaper than a guitar and has only four strings, which are easier on fingers because they’re nylon. Even if they struggle with the physical aspects, says Brandon Voss of Fusion Academy, youngsters can progress mentally by thinking about what to do and learning to listen. “As long as they express some kind of interest in it, that’s when you want to strike.” The Atlanta Boy Choir’s Robert Henry won’t accept students younger than 5, but he says parents can give younger children a start by clapping along with the radio or making instruments available around the house. The danger in waiting as late as high school, Nance says, is that teens will quit in frustration or embarrassment at not being as good as peers who have played for years. Voss teaches humility to all his students, telling them that when they make mistakes, “I’m going to laugh hard. But you’re going to laugh, too, because I’m not laughing at you or the fact that you messed up. I’m laughing because I want you to know it’s OK to mess up. We can have fun messing up.”

Atlanta Boy Choir All Saints’ Episcopal Church 634 W. Peachtree St. N.W. Atlanta 30308 404.378.0064 atlantaboychoir.org Atlanta Music Education 404.791.1111 atlantamusiceducation. wordpress.com Fusion Academy Buckhead 3414 Peachtree Road N.E. Suite 200 Atlanta 30326 762.224.0422 fusionacademy.com/ campuses/buckhead Joe Alterman Music joealtermanmusic.com School of Rock Atlanta 2989 N. Fulton Drive N.E. Suite D Atlanta 30305 404.218.3105 locations.schoolofrock.com/atlanta

June 2021 | Simply Buckhead 






Mary Welch


ike most sons, local rapper Gunna wanted to please his mom for her birthday, so he bought her a purse. Actually, he bought her dozens of handbags worth more than $1,000 each. A little over the top one might say, but au contraire! The extraordinary part was that he filled a new MercedesBenz SL550 convertible with the bags and had the car delivered to his mother. And that’s how you roll if you’re a rapper in Buckhead. “We’ve done some crazy things for our celebrities,” says Toni B. Graham, sales manager at Mercedes-Benz of Buckhead, the brand’s largest dealership in the state. “We typically have musicians, mostly rappers and producers, and they have to always have the latest sports car, whatever it is. They want the most expensive car, and they want it by 5 o’clock. And they pay in cash.” Buckhead and its surroundings are a celebrity center where musicians, actors and producers live, work, dine, shop, hold parties and generally live the good life. Gunna wasn’t the only rapper making a statement with a Mercedes-Benz. Another filled a convertible with cash and sent it to mom. “We’ve closed the dealership down so they can pick their cars up alone. We’ve put their music videos on our screens and played them when they came in and served $1,000 bottles of Champagne,” Graham says. The car of the moment is the 2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600, with a starting price of $160,500. This luxury vehicle has a turbocharged V8 engine and comes with heated and cooled cup holders, panoramic sunroof and massaging seats. If that’s not good enough, optional features include a wine fridge, branded champagne flutes and folding rear tables. An expensive car with spinning wheels is “so 1998,” Graham says. What is in vogue are big wheels,


June 2021 | Simply Buckhead

especially 25-inch ones. Musicians want “the best sound system,” she says. “They’ll go in the car, close the doors and windows, and play it as loud as it can get to see how good the acoustics are.” Many celebrities tend to drive their cars for six to eight months before turning them in for the latest models. With every new recording contract, they celebrate with a new car, she says. Musicians can also be found getting their wheels at Bentley Atlanta or Motorcars of Atlanta in Sandy Springs for a Rolls-Royce, Lamborghini, McLaren, Aston Martin, Lotus or Koenigsegg. Of course, these jaw-dropping vehicles will always be front and center in the valet pool as their owners dine at the area’s finest restaurants. Umi is a go-to Atlanta sushi spot for celebrities, including Elton John and Joe Jonas. Jennifer Lawrence is a fan of its Miyazaki beef steak and dry martini. The Painted Pin is perfect for celebrities such as Ludacris, Jamie Foxx, Paul Giamatti and the cast of Pitch Perfect, who like to nibble while bowling and playing vintage games. André 3000 of Outkast has been spotted at Del Frisco’s Grille; Robert DeNiro loved Le Bilboquet, always sitting at table 21. Selena Gomez visited St. Cecilia while Sam Smith brought friends to True Food Kitchen. While some celebrities rent private homes, many still stay at the top hotels, including the St. Regis Atlanta, Waldorf-Astoria Umi is a go-to Atlanta sushi spot for celebrities, including Elton John and Joe Jonas.

All photos: Sara Hanna


Ludacris (above) has been known to frequent The Painted Pin, while Ed Roland (right) favors restaurants in his hometown of Sandy Springs.

Buckhead Atlanta and InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta. Usher is such a fan of the St. Regis that his nonprofit organization, Usher’s New Look, often holds its annual luncheon, United to Ignite, there. Ludacris has served as the emcee, and country singer Blake Shelton showed up at the organization’s 15th anniversary to surprise his fellow “Voice” coach. While many celebrities love the Buckhead nightlife, others, like Ed Roland, lead singer and songwriter for the Collective Soul, are happy to stay close to home. “I’m a family guy and I sacrifice a lot being on the road. This is my reward, being at home in Sandy Springs.” he says. Among his favorite

local joints are Hearth for pizza, Kaiser’s Chophouse, Bones and Chops for steak and Brooklyn Cafe for date night with his wife. Elsewhere around town, you might find celebrities such as Akon, Toni Braxton and Snoop Dogg going to celebrity stylist Fiskani Kaira. For that perfect smile, celebrities such as Zac Brown, Big Boi, T.I., Janelle Monáe, Nicki Minaj and CeeLo Green have visited the Atlanta Center for Cosmetic Dentistry. Behind all the flash are musicians, like Gunna, who get pleasure out of doing something kind for others, says Graham. “Most are the nicest, most polite people who like making music and making money, and then enjoy making their families happy.” n







Music festivals are returning to Atlanta and the Southeast. Here are some options worth checking out through September:


Gulf Coast Jam (country music), Panama City Beach, Florida, June 4-6, gulfcoastjam.com.

Carolina Country Music Fest,



Michael Jacobs


ou expect excellent sound at any live music venue, but what sets the best places apart, says Joe Alterman, is “just an indescribable vibe that gives me a good feeling.” Alterman, a jazz pianist from Sandy Springs and the executive director of the Jewish cultural organization Neranenah, says that feeling could come in an intimate room or a concert hall. “If all of them had the same thing, it wouldn’t make each one so special.” Hearing live music anywhere feels special after the pandemic, says Huu Mai, the accompanist and assistant to the interim director of the Atlanta Boy Choir. “I would love to be able to go to the opera. I’d love to go to the symphony. I’d love to go check out the next Eagles concert. Anything, just anything.” We couldn’t agree more. Here are some of the best nearby places to enjoy live music again soon: CITY SPRINGS: This venue at the heart of Sandy Springs’ new city center presents two outdoor concert series, City

Green Live and Concerts by the Springs, through the summer, and the 1,096-seat Byers Theatre offers outstanding acoustics inside. citysprings.com CADENCE BANK AMPHITHEATRE AT CHASTAIN PARK: This is the place in northern Buckhead to hear performers such as Alicia Keys, John Legend and Wilco while enjoying a picnic under the stars. livenation.com CONANT PERFORMING ARTS CENTER: The concert hall on the campus of Oglethorpe University in Brookhaven delivers good enough sound to serve as the home of the Capitol City Opera Company, which also performs in a more relaxed setting in Brookhaven at Petite Violette for its monthly Dinner and a Diva series (ccityopera.org/dinnerand-a-diva). connect.oglethorpe.edu/ organization/conant

TERMINAL WEST: This Westside venue is the place to rock out with acts that someday could fill State Farm Arena. terminalwestatl.com ECLIPSE DI LUNA: Live Latin music complements the Spanish menu

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, June 10-13, carolinacountrymusicfest.com.

Maypop Music & Arts Festival (multigenre), Nashville, Tennessee, June 25-27, maypopfest.live.

Greenwood Blues Cruise

on Buckhead’s Miami Circle and in Dunwoody. eclipsediluna.com

Greenwood, South Carolina, July 8-10, uptowngreenwood.com

Raccoon Creek Bluegrass Festival, Raccoon Creek Music

BUCKHEAD THEATRE: Regardless of the music, it’s always a pleasure to spend time at this 90-year-old belle of the Buckhead Triangle.

Park, Dallas, July 9-10, raccooncreekmusic.com.

Neranenah (Jewish music and comedy), Chattahoochee Nature Center, Roswell, July 30-Aug. 1, neranenaharts.org.


Bragg Jam (multigenre),

BUCKHEAD SALOON, FIVE PACES INN, RED DOOR TAVERN AND KRAMER’S BUCKHEAD: Depending on your mood, the crowd and the performers, hopping around these bars provides a casual, entertaining alternative to the nearby Buckhead Theatre.

Macon, July 31, braggjam.org.

Bonnaroo Music Festival (multigenre), Manchester, Tennessee, Sept. 2-5, bonnaroo.com.

Hopscotch Festival (multigenre), Raleigh, North Carolina, Sept. 9-11, hopscotchmusicfest.com.

Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, Bristol, Tennessee/

buckheadsaloonatlanta.com, facebook.com/thefivepacesinn, reddooratl.com, kramersbuckhead.com

Virginia, Sept. 10-12, bristolrhythm2021.com.

MerleFest (traditional and more),

NORTHSIDE TAVERN: Blues is the specialty at this self-described dive bar on the Westside. northsidetavern.com

Wilkesboro, North Carolina, Sept. 16-19, merlefest.org.

ROUND TRIP BREWING CO. AND STEADY HAND BEER CO.: Tap these options in the bubbling Westside Brewery District to enjoy craft beers with live tunes inside or out. roundtripbrewing.com,

Imagine Festival (electronic), Bouckaert Farm, Chattahoochee Hills, Sept. 17-19, imaginefestival.com.


Music Midtown (multigenre), Piedmont Park, Midtown Atlanta, Sept. 18-19, musicmidtown.com.

Boom Days (multigenre), Fort Payne, Alabama, Sept. 17-18, boomdays.com.

Ignite Atlanta (Christian), Sugar Hill Church, Sugar Hill, Sept. 18, atlantafest.com.




William Rudolph

Furnace Fest (rock), Birmingham, Alabama, Sept. 24-26, furnacefest.us. Blind Willie McTell Music Festival (blues and more), Thomson, Sept. 25, blindwillie.com.

Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival (multigenre), Franklin, Tennessee, Sept. 25-26, pilgrimagefestival.com.

June 2021 | Simply Buckhead 




John C. Metz is executive chef of The Woodall, recently opened on the Westside restaurant.


Like Father, Like Son P70

Photo: Joann Vitelli

“I’m always thinking about how we can make [the restaurants] better.” —John C. Metz June 2021 | Simply Buckhead 




Tempting tacos of all varieties are the epitome of fresh, hot and south-of-theborder satisfying.

Westside’s Bone Garden Cantina: the ultimate soul food STORY:

Rebecca Cha   PHOTOS: Joann Vitelli

D The Three Amigos appetizer brings a lot (of yum) to the table, especially the chile-spiked molten queso.


iners walking up the short flight of steps into the Westside’s Lumberyard Lofts will find it hard to miss the intoxicating aromas of steaming masa, simmering mole and fried yuca that waft through the air and draw them toward the psychedelic dream that is Bone Garden Cantina. Inside this foodie haven, it’s wall-to-wall Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) paraphernalia. Life-size calacas (skeletons) on motorbikes and guitar-strumming mariachi smile from ear to ear. A skull the size of a Mini Cooper

June 2021 | Simply Buckhead

overlooks the bar, almost obscuring the neon “Live Nudes” sign. It’s easy to see why crowds line up around the patio most nights. But as weird and wonderful as the decor is, the food is undoubtedly the main attraction. The menu has something for everyone, from the unapologetically authentic—think red goat soup or seasoned lengua (tongue) tucked into a taco—to the adored chimichangas, burritos, et al. And with the insanely reasonable price point (no dish is more than $12.75), the only thing you need to bring is a healthy appetite. One caveat: It’s a good idea to review Bone Garden’s “policies” before visiting. “If you believe that the customer is always right, this may not be the place for you,” reads one section. Once the decor shock wears off, consider a refreshing adult beverage made from one of dozens of Bone Garden’s thoughtfully curated tequilas and mezcals. My guest and I luxuriated in our ultra-smooth Suerte "El Doble" and "Viva La Vida Smoky" margaritas, the latter made with petrol-scented mezcal. They were perfect accompaniments for The Three Amigos appetizer, a colorful trio of silky guacamole; tangy, cherry-red pico di gallo salsa; and the star of the show, hot queso. The molten gold, flecked with pickled jalapeño, is the reason you’ll over-indulge on chip noshing. Not to be outdone are the Mexican

pork ribs, a bold dish if there ever was one. Marinated in guajillo chiles then slow-cooked in the oven, the journey-to-the-center-of-theEarth depth of flavors will have you coming back again and again. The same could be said for the pozole verde. Bone Garden’s kitchen has mastered the art of nuanced chile heat, and this thick, pork-rich soup is a great example. Jalapeño is omnipresent but startling in its humility. It tickles the taste buds, the roof of the mouth, the lips, but always just barely, transforming the whole bowl of goodies—avocado, queso fresco, pork and sliced radish—into hominy heaven. But it’s not all harmless flirtation in the heat department. At a subsequent meal, there were moments of such ferocious chile fire that my body went into distress mode. They are not fooling around with the habanero and chile de arbol salsas. Even the grilled jalapeño slices in the adobo steak quesadilla threw us into a serious frenzy. Whatever hooch you’re drinking, order a horchata, too, or even a cold glass of milk. Seriously. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. Familiarity seekers will likely lean toward the larger plates of enchiladas, quesadillas and burritos, all fine renditions of the classics and all served with black beans and seasoned rice. We savored the garlic-sautéed shrimp enchiladas, but our favorite in the

Below: Seasoned chicken, tortilla strips, black beans and ultra-fresh greens make the Bone Garden salad a menu favorite.

Right: Sumptuous and savory, this shrimp enchilada plate is just one of the many classics on offer.

Left: Adobo steak quesadilla is the ultimate indulgence with its sizzling flank steak, fireroasted chiles and melty queso in a crisped flour tortilla.

Bone Garden's weird and wonderful dining room is filled with cool Día de Muertos paraphernalia, but the food is undoubtedly the main attraction.

Below: Artisanal mezcal and tequila-based drinks are cocktail-hour comforts, perfect companions for these soulful eats.

Left: Hot pozole verde is hominy heaven, packed with fresh queso, shredded pork, fresh avocado and sliced radish.

“big plates” department was the aforementioned adobo steak quesadilla of juicy grilled flank steak made with guajillo-based adobo, cozied into a huge flour tortilla along with fire-roasted jalapeños and melted cheese. It’s a meal large enough for half the table. Of course, Bone Garden offers salads and lighter fare, too, guaranteed to be as fresh as any of the carnivorous options. The Yucatan and the betabel salads both looked tempting zipping by our table, but we ordered the simpler Bone Garden salad, reminiscent of a traditional taco salad (black beans, corn, tomato, onions, tortilla strips), totally satisfying and served with house-made cilantro-lime vinaigrette. Still hungry? Unless you’re on a date, try some elote, corn-on-the-cob slathered in something that resembles schmaltz but is actually mayo, a sprinkle of queso fresco and a dusting of chile powder. Small plates abound, good for lunch-onthe-go or for those times the staff needs to

enforce a 60-minute max at your table (yes, it gets that busy.) The “holy chorizo” empanada, a crunchy, crisp-fried turnover filled with mild spiced pork and served with a guajillo chile-peanut sauce, is definitely worth the calories, and you can’t go wrong with the soft tacos. Tilapia, nopalitos (cactus), chicharron, steak—each are just a few fast and furious bites of deeply satisfying street fare. The tamales are my favorite of all antojitos (Mexican street food). I’ve tried to make them at home, but none reach Bone Garden status. Red-chile seasoned pork, chicken or goat is packed into husk-scented masa, rolled in a banana leaf and steamed. Would it be accurate to say Bone Garden Cantina is my new favorite eatery? Quite possibly. Even with the ’round-the-clock clamoring for a table and the nonstop bar buzz, there’s a righteous calm at Bone Garden that seems more apropos of a small-town fonda than a big city cantina. Even when things verge on chaos most weekend nights, the food arrives hot, drinks arrive cold, and the staffers remain cheerful and deferential as if intrinsically aware that we’re all in this together, in the presence of spirits of ages past, enjoying comida that makes us all smile. n

BONE GARDEN CANTINA 1425 Ellsworth Industrial Blvd. N.W., Atlanta 30318 404.418.9072 bonegardencantina.com Prices: appetizers: $2.50-$9.50, soups and salads: $4.50$9.00, tamales, tacos and empanadas: $3.50-$5.00, mains: $7.50-$12.75. Suggested: The Three Amigos appetizer, Mexican pork ribs, holy chorizo empanada, el pastor taco, Azteca tamale, pozole soup, shrimp enchilada, adobo steak quesadilla, elote, Bone Garden salad. Bottom line: This tucked-away Midtown cantina is a perennial favorite, a night-out novelty with unerring commitment to authentic Mexican comfort food.

June 2021 | Simply Buckhead 



Brookhaven Wines' Bethany Taylor (left) recommends Ventisei Rosso (above), a juicy red bursting with berry flavors and that is certified organic and biodynamic.

Try a new grape this summer. Turbiana adds fresh floral and bright citrus notes to Ca’ Maiol ‘Maiolo Lugana.

DETAILS Brookhaven Wines 1418 Dresden Drive N.E. Atlanta 30319 404.869.5650 brookhavenwines.com Perrine’s Wine Shop 1168 Howell Mill Road N.W. Atlanta 30318 404.254.5077 perrineswine.com


Masi Bonacosta Valpocella Classico is lovely chillable red made from grapes grown in the area surrounding Verona.


Angela Hansberger


hen summer arrives, those hearty, rich wines don’t always appeal. What you need is a sip suitable for the porch, a lighter wine that can be served cool or even cold. The porch or backyard calls for a red or white that is refreshing, naturally lighter in body and low in tannins to give you relief from the heat. Several exciting, lesser-known grapes and regions pair well with clinking glasses veranda style. For summertime, Bethany Taylor, certified sommelier and manager of Brookhaven Wines, likes to stock up on smooth, juicy reds that can be chilled. “I was beyond thrilled to recently discover that a favorite Italian female winemaker makes such a wine,” she says. The 2017 Ventisei Rosso ($17.99), a Tuscan blend fermented in stainless steel tanks, undergoes particle carbonic maceration (a method that results in low tannins and gulpable juice). “This


June 2021 | Simply Buckhead

wine bursts with flavors of tart raspberry jam and cherry Jolly Rancher, balanced by a hint of spice and a fresh mineral finish,” Taylor says. “A good porch wine can be tricky to find,” says Ashley Hall, district manager for Winebow distributor of fine wines). “It can’t be at all distracting, so no flashy or assertive flavors or textures. But that doesn’t mean I want to drink something drab like the worst watery Pinot Grigios.” In short, “easy” doesn’t always mean “delicious.” Her pick this summer is a 2018 Massaya Blanc ($18.99) from Lebanon. It’s a perfectly balanced blend of five very different grapes—“not easy to pull-off,” says Hall. The vintners have assembled a wine that is both crisp and flavorful, aromatic and polite. Her favorite part is the texture. “It’s seamless. It manages to be mildly creamy but finishes clean and brisk,” she says. Notes of peach, honey and lemon give off strong porch vibes. Find it at Perrine’s Wine Shop. For Eric Crane, advanced sommelier and Empire Distributor’s training

director, porch wine is easy to find and put a chill on. “I really love J. Lohr Valdigúe ($9) for summer,” he says. “You can give this easy drinking red a slight chill, and it works so well for day or night.” Valdigúe is a dark purple red wine grape from Southern France with floral aromatics. It’s vibrant and expressive with the fruit flavors of raspberry and cranberry. "Pretty cool," Crane says, for a large winery to "focus on such an obscure grape for as long as they have.” The wine is widely available, including at the Buckhead location of Tower. “The benefit of chilling red wine on hot days, outside of the obvious, is to hide the warmth from the alcohol in wines,” says wine importer JP Bourgeois. “Chilling reds ‘hides’ tannins and pushes the fruit forward, so for wines with lower acid and tannins, chilling makes them shine even more,” he says. This broadens pairing possibilities of red wine with cold summer dishes. With ruby color that matches the aromas of ripe and sweet fruits, Gamay is a go-to for Bourgeois. Domaine

Green’s Liquor Store 2614 Buford Hwy. N.E. Atlanta 30324 404.321.6232 greensbeverages.com Tower Beer, Wine & Spirits 2161 Piedmont Road N.E. Atlanta 30324 404.881.0902 towerwinespirits.com

Marion Pral Beaujolais Cuvée Terroir ($19) is 100% Gamay with a nose of roses, ripe cherry and strawberry. Domaine Beauséjour Gamay Noir Cuvée Vincent Touraine ($18) is 85% Gamay Noir and 15% Malbec, and it chills nicely in hot weather. It’s the perfect pairing for a charcuterie and cheese board. Both are available at Perrine’s. “My go-to chillable red would have to be Masi Bonacosta Valpolicella Classico ($15),” says Advanced Sommelier Jacob Gragg. “The wine is a blend of Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara from the area surrounding Verona, the city of Romeo and Juliet.” The ripe, fresh character of the fruit and especially low tannins make it a great choice for drinking with a slight chill while enjoying the outdoors. A great example of a grape one may not have had that fits the summer weather in Atlanta perfectly is Turbiana, from Italy’s Lombardy region. “My favorite example is Cà Maiol’s Maiolo ($15) with beautiful, fresh floral characteristics balanced with bright citrus and just the right balance of acidity,” Gragg says. n

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June 2021 | Simply Buckhead 



Culinary News & Notes 


Claire Ruhlin



ed by sushi chef J. Trent Harris, Mujō began as an omakase popup inside Cooks & Soldiers and will soon be a brick-and-mortar restaurant, expected to open on the Upper Westside in the fall. We spoke with Castellucci Hospitality Group CEO Fred Castellucci about the new restaurant. What makes Mujō unique?

Mujō is meant to replicate a traditional omakase experience where the sushi chef is preparing each bite to order. What can you tell us about the Mujō brick-and-mortar?


It will feature a 15-seat sushi bar, a six-seat bar and an eight-person private dining room. At the sushi bar and in the private dining room, guests will be served a traditional omakase experience, featuring primarily nigiri made and served one piece at a time. Hot and cold small plates will be served intermittently throughout the meal with dessert to finish.


The Hummus & Pita Co. shares the recipe for their deliciously healthy shake

What else can guests expect?

The food menu will also include additional upscale offerings to augment the single tasting menu. Beverage pairings will also be available. The drink menu will feature a large selection of sake and wine. We will still offer a select menu for takeout, but the omakase experience will be dine-in only. Our takeout menu will focus on donburi [rice bowl dishes] and rolls. The space is designed by Elizabeth Ingram Studio. Can you give us



June 2021 | Simply Buckhead

some insight into what that will look and function like?

Chef J. Trent Harris helms the kitchen at Mujō.

The space will be luxurious but understated with dark wood tones, gold accents and natural materials. This restaurant will be incredibly intimate (1,500-square feet), one of the smallest in Atlanta [that we know of]. n

Add all ingredients into blender, mix and enjoy. Makes 20 oz.

Mujō 691 14th St., Suite C Atlanta 30318 404.996.2623 mujoatl.com

Slated to open this summer in Buckhead, the dual concept from Red Phone Booth and Amalfi Pizza brings a 6,500-squarefoot speakeasy, a private event space called Mafia Kitchen and a 5,500-square-foot Neapolitan eatery offering fresh pasta, specialty pizzas and a full bar with Italian wines. With an eye toward keeping patrons safe, the spaces feature soaring ceilings, 10 direct air purifiers, three Aaon Direct Outdoor Air Systems that clean the air approximately every two minutes and the airborne particulate-

½ cup cooked chickpeas (canned is fine) ¼ cup pure tahini 1 large frozen banana (about 1 1/2 cups) 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk 2 large Medjool dates (remove pit and chop into paste) or 1 tbsp date syrup Pinch of cinnamon Drop of pure vanilla

Hummus & Pita Co. 4511 Olde Perimeter Way Dunwoody 30346 678.982.9436 hummusandpitas.com

eliminating Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization technology. redphonebooth.com; amalfipizzaatl.com

Chef Suzanne Vizethann of Buckhead’s Buttermilk Kitchen pushes the biscuit envelope at her pop-up, Milkdrop, where she experiments with various recipes of “drop” biscuits. Inspired by the New York bagel shop concept, Milkdrop is a chef-driven, made-to-order experience offering handcrafted biscuits from dessert-style to breakfast sandwiches, as well as goods from

local Atlanta vendors such as Beautiful Briny Sea, Darn Coffee and more. milkdropbiscuits.com Chef Deborah VanTrece of West Midtown’s Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours brings a fresh spin to classic comfort food in her debut cookbook, The Twisted Soul Cookbook: Modern Soul Food with Global Flavor. From salads and side dishes to seafood and dessert to dressings and sauces, VanTrece keeps the soulful recipes fresh and fun. twistedsoulcookhouseandpours.com/house

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June 2021 | Simply Buckhead 



FUN FACT A NASCAR fan, Metz has been attending the Talladega race for at least 25 years.

programs. As my better half says, I’m usually in my car in between our restaurants. I like to spend my time working with culinary and management teams, talking about what drives us. Our focus is on guests; that’s my passion. I’ve been at The Woodall almost every day since it opened, supporting the team, getting to know the guests, seeing what they’re ordering, what the problems are and finding solutions for them. How does your “better half” fit into your busy schedule? We've been together a long time, and having managed restaurants like Canoe and Aria, Roberta [Nemo] understands my hours. She also (unofficially) helps with the wine program and assists with training— whatever is needed.

Like Father, Like Son Following in his father’s footsteps, John Metz expands his empire with the opening of The Woodall


ohn C. Metz grew up working in Pennsylvania restaurants owned and operated by his father, also John Metz. But he didn’t want to rely on nepotism alone, so he studied at the Culinary Institute of America, staged in Michelinstarred restaurants in Switzerland and cooked in New York’s finest kitchens, including Daniel. In 1996, he founded Sterling Culinary Management in Atlanta, operating corporate cafes around the city. That same year, he and Thomas DiGiorgio opened Hi Life Kitchen & Cocktails in Norcross. It instilled a fire in him that he couldn’t quench.


June 2021 | Simply Buckhead

He drew attention from around the city with the fresh sushi and seafood at Aqua Blue in 2001, and today, Metz is CEO, executive chef and cofounder of 20 Marlow’s Tavern locations in Florida and Georgia. “I love working. I work all the time,” he says. “I’m always thinking about how we can make [the restaurants] better.” In February, Metz launched an upscale, modern, globally inspired restaurant on the Westside called The Woodall. Serving seafood, steaks and sandwiches, The Woodall is a throwback to Metz’s Hi Life days with rich textures, plush seating and


Carly Cooper

PHOTO: Joann


a welcoming patio. The name pays homage to the location with Woodall Creek running alongside the development that houses the eatery. But Metz hasn’t forgotten where he came from. “My dad has been a great adviser and influence in my life. We talk every other day. In his career, he’s lived through it all,” he says. We spoke to him about his work, his hobbies and his father’s influence. What’s your day-to-day role in The Woodall, Marlow’s and Sterling Culinary Management? I run the overall company and drive quality in the culinary and beverage

How has your dad influenced your career? He’s a very driven individual and instilled a strong work ethic in me. I watched what he did with people management. He started from scratch and built a nice business. I wanted to be able to do that myself. I like being in our restaurants and learning from all the people we work with. To me, it’s not work. What do you do for fun? Going out to eat is my favorite thing to do. I like looking for the cool, local spots that I wouldn’t have heard about if I hadn’t asked someone about their favorite local joint, like unique, hole-inthe-wall pizza places in Pennsylvania with great pasta. I arrange trips to be part of what’s happening in the food scene wherever I go. My friends know I am probably going to order every appetizer on the menu, and we are going to share it all. We order drinks and taste them all, that way we get to experience as much as we can. I also like to waterski and snow ski. I have a ski boat on Lake Keowee in South Carolina and get up there as much as I can. n THE WOODALL 2260 Marietta Blvd. N.W. Atlanta 30318 404.343.4424 thewoodall.com



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June 2021 | Simply Buckhead 


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

Brock, Rebecca Cha and Angela Hansberger


Hanna, Joann Vitelli

THE ALDEN Chamblee's popularity as a residential and dining destination seems to be on the rise, and Chef Jared Hucks is here to make sure diners eat like royalty. Winning starters include a homemade bread plate with prosciutto butter and cheddar pimento cheese, silky sweet potato bisque and sashimi quality seared scallops. For mains, go with the cold smoked salmon, Moroccan-spiced shrimp and grits or the hickory smoked Brasstown coulotte steak. Desserts are deliciously unique. If you’ve got belly room to spare, be sure to witness the chef’s gastro-theatrics with the banana bread pudding service. Our favorite was the lunar chocolate, which the chef calls his “dessert moonscape.” Smaller dishes: $11-$21 Larger dishes: $23-$45 Desserts: $9-$15 Chef’s tasting menu: seven courses/$95 thealdenrestaurant.com

BABYLON CAFÉ When Iraqi native Saad Marwad and his wife, Kelly Rafia, opened Babylon Café in 2014, the city’s foodie community started to buzz about the couple’s fresh, flavorful repertoire of Middle Eastern classics, from falafel and hummus to kebabs and baklava. While the starters are quite good—try the fattoush salad, the lentil soup and the eggplant badenLemon tart with cantaloupe sorbet is a refreshing summer dessert at The Alden. The dish is finished with local honey, bee pollen and Chantilly cream.

jan—the earthy, long-simmered stews are unlike anything else in town. We like the herb-based qurma sabzi with super-tender lamb shank and the bamia (okra and tomatoes) with oxtail. Don’t leave without a sip of the anise-flavored aperitif called arak and a bite of kanafeh, a sweet made of shredded phyllo, housemade sweet cheese, rose- and orange-water syrup and pistachios. Appetizers and sides: $2-$7 Entrees: $12-$20 babyloncafeatl.com

BLUE RIDGE GRILL For more than 20 years, Blue Ridge Grill (BRG) has been a mecca for Buckhead power lunchers and chill evening diners alike. Whether for business or romance, BRG is a paragon of hospitality, and each guest is embraced like a VIP. Standard crowd-pleasers on the Euro-American menu include grilled Georgia trout, French-boned chicken with wild mushrooms and filet mignon with Vidalia onions. Small plates and sides of iron skillet mussels, Caesar salad with crisp Beeler bacon, custardlike corn soufflé and (off-menu item) fried pickles with buttermilk dipping sauce are absolute must-tries. If cost is an issue, call ahead, as menu prices are not advertised online. Lunch: $9-$42 Dinner: $13-$62 blueridgegrill.com

Enjoy gossamer slices of paper-thin prosciutto and ethereal, oil-bathed mozzarella at Forza Storico.

DAS BBQ In 2016, Stephen Franklin had a dream to make Georgia the most “inclusive, creative barbecue experience in the country,” and that’s just what he did at DAS BBQ. Whether it’s the rosy, smoke-ringed brisket, equally pink and juicy St. Louis-style ribs or the spicy, smoked chicken wings, every bony bite is a testament to Franklin’s focus on the art and science of smoked meats. Bring the whole family and don’t pass up house-made sides of decadent cream corn, mac ’n’ cheese and stickto-your-ribs Brunswick stew. Dig into white chocolate banana pudding after if you’re willing and able. Meats (whole, half and sandwich): $7-$28, sausages $5/link Wings: $9/$18 for half dozen/dozen Side dishes (in regular, pint or quart): $3-$23 Desserts: $3-$5 dasbbq.com

FORZA STORICO The fact that the odds of success are notoriously bleak for new restaurants doesn’t seem to have fazed Westside newcomer Forza Storico. The baby sister of Buckhead’s popular Storico Fresco, Forza Storico focuses on Ro-


June 2021 | Simply Buckhead

man cuisine, proffering dishes such as fried carciofo and saltimbocca with exemplary flavor and flourish. Extra-regional fare such as a breathtaking plate of San Daniele prosciutto and milky mozzarella, charry grilled octopus with Calabrian chili pesto and herb-stuffed, pan-fried branzino are well worth the trip, but one taste of Forza’s house-made chitarra arrabbiata or tonnarelli cacio e pepe, plus one of Jose Pereiro’s specialty cocktails, and you’ll instantly be transported to your favorite Roman piazza. Antipasti: $10 - $23 Pastas: $16 - $26 Salads and veggies: $7 - $10 Specials and mains: $19 - $26 Desserts: $3 - $9 storico.com

HAVEN RESTAURANT AND BAR Haven is exactly that—a safe, inclusive place where your every gastronomic need is met. If weather permits, enjoy the serenity of patio dining while indulging your taste buds with crisp Gulf oysters, the Southern cheese board or Timmy’s wild Georgia shrimp. Or go inside and soak up the classy atmosphere while digging into seared Georges Bank scallops or spice-roast-

ed Green Circle Farms chicken, and wrap things up with a warm chocolate brownie with artisan espresso sauce. Small plates and salads: $6-$15 Entrees: $18-$38 Steaks: starting at $51 Sides and desserts: $7 havenrestaurant.com

JALISCO After nearly three decades, Jalisco remains a giddy, guilty pleasure trip through a tunnel of cheese. This TexMex institution at Peachtree Battle is better than an El Paso taco kit, but not exactly a showcase of the sophisticated techniques and ingredients of the Mexican larder. Without apology, Jalisco is what it is, a place with consistently good, standard-issue burritos, enchiladas, fajitas and even a Hamburguesa Mexicana. (It’s topped with nacho cheese.) This is not a place where the kitchen thrives on change and creativity. For the most part, the menu is the same as it has been since Jalisco opened in 1978. Lunch specials: $5-$9 Entrees: $9-$13 404.233.9244

LA GROTTA This four-decades-old institution is as popular today as it ever was. And that has as much to do with the generations of devotees—many of them old school Atlanta royalty—as it does with its reliable, often superlative food. Whether you begin with earthy bresaola Valtellinese, milky burrata di mozzarella fresca or verdant insalata di carciofi freschi, it’s imperative you save room for the mains, for this is where the kitchen truly shines. Silky creamsauced pastas such as penne con verdure and pappardelle con astice will become your new gastro obsession, and delectable meat dishes such as scaloppine di vitello Antonio and filetto di manzo al Barolo are best enjoyed with a bottle of fine Italian red.

True Food Kitchen's Mediterranean chicken pita, egg and sausage sandwich, Moroccan chicken and shiitake lettuce cup prove that healthy doesn't need to mean boring.

bread—we believe him. Graddy has proudly transported his family’s traditions to his casual Southern ’cue counter. Man, is the food good. The fresh-tasting coleslaw (with just a little mayo) and excellent new potato salad are just the things to cut the richness of the succulent pork. Some other tasty go-withs are fried okra, longcooked collards, mac and cheese and Brunswick stew. We’re sated. We’re sauce-splashed. We need a moist towelette and a nap. Entrees: $8-$24 pignchik.net

STARFISH Starfish—which can look just a little lost on the block that houses Restaurant Eugene and Holeman and Finch—is exactly the kind of sushi joint we have been trolling for. In a city where Japanese cui-

sine can be hit-or-miss and sometimes not the freshest, chef-owner Seung K. “Sam” Park’s reticent little pearl is a superior catch—cute and compact as a bento box but with just a hint of luxury. At dinner, we were delighted to see how the kitchen plays around with untraditional ingredients such as truffle oil and balsamic vinegar, slicing fish as thin as carpaccio and arranging it in dazzling presentations. When our flounder sashimi arrived, the server told us to place a dab of the ponzu jelly spiked with cilantro, jalapeño and lime on a strip of the fish and roll it up. Exquisite. Starfish isn’t the kind of place that announces itself with screaming klieg lights or red carpets. But in this culture of excess, sometimes being a little bit under-theradar can be very seductive. Lunch Entrees: $7-$16 Dinner Entrees: $12-$30 starfishatlanta.com

TRUE FOOD KITCHEN Don’t be put off by the mobs of hipsters waiting for a table or the funky menu items with unfamiliar ingredients such as hemp, flax and chia. Though it could easily be mistaken for an ephemeral, crunchy beardo hangout, True Food Kitchen is here to stay—not just because of its good intentions and exemplary karma, but because of its tasty eats. Favorites include the shiitake lettuce cups, spring asparagus toast and the T.L.T. (tempeh, lettuce and tomato) sandwich. Good for the uninitiated are the margherita pizza, steak tacos and Mediterranean chicken pita. Recommended drinks include the non-alcoholic Cucumber Cooler and Medicine Man tea or the buzz-inducing lemongrass margarita, citrus skinny margarita and Strawberry Smash. Starters and vegetable plates: $7-$13 Salads and bowls: $10-$14 (added protein $3-$9) Pizzas and sandwiches: $12-$16 Entrees: $14-$26 truefoodkitchen.com

Appetizers and salads: $9.95-$15.95 Pastas and risottos: $10.95-$35.95 Mains: $21.95-$39.95 Desserts: $7.95-$9.95 lagrottaatlanta.com Note: Prices and menu items may have changed since original publication.

PIG-N-CHIK Co-owner Jim Graddy tells us he learned the art of the pit on his granddaddy’s pig farm in Manchester, Georgia. Graddy remembers cooking whole hogs all night long over hot coals, and when we tear into his pulled-pork sandwich—a delicious pile of pink, smoke-tinged meat between two thick slabs of white

Hungry for more?

La Grotta’s filetto di manzo al Barolo tenderloin, served in a Barolo-Pommery mustard sauce and topped with Gorgonzola, is a triumph of complementary flavors.

Visit the Simply Buckhead website to read all of our Restaurant Reviews! simplybuckhead.com

June 2021 | Simply Buckhead 


READY FOR A CHANGE? The Village on Blackwell Creek... This is the upscale active adult community that you have been looking for. “The Village” is nature’s refuge from the congestion of the city and just a short drive to the beautiful North Georgia mountains. Call Today For Your Appointment to Tour Our Great Community! C: 770-335-7675 O: 770-893-2400

2625 Steve Tate Highway, Marble Hill, GA 30143 TheVillageBWC.com


June 2021 | Simply Buckhead

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

Austin Rapp



Ginger Strejcek

Kirsten Simmons

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



rom juicy Georgia peaches and fried apple pies to plump red tomatoes and homemade salsa, the seasonal crop of farmers markets around town offers a one-stop shop for vine-ripe produce, baked goods and bushels more. Pick up a bouquet of fresh cut flowers, browse beeswax candles and body lotions, select a doggie bow-tie or buy a green cleaning product at the Saturday morning, open-air pop-ups. This summer at the Brookhaven Farmers Market, shoppers could support Slice Out Hunger with a pizza purchase from Nonna’s Family Kitchen, listen to

tunes by guitarist Joe Capo, get crafty with DIY art kits from AR Workshop Chamblee and grab some swag from the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. Most Saturdays find Dunwoody Mayor Lynn Deutsch at her city’s market, broadcasting a sneak peek of the fresh fruits and vegetables, sweets and prepared meals on Facebook Live. “Whether you want to linger a bit or grab just a few items, our market is a great place to shop and eat local,” she says, adding that a weekly food truck brings more variety. At Peachtree Road Farmers Market,

held outdoors at The Cathedral of St. Philip, you’ll find one of the largest producer-only farmers markets in the state. That means everything has been grown, raised or made by the seller, ensuring fair prices for both vendors and consumers. This year, Sandy Springs Farmers Market has a record number of participants, including farmers, specialty foods and craft vendors. “As the season progresses, we plan to bring back entertainment and a surprise or two as we focus on seasonal special events,” says Anna Nikolas, the city’s special events director.

DETAILS Brookhaven Farmers Market 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Sat. 1375 Fernwood Circle Brookhaven 30319 brookhavenfarmersmarket.com Dunwoody Farmers Market 9 a.m.-noon Sat. Brook Run Park 4770 North Peachtree Road Dunwoody 30338 dunwoodyga.org/dunwoodyfarmers-market/ Peachtree Road Farmers Market 8:30 a.m.-noon Sat. 2744 Peachtree Road N.W. Atlanta 30305 peachtreeroadfarmersmarket.com Sandy Springs Farmers Market 8:30 a.m.-noon Sat. City Springs 1 Galambos Way Sandy Springs 30328 citysprings.com/farmersmarket

June 2021 | Simply Buckhead 




Chris Gill


[ M U S IC ]

Take me to the River CANOE SERVES UP LIVE MUSIC BY THE CHATTAHOOCHEE Savor sweet summer nights on the banks of the Chattahoochee River with live music and libations at Canoe’s free outdoor concert series every Wednesday in June. Featuring an eclectic mix of bluegrass, gypsy jazz, roots and rockabilly, the line-up of local musicians includes Bluegrass Flashmob (June 2), Slow Parade (June 9), Kate and Corey (June 16), Smokey’s Farmland Band (June 23) and Battlefield Collective (June 30).

Sip signature cocktails, beer and wine from the River Bar in the scenic surrounds or make dinner reservations to enjoy seasonal cuisine by Executive Chef Matthew Basford. “Canoe’s Chattahoochee Concert Series is a wonderful tradition we have cherished with our guests for the past decade,” says General Manager Vincent Palermo. “It gives guests one more opportunity to visit us for a relaxing evening after work with great local talent.”

Catch a free outdoor concert at Canoe with upcoming performances by Battlefield Collective (left) and Smokey’s Farmland Band (above).

CHATTAHOOCHEE CONCERT SERIES June, 7-10 p.m. Wednesdays Canoe 4199 Paces Ferry Road Atlanta 30339 770.432.2663 canoeatl.com

[ N E A RBY ]

Raise a glass! CRAFT BEER AND FESTIVAL FUN ON TAP IN SUWANEE Toast the 10th anniversary of one of the biggest craft beer festivals in the Southeast with unlimited samples of more than 350 craft beers, live music, food trucks and lawn games at the Suwanee American Craft Beer Fest on June 26. This year’s summertime event, bumped from its usual, greenthemed St. Paddy’s Day revelry in March, promises just as much fun. Kick back in the Social Lounge tent, scope out local art from custom-made beer maps to woodworking and jewelry,


June 2021 | Simply Buckhead

and show off your mad skills at giant Jenga, giant beer pong, axe throwing and Xtreme Airballs. The Georgia Beer Garden features homegrown Peach State breweries. Seltzers, ciders and wine samples are also available. “The beer, the music, the games, the vendors—all of it together makes for the perfect afternoon to celebrate craft beer in Georgia,” says event coordinator Tiffany Belflower. A portion of proceeds will benefit Cooper’s Crew, a nonprofit that raises

funds and awareness to cure childhood cancer. Leave the kiddos at home for this one; attendees must be 21 or older.

SUWANEE AMERICAN CRAFT BEER FEST June 26, 1-5 p.m. $60 Town Center Park 330 Town Center Ave. Suwanee 30024 suwaneebeerfest.com

June 10-Aug. 21 Tues.-Sat., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Spruill Gallery 4681 Ashford Dunwoody Road Atlanta 30338 770.394.4019 spruillarts.org/gallery Feast your eyes on a spectacular assemblage of works at the annual Spruill Arts Student & Faculty Juried Exhibition & Teen Invitational, with an opening reception and awards presentation from 5-8 p.m. on June 10. The eclectic exhibit showcases all mediums being produced at the Spruill Center for the Arts, from paintings and drawings to jewelry, ceramics and glass, as well as a new selection by teen artists. Jurors are Brooke Adams and Steve Cole from Callanwolde Fine Arts Center; the teen judge is Dana Munson.

JUNETEENTH June Virtual with Atlanta History Center atlantahistorycenter.com Honoring black innovation, creativity and activism, the Atlanta History Center in Buckhead will host a month of virtual programming to celebrate Juneteenth that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. Highlights include a historic exploration of the African American community, an online recap of the “Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow” exhibit, an author panel, a curated list of local black-owned businesses to support and social media blogs and educational resources for civic engagement.

DUNWOODY’S RESTAURANT REVAMP MONTH June discoverdunwoody.com Boosting support for local eateries, Dunwoody is serving up a smorgasbord of delectable offerings, from pizza and pasta at Novo Cucina to tapas and cocktails at Eclipse Di Luna to coffee and pastries at Créma Espresso Gourmet. Prefer carryout to dine-in? Snag a seat at one of the painted picnic tables around town—a pandemic project launched by the city to expand outdoor dining—for an alfresco meal with a side of art.

changing Atlanta fast food

find out how at whatsyourgusto.com @whatsyourgusto

When we say we’re here for you – we mean it. It’s why your financial plan should include Georgia Primary Bank. Whether personal or business, having a close working relationship with your neighborhood bank has its benefits.

Buckhead’s Community Bank 3880 Roswell Road Atlanta, GA 30342 (404) 231-4100 w w w. G e o r g i a P r i m a r y B a n k . co m

June 2021 | Simply Buckhead 



Guests were in a festive mood while celebrating the preview of new Swedish cars.


Photos: Chris Rothman, Lionel Hamilton


Kristine and Zachary Krause

few fortunate Atlantans were part of an exclusive group of guests invited to take a first look at the latest addition to the luxury offerings at Motorcars of Atlanta on Roswell Road. On April 17, the high-end dealership, in conjunction with media partner Simply Buckhead, hosted two previews of the Swedish built Koenigsegg Gemera and Jesko Absolut vehicles, priced from about $2 million each. The Koenigsegg Reveal Party unveiled the brand to the Atlanta market first at a private gathering for 25 at the Buckhead estate of a Motorcars client. Gotta Have It Catering set up a food truck of tasty tidbits for participants to nibble while learning the details of the finely engineered cars. Later at an evening reception, 50 VIP guests, deposit holders, clients and prospects were given walk-arounds of the cars by Motorcars managers and had the opportunity to sit in and take photos with the Gemera model. Guests also enjoyed a variety of hors d’oeuvres from Bold Catering & Design and beverages sponsored by Rémy Martin USA. Roche Bobois provided seating options.

A guest experiences the sleek Koenigsegg interior.

Car enthusiasts toast at the Koenigsegg reveal hosted by Motorcars of Atlanta.

Abhishek Breja, Daksh Breja


June 2021 | Simply Buckhead

Erika Turchin Rickenbaker, Joanne Hayes, Brittany Cabbler


STUDIO STAR Hit-making musician Lecrae enjoys a laugh in between shots at Reach Records, the studio he co-founded. PHOTO: Sara



June 2021 | Simply Buckhead


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THE COLLEGE OF CREATIVITY Creativity is a way of life for you. And for us as well. With campuses across the U.S., The Art Institutes specialize in teaching and inspiring students who strive to create and make a difference. Students with shared passions will join together in a collaborative community unlike any other.


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The Art Institute of Atlanta is one of The Art Institutes, a system of private schools throughout the United States. Programs, credential levels, technology, and scheduling options vary by school and are subject to change. Not all programs are available to residents of all U.S. states. 6600 Peachtree Dunwoody Rd, NE, 100 Embassy Row, Atlanta, GA 30328. © 2021. The Arts Institutes International LLC. All rights reserved.



Truist Park's field and 16 distinct event spaces offer a dazzling array of venue options, 365 days a year Perfect for rehearsal dinners, weddings, and family reunions. Let us help you create a stress-free, unforgettable event that will wow your friends and family. As a coveted client, you'll receive • A dedicated event management specialist BRAVES.COM/MEETINGS

• State-of-the-art amenities • Endless creative opportunities

OLD FORD RANCH is an equestrian



John Bynum: (828) 200-0144 Dave Kirchner: (828) 577-0620

Kati Miller: (828) 200-1254 Ali Moody: (828) 508-3576

estate just three minutes from Cashiers, NC and 15 minutes from Highlands, NC. Named after an old 1926 Model T found on the property’s old logging road, this 26+ acre gated estate is the genuine article standing proud with breathtaking southern exposure and panoramic views of Whiteside Mountain, Little Terrapin, Brushy Face, and The Devil’s Courthouse. Two private entries lead to an authentic farmhouse and a two-story barn, and boasts mature dogwoods, fenced pasture, and stocked, spring-fed pond. The farmhouse features a traditional layout with four bedrooms, four baths, two covered decks, three fireplaces, keeping room, and dining room with wall of windows overlooking the perfectly manicured pasture and vistas beyond. Recently, the home was lovingly renovated with an updated kitchen and all new bathrooms, while the twostall barn with tack and feed rooms and huge open loft has been re-roofed with a new tin roof. This magnificent property awaits your personal touch as a private equestrian estate or developer’s dream offering multiple building sites for estate homes and guest cottages. MLS# 96030 | $4,900,000

© 2021 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.

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Simply Buckhead June 2021  

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