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July/August 2021 ISSUE 80 • FREE Serving Buckhead, Brookhaven, Sandy Springs, Chamblee, Dunwoody and Upper Westside




Your Plans. Your Progress. Our Priority.

Two relationship-driven banks, both leaders in the industry, have officially joined forces. The combination of IBERIABANK and First Horizon creates a leading financial services company dedicated to enriching the lives of our clients, employees and communities. Together, we will deliver better technology, broader lending capabilities and an expanded financial network powered by a team you know and trust.

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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!


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To o t s i e s . c o m


316 7 P e a c h t r e e R d . N E

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Photos: 18: Craig Thompson, 30: David Parham, 57: Sara Hanna, 68: Joann Vitelli

68 30

Contents 12 Editor’s Letter [ SIMPLY NOW ]

15 News: Southern Smorgasbord Chattahoochee Food Works serves up global eats and treats

16 Local Salute: It Takes a Village

57 COVER STORY 25 Approved: Summertime Blues A gussied-up patio in blue and white

26 Pets: Perfect Match How to choose the right dog for you based on personality and lifestyle

Grassroots group blossoms

28 Kids: Developmental Cues

18 Travel Near:

When and how to seek advice about your child’s progress

Beale Street Beckons A lively entertainment district is just one reason to make the trek to Memphis

20 Travel Far: Grape Expectations Four exquisite days in Napa Valley

24 15 Minutes With: Michelle Enjoli The founder of Connect, on the importance of connection



30 Home: Design Dreams A couple’s polished Dunwoody townhouse becomes a launching pad for a new creative endeavor

36 Tastemaker: Building Blocks Architect Blake Segars playfully marries exterior landscape with interior function





40 Beauty: Vegan Variety

68 Review: Clubby And Classic

Experts weigh in on what to look for when going animal-free

Buckhead’s popular steakhouse capitalizes on venue, views and first-rate victuals

42 Wellness: The Keto Craze Learn the diet’s key principles, pros and cons

70 Drinks: Happier Hour

44 Tastemaker: Facials for Everyone Ansley Bowman

74 Tastemaker: The Real Drinkmaster

is determined to remove the barriers to regular skin care

Andrew Rodbell introduces authentic canned cocktails to the Southeast from his West Midtown warehouse


50 On Stage: Star Bright Actor Trae Romano dishes about the second season of “Stargirl”

Meet the low-proof cocktail


82 Events: Places to go and things to do

July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead 



Serving Buckhead, Brookhaven, Sandy Springs, Chamblee, Dunwoody and Upper Westside JULY/AUGUST 2021 | ISSUE 80 P.O. Box 11633, Atlanta, GA 30355 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

Jill Becker

Claire Ruhlin Claire Ruhlin is an Atlantabased writer, editor and content marketer. She studied journalism and English at the University of Georgia and has worked with and written for publications and businesses such as Jaipur Living, AuthenTEAK, Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles, Simply Buckhead, LUXE Interiors + Design and Long Island Pulse. She’s almost never met a fish taco she didn’t like, and when she’s not writing, you’re most likely to find her exploring Atlanta’s intown neighborhoods, roaming farmers markets or researching properties on Zillow.

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

Sara Hanna David Parham 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.


July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead

BHG Digital Director of Audience Development

Mike Jose Legal Counsel

Scott I. Zucker

FIND US ONLINE Read Simply Buckhead online at Facebook “Like” us at LivingWellATL

Twitter Follow us @SimplyBuckhead

Instagram Follow us @SimplyBuckhead



Free Webinar with Replay


Posture and Health Seminar Series 5549 Roswell Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30342


GREAT VIBE FRESH, AUTHENTIC FOOD PREMIER COCKTAILS Friday Karaoke Wine Down Wednesday Weekend Brunch

Shooting our annual Rising Stars cover is always exciting, and this year was no exception. We were thrilled to be the first publication to hold a shoot at The Bellyard, the new boutique hotel in Photographer: Sara Hanna The Interlock mixed-use development in Producer: Jennifer Bradley Franklin Upper Westside. The hotel’s sleek design Photography assistant: Chris Rothman and neutral color palette provided the perStudent photography assistant: fect backdrop for photographing the group, Alten Hayes, The Art Institute of Atlanta Hair and makeup: Bernice Barton, who came from all walks of life and a wide Michaela David range of industries. Our seven “stars” each Stylist: Lauren Finney Harden had distinct styles, which photographer Special thanks to Nordstrom Sara Hanna captured for our pages. and The Bellyard.


3775 Main Street, College Park, GA 30337

404.343.6785 HOURS:

M: Closed T-Th: 2-10


Fri: 2-Midnight Sat: 11-Midnight Sun: 11-10



[ P ROU D M E M B E R OF ]

July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead 




[ E DI T OR ’ S L E T T E R ]


imply Buckhead’s annual Rising Stars issue is one of the most anticipated of the year.

Our team looks forward to hearing, writing and reading the incredible stories of Atlanta’s best and brightest creators and creatives. There is no shortage of budding talent in the city, and it’s always difficult to whittle down the pool of candidates to the featured seven. This year’s group is inspiring, to say the least, each shooting for the stars and impressively paving their career paths. Singer-songwriter and actor Kameron Corvet, whom I had the pleasure of profiling, went from teaching French to collaborating on a Grammywinning song with Sting and Shaggy. Jewelry designer Riley Kinnane-Petersen has been creating baubles for more than half her life (she’s 11), and now the tween sells her wares to retailers such as J.Crew. And though chef Palak Patel has major media appearances under her belt, having been on shows such as “Chopped” and “Food Network Star,” she opens her first eatery concept in Upper Westside this year. Look for these and more great stories in our cover feature. But Buckhead-area talent isn’t limited to one section of the magazine. In On Stage, Vanessa Pascale Rust profiles Trae Romano of the CW’s new hit series “Stargirl”; Nicole Letts chats with architect Blake Segars, known for his firm’s custom-build projects, in the Simply Living section; and in 15 Minutes With, Amy Meadows tells the story of Michelle Enjoli, founder of Connect, a successful career development service. Whatever passion project you may be toying with at home or work, may these stories motivate you to bring your dream to fruition.

Karina Antenucci Managing Editor


July/August 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



Beale Street Beckons P18

Beale Street is part of the live music scene that has earned Memphis the nickname “The Birthplace of Rock-and-Roll.”

Its long history as the entertainment epicenter of town makes Beale Street the most famous street in Memphis. Photo: Craig Thompson

July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead 




351 P EAC H T R E E H I L L S AV E


Open to the Trade & Public More info at


Ginger Strejcek Diverse culinary offerings at Westside's 31-vendor food hall include (from top right) Hippie Hibachi, Banh Mi Station and Flying Fish.


et ready to chow down at Chattahoochee Food Works on Atlanta’s Westside. The globally-inspired food hall, which debuted this spring in the Makers Building at The Works development, is tempting taste buds with an ever-expanding menu, from Argentinean empanadas to authentic Cuban sandwiches. The eclectic offerings come from a bevy of locally owned businesses taking their culinary game to the next level as new tenants in the collective. Some standouts include Belen de la Cruz Empanadas & Pastries, Cubanos ATL,

Hippie Hibachi, Philly G Steaks and cookie emporium Monster Cravings, where the handcrafted treats come in such scrumptious flavors as strawberry shortcake and cinnamon roll. Much more is in store at the 22,000-square-foot space, with a total of 31 food stalls set to open this year. Vietnamese, Japanese, Italian and South African eats are among the international mix. Guests can dine on the expansive patio, sip cocktails at the indoor-outdoor bar or relax in the lounge in the industrial chic setting.

Artfully curated by James Beard Award-winning chef Andrew Zimmern and Robert Montwaid, creator of New York’s Gansevoort Market, the venue will also host special events, cooking demonstrations and artisanal market shops. “I am delighted, inspired and thrilled by the vendors assembled,” Zimmern says. “They fought through 2020, maintained focus, took immeasurable risks to realize their dreams and have created some superb food that represents exactly what Southern cooking in Atlanta tastes like today.” n

Photos: Ash Wilson


CHATTAHOOCHEE FOOD WORKS 1235 Chattahoochee Ave. N.W. Atlanta 30318

NEWS CLIPS MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE Earlier this year, when Misty Artesian Water relocated from Louisville, Kentucky, to new headquarters at 6595 Roswell Road in Sandy Springs, the company refreshed its social agenda as well. Tapping into Atlanta’s abundant resources, the brand launched its nonprofit division, Ribbons of Awareness, to boost philanthropic endeavors around the country. Through unique product packaging that features ribbon-shaped bottles in a rainbow of colors, the bottled water company supports more than 1,000 causes, from cancer to mental health. The Mystic Entities, Ltd. subsidiary also donates a portion of annual sales to

those in need and offers partnership opportunities to increase awareness and raise funds. CENTRAL PERK Upping the ante for OTP offerings, Dunwoody Village is set to open in September with the launch of an outdoor courtyard for casual dining and community events, and the debut of Bar(n), a dual-concept restaurant serving as a cafe by day and wine bar at night. Located at 1317 Dunwoody Village Parkway, the new development is envisioned as a vibrant city center with four more eateries on the way (Tex-Mex, BBQ, seafood and Mediterranean street food) and a calendar of

events, ranging from live music and movie nights to farmers markets and art festivals. “We are very excited to have Dunwoody Village become a central entertainment complex for our community,” says Michael Starling, Dunwoody’s economic development director. “Ultimately, we hope that this development will serve as a central meeting space for our residents to get outside and enjoy good food and company.” FAMILY PLAN With a mission to provide quality care, lower pricing and convenient access in a modern clinic that puts patients at ease, Kindbody Atlanta

has opened at 3005 Peachtree Road in Buckhead, providing a full suite of fertility, gynecology and wellness services, including IVF. The 4,200-square-foot facility marks the Southeast expansion of the health tech company that boasts a partner network of more than 300 practices across the country. “I couldn’t be more thrilled to bring Kindbody to my hometown,” says Dr. Sicily Garvin, reproductive endocrinologist and practice manager of Kindbody Atlanta. “Atlanta has a large black population who are disproportionately impacted by fertility issues, and I’m honored to provide inclusive fertility care.”

July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead 




Mickey Goodman Brian Curtis, former board member and current member of the Tuesday's Children Chairman's Circle and Brooke Baldwin, formerly of CNN, at the 2019 gala. Baldwin emceed the 2020 virtual gala.

It Takes a Village

Dunwoody Sandwich Project volunteers Adrienne Lordo, Lisa Guggenheim, founders Marcy Louza and Lisa Hiles, Nancy Miller and Lexi Haynie.

Grassroots group blossoms began distributing the sandwiches directly to people in need. News of the project reached volunteers like Danielle Cohen of East Cobb who offered their homes as drop off locations. “We collect sandwiches every Wednesday and have expanded our reach to include non-perishable items that we deliver to CHRIS 180, Giving Grace and the Sandy Springs Community Assistance Center,” Cohen says. Each host is autonomous, handles her own marketing and places coolers in or near her garage. Homeowners Associations, schools, clubs, faith groups, scouts, sports teams and individuals have supported the cause.

The Sandwich Project has no corporate office, no board of directors, no obligations, no dues and not a single paid employee, but its volunteers have prepared 130,000 sandwiches for people experiencing food insecurity. Each week the number grows by more than 5,000. The grassroots effort began in April 2020 when Dunwoody residents Marcy Louza and Lisa Hiles teamed up to make sandwiches for the outreach program at Hiles’ church. They asked friends and family to help spread the word. “Soon, we were collecting 2,000 sandwiches a week and needed to expand our reach,” says Louza. At the same time, CHRIS 180, a 40-year-old organization dedicated to strengthening families, had just started an outreach program and

l For more information, contact

Basic Needs Providing essential equipment The ALS Association is the only national nonprofit health organization dedicated solely to the fight against the progressive degenerative disease. To further its mission, the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation National Paralysis Resource Center has awarded the organization a $30,000 2020 High Impact Priority Quality of Life Grant. To Dunwoody resident and Chairman of the Board Ned Douthat, the needs of patients with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s


Disease, are personal. His father was diagnosed in 2006, the same year he graduated from the University of Texas. Instead of starting his career, Douthat returned home to help care for his dad until he passed away in 2007. “One of the most pressing needs for the approximately 700 Georgia patients we serve is transportation,”

July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead

Good Neighbors

When violence strikes

Founded in the wake of September 11, 2001, Tuesday’s Children began as a support group for families who were forever changed by the horrific event. Today, the mission has broadened to include families affected by terrorism, military conflict or mass violence. To further those efforts, longtime benefactor State Farm has awarded the group a $45,000 grant to expand the Career Resource Center and Youth Mentoring Programs in Georgia, the Carolinas, Texas and New York. Brian Curtis, former board member and current member of the Chairman’s Circle, got involved in 2008 as the anniversary of 9/11 approached. The Dunwoody resident was living in Los Angeles and feeling helpless about what he could do when he read an article about Tuesday’s Chil-

To ALS Association Georgia chapter board chairman Ned Douthat, the needs of patients with Lou Gehrig's disease are personal.

he says. “Most can’t safely travel in regular vehicles, so without a specially outfitted van, they can’t go for medical treatment or even leave their homes. Our Paul B. Williams Transportation Program provides accessible van rentals, nonemergency transportation, van adaptations and van vouchers.” Other services include the Sally Panfel ALS In-Home Care and Respite program that pays for skilled personnel so caregivers can get a much-needed break, the Assistive Technology program that

dren. The New York Times bestselling author had the idea to pen something based on the survivor’s experiences. The resulting book was The Legacy Letters Messages of Life and Hope from 9/11 Families, a collection from spouses, mothers, fathers and kids, published on the tragedy’s 10th anniversary. “I appreciate the way Tuesday’s Children has gone out of their way to support military survivors,” says Erikka Mitchell, the widow of U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Omoro Mitchell. “They inform me of programs I’m eligible for and have given me an opportunity to meet other young widows. My 9-year-old son, A.J., loves attending the Atlanta Braves and Falcons games.” l For more information, visit

helps customize communication devices and trains families in their use and the Patient Services Program that offers support for survivors and medical equipment loans for items not covered by insurance. l For more information, visit

Want to nominate a volunteer, company or nonprofit that gives back to the community in Buckhead, Chamblee, Dunwoody Sandy Springs, Brookhaven or Upper Westside? Please contact:


Beale Street Beckons S

Jill Becker

trangely enough, one of my favorite moments from my recent excursion to Memphis was a nap. It was late Saturday afternoon, and my brother and I had been hitting the sights pretty hard. We walked back to our hotel to freshen up a bit before dinner. As we rounded the corner to the hotel pool, we noticed it was unoccupied. Then, without even saying a word to one another, we each headed to shaded lounge pods on opposite sides of the pool, kicked off our shoes and took a little siesta. It was one of those serendipitous moments that stands out if for no other reason than, unlike most everything else during our trip, it was totally unplanned. Our weekend jaunt started on Friday night, when we checked into the Hyatt Centric Beale Street Memphis. It had only been open a few weeks when we arrived, so everything was fresh and new. What's most notable about the hotel, though, is its location. It sits along the banks of the Mississippi River and is the only hotel on Beale Street, Memphis' equivalent of New Orleans' Bourbon Street or Austin's Sixth Street. You can stroll

out the front door, walk across the street and be knee-deep in the bars and clubs that make up a chunk of the happening live music scene that has earned the city the nicknames “The Birthplace of Rock-and-Roll” and “The Home of the Blues.” The Hyatt Centric is also within walking distance of multiple area attractions, including the National Civil Rights Museum, Tom Lee Park and the handful of riverboats that take passengers on daily cruises along the Mighty Mississippi. In fact, everywhere we went wasn’t more than a 10- or 15-minute drive from the hotel. That included the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, where we perused everything from pre-Columbian artifacts to 20th-century pop art; Carolina Watershed, where we enjoyed brunch in the backyard while being serenaded by singer/acoustic guitarist Steve Schad; Central BBQ, where we happily stood in line for a taste of its famous ribs, pulled pork and other smoked meats; and The Arcade, Memphis’ oldest cafe, where we sat in the same booth Elvis once favored so he could easily slip out the back door if need be. The only

Above: Beale Street is the top spot for the city's famed live music scene. Right: Guests have been chowing down at The Arcade since 1919.

exception was our 30-minute trip to Shelby Farms Park, one of the largest urban parks in the country, where we rented a canoe for an early morning paddle around Hyde Lake. My brother and I could have just as easily not bothered to get our car out of the hotel valet, though, as the Hyatt Centric has plenty to keep guests entertained, from the pool and fitness center to the lively rooftop bar and Latin-infused restaurant, both of which offer views of the Hernando de Soto Bridge connecting Ten-

Craig Thompson


Craig Thompson

A lively entertainment district is just one reason to make the trek to Memphis

nessee and Arkansas. Not to mention the easy access the hotel affords to the multitude of events held along the river throughout the year. We agreed it was the perfect home base for a whirlwind weekend exploring the sights and sounds of Memphis. Now, if I could just find one of those shaded loungers for unscheduled naps in my own backyard. n

Justin Fox Burks

Left: The Hyatt Centric Beale Street sits on the banks of the Mighty Mississippi. Below: Paddling is one of the many activities available at Shelby Farms Park.

Allen Gillespie/Memphis CVB

Above: Throngs of locals and visitors alike head to Central BBQ for its mouthwatering smoked meats and sides.


July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead

DETAILS: Hyatt Centric Beale Street Memphis Memphis Tourism

July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead 



Above: Lydia and Rob Mondavi Jr. of Rutledge & Vine.


Above: Quilt wines draw from nine Napa Valley American Viticultural Areas to create its full-bodied, decadent vintages.

Four exquisite days in Napa Valley


apa Valley has been on my bucket list for most of my adult life. The region reopened three weeks prior to my travel dates and exceeded every expectation. After a direct flight from Atlanta to Sacramento and a onehour drive, my husband and I settled in for a short but sweet four days between Napa and Oakville, allowing easy access for exploring the valley. Our experience started with a personal visit to Rob Mondavi Jr. and his Southern-born wife, Lydia. The couple’s hillside estate is in the Stags Leap district where they grow and produce their Rutledge & Vine brand, named after her family and their vineyards. We learned about grapes, seasons, soil, irrigation, climate and vineyard operations, as well as the family’s personal experience with the 2017 wildfires that ravaged the area from this fourthgeneration winemaker who has worked in every area of the industry. Next, we were treated to vintner Joe Wagner’s Quilt & Company tasting, including the Belle Glos, Quilt and Elouan brands alongside a fabulous charcuterie board, followed by dinner at Wagner’s next-door California cuisine restaurant, Avow. Fresh oysters on the half shell were followed by scallops with romesco and chorizo, and Pacific halibut to complete the day.



On our second day, a visit to downtown Napa, thriving with local artists, tasting rooms and a new visitors’ center, was followed by lunch in St. Helena at farm-to-table restaurant Farmstead. Menu items incorporate eggs, chicken and beef from its Long Meadow Ranch, as well as the vegetables, herbs and edible flowers grow in tableside beds. This quaint town is also home to the famous Woodhouse Chocolate, Napa Soap Company and the 90-year, familyowned Napa Valley Olive Oil Manufacturing company, all worth a visit. Checking out the Petrified Forest in Calistoga was next on the agenda. Then a scenic drive back to our hotel on the Silverado Trail parallel to the main highway took us through Calistoga, St. Helena, Rutherford, Oakville and Yountville, and offered views of dozens of picturesque vineyard properties. Dinner at local favorite Bistro Don Giovanni, seated by fragrant rose bushes and under a lighted tent, made us feel like we were on a movie set. Our third day began with a late breakfast at Black Bear Diner, where the sweet cream pancakes are not to be missed, followed by a leisurely tasting at Caymus Vineyards where we watched the vineyard’s owner, Chuck Wagner (the aforementioned Joe’s father), and his son, Char-

July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead

Joanne Hayes

lie, host a live virtual event on the grounds. We enjoyed sunshine and pool time at our hotel before dinner at rustic French restaurant Angèle on the Napa River. On our last day, we arrived early at Model Bakery, where lines form for the Oprah-famous English muffins, and noshed on breakfast sandwiches before our vineyard tour at Kenzo Estate. Encompassing 3,800 pristine acres in the mountains east of Napa, 80% of the world-class wine produced here is sold in owner and Capcom founder Kenzo Tsujimoto’s native Japan. We couldn’t resist shipping home a Kenzo ai cabernet and the Bordeaux-style blend Rindo, available exclusively through the vineyard. Our final tasting was O’Brien Estate’s Bordeaux-style blends Romance and Seduction, which boast varying percentages of cabernet, merlot and cabernet franc grapes, and are only available to members. We capped off our last night by heading to Auberge du Soleil for sunset cocktails and a late dinner of micro-regional rustic Italian at Bottega by Chef Michael Chiarello in Yountville. My grape love affair with Napa is official. A girls’ trip is next: Add mud baths, spa treatments and shopping to the wining and dining. Who's with me? n

Above: The Instagram-worthy charcuterie board at Quilt & Company is just the thing to pair with its beautiful wines and conversation.

Above: This Kenzo Estate vintage is named ai, which represents the color indigo in Japanese.

TOP TIPS l There's a lot to do from Napa to Calistoga,

so don’t try to fit in more during a brief stay. l Reserve ahead and visit two wineries

a day, preferably in close proximity. Tasting and tours are usually 90 minutes, plus drive time. l The first vineyard experience should

be educational to learn about the area, then just enjoy the tastings.

VISIT NAPA VALLEY 707.226.5813

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Jimmy Hutchinson approaches real estate with an athlete’s mindset – he’s a firm believer that hard work, preparation and determination earns results. As a lifelong Atlantan raised in Marietta, his intimate knowledge of the city and array of contacts are key assets for his clients.


Below: Scope out the sculpture garden at the Georgia Museum of Art, then head indoors to marvel at the masterworks on view.

Adventure in Athens Explore art, nature and animals in this Georgia gem STORY:

Ginger Strejcek


p for a summer road trip that’s fun, family-friendly and absolutely free? Put on your walking shoes and head east to Athens for a day or two of sightseeing play at three unique places: a scenic showcase of flower power at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, a woodsy respite for injured animals at Bear Hollow Zoo and a treasured gallery of magnificent masterpieces at the Georgia Museum of Art. About a 70-mile drive from Buckhead, the attractions are located within a 3-mile radius of each other on the stomping grounds of the University of Georgia, with plenty of painted concrete bulldogs marking the territory. Spend the morning roaming the 313-acre State Botanical Garden. Part of UGA, Athen’s top-ranked tourist spot is a kaleidoscope of seasonal blooms, themed gardens and natural areas that promote conservation and agricultural history. From the wisteria-covered arbor and fragrant tea olive hedges to the babbling stream and chirping birds, it’s a full sensory experience that beckons guests to literally stop and smell the flowers. Diverse horticultural offerings in the lush landscape include formal plantings of antique roses and fringy meadows of wildflowers, a hillside orchard of fruit trees and pretty perennial borders for pollinators. Tropical beauties from equatorial climates flourish inside the three-story conservatory at the Visitor Center, an exotic oasis of bamboo, palm, pineapple and papaya. Placards


July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead

explain the vital importance of these species, nutritional to medicinal, as the world’s tropical forest habitats continue to diminish. Unleash the kids in the children’s garden, an imaginative nod to Mother Nature with such amusements as a tree house, fossil wall, edible plants and musical mushrooms. Or venture out along 5 miles of color-coded trails to discover heath bluffs on the Middle Oconee River, amphibolite geology and, perhaps, a winged wonder on Hummingbird Trail. From there, skip over to Bear Hollow Zoo, a small wildlife sanctuary in Memorial Park, for a peek at some native animals that are non-releasable due to physical or behavioral challenges. While three black bears are the resident stars, visitors can also watch the splashy antics of a pair of river otters, spy white-tailed deer camouflaged in a shady grove and marvel at the primordial stealth of a sun-basking gator. The easily navigable venue features a dozen natural habitats and a Reptile House. Among the feathered friends: bald eagles, turkey vultures, wild turkeys and owls. Afterward, enjoy a picnic lunch beneath the treetop canopy at the 72acre park. Clock in extra steps on the 1.25-mile Birchmore Trail that winds through a hardwood ravine with uphill climbs and small creek crossings. Next, cool off on the second floor of the Georgia Museum of Art, located on UGA’s east campus in the Performing and Visual Arts Complex, with an eclectic unveiling of works from Southern decorative arts to Italian Renaissance treasures, as well as 19th- and 20thcentury American paintings.

Above: Get an up-close look at a menagerie of animals native to Georgia, including American black bears, at Bear Hollow Zoo, a sanctuary for nonreleasable wildlife.

The spectacular grounds of the State Botanical Garden of Georgia are abloom in seasonal color, with cultivated gardens, tropical conservatory and nature trails.

Both an academic museum and the official art museum of the state, the building houses nearly 17,000 objects in its permanent collection. That’s quite an expansion from the original 100 paintings donated by founder Alfred Heber Holbrook back in 1948 when the museum opened in the basement of the old library on UGA’s north campus. Art appreciation ranks high in this vibrant college town, where the cultural scene is packed with so much more to explore, you might want to spend the night. Consider a stay at The Colonels B&B and Inn. Erected as a “two over two” farm house in the 1860s, the whitecolumned manor is steeped in country elegance, boasting seven renovated guest rooms furnished with European antiques and modern amenities in the pastoral surrounds of a 30-acre horse estate. n

DETAILS: Bear Hollow Zoo 293 Gran Ellen Drive Athens 30606 706.613.3580 Georgia Museum of Art 90 Carlton St. Athens 30602 706.542.4662 State Botanical Garden of Georgia 2450 S. Milledge Ave. Athens 30605 706.542.1244 The Colonels 3890 Barnett Shoals Road Athens 30605 706.559.9595

BEACHFRONT IN THE ST. GEORGE PLANTATION 7 Bed | 7.5 Bath | Elevator | Private Pool 100’ on the Gulf of Mexico | Beautifully Furnished

PRESENTED BY SUSAN BASSETT & SHELLEY SHEPARD Offered at $3,399,000 | (850) 323-0092 ©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 Columbia Insurance Company, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate. Equal Housing Opportunity.



July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead 




Amy Meadows


ichelle Enjoli learned to love two things growing up in a big family in a small town in northern New Jersey: coffee and conversation. What she didn’t expect is that both would have such a significant impact on her career over the years. She landed her first job as a morning show television producer at age 22 and became a highly successful digital platform supervisor for Mercedes-Benz USA and a digital strategist for Delta Air Lines. She’s forged her own path as a renowned speaker, career and leadership development coach and personal branding expert. And Enjoli attributes every opportunity to her ability to connect with people on a deep and meaningful level—often over a cup of coffee. And now, this dynamic Buckhead resident’s goal is to help others learn how to do the same thing as they search for fulfillment both professionally and personally. In October of 2018, she developed a coaching curriculum called CONNECT and has since become one of Atlanta’s most inspiring career mentors. Where did you develop your love of connecting with people? I have a very close-knit family, and it was always very open and welcoming. I grew up learning how to interact with different people. It led me to want to study journalism, to investigate people and tell their stories. How has your ability to connect affected your career? The best opportunities you’ll find are from connecting with people and not through advertising. In fact, every pivot I’ve made in my career has been because of a connection I’ve made. What brought you to Buckhead, and how did the move impact you? I relocated to Atlanta with


Mercedes-Benz in July of 2015. We had to do a lot of hiring when we got here because some people from the headquarters in New Jersey didn’t make the move. Suddenly, it was like we had a brand new company with a mixture of people who made the move and new hires from Atlanta. It was a very multicultural and multigenerational company. We also had gaps in communication. I had an idea and brought it to the head of diversity and inclusion. I wanted to start

July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead

a business resource group focused on career development. Anybody at any level could join, and the goal was to allow people to connect with each other. It was a lightbulb moment for me. Why did you decide to set out on your own and develop CONNECT? I had a moment in 2018 when I asked myself, “What do I want to do for the rest of my life?” I decided that I wanted to teach people what I know. A lot of people are told to network, but

they don’t know what that means. So I took time to build a curriculum and a set of frameworks. What I teach is more about connecting than networking. Connecting is an authentic attempt to learn about and assist someone else. And you have to be you, so the other part of what I do is motivation— how you build your personal brand and your self-esteem. There are so many places you can go with your career. I get to help change people’s lives. There’s a lot of purpose to what I do.

What’s next for you? I will be giving a TEDx Talk in Southampton, England, later this year, and I’m so excited. I’m also writing a book. And I just bought a place at the northern end of Buckhead. I love this growing, vibrant community, and I’ve moved into the center of it all. n



Summertime Blues Tear-Off Placemat in Classic Blue ($38) Spills and water splashes are worries of the past, thanks to these tear-off placemats from Upper Westside tabletop staple Hudson Grace. Available in eight colors, including two shades of blue, the 100% cotton placemats will make your outdoor tablescape feel refined, practical and sustainable. You can wash and reuse them up to 15 times. Major accident? Just toss the placemat and tear off the next one. Hudson Grace also makes accompanying cocktail napkins in 13 colors.

A gussied-up patio is practically a prerequisite in the South, as is a classic blue and white color palette. To create depth in your space, use shades of blue such as turquoise, sky blue and cobalt, offset by crisp white. The entire look pops when in situ with a lush, green landscape. These sophisticated yet durable pieces will elevate your backyard barbeques and pool parties, so dive in. STORY:

Lauren Finney Harden

Made of a teak frame and aluminum base for stability and longevity, this 11-foot Treasure Garden umbrella from AuthenTEAK provides up to 85 square feet of cool, shady relief for the hottest Atlanta days. The pulley system makes closing it up a cinch, too. If aqua isn’t your preferred shade, try one of the AuthenTEAK 113 other colors, 1094 Huff Road including several Atlanta 30318 Sunbrella perfor404.474.4816 mance fabrics.

Herringbone Indoor/ Outdoor Rug in Light Blue/Ivory ($132-$1,562)

Hudson Grace Westside Provisions District 1210 Howell Mill Road, N.W. Atlanta 30318 404.351.7501

There’s no quicker way to bring that polished indoor-living feeling outside than with a scene-setting rug. This one from Dash & Albert features a timeless herringbone pattern in a soft blue color to seamlessly blend your living spaces together. Designed for high-traffic, pet- and kid-friendly areas—including ones that get wet often—it’s easy to clean up with just a spray of your hose. The rugs are also environmenErika Reade tally friendly, 3732 Roswell Road made from Atlanta 30342 recycled plastic 404.233.3857 bottles.

Maison Chaise with Cushions in Sunbrella Bermuda/White Canopy Stripe ($1,299) A fresh, white chaise lounge with a canopy stripe is as bright as it is functional. In a classic shape with a rustresistant aluminum frame, this lounger from Atlanta-based Ballard Designs is a statement piece that will last for many summers to come. The cushions can be made in three styles: Ballard Designs knife-edge, box-edge or 1235 Chattahoochee Ave. fast-dry, and are available N.W., Suite 100 in more than 30 fabrics, Atlanta 30318 including Sunbrella per404.603.7033 formance fabrics.

Vienna Aluminum Teak Umbrella in Aqua ($1,115)

36-inch Santorini Planter ($499) You don’t have to travel to Greece to capture some of that vacation spirit. This hand-painted planter from Frontgate is the chicest home for your citrus and olive trees. Made from durable polyester resin, styrene and fiberglass, the planter’s appeal is as much about its Mediterranean tile-inspired look as it is about low maintenance. Can't decide if it’ll work for your outdoor area? Call on Frontgate’s in-house design experts to skillfully assist you. Frontgate Phipps Plaza 3500 Peachtree Road N.E. Atlanta 30326 404.841.7170

July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead 




uch like how modern-day dating apps take into account likes, dislikes and lifestyles when pairing up two potential lovebirds, the same selection process goes for finding your perfect pet, with different dog breeds more ideal for certain types of owners. Here, Aurora Taylor, canine psychology specialist and owner of Dunwoodybased dog-training facility Rising Star K9s, offers her expert opinion to help soon-to-be pup parents determine which breed is best suited for their personality and lifestyle.

FOR THE ACTIVE OWNER: Australian shepherd, Dalmatian, Labrador retriever, Weimaraner, Rhodesian Ridgeback, vizsla

Jay Wennington, Unsplash

Whether you’re one of the first Atlantans to sign up for the Peachtree Road Race each year or you just enjoy longs walks around the neighborhood, Taylor suggests these breeds that will always wag their tails when it’s time to go outside and get some exercise. “They’re all very active dogs,” she says. “Over time, they’ve been bred for either hunting or long-distance running, so their builds are very lean, and they’re made to go the distance. And they pair well with human-style running; not every dog is made to keep up with our longer legs.”


FOR THE OWNER WITH KIDS: Bernese mountain dog, Goldendoodle or poodle mix, golden retriever, Greater Swiss mountain dog, Havanese, Labrador retriever, Maltese, Shih Tzu, West Highland white terrier When it comes to expanding your family, Taylor says, “All of your retrievers are going to be great, but I really love golden retrievers as an all-around family dog. They’re the one breed not predisposed to any type of aggression or issues. Poodle mixes or goldendoodles, specifically, also tend to be fantastic family dogs.” For those looking to bring in a retriever, Taylor says, “Atlanta Lab Rescue is a great resource for finding family-friendly labs!” But whichever breed you wind up bringing into your family’s home, she notes, “I strongly recommend bringing in a great, experienced trainer to help you. [It will] prevent most issues from popping up, and if any behavioral issues do arise, you already have an expert on hand that can help you fix it. This is especially important for families with kids, as it helps keep kids safe as well.”


HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT DOG FOR YOU BASED ON PERSONALITY AND LIFESTYLE FOR THE OWNER WHO WORKS IN AN OFFICE OR TRAVELS: Chow chow, greyhound, shar-pei, shiba inu “The biggest thing you want to look for in a dog as a busy bee type of owner is a breed not prone to separation anxiety,” explains Taylor. “You want to avoid herding mixes or herding dogs in general like the corgi, Australian shepherd, border collie and German shepherd.” Don’t let that discourage you, though, as many dog breeds are actually OK being left to their own devices while their owner is away. “When it comes to the more independent dog breeds [like the ones above], they were likely bred to be on their own.”

July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead

FOR THE CUDDLY OWNER: Bichon frise, Cavalier King Charles spaniel, cocker spaniel, Great Dane, Newfoundland, Saint Bernard While many pups fit this type of owner, thanks to modern breeding practices, Taylor recommends these six for their affectionate natures. “A lot of people don’t know it, but Great Danes really think they’re Chihuahua size,” says Taylor with a laugh. “Since the majority of people don't need or use dogs for their original purpose anymore, most breeders over the last couple of hundred years have been really focused on the family pet, turning them into companion dogs that have a calm temperament and love cuddles.” n


Taylor Heard

ADOPTION TIP “Avoid pet stores, as those dogs can be really prone to health issues,” says Taylor. “Look for a reputable breeder that does health testing on their dogs. If you’re looking to adopt a dog, go through a responsible rescue. We have a lot in Atlanta that are great with matching you with a dog that will suit your needs and personality.”

RISING STAR K9S 5555 Chamblee Dunwoody Road Dunwoody 30338 912.278.2856

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July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead 



The adaptive climbing wall at Building Blocks Pediatrics is one of many developmental therapy tools.

Developmental Cues When and how to seek advice about your child’s progress


evelopmental delays are specific to each child and have a vast range of causes. They span from minor delays with speech articulations or fine-motor skills that can be resolved in a few months with therapy to diagnoses such as autism or cerebral palsy that may require ongoing, even lifelong treatment. The more severe issues may be easier for parents and pediatricians to detect, while subtle ones may be more difficult to pinpoint. “Early intervention is key,” says Erin Patrick, occupational therapist and co-owner of Buckhead’s Building Blocks Pediatrics, a full-service clinic that provides speech, occupational and physical therapies to patients ranging from infants to 18-year-olds. To help parents identify a potential developmental issue and determine next steps, Patrick offers the following advice.

Go with Your Gut Not totally sure but something seems a little off with your son or daugh-


ter? For example, you notice they’re not interacting with other kids at the playground or are having trouble with something like buttoning a jacket that should be easy at their age. Don’t second guess your instinct; pay a visit to your pediatrician. “As a general rule of thumb, I always tell parents that if your gut is telling you something isn’t right, just go and have it looked at,” Patrick says. “If a child has an evaluation, the therapist can determine that it is nothing or can say, ‘Hey, this requires treatment.’” Likewise, if your child’s teacher or caregiver points something out, take the observation to heart.

Ask for an Evaluation If you feel your child needs a developmental evaluation, talk to your pediatrician about getting a prescription for having one done. If the doctor refuses for some reason, which Patrick says does happen occasionally, she recommends getting a second opinion. “It’s like having a lump on your body that you know isn’t right and a doctor

July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead

telling you it’s fine. Any adult would go to another doctor to be sure.” Having a prescription from a pediatrician can help with getting insurance to cover some or all of the cost of any potential therapy that’s needed.


Karina Antenucci

their child’s progress. “We are here to educate parents on how to help their kids. That’s our primary goal. Our therapists work hard to incorporate programming into daily home life and what will work with your child’s schedule,” Patrick says.

Know the Therapies An evaluation is usually an hourlong, comprehensive exam with standardized scores that determines the course of action (or none at all). Depending on where your child has a deficit, a customized plan of care may include physical therapy such as gait training; occupational therapy such as exercises to help with fine motor skills, sensory integration or the activities of daily living; or speech therapy to assist with any language delays and articulation.

Do the Homework A therapy session is often just 30-60 minutes once per week, which is why what parents and caregivers do at home the rest of the time is vital to

Don’t Procrastinate “If you take the wait-and-see perspective, the problem could go away, or it could become very apparent in the next year, and your child may have a more significant delay,” Patrick advises. “It goes back to the lump. You can wait and see what happens, or you can go have it tested and make sure it’s nothing. The sooner you address the problem, the better off the child will be.” n BUILDING BLOCKS PEDIATRICS 267 West Wieuca Road N.E., Suite 101 Atlanta 30342 770.321.6705




The cozy basement flex room doubles as an entertaining space and a hideaway to get some work done at the stylish desk space.

Design Dreams P30

“We fell in love with how accent walls change the look and feel of a space and now we want to add them in every space.”

Photo: David Parham

—Jessica Clear

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Above: The homeowners opted for The Frame TV by Samsung to blend into their comfortably posh living space. Below: Ashan Perera and Jessica Clear brought together their creative prowess and business acumen to launch The Boardroom Accent Walls.

Design Dreams A couple’s polished Dunwoody townhouse becomes a launching pad for a new creative endeavor STORY:


Giannina S. Bedford   PHOTOS: David Parham

shan Perera and Jessica Clear loved the model townhome they saw in Dunwoody’s Townsend at Perimeter development, but when they moved into their corner unit in May 2020, they found it lacking personality and style. “We walked in here, and it was completely blank and nothing like the model,” Perera recalls. “It had all the basic light fixtures. We knew we had to fix it up. Luckily, we were working from home, and we [decided to] try some DIY projects with some accent walls.” Four accent walls later—in the dining room, guestroom, master and downstairs media room—they had not only breathed new life into the new construction but also built the foundation for their company. They officially launched The Boardroom Accent Walls in January 2021. In April, Perera left his job in corporate hospitality to devote himself to the once side gig full-time. Although Clear continues her full-time


July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead

job as a financial analyst at Boston Consulting Group, the couple has been working nonstop to grow their new venture. “This opportunity was one we didn’t want to look back on and regret not doing,” Perera says. “We love the reactions we get from the clients, that sense of satisfaction. We truly enjoy what we are doing.” Their home, which was decorated by stylist Divya Vaswani, Perera’s childhood friend, has become a showcase for their creativity. It was Vaswani who pushed the couple to share their accent walls on social media in the first place, resulting in a “wild fire” of interest in their design work. The dining room was the couples’ first DIY wall—a pattern of large white squares to contrast the black linear chandelier above the World Market wood table. The room’s subdued tones flow seamlessly into the open kitchen with white Shaker cabinets, white

Left: The couple’s 2,500-square-foot Perimeter townhome was an upgrade from their previous 1,300-square-foot Doraville abode.

“We love having people over and want everything to be functional and convenient.”—Ashan Perera The entertaining spirit spills into the adjacent living area where a 5-by-5-foot coffee table from Restoration Hardware anchors the room and is surrounded by a soft gray Bassett sofa and two tufted armchairs from Modway. The game night-worthy center table features curated decor items, including a rock shaped like the state of Ohio (where

The open floor plan and large kitchen island make Clear and Perera’s townhome ideal for entertaining.

the couple met) that they found on a hike. The homeowners punched up the living room even further by painting the fireplace in Sherwin-Williams Iron Ore and adding wide-plank shiplap on the wall. They also had built-ins installed on either side of the fireplace, one side hiding a pull-out bar. “We love having people over and want everything to be functional and convenient,” Perera says. Perera and Clear also host guests in their downstairs basement flex room that features a dark gray accent wall with a combination of diagonal and horizontal lines compliment-


quartz countertops and a large island that fits up to five barstools. “The island is great for hosting neighbors and friends, setting up all the food, typically a taco or sushi bar for friends to come eat and enjoy,” Clear says. “I love cooking, so a large island was a must to be able to entertain while cooking up something delicious.”

Above: The couple’s first DIY accent wall is in the open dining area, which opens up to an outdoor deck.

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ASHAN AND JESSICA’S TOP TIPS FOR DRESSING UP A BLAND INTERIOR: 1. Accent walls are a great way to elevate a room without needing too many other decor items. It’s art in and of itself.

ing the herringbone fur rug. Add in the Restoration Hardware sofa, and it’s the ideal spot for movie nights. Two more Boardroom accent walls are found upstairs. The guest room, the second wall they completed, features a design of vertical columns painted white. They also dressed up the tray ceiling with peel and stick herringbone pattern. “We wanted to keep it clean and simple, so when our guests come they feel like it’s a hotel,” Perera says. The master bedroom is a bit moodier with a charcoal wall in a square and rectangular design. The dark backdrop offers a contrast against the white upholstered headboard from Wayfair, glass lamps from HomeGoods and neutral bedding. “It


July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead

gives the perfect amount of ambience in the evenings to sit and read,” Clear says. In other small spaces of the home are more added-on touches, from the gold and gray wall paper in the powder room to the black and white gallery wall in the entry, that speak to the homeowners’ penchant for sophisticated design. They also have more plans to come, including accent walls in the stairwell and entryway, and “fun” wallpaper in the master bathroom. “I feel like our home is always ‘inprogress,’” Clear says. “We fell in love with how accent walls change the look and feel. Now we want to add them in every space to not only elevate it, but to really customize it to us and what we like.” n

Above and left: The master bedroom’s moody charcoal contrasts the lighter and linear wall in the guest room.

2. Start with neutral colors as your base, layering on fun patterns. We even like to add some color with pillows and throws for different seasons.

Below: The dramatic wall in the basement flex room sets the tone for cozy movie nights with friends.

3. Swap out basic builder light fixtures with a simple or fun fixture to change the mood and ambience of the space.

4. Add statement pieces. We love large elements that fill the space, similar to accent walls or our large coffee table. These statement items are conversation pieces, giving you a great foundation. 5. When accessorizing, use items from around your home. You can easily change up styling and create a fresh new look just by moving around pieces you already have. Don’t feel like you have to use them all at once. Sometimes opening our decor closet is like going shopping!

July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead 




Giannina S. Bedford

Home updates that pay you back A

homeowner’s renovation “dream list” is often long. One way to prioritize home improvements is by selecting upgrades that make your residence a more enjoyable place to live and a hot commodity in the real estate market for when it comes time to sell. We turned to realtor Ginna Dunlap, of Ansley Real Estate, who focuses mainly on listings $1 million and above (her first sale this year was $7.3 million) for her take on some of the wisest investments. PAINT: Skip tons of color, heavy wallpaper and draperies, and opt for walls in whites and grays, Dunlap says. “It’s important to neutralize the home as much as possible so potential buyers can envision themselves and their belongings in the home.”

An interior design project by Nina Nash Long, senior interior designer with Mathews Design Group. Update your home with a neutral palette and you’ll be one step ahead when it’s time to sell.

KITCHEN: Dunlap recommends updating countertops in white quartz or another similar stone and painting everything white for a timeless look. “Granite tends to really date the home, and replacing countertops is a worthwhile and easy fix.” BATHROOMS: Bathrooms should be as up-to-date as the kitchen, Dunlap says, suggesting a similar neutral palette of white walls and cabinets with white quartz or marble countertops. “Buyers prefer the home to be move-in ready without having to do any work.” LANDSCAPING: Dunlap suggests cutting out brush and other cluttered elements to make the yard look larger. “With more time spent outside, landscaping that

showcases how to best utilize the outdoor space is important.” POOL: Consider adding a pool. With people spending more time at home, these are a high priority right now. n

MATHEWS MAKEOVER For Buckhead’s Mathews Furniture + Design, the pandemic turned out to be the perfect time to undergo a showroom refresh and expansion. The more than 30-year-old family owned and operated business launched the showroom transformation in early 2021 and plans to complete it by late summer. Through the updated storefront of large windows, gas lanterns and steel doors, the interior features a new open floor plan, sisal carpeting, kitchen and entertaining space and upgraded offices for the staff of Mathews Design Group, the branch launched in fall 2018. “A commercial renovation has a lot of moving parts, so we took our time to do it right,” says Nina Nash Long, senior interior designer with Mathews Design Group. “This new plan allows for us to show more product with larger spaces for some of our favorite lines like Chaddock and Hickory Chair.”

DESIGN NEWS n Miami Circle gallery Maune Contemporary is showcasing a group exhibition titled Love Always Wins through July 31. The show features the works of Khalilah Birdsong, Sarah Giannobile, Taher Jaoui, Petra Rös-Nickel and Julie Torres whose ab-


stract works all share the purpose of expressing love to the viewer in a kinetic and colorful way.

n The 10th annual ADAC in Bloom takes place July 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Presented virtually, the event includes lectures and floral dem-

July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead

onstrations by interior designer Charlotte Moss of New York; landscape designer Fernando Wong of Miami; and floral designer Paulina Nieliwocki from Blue Jasmine Floral in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey. For more information, visit events/adacinbloom.

Bring the coast to your summer soiree with this hand-painted and hand-carved oyster platter from Coton Colors by Laura Johnson. Designed for a halfdozen oysters or chips and dip, the ceramic platter features blue and gold touches and a center bowl for your favorite garnishes. Available for $39.95 at Coton PRODUCT Colors in Buckhead or SPOTLIGHT



BLOCKS Architect Blake Segars playfully marries exterior landscape with interior function STORY:

Nicole Letts


t all began with a LEGO. At least, that’s what Buckhead-based architect T. Blake Segars says of his passion for design. “My parents joke that if I had LEGOs in the womb, I would have played with them,” he says. Today, the stately Buckhead homes designed by Segars’ eponymous firm are a far cry from toy bricks, but Segars says he never forgets to seek his inner-child when working on a project. “I’ve learned that we don’t have to take ourselves so seriously in design; we can have fun,” he says. Here, Segars shares more about his architectural and landscape design history, as well as how to build the real-life home of your dreams.

You have trained alongside several renowned architects including Atlanta’s Norman Askins. How did Askins and your other mentors influence your work? Right out of the University of Georgia, I landed an awesome job opportunity in Nashville with [landscape architects] Ben Page and Gavin Duke. During that time, I was exposed to a clientele and a world that was not familiar. I grew up in Rome, Georgia with working class parents. I cut the grass; I’m the one that planted the shrubs. All of a sudden I’d landed this job with Page|Duke, where we had clients with multi-million dollar budgets for their landscape alone. I learned what a landscape architect is capable of doing. To this day, that experience helps me push the envelope. Later in my career, Norman helped me to push myself out the door. He was not one of those ego-driven employers. He was more of a mentor who was trying to build the next generation.


What is your signature style? I’m very traditional. I’m Southernbased, and I like our columns, textures and colors that are associated with quintessential Southern design. I like to implement those classic elements in a new, updated, 2021 manner. For example, I like to use trim work, but it’s streamlined and edited for today. If budget allows, why is it important to work with an architect, a designer and a contractor simultaneously? I always tell people to formulate the team early on. To me, the most fun jobs and the most successful jobs are team collaborations. I humbly tell people all the time that I don’t know all of the answers, so it’s a lot of fun to get in there with other professionals like interior designers because it makes for a more cohesive process.

July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead

What are we going to see trending in architecture in the future? One thing we are doing quite frequently is the scullery, also known as “the glorified pantry.” Regardless of how much time and money you spend on doing a fabulous family room, people are still going to gravitate to the kitchen. The goal is to create the kitchen in such a way that the small and large appliances can be tucked away. Think of it as a dedicated area, such as a coffee bar, where everything that comes along with the coffee bar lives: the sink where you can fill up your carafe, a hidden trash can for your sugar packs and pods, and a refrigerator for your creamer. A scullery is something I advocate for in every design. You specialize in both architecture and landscape architecture. How

is landscape just as important as a home’s exterior and interior design? The first thing someone sees when they pull up to a home is going to be the landscape. My goal is that when one walks to the front door, they’re experiencing a number of sensations that evoke a sense of hospitality: the crunch of the gravel, the feel of the shrubs, the sounds of the bees buzzing and wind rustling through the foliage of a tree. Those things make your arm hair stand up and make you feel welcomed. Everything from the blade of grass to the front portico to the window is methodical. 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



Facials for Everyone P44

Entrepreneur Ansley Bowman opens affordable facial studio at Westside Provisions District.

“Faced the Facial Studio was truly born out of me, as a customer, looking for something in the industry and not finding it.” —Ansley Bowman

Photo: Brittany Wage

July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead 


Product Photos: Hannah Lozano


Sidecar is a stylish way to keep your hands free this summer.

HAT’S OFF Stacey Sidles Ollinger debuts an answer to handsfree accessories STORY:

Lauren Finney Harden


ood friends make promises and hold each other to them, and that’s exactly what led Brookhaven resident Stacey Sidles Ollinger and her business partner and friend, Carley Faircloth, to launch their brand earlier this year. Faircloth was diagnosed with cancer, and Ollinger promised that “should Carley survive, we’d bring her design of a hat- and bauble-carrying high-end accessory to life.” Faircloth beat the odds, and the resulting product of Ollinger’s promise is Sidecar, an innovative way to keep your hands free of often cumbersome but necessary accessories, such as hats and masks, when you take them off. The brand’s name is a mashup of their own—Stacey’s nickname is “Side,” and “Car” is from Carley. Sidecar is made up of a sleek, functional clip and premium leather strap that can be worn six different ways, including cross-body, over-the-shoulder and backpack style, making it versatile for your outfit and destination.


“Sidecar is a jewelry-grade, 24K goldplated and patented clip paired with premium leather,” Ollinger explains. “It’s practical and encourages ease as a companion accessory, making traveling with hats, masks, scarves and ‘baubles’ much more stylish, whether headed to the baseball fields or to The St. Regis Atlanta.”

July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead

Ollinger and Faircloth, who grew up together in Scottsdale, Arizona, had a specific vision of who their end-user would be: both busy career women and busy moms. “Carley now lives in New York and London, and I’m here in Atlanta,” Ollinger says. “Carley represents the career woman who is a globetrotter and very fashion-

oriented. I’m a married mother of two, with a laid-back, California style that has influences of Southern color and prep.” The two women have very different lives but realized they both were looking for a wearable solution that was both stylish and functional to a common fashion problem. “We were certain we could create this accessory as a gorgeous statement piece that would not sacrifice utility in the design,” Ollinger says. Ollinger, a hospitality marketing and sales veteran who has worked at iconic properties across the country including Hotel Plaza Athénée in New York and Thompson Beverly Hills before working on Sidecar full time, admits it’s taken “several designs, triumphs and failures,” but that the resulting product has been worth the wait, just in time for soaring summer temperatures and outdoor events. “Sidecar is our small way of inspiring people to get out there and explore their own backyards and connect and support each other, in great style, of course,” says Ollinger. “It’s for the festival goer and concert lover, for biking on the Beltline, lunching at Le Bilboquet, watching tennis matches and baseball games, and everything in between. Sidecar goes where you go.” Later this year, Sidecar will launch a silver nickel version with black leather, and additional companion products are in the works. In the meantime, you might catch Ollinger around Brookhaven, sporting her Sidecar while enjoying time with her husband and two sons. n SIDECAR


LUXURY MOUNTAIN LIVING Mountain living in style.

Gorgeous and within 5 miles of picturesque downtown Blue Ridge, this beautiful home is located in one of the most upscale neighborhoods the area has to offer. Sweeping windows and an easy flowing floor plan give you long range mountain views throughout the year. The terrace area is equipped with a full service wet bar, a cedar wine closet and beautiful stone fireplace. This home is situated on 1.09 acres and has four bedrooms, four full baths and a half bath, there is plenty of room for a family or for hosting guest in this sprawling home. If the mountains are calling to you, give me a call.

LINDA BAKER 706)455-0262

July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead 







Kypris Moonlight Catalyst ($98) “My favorite skincare happens to be vegan,” Bussert says. She loves this retinol alternative serum designed to gently revitalize skin overnight, all without irritation or peeling. Its mix of fermented pumpkin enzymes AILLEA and hydrating 3796 Roswell Road botanicals helps Atlanta 30342 even skin tone and 470.427.3992 boost radiance.

of plastic like PVC or polyurethane,” says Becca Bussert, professional makeup artist and manager of the Buckhead location of AILLEA, a clean beauty retailer. “Make sure to check the other ingredients in a vegan product to look for harmful things like parabens, synthetic colorants, fragrances and more.” If overall animal welfare is your priority, look for products that also specify “cruelty free.” “Cruelty free means that the product hasn’t been tested on any animals,” Harris says. “A product can be vegan and still be tested on animals.” While certain ingredients are off limits when formulating vegan beauty products, that doesn’t mean that you have to settle for less-effective

July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead

Leah Perry Photography

oing vegan doesn’t have to apply just to your diet: Beauty and skincare products are increasingly going sans animal byproducts. In fact, according to a 2018 report by Grand View Research, the global vegan cosmetics and beauty market is projected to reach $20.8 billion by 2025. Like other terms, such as “green” or “sustainable,” “vegan” has the potential to be misunderstood. “A vegan product simply means the absence of animal ingredients,” says Jane Harris, the Buckhead resident who founded vegan hair care brand 2 Mango Sisters with her husband, Ed, in 2010. Animal-derived ingredients have made their way into beauty formulations for centuries. Honey and beeswax were used in ancient Egypt to create everything from moisturizers to lip stains to help well-heeled Egyptians look their best. If you’re determined to avoid non-vegan ingredients, keep an eye out for common components including bee pollen, lanolin (derived from sheep), carmine (a red dye that comes from insects) and keratin (which can come from wool, feathers, horns and hooves), though a comprehensive list is much longer. Vegan doesn’t always mean “clean” or “non-toxic.” “If you think about it, a lot of ‘vegan leather’ is some form


Jennifer Bradley Franklin 2 Mango Sisters Conditioner ($48) “Our conditioner is amazing,” Harris says of the formula infused with cocoa seed butter, aloe and shea butter. “It is rich with Amazon oil, made from native South American vegetables, that gives your hair the conditioning it needs. It enhances manageability and shine. It can also separate and lift curls, leaving them with a natural, carefree bounce.”

with the same, or better, end result as we’ve come to expect from conventional cosmetic products.” Harris experienced firsthand how a switch to vegan BECCA BUSSERT JANE HARRIS products can be an upgrade over conventional ones. “I had sudshampoo, conditioner, serums, den hair loss that I wanted to fix and cleansers or cosmetics. “Vegan, nonstarted researching ways to solve my toxic or clean products can be just as problem,” she recalls. After formulateffective as conventional products,” ing and regularly using the 2 Mango Bussert says. “In the last couple of Sisters line, Harris enjoys fuller locks decades, science has evolved to usonce again. n ing safer and more natural ingredients

maggie schreck

Maggie Schreck, PA-C

Botox/Dysport: softens fine lines and wrinkles in the forehead, crows feet and frown lines

Kybella: non-surgical fat reduction in neck and body. Fillers: adds or restores volume to the face with results lasting up to two years

QWO: FDA-approved treatment of cellulite with minimal downtime Sculptra: face and body treatment that stimulates collagen to lift and build volume

2233 Peachtree Rd Suite K, Atlanta, GA 30309 (770) 460-2000

July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead 



KETO BITES Three eateries with menu items friendly to the diet Clean-eating restaurant KarmaFarm in Buckhead offers farm-to-table options in a fast-casual setting. Satisfy your hunger with its keto-friendly, gluten-free Patagonian smoked salmon avocado bowl with massaged organic kale, dressed with organic toasted sesame oil and tamari (above). Craving some pasta? Head to Flower Child’s Buckhead or new Westside location for its decadent yet carb-friendly take on pasta, the Keto Turkey Sausage and Zucchini Lasagna (left). For a sweet fix, try keto-friendly bakery and coffee shop Zambawango in Sandy Springs for a slice of their signature lowcarb (3.8 carbs/slice) carrot cake (below) or strawberry cheesecake (3.5 carbs/slice). Flower Child Multiple Locations


Karina Antenucci

The Basics The keto diet is a high-fat, moderateprotein and low-carbohydrate eating pattern made up of 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% carbs. This means you’ll be consuming mostly fats from foods such as nuts, eggs, oils, cheeses, avocadoes, coconut, meats and milk. “It almost flips the old nutrition pyramid upside down. Based on a 2,000-calorie diet, 75% fat means about 166 grams of fat each day—it’s a lot. Just a glass of milk and an apple will put you over the 5% percent carbs,” she explains.


Zambawango 901 Abernathy Road CU 400, Sandy Springs 30328 404.879.9731

improve glycemic control for people who are diabetic, and it can help you feel full longer. “Research has shown that you can lose weight with keto. However, sometimes that weight loss in the beginning can be water weight as carbs store water,” Peterson says. Additionally, if you’re eating mostly unsaturated, plant-based fats, it can help lower cholesterol.


he key to any successful diet is sustainability. “Diet fads come and go, but individuals, with their doctors’ input, need to choose what works for them. Otherwise, you’re going to gain the weight back the second you go off the diet,” says Buckhead resident Emily Peterson, dietitian and owner of Suitable Nutrition. Curious if the uber-popular ketogenic diet might work for you? Peterson provides the following insight to help you decide if it’s a good fit.

KarmaFarm 2277 Peachtree Road, Suite B Atlanta 30309 404.812.0477

Emily Peterson, dietitian and owner of Suitable Nutrition.

How It Works Carbohydrates are typically the main source of energy for your body. “If you’re restricting those to such a low level, the body reverts to ketogenesis, which is the utilization of fatty acids called ketones for fuel. Producing ketones instead of glucose as an alternative energy source is what can help you lose weight,” Peterson says. “The human body has evolved with this ability so that in times of famine the body uses its fat as its primary source of energy.”

The Pros Positives include that you don’t have to count calories, keto can help

July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead

The Cons It is not the right choice for people with a history of heart disease or health issues related to the pancreas, liver, thyroid or gallbladder. It’s also a no-no for those whose gallbladder, which helps process fats, has been removed. “It might increase the lipid profile and cholesterol levels of those with a family history of cardiovascular disease. It’s important to work with your doctor and know what your levels are, and to be monitoring those,” Peterson says. It also might not be the right choice for highly active people who need carbs for fuel.

is making the switch from carbs to fat as a primary energy source. Cutting back on high-fiber vegetables and fruits can lead to constipation, so Peterson recommends taking a fiber supplement. Additional supplements may be needed to balance vitamin and mineral deficiencies, too. To make sure you are in ketosis, you need to measure the keytones in your urine often. To start, test once a day with an at-home test. The bottom line is the keto diet is a great tool for weight loss, but Peterson says, “The jury is still out on the long-term benefits.” n

What to Expect


For some, the “keto flu,” or feeling low energy and unwell, will set in for the first week or two while the body


July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead 



you visit us. Another thing is to change having a facial be such a financial commitment and instead be more in line with getting your nails done— something you may do frequently to look good or get ready for an event.

Brittany Wage

What does having a monthly facial do for your skin? Clients will see benefits and results after their first facial. In your first treatment, the esthetician would likely address your most pressing concerns such as breakouts and dry skin. However, as you continue to come in for regular treatments, multiple skin care concerns are resolved, and you can build upon your results and start focusing on other goals such as anti-aging, glowing complexion and more. It is similar to if you had fitness goals you are trying to achieve; you would want to work out regularly and start with running 1 mile before you are ready to run a marathon. 

Facials for Everyone Ansley Bowman is determined to remove the barriers to regular skin care


hen Ansley Bowman moved back to Atlanta from New York City in 2019 to be close to her Brookhaven-based family, she searched for a beauty studio where she could get regular facials as part of her skin care routine. During Bowman’s 2.5 years in NYC, where there is a wellness concept easily accessible on every corner, the fashion buying and sales professional had seen the benefits of having regular maintenance. It paid dividends with a youthful appearance and the clarity and hydration of her skin. But Bowman couldn’t find a beauty studio in Atlanta that didn’t have barriers to monthly facials, from high cost to limited hours of operation.


“Faced the Facial Studio was truly born out of me, as a customer, looking for something in the industry and not finding it,” says the new entrepreneur, who opened the luxury-meetsaffordability skin care concept this May with a brick-and-mortar location at Westside Provisions District. The 1,436-square-foot space features six private treatment rooms and offers 30-minute ($60) or 50-minute ($100) facials that include a cleanse, skin analysis and custom course of treatment. Add-ons for microdermabrasion, chemical and enzyme peels, LED light therapy and microcurrent and high frequency treatments do not cost anything additional. Membership packages

July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead


Karina Antenucci

are available, encouraging habitual behavior and savings on clean and natural retail skin care products. Here, Bowman talks about her new endeavor and how frequent facials impact your skin. How is Faced different from other skin care studios? It is open seven days per week and after hours on weeknights so that, whether you are a busy mom or a working professional, you can fit a facial into the schedule. We eliminated any add-on service fees, giving the aestheticians the tools they need to give their clients the optimal, customized treatment each day. You know you’re paying the same fee every time

What was the criteria for the beauty brands you sell and use in treatments? It was very important to use the highest-quality and most effective products. We are offering four lines to have something for everyone. Naturopathica is a clean, natural brand that focuses on a holistic approach to skin care, and it will be a large part of our facials. Image Skincare is more clinical-grade skin care. The brand has a line for everyone’s skin needs such as acne prone and anti-aging. Ursa Major is fantastic plantpowered, clean skin care at wonderful price points. Augustinus Bader is a luxury product line that’s backed with 30 years of research and science. What’s your go-to skin care routine? I’ve developed a routine that changes almost daily based on my skin care needs. I have most items from the four brands we carry. My husband’s like, “Can you please make some space on the bathroom counter?” A daytime moisturizer with SPF is the most important piece in my routine. What made you choose the Westside as the location for Faced? Westside Provisions, to me, is truly my favorite shopping center. When my business partner and COO, Martha Moore, and I had the opportunity to open there, it was a no-brainer. n FACED THE FACIAL STUDIO 1198 Howell Mill Road, Suite 200 Atlanta 30318 404.482.3596


WONDERFUL HOME IN GATED RAVENEL RIDGE You will be instantly captivated by the beautifully landscaped grounds and lovely gardens as you approach this home. A babbling water feature flows through the stone driveway greets you as you approach and is visible from the kitchen window. This gracious home has spectacular views of 30 mountains and overlooks downtown Highlands as well. It’s perfect for entertaining, with its covered, screened, outdoor living space that has its own stone fireplace for enjoying the cool evenings and spectacular sunsets. The open living, dining, kitchen, and award-wining wet bar area layout make it an easy flow for large groups. Your family will love to gather ‘round the beautiful stone fireplace that anchors the living area. On the main floor, an oversized master bedroom with

vaulted ceilings has two generous closets and an indulgent master bath that boasts a corner garden tub, separate shower, and double vanity. There is a welcoming guest suite with a pretty bay window on the main floor and two more large guest suites on the upper level. With its own kitchen and fireplace, the lower terrace level is perfect for a mother-inlaw suite, spacious home office, or another guest suite. Storage space is abundant throughout the house so your treasured keepsakes will always be at hand. Located in the exclusive gated community of Ravenel, which is within walking distance to downtown Highlands. Four bedrooms, five and a half baths. MLS# 96528 | Offered for $ 2,895,000


LAKEFRONT IN EXCLUSIVE CULLASAJA CLUB This incredible luxury home is sited on Lake Ravenel within Cullasaja Club with 350 feet of water frontage. A picture of good taste and style, this superbly positioned house is surrounded by the most enchanting scenery with gardens and trails, babbling water features, a gazebo, and dock. With captivating views from almost every room, the home was designed to suit all occasions from entertaining guests to relaxing after a day of golf or croquet. The living room has a ceiling that soars two stories, a floor-to-ceiling native stone fireplace, a wall of glass that opens the room to the spacious covered deck, and a built-in bookcase that is an intrinsic feature of the room. The kitchen opens up into an intimate dining area and a cozy den and has rich cabinetry, granite counter-

tops, and stainless steel appliances; it also boasts a large island that provides an area for family and friends to congregate. The wonderful master bedroom suite has “five-star” written all over it with a stunning bath and a private outdoor deck that holds the hot tub. A convenient office, lined with bookcases and a comfortable daybed for enjoying a good book, separates the master suite from the living room. Upstairs are three inspired en suite bedrooms with private balconies that are ideal for overnight guests. This private retreat has many options for enjoyment both indoors and out. Lake Ravenel offers water sports such as canoeing, fishing, paddle boarding, and kayaking. MLS# 93237 | Offered for $ 2,757,000

JUDY MICHAUD & MITZI RAUERS JUDY: (828) 371-0730 | MITZI: (404) 218-9123 488 Main St, Highlands, NC | 2334 Cashiers Rd, Highlands, NC 132 Hwy 107 S, Cashiers, NC © 2021 BHHS Affiliates, LLC. An independently owned and operated franchisee of BHHS Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc. ® Equal Housing Opportunity.


AMAZING NEW CONSTRUCTION IN HIGHLANDS CC Located on a cul de sac with a circular driveway and carport in front, this home will be a real showstopper! With just the right amount of mountain flair, the home boasts antique beams, a beautiful stone fireplace, and gleaming hardwood floors. The home is beautifully illuminated inside with high, true divided light windows all around. The covered deck flows seamlessly from the great room and has a fireplace with built-ins flanking the sides plus an antique door for privacy; it is the perfect spot to entertain or to enjoy the peace and quiet on a cool summer evening. The large kitchen will have custom cabinetry and top-of-the-line stainless steel appliances. The owner’s suite has all the bells and whistles with “his and her” baths, “his and her” closets, a

second laundry, and great finishes. Most families want a second living space so visitors have a space to relax or for children to play games or watch TV. The terrace level has a wonderful family room with a stone fireplace plus three en suite guest rooms, a second laundry and kitchenette. This level also has a large, private covered deck plus an open deck that wraps around the entire space for enjoying those panoramic mountain views. New construction is hard to find these days, so don’t let this one get away! Located in renowned Highlands Country Club. MLS# 93866 | Offered for $ 2,250,000


LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION! In the perfect spot between Highlands and Cashiers and close to Mountaintop Golf and Lake Club and Trillium Links and Lake Club for all sorts of activities and convenience, this lovely home has only had one owner and has seen very little use over the years. On five very usable acres, which can be subdivided, the home offers complete privacy and with the addition of a guest house would make a great family compound. The great room boasts abundant windows, a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace, cathedral ceiling with wood beams, and gleaming wide plank wood floors. A separate wet bar with wine storage and serving window into the living room makes entertaining a breeze. The gourmet kitchen has custom wood cabinetry, stainless steel appliances, an is-

land with breakfast bar, and granite countertops. The deck features an open area for grilling or enjoying the sun plus a covered, screened-in porch that overlooks a babbling stream and has a stone fireplace. Glass doors from both the living and dining areas lead onto the screened porch. The main level master suite is spacious with large walk-in closet and an upscale master bath that holds a corner jetted tub. Upstairs are two large guest suites. Gated driveway. MLS# 96643 | Offered for $1,695,000

JUDY MICHAUD & MITZI RAUERS JUDY: (828) 371-0730 | MITZI: (404) 218-9123 488 Main St, Highlands, NC | 2334 Cashiers Rd, Highlands, NC 132 Hwy 107 S, Cashiers, NC © 2021 BHHS Affiliates, LLC. An independently owned and operated franchisee of BHHS Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc. ® Equal Housing Opportunity.


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.







Art After Hours P52

“It’s Southern with an edge.” —Merry Parker Whidby

Local artist Merry Parker Whidby specializes in acrylic abstracts with floral flourishes.

July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead 


Orion Bustamante


STAR BRIGHT Actor Trae Romano dishes about the second season of “Stargirl”


uckhead’s Trae Romano, 16, says viewers can expect “a really dramatic, gritty, great season that a lot of people wouldn’t expect from a superhero show” on the second season of the CW’s “Stargirl.” Filmed at Atlanta Industrial Parkway, the show will air in August. “Warner Brothers bought a bunch of different factories on this little lot, and we film there. We have all these cool sets.” “Stargirl,” which premiered in May 2020 (Season 1 is available on HBO Max), follows the lives of the Dugans and Whitmores, a blended family who start over in Blue Valley, Nebraska. Romano is Mike Dugan, the stepbrother of Stargirl (aka Courtney Whitmore, played by Brec Bassinger); son of Pat Dugan, played by Luke Wilson; and stepson of Barbara Whitmore, portrayed by Amy Smart. “We’re kinda in this split household. There’s a lot of tension, something a lot of people deal with having a stepfamily. I’m usually stepping on



Vanessa Pascale Rust

Stargirl’s toes. It essentially explores the new and old generations of this old superhero team that’s not really touched upon in a lot of the big superhero movies and TV shows. It’s the JSA [Justice Society of America], before the Justice League.” This season features a notable character arc for Mike, who sets out to create his own legacy. It allowed Romano to dive deeper into his character and to film more scenes with the entire cast. And each character has its own episode. “I’m really blessed to be playing Mike because it’s a character that could be morphed into anything as seasons go on. Knock on wood,” he says. Since this is Romano’s first TV series, he has been learning as much

July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead

as he can, especially from his onscreen dad, Wilson. The two have forged a meaningful friendship and frequently bounce ideas off one another. “Luke really knows how to formulate an idea and execute it to its fullest extent,” Romano says. Romano has enjoyed showing the cast around town in their downtime. Originally from Vinings, Romano and his family moved to Buckhead when he was 6, and it’s where they have a restaurant, Industry Tavern. Since Atlanta has become the Hollywood of the South, Romano has gotten to sleep in his own bed while filming, which is a plus for him. “It’s efficient. Never in a million years did I think I wouldn’t have to leave my house [for a role]. And I think it’s really great for a

lot of people because they’re getting opened up to a great city,” he says. Presently, Romano is homeschooling. That, combined with the pandemic’s restrictions, has pushed him to explore Buckhead more. “There’s a little park a few blocks away [from home near the Terminus buildings] that I started going to. It just made me appreciate my community so much more,” he says. On the weekends, Romano hangs with his friends at the neighborhood pool, also equipped with ping pong tables and a basketball court. The young actor is always busy working on his craft and likes to write. “I write a lot. I write screenplays and am currently working on a few proofs of concept and have churned out a few features as well. I want to be as artistically authentic to myself when I’m creating as I can. I want to expand my horizons, whether it be writing, directing, playing guitar or anything along those lines,” Romano says. n

changing Atlanta fast food

find out how at @whatsyourgusto

July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead 



Art After Hours Buckhead social media maven makes painting a second career


s the social media manager for Explore Georgia, Merry Parker Whidby spends her working hours promoting the state as a tourist destination. But when she gets home at the end of the day, she morphs into Merry Parker Whidby, the artist. The transformation takes place in a spare bedroom of her Chastain Park home, where things are apt to, and often do, get in a state. “I got a townhouse about four years ago and had a room I could turn into my little art studio, and it’s really changed the game,” she says. “I now have a place to work and enjoy, but I can also shut the door because art is messy. But it’s my happy place.” Art has long been an intimate part of the social media professional’s life. The fascination began during her


middle school years in south Georgia, where she worked with an art teacher who rocked her world. “She was my hero, my favorite person in the world,” says Whidby. “We had so much fun in her class, and I found I loved painting, coloring and creating.” At 15, she got into collecting. “For Christmas, I’d always get a piece of art, and when I was at Auburn, I did a study abroad in Austria, and I picked up pieces there,” she says. “I particularly love collecting local artists and going through my house, seeing works by all these people.” Whidby’s collection includes Georgia-based artists such as Erin Gregory, Jeanne Cowart, Jim Touchton, Sally King Benedict and Teil Duncan, to name a few. Her own creations reflect a shared heritage

July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead

that comes across in her colorful, acrylic abstracts with floral flourishes. If the mood strikes, she even goes off the canvas and paints bottles that make unique gifts. “One of my teachers described it best: It’s Southern with an edge,” she says. A 2019 art retreat to Portugal provided the motivation to get more serious about her second career. Whidby came back to Buckhead and began selling her work at Acquisitions Interiors on Miami Circle. She also drew on her social media savvy to promote her work through her website and Instagram pages. The galleries there reflect her foray into flags, holiday-inspired pieces, miniatures and landscapes. While promoting her own work utilizes the same skill set as her day job, Whidby says having what amounts to


H.M. Cauley

two jobs isn’t easy to balance. “Painting is something I love doing, but it’s tough balancing it with a fulltime job,” she says. “I largely do it for me, and if the works sell, they sell.” Not being dependent on art for her livelihood is also freeing, she says. “I like exploring with a blank canvas and seeing what comes up. When it gets messy and ugly, you know it’s going to be a good piece, but you’ve got to go through the ugly to get to the pretty. If I did that full-time, the pressure would take away the creativity. Not having to do it to pay the mortgage makes it more enjoyable.” n



Learn more at


Photo by Bernardo Nogueira for Só Dança.


For more information, contact a location near you: Michael C. Carlos Dance Centre in West Midtown

Buckhead Centre in Chastain Square

Virginia-Highland Centre in Amsterdam Walk | 470.588.5583

Apply or Nominate a Child for Bert’s Big Adventure Today!

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Established in 2002, Bert’s Big Adventure is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides a magical, all-expenses-paid, five-day journey to Walt Disney World® for children with chronic and terminal illnesses and their families. Learn more about qualifications and how to nominate a child or apply at

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July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead 6/3/21 53 12:39 PM


Stop Cursing and Start Moving

“F”-IT-LESS: 18 F WORDS TO REFRAME AND REPURPOSE YOUR LIFE is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble for $28.



H.M. Cauley

he first thing author Shaun Rawls wants readers to know is that the “F” in the title of his book is not a bad word. In “F”-It-Less: 18 F-Words to Reframe and Repurpose Your Life, Rawls, a former high-powered real estate agent, focuses on words such as fine, fantastic and family to replace the F-word, which he says often gets in the way of people’s leading successful and fulfilling lives. What makes the Chastain Park resident an expert on getting motivated is a proven track record in a 25-year career that includes leading more than 2,000 agents and managing more than $4 billion in annual sales


as head of The Rawls Group of Keller Williams Realty. During those years, he was among the top 40 real estate brokers in the country and was hailed as one of the top 200 most powerful people in the industry. But it took a break from business in 2014 for Rawls to find that “quiet space” calm enough to refocus and put his ideas on paper. “I’ve always written inspiring messages to our people and knew I wanted to write a book at some point,” says the Atlanta native and Georgia Tech grad. “I’m still an owner and investor, but when I stepped away from the day-to-day, I discovered that power of doing nothing, and this book came to me.” Rawls also admits that the F-word did play a role in his choice of title

July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead

and the F-themed chapters that lead with the words, foxhole and focus, for example. “This book is the antithesis of the F-word,” Rawls says. “It questions why people are unhappy with some aspects of their lives and why they live with that. I think it’s because most people seem to hate change, especially when it’s not their idea. The ones with the ideas are usually excited about change.” Rawls draws on his own experience to encourage readers to take control of their lives by reframing their plans and replacing the idea of “oh, just ‘F’ it” with empowering and freeing words. One of his favorites is fork, defined as the distinct change of direction based on circumstances. Rawls credits his own fork in the road for providing

some inspiration for the book. “When I stepped out of real estate, I was in the middle of a divorce and went from 100 to 5 miles per hour,” he says. “It would have been easy for me to get lost in a change of identity. I spent a lot of time thinking about where I’d been and what I wanted to do going forward.” Helping others figure out how to manage the forks of life during and post pandemic is a key part of the book’s mission, says Rawls, who notes that the May 2021 publication date was the result of COVID pushing back the original debut. “While I was frustrated that happened, this is a better time,” he says. “That’s part of the universe making the timing right, and sometimes the universe is more powerful than we are.” n


Cherry Blossom



the revivalists (sat.) rick springfield (fri.)

live music street party kidz zone food trucks

Better than Ezra • Jagged Edge • Amy Ray Band Baylee Littrell • Saleka • Hunter Callahan • Revel in Romance Celebrating Brookhaven’s Reopening When: July 30 (3-11 p.m.) and 31 (noon-11 p.m.) Where: Brookhaven MARTA Station parking lot and along Dresden Drive and Apple Valley Road More announcements to come!



Atlanta draws some of the best and brightest from across industries. From chefs and designers to entrepreneurs and entertainers, Buckhead and its surrounding areas are a mecca for those at the top of their craft. Each summer, we profile a few of these standout talents for our annual Rising Stars issue, and this year’s group of seven is as stellar as ever. Their compelling stories, which you’ll find detailed here, have their share of challenges and triumphs, and we know you’ll find plenty to inspire. Read on to find out what makes each of these fascinating people worth keeping an eye on. PHOTOS:

Sara Hanna

July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead 



KAMERON CORVET Riding the wave of burgeoning artistic fame


inger-songwriter, actor and Buckhead resident Kameron Corvet lives by the personal mantra “You can’t make a withdrawal before you make a deposit.” All the work he puts into his music and acting career, from writing songs and preparing a set list for a gig to Instagram skits and networking, is an investment. The withdrawals are his indie-soul music and acting performances. You may catch Corvet singing with his acoustic guitar locally at Sunday brunch at The Beverly in Glenwood Park or on some evenings at The James Room on the BeltLine’s East-

side Trail. These humble gigs might seem unusual for someone who has traveled the world, opening for artists such as Adele and Chaka Khan, but they’re par for the course for Corvet who just likes to play his storytelling music. “Things have been going really well. I’m riding the wave and making sure I can do as much as I possibly can,” says the Morehouse graduate. In 2018, Corvet got his big break. He wrote the chart-topping “Don’t Make Me Wait” from his apartment couch, and its recording passed through a series of the right hands. The result was a collaboration with


Karina Antenucci

Sting and Shaggy on the album 44/876, which won a Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album in 2019. Their single, co-written by Corvet, also charted No. 1 in more than 14 countries. While the pandemic slowed down Corvet’s international touring schedule, he stayed busy. He worked on his most recent EP release, Kathy’s Basement, which includes an acoustic version of “Don’t Make Me Wait.” The album is inspired by his mother, Kathy, who always wanted a basement in their family’s homes. “All of our houses were ground floor up,”

Corvet explains. “The album cover is an imaginary basement created in my mom’s honor.” A close-knit and musical bunch, the Corvets are originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and relocated to Cincinnati, Ohio when he was 10. In the year ahead, Corvet hopes to bring his latest songs on tour around the U.S. and abroad, building a core audience while “market testing,” as he calls it. He would also like to pursue acting roles, something he recently had a taste of for the first time. In a twist of fate, a connection recommended him for the role he landed as renowned guitar player Cornell Dupree in “Genius: Aretha.” The National Geographic biographical anthology series is based on the life of Aretha Franklin and stars Cynthia Erivo as the famed songstress. “I went in extremely humble,” Corvet says of his first big-production acting role and wanting to absorb every learning moment from the experience. Using Instagram as a creative outlet, Corvet also likes to entertain with short skits called “5 Seconds of French,” aimed at teaching viewers the language. Sound random? It isn’t really. He grew up speaking French in school at a young age, earned a bachelor’s degree in French and business from Morehouse and taught the language to middle and high schoolers in Atlanta for several years before pursuing his music career full-time four years ago. As both his “deposits” and “withdrawals” snowball for Corvet, he is dreaming big and aspires to be in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame one day. “Or at least greatly contribute to the arts as a whole,” he says. “I have the ability to do it at a high level. I’m destined to do a bunch of great things.” n

KAMERON’S BUCKHEAD HANGOUTS Tribeca Buckhead “Sophisticated vibes whether for a private event or one of their weekly events.” Apt 4B “It’s great for a low-key but high-profile hang.” Botica “It gives you access to the energy of Peachtree while being able to enjoy quality drinks and great conversation with the staff.”

ASHLEY SCHOENITH The Brookhaven resident’s passion for the past becomes a lifestyle brand with an increasingly bright future


or Ashley Schoenith, everything old is new again. The Brookhaven resident has turned her love of all things vintage into a budding lifestyle brand. Called Heirloomed, it showcases housewares and kitchen items of old that were made with purpose and built to last. For her collection, she curates pieces she finds at antique stores, estate sales and other markets, claiming that in a world where everything is becoming increasingly disposable, we need to celebrate the value in items “with a story and a history.” The 39-year-old married mother of three describes herself as an old soul who comes from a long line of old souls. Her business started, in fact, after she graduated from UGA and made trips to Florida to spend time with her maternal grandmother. Schoenith was living in Buckhead at the time, and whenever she returned home from Tallahassee, she always had a stack of aprons that she and her grandmother had hand-sewn during

her visits, and she sold them to her friends at potluck brunches. “It didn’t start out to be a business,” Schoenith says. “It’s been an organic growth.” When she first hung out her (online) shingle in 2006, the company was called IceMilk Aprons (“ice milk” is what her grandmother called ice cream). Ten years down the road, after the business had grown and the inventory had expanded well beyond just aprons, she changed the name to Heirloomed. Today, customers can snap up everything from antique diamond brooches and leather-bound issues of National Geographic from 1937 to old-fashioned rolling pins and vintage ironstone serving platters. Heirloomed now also includes curated collections of new items that, per Schoenith, are nostalgic and have an appreciation for the past but in a way that’s not stuffy or pretentious. A paragraph from the Heirloomed website sums up the company’s mantra: “That our aprons inspire made-fromscratch baking to live on, our recipe


cards keep the art of beautiful handwriting alive, and our tabletop linens ensure family and friends continue to gather—this is what we are all about.” During the pandemic, Schoenith dove into developing her new line of fabrics and wallpapers that just launched on the Heirloomed website. Next up is a coffee table book, possibly a brick-and-mortar store and other exciting projects she can’t divulge just yet. Schoenith also continues to add to the assemblage of videos on the company’s YouTube channel, whether it’s giving a tutorial on how to sew a running stitch, whipping up a favorite cast-iron skillet recipe or visiting with a local silver expert. Her efforts are aimed, she says, at preserving the concept of the family heirloom and making memories that can be passed down through the generations. So managing the business to make time for her family is a top priority. They make a point to sit down for meals together as often as possible. Her kids, ages 5 through

Jill Becker

9, like to help her out in the kitchen and tag along on shopping trips. Through it all, she has found a clever way to incorporate her love of timeless treasures and passeddown traditions into a growing enterprise à la Martha Stewart or Chip and Joanna Gaines. Says Schoenith: “To wake up and do what you love every day is so rewarding.” n

ASHLEY’S FAVORITE FINDS Everything from shopping to meals out is a family affair for the Schoeniths. Her kids enjoy accompanying her while she peruses estate sales or the Scott Antique Markets. They explore the Brookhaven Farmers Market together and dine out at nearby spots such as Pure Taqueria and Southbound. “We love all of the places on Dresden because we can walk there,” Schoenith says, noting Valenza and Dixie Q among their neighborhood favorites.

July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead 


EUGENE TUTUNIKOV His timing is perfect for selling used luxury watches worldwide


he Buckhead Village showroom of SwissWatchExpo reflects company CEO Eugene Tutunikov: classic luxury mixed with Wall Street drive. “It really does feel like you’re walking into a brokerage shop more than a retail store,” says the 38-year-old, who should know. Before moving to Atlanta in 2016 to join his mother and stepfather, Victoria and Jake Rokhlin, in the watch business, Tutunikov spent a decade as a Wall Street trader. It turns out that selling pre-owned Rolexes and other high-end watches online is more fun, says Tutunikov. It’s also exciting transforming a

mom-and-pop operation into an e-commerce juggernaut. He estimates that 90% of the business is online now and that sales have grown nine times since he arrived, making SwissWatchExpo No. 2 among U.S. retailers of used luxury watches and in the top four worldwide. Not bad for a member of a poor family from Ukraine who reached the Philadelphia suburbs in 1989. Tutunikov remembers relying on food stamps, but he also recalls seeing many members of his immigrant community thrive. “I have this concept of the American dream very

much alive and well in my heart. You can do a lot in this country if you put the effort in,” he says. His drive helped him graduate from New York University in 3.5 years with a double major in finance and economics and a minor in math. “Coming from a refugee background, I always felt like we moved here so I could have a better future,” says the entrepreneur. Besides him and his parents, SwissWatchExpo had two employees in 2016. Now it has 25. “We have salespeople who are obsessed about watches, and since they


Michael Jacobs

don’t get paid commission, they’re not trying to do a hard sell,” Tutunikov says. Each salesperson handles up to 80 incoming sales calls each day, all with the goal of connecting buyers with their ideal timepieces. He wasn’t a collector of luxury watches before he entered the business but appreciated the craftsmanship. He now has six, including a rose-gold annual calendar Patek Philippe he pulled from the inventory as a Hanukkah gift in December to celebrate 2020 sales growth. Though he can borrow a watch from the 3,000 or so in stock for a special occasion, working seven days a week means he often turns down offers to socialize. Tutunikov has worked hard to build the company’s reputation, develop online trust and boost e-commerce efficiency. He invests heavily in marketing to attract buyers and sellers. The store’s YouTube channel carries more than 30 new videos a week, from product reviews to celebrity styles. The staff includes four fulltime photographers and in-house watchmakers who authenticate, service, repair and polish every piece. Volume is another market advantage. SwissWatchExpo has 1,000 Rolexes, Tutunikov says, while many stores have only five or six. Even remote customers enjoy virtually touring the showroom to explore the options. Tutunikov finds inspiration in Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who also left a job in finance to launch an e-commerce company, but for now he isn’t following Bezos’ example of expanding beyond his niche. The watch market still has too much room for growth. “I am having a ton of fun growing this business to levels that we never thought imaginable,” Tutunikov says, adding that sales could top $100 million a year in the future as the industry consolidates. n

EUGENE’S BEST BITES “I like to go out to nice places and have a good meal,” Tutunikov says. Some of his favorites are close to his condo at The Charles in Buckhead Village, including Storico Fresco, Storico Vino and Kyma. He says Kyma’s outdoor dining area is “something special on a warm day.”


July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead


BIANCA MODO ISOM Consultant helps leaders to find their power


ianca Modo Isom spent a year as a graduate student in Paris, and it transformed her. She felt free to experiment with her style but, more importantly, to discover who she was—the best version of herself. As a personal image and brand consultant, she does the same with her clients, minus the trip to Paris. “Paris was so important to me,” she says. “I realized I am able to connect and build relationships with anyone, and that has driven me my entire life. The belief that I could help others through communication started there.” Today, Isom has a full schedule. She is Vice President of Marketing & Communication for the Southeast Region of the Association of Image Consultants International, CEO of MODO Global and head of the Bianca Modo Foundation. She’s also a motivational speaker, author and frequent media expert. All of these roles reflect her passion to help people communicate more effectively, realize their full potential and build strong, personal brands. “I love people and love to help them put their best foot for-

ward, whether it’s going on a date, trying to get a promotion or leading a church,” she says. “My work not only helps a leader embrace their personal power, but it [can] transform their organization.” With AICI, she deals with individuals and business leaders; MODO Global focuses on leaders who are people of faith, either in a religious organization or a leading secular company with faith-based principles. She focuses on appearance, behavior and communications, all aimed at helping clients feel better about themselves, which leads to more confidence. Her communications coaching includes developing a marketing plan to help verbalize goals. The approach is similar with the faith-based leaders she works with at MODO Global. “I started my company in 2016, and it’s my baby. I’m a brand consultant, a transformational coach. I assist faith-based leaders and pastors to become the powerful, profound and inspirational leaders within their organizations. To achieve their full potential, they have to understand how to commu-


Mary Welch

nicate with stakeholders, their team and vendors. They have to have passion, authenticity and originality.” A person of faith herself, Isom says that just because people are in positions of power doesn’t mean they know how to lead. “If your team is not getting the results you think they should be getting, there’s a disconnect. The faith-based people I work with want to change the community; they just don’t know how to have that influence that will change everything.” She is seeking grants for her foundation that is focused on girls who have endured abuse, especially human trafficking, to help them become leaders. “I want to work on their mindsets so they can thrive. I want them to see there are opportunities for higher paying careers and that they don’t have to suffer because of what they went through.” Isom, a mother of a 3-year-old son, experienced abusive relationships and wrote about it in her 2019 book, Unscarred: Prayers for Healing, which debuted at No. 1 in its category on Amazon. “I wrote that to help me heal, and I want

BIANCA’S FAVORITES Best place to meet clients: The Bucket Shop Best place to people-watch: Blue Martini Atlanta Favorite place for a spa treatment: Treat Your Feet Favorite date night: Bistro Niko Best place for retail therapy: Nordstrom at Phipps Plaza Favorite restaurant: The Capital Grille Favorite place to take out-oftown guests: R. Thomas Best place to let off steam: Refresh Cryo

others to come forward and heal. There are reasons why people go through what they go through. If you can inspire one person, then you’ve done your job.” Looking forward, Isom is focused on growing her business and brand as well as increasing her speaking engagements. “I want to help leaders, not just ones of faith, enhance their positions and credibility by connecting with their strengths, purposes and values,” Isom says. “And by doing, it transforms them as well as the organization positively. I am called to this.” n

July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead 


PALAK PATEL Chef returns to Atlanta to open new concept at Chattahoochee Food Works STORY:


Lauren Finney Harden

or Palak Patel, moving back home to Atlanta from New York City was always something she was willing to do; it just wasn’t something she saw herself doing so soon. “I was very careful,” she says, “because life has a funny way of making you eat your words. I always used to say to friends who I grew up with here, ‘Whenever, and if it’s the right thing, whatever reason will bring me here, and if I’m here, I’m here.’ And

here I am.” One pandemic later, she made the move south to be closer to her family, and Atlanta is embracing her return. You might recognize her from a bevy of television appearances ranging from “Chopped” to “Beat Bobby Flay” to “Food Network Star.” (And yes, she beat Flay in 2014 with her chicken curry.) She’s worked with big brands such as BMW, Barclays, Whole Foods and Hello Fresh, and has made appearances in the media, including “TODAY,” People magazine and The Los Angeles Times, among

others. She’s a classically trained chef whose childhood in India heavily influences her cuisine, as does her time spent working in the South of France, San Francisco and New York, where she graduated from the French Culinary Institute (now called the Institute of Culinary Education). It’s been a non-traditional path for the chef, who moved to Atlanta from India as a pre-teen. “I pursued a pretty standard corporate career working for startups,” she says. “At 31, I decided to go back to culinary school and switch careers.” She

admits it wasn’t easy; there was a period after graduating when she had to return to the corporate world to pay off her student loans, but she decided to put her all into food. She was teaching at a Brooklyn cooking school when one of the owners suggested she’d be great on “Chopped,” and that was her foray into a media career. New York’s loss is Atlanta’s gain. Patel has recently debuted her new concept at Chattahoochee Food Works at The Works on Upper Westside. Called Dash & Chutney, it’s “an Indian street food and plant-based stall,” she explains. “It’s just things I have loved, and I hope to give people a beautiful entry into Indian food, whether you are new to it or love it already. Everyone is welcome to partake in what I think is one of the [world’s] best cuisines.” It’s an excellent complement to what’s already proven popular at Food Works: small businesses highlighting cuisines from around the world, as chosen by chef and television personality Andrew Zimmern and Robert Montwaid, creator of New York’s successful Gansevoort Market. “It doesn’t hurt to have those two in on it, and that’s one of the bigger reasons that [opening there] was a no-brainer for me,” she says. “I respect them a lot as people, and if they’re involved, only good can come from it.” Expect Indian street foods inspired by Patel’s childhood, such as chaat, a savory street food snack, and vada pav, a popular Indian sandwich. For Patel, her life has come full circle. As she embarks on this new journey as a food stall proprietor, she brings with her the collective experience of her time on the global stage. “It’s been a good journey of cooking as a woman—as an immigrant woman,” Patel says. “It’s been wonderful to be able to tell my story at a national level.” n

PALAK’S LOCAL FAVORITES You can find this talented chef searching various farmers markets for inspiration or dining at South City Kitchen Buckhead and Le Bilboquet. Dunwoodians might catch her at E. 48th Street Market inspecting its selection of Italian groceries. When she’s not thinking about food, Patel can be found splurging at Tootsies and Arhaus.



Serving a personalized recipe for fitness STORY:

Michael Jacobs


homas Hamm does the heavy lifting so his clients can get strong. From personalized meals and massages to customized workouts and yoga, the founder and CEO of concierge wellness and fitness business Smash transforms affluent clients into whatever “strong” means to them. “It doesn’t have to be skinny, large, muscular, not muscular; strong is strong,” says Hamm, 43, who lives in North Fulton with wife Katherine and 5-year-old son Miles and operates from a Sandy Springs studio as well as customers’ homes. Hamm is a European-trained chef and a fitness instructor certified in personal and group training, yoga and specialties from kettlebells and battle ropes to body weight movement and Viking Ninja training. He designs exactly what his clients need and boasts of having such a deep database of custom routines that a client could work out with him four or five days a week for three years without repeating a regimen. Among Hamm’s successes are obese clients who are unrecognizable after 90 days, pain sufferers who kick pills, and cancer patients who regain strength, stamina and mobility. One woman shrank from size 18 to size 8 in 2.5 years, gaining energy, eliminating mood swings— and never losing an ounce, while replacing fat with muscle. “There’s more to life than a scale number,” Hamm says. “I don’t ask you, ‘What’s your BMI? What’s your resting heart rate?’ The question I ask you when I first meet you is ‘What do you love to do?’” Then he creates a program targeting that goal. Hamm’s beard is one sign of his dedication. Normally clean-shaven, he made a pact with a client who lost her hair while battling breast cancer: She wouldn’t cut her hair, and he wouldn’t shave while they and other Smash clients train for an 11-mile trail run this October. He has a long history of embracing opportunities. Inspired by the food of Cajun chef Paul Prudhomme, he left college to grab the last spot in a culinary program in Switzerland that led to cooking jobs around the world then back home in Florida. He trained as a sommelier, which brought him to Atlanta for a position with Buck-

head’s Seasons 52 in the late 2000s. Hamm began lifting weights in college but didn’t become serious about fitness until about 15 years ago. People wanted to join his workouts because he inspired them to better performance, and a few years after coming to Atlanta, he made a career change to be a personal trainer at a gym. Hamm launched Atlanta Fitness Chef with a single client in 2015. A few years ago he rebranded to Smash, a word he unconsciously was using to urge clients to find workout success, to reflect the

range of services he provides on a one-on-one basis. Hamm launched the iStrong virtual program in February. Through Zoom, he or one of his coaches leads three to five people in a workout and still provides individual feedback. He’s also launched iStrong Companion, in which two friends or family members anywhere in the world can train with him online, thus supporting each other and sharing the cost. He’s hiring and training more coaches and thinks Smash can become a global brand, including merchandise, apparel, food and

online training. But he says Smash is already achieving its primary goal, which won’t change no matter how large it grows: “My clients are being transformed.” n

THOMAS’ CITY CENTER Hamm cites Chops and Seasons 52 among the Buckhead restaurants he enjoys, but his go-to area for work and play is downtown Sandy Springs. It’s convenient for clients from Buckhead to Alpharetta and anywhere close to I-285.

July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead 


RILEY KINNANE-PETERSEN This jewelry designer is on a meteoric, fashionable rise


f you’ve ever had the joy of meeting Riley Kinnane-Petersen out and about in Atlanta, you already know how astute she is—not to mention fashionable. She’s usually the best dressed person at the event, which is quite the feat for a middle schooler. She’s also an entrepreneur: At age 5 Kinnane-Petersen “started making necklaces out of old jewelry, putting them on brightcolored string and selling them at my lemonade stand during the summer,” she says. “Then my dad posted some pictures of my jewelry on his Instagram account. People wanted to know where they could buy them, so my dad and I created a website.” Six years later the Sandy Springs

resident and her father, John Petersen, have a robust global business called Gunner & Lux that sells jewelry, T-shirts, hair accessories and more through their website and local stores such as Seed Factory and internationally known retailers including J.Crew and Maisonette. Kinnane-Petersen says she loves working with her dad because “he makes a lot of jokes, keeps things funny and is also a very focused employee.” Her jewelry is colorful and cheerful, perfect for children and even adults who want to bring some playfulness into their wardrobes. Her proces starts with “going somewhere that gives me inspiration. If I see something I like or think is neat, I talk with my dad


Lauren Finney Harden

and then we sketch,” she says. The result is everything from a “Honey the Bunny” necklace to cameo and pearl clip-on earrings and DIY kits featuring cherries, award ribbons and palm trees. The brand includes “Ladies First” hats and “All My Heroes Are Women” T-shirts, as well as old-school letter necklaces spelling out a variety of identities and phrases such as “Feminist,” “Love Wins” and “Bookworm.” She’s also collaborated with other small businesses for items such as a “Magic” hair clip with Daily Disco, a mermaid necklace with illustrator Shelley Couvillion and scrunchies with Sweet Dreams Stitchery. Recently, she collaborated with Zimmerman Shoes, one of the oldest shoe companies in America, on a belt—only the second time the 132-year old company has made something other than shoes. The items, with accoutrements such as pom poms, tassels and character charms, are whimsical, which is Kinnane-Petersen’s goal. “I hope my products bring happiness and joy. I want people to wear my

jewelry and feel good, look good and have fun,” she says. Fun abounds on Instagram, where the account is run by her dad, and where you can catch her inspiration, outfits and tutorials on how to put together some of her favorite looks. While social media can be overwhelming, she understands its power for good. “I would like people to be inspired to be whoever they want to be. I want people to be happy when they come to our Instagram, to know that it is a safe place and that we are for everyone,” she says. As this entrepreneur’s business acumen has developed, so has her fashion sense, but she makes sure her creativity is front and center. For her, fashion is “a way to be creative, to express different sides of yourself. Fashion is always changing as we all are.” She might be young, but she’s insightful. As for what’s on deck for 2021: “I am excited not to be stuck in the house with just my parents! We also have so many new product launches and collaborations I am excited about,” she says. n

RILEY’S FAVORITE SPOTS You can catch the tycoon-inthe-making shopping at favorite stores Ann Mashburn, Tulipano, Tory Burch and La Frock, and she’s happy that she’s finally able to wear some things off-the-rack without having them altered to fit her still kid-sized frame. She also regularly checks in on her designs at Seed Factory at Westside Provisions District, one of her favorite local businesses. You can also find her fueling up at H&F Burger and expending energy at aerial adventure park Treetop Quest in Dunwoody.


July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead




Jill Becker



henever the Simply Buckhead team hears from folks who’ve been bestowed the “Rising Stars” title in years past, it’s always interesting to learn about all of the amazing things they’ve accomplished since being featured in the magazine. Here, we catch up with four former profilees who prove that once a Rising Star, always a Rising Star.

1. BONNEAU ANSLEY III When Bonneau Ansley III was featured as a Rising Star in 2017, his brokerage company had only been open about a year and a half, but it had already become the fastest-growing real estate firm in Atlanta. Today, Ansley Real Estate is the top-selling team in the state, and the company has expanded from fewer than 100 agents in one office to approximately 300 in seven offices. And they didn’t let a little thing like the pandemic slow them down. In fact, the firm ended 2020 with a seemingly unheard of 44% increase in sales over the previous year. “We have been fortunate to have seen dramatic sales growth each of the past four years, culminating with just under $2 billion in sales last year,” Ansley says. Yep, you read that right, $2 billion.

2. TRAE YOUNG The last two years have been a slam dunk for 2019 Rising Star Trae Young. The Atlanta Hawks point guard has racked up a fresh

2 set of achievements, including twice being named the Eastern Conference player of the week and making NBA history by scoring 400 3-pointers in the fewest games ever. And in a game earlier this season, he recorded his 30th career 30-point, 10-assist game, the most ever by a player before turning 23 since the 3-point era (1980). Never one to slack off, Young continued to work out and practice even when the NBA was shut down last year, insisting that that time off the court made his love for the game even stronger. And thanks to his strong play, the Hawks made it to the playoffs this year for the first time since 2017.

3. PEIRU KIM A 2017 Rising Star, Peiru Kim has been busy expanding her brand. In addition to opening two new locations of her Sugarcoat nail salon, she has introduced the facial and lash studio All About Face Beauty and debuted a hair salon called Hair Bar by Sugarcoat. Both are next to her original Sugarcoat location on Pharr Road. Plans are in the works for three more Sugarcoat salons over the next couple of years, with one intown location and spots in Dunwoody and Fayetteville. Kim credits her success to “faith, hope, hard work

and determination,” along with an exceptionally loyal customer base.

4. BRANDON P. FLEMING Miseducated, a new memoir just out from 2019 Rising Star Brandon P. Fleming, is a guaranteed page-turner. It chronicles his journey from drug-dealing dropout to suicidal factory worker to award-winning Harvard University educator. As the founder of the Atlanta-based Harvard Diversity Project, Fleming trains underserved black youth to compete in an international competition held at the acclaimed university’s annual debate residency. His students are now three-time consecutive champions, two more of his students have been accepted into Harvard on a full scholarship, and more than 20 of his pupils have matriculated to other Ivy League and elite schools. Due to his efforts, Fleming was not only named one of the 100 Most Influential African Americans in the country by The Root magazine in 2020, but he also made Forbes magazine’s 30 Under 30 list in 2019. And just a few months ago, after delivering the commencement speech at North Carolina Wesleyan College, the school presented him with an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree.

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The Capital Grille's tuna tartare is a classic combination of sushi-grade tuna, cucumber and golden avocado with spicy sriracha.

Clubby and Classic P68

Oxblood booths, mahogany paneling and brooding portraits create a seductive dining space you might never want to leave.

Photo: Joann Vitelli

July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead 



CLUBBY AND CLASSIC Buckhead’s popular steakhouse capitalizes on venue, views and first-rate victuals STORY:

Rebecca Cha   PHOTOS: Joann Vitelli


he first thing you notice about The Capital Grille is the view. It’s breathtaking. From its perch on the eighth floor of the Capital Building, The Capital Grille commands a view of Buckhead and beyond that could rival any famed city vista; alone it’s worth the price of admission. Add in the supreme comfort of the intimate, clubby dining room with its cozy oxblood booths, walls of mahogany paneling, mounted animal heads and broody oil canvases of Atlanta luminaries, and you have a space you never want to leave. Did I mention the exceptional food and drink? We recommend beginning the night with one of the specialty cocktails like my personal favorite, the “Black Tie” margarita. If there were ever a tequila I could happily drink straight, it would be the Casamigos Reposado featured here. Smooth like butterscotch with a middleweight agave hit at the finish, a single shot added to citrus juices and Cointreau makes for a happy, boozy punch to last the night. The signature “Stoli Doli,” a Stolichnaya vodka-pineapple infusion, is just as good. Shaken and poured


July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead

icy cold into a chilled martini glass, its ying-yang, naughty-nice flavors are an ideal accompaniment for what’s to come. For the first courses, we went for surfand-turf lite. Traditional crab cakes are jazzed up with the addition of delicately sweet lobster meat, then pan-fried to crispy. The mellow marine flavors are nicely offset by an earthy mélange of crunchy sweet corn, piquant red pepper and almost raw red onion. Better still is the burrata plate. Oozy, cream-filled mozzarella is served alongside a cherry tomato compote drizzled with viscous, perfumy 15-year-old balsamic, flavors that remind me of summers spent dining in Emilia-Romagna. The 22-ounce bone-in ribeye is, simply put, a triumph. Baseball glove-sized, every inch of this succulent bovine real estate is impeccable, whether the crisp, charry crust, the tender-beyond-reason velvet red center, or the unctuous near-raw bits riding up the bone. Want to amp up the luxe factor? Don’t pass up a side of lobster mac ’n’ cheese. Served in a roaring hot cast iron skillet, tender campanelle pasta is tossed with a sinfully rich blend of mascarpone, Havarti, Grana Padano and aged white cheddar, and is improved further by chunks of fresh lobster. A

Go all out with the sizzling, 22-ounce bone-in ribeye and a side of creamy lobster mac 'n' cheese.

second side, the soy-glazed Brussels sprouts with bacon, were less memorable, their glaze resembling a cloying hoisin more than a delicately sweet soy-based sauce. For dessert, you can’t do better than the Callebaut chocolate espresso cake and fresh raspberries. As we sipped bitter espressos, my guest teased herself with increasingly smaller bites of the dense, brownie-like cake and marveled at the city lights popping up across the evening sky. We kicked off a follow-up visit with a glass of Antinori Il Bruciato from the Grille’s formidable wine list. This fruit-forward Italian blend proved to be a perfect match for our tuna tartare, a vertical cylinder of finely diced cucumber, pale yellow avocado and sushigrade tuna topped off with burst-in-yourmouth soy pearls. Red sriracha and yellow mango droplets encircle the plate and excite the tongue with a teasing, surprise burst of fiery chile. Classic, too, is the iceberg wedge salad. One can tell a lot about a place by this humble dish, using it as a barometer of how seriously a steakhouse should be taken. Capital Grille’s wedge makes the cut, its crisp outer layers and crunchy white heart commingle with just enough creamy Gorgonzola dressing to call to mind many a blissed-out meal at the late, great Palm Too in New York. Burnished nuggets of double-cut bacon and fragrant cherry tomatoes make the Grille’s salad even more distinctive. This evening’s main attraction: the bone-in, Kona-crusted New York strip. The

Get your fruit on with the signature "Stoli-Doli," an eye-popping vodka-infused pineapple martini.

Above: The Capital Grille's barkeep blends Casamigos Reposado tequila, Cointreau and fresh citrus in the ultra-refreshing "Black Tie" margarita. Left: Good luck resisting the decadent coconut cream pie—mountains of whipped cream atop silky, butter-colored coconut filling.

Right: The lean, well-seasoned Kona-crusted New York strip gets an additional flavor boost with caramelized shallot butter.

Classic and authentic, The Capital Grille never over promises and always over delivers, especially in the Southern hospitality department.

Like summer in Italy: milky burrata cheese, heirloom tomatoes, peppery basil and perfumy 15-year-old balsamic.

Grille’s proprietary spice mix and decaf Kona coffee are lovingly massaged into a 20-day, dry-aged prime cut that is tossed into a 1,200-degree broiler then whisked to your table black, blistered and sizzling. The smell knocks you back; your mouth waters. A quick slice reveals a quivering ruby center, tender and well-marbled but lean enough as to afford indulging, made even more decadent by way of the sweet, caramelized shallot butter over the top. From the list of old warhorse side dishes—creamed spinach, hash browns, sauteed mushrooms, et al—we chose the au gratin potatoes. The big-enough-for-three terrine of creamy, mandolin-shaved spuds covered in cheese

sauce and crisped under the broiler paired perfectly with our strip. Still hungry? Unlikely though it may be, the Grille’s silky coconut cream pie is sure to delight. With mountains of whipped cream piled high atop butter-colored coconut filling in a golden pastry shell, just a couple of bites of this Southern comfort food favorite is enough to satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth. The Capital Grille isn’t perfect, and if you’re looking for a high gustatory adventure, there are spots around town more likely to scratch that itch. But if classic and authentic are your thing, as they are ours, The Capital Grille is the spot. It’s one of those rare high-end Buckhead dining experiences that never over promises and almost always over delivers, both in terms of four-star steakhouse eats and first-rate Southern hospitality. n

Below: Callebaut chocolate espresso cake with pristine berries inspires tablewide swoons.

THE CAPITAL GRILLE 255 E. Paces Ferry Road N.E., Atlanta 30305 404.262.1162 Prices (dinner): appetizers, soups and salads: $10 - $110; mains: $33 - $59; sides: $11 - $18; desserts: $11. Recommended: tuna tartare, wedge salad, burrata with heirloom tomatoes, Kona-crusted New York strip, 22-ounce bone-in ribeye, lobster mac ’n’ cheese, au gratin potatoes, coconut cream pie, Callebaut chocolate espresso cake. Bottom line: a popular high-end steakhouse that delivers exceptional quality across the board in a classy environment.

July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead 


Kursten Berry


Above: A skewer of fresh strawberries garnishes Nick’s Westside’s Strubarb Spritz. Above: Twisted Soul’s Bianco Spritz may be low in alcohol, but it is high in aromas of jasmine, citrus and rose.


Nick Hogan

Nick Hogan

Storico Vino 3065 Peachtree Road N.E. Atlanta 30305 404.806.0050

Left and Above: Forza Storico’s Jose Pereiro adds a fluffy texture to his Garibaldi by using a centrifugal orange juicer.



ight in alcohol but substantial in flavor, low ABV (alcohol by volume) cocktails are having a moment. These days it’s easy to find or craft a cocktail that engages ingredients with multi-dimensional flavors that belie their lowered booziness. Drink low proof to be able to order a few or beat a hangover, or simply because they’re delicious. Just about every cocktail follows a basic structure: spirit base, body or modifier and flavoring agent all in perfect balance. There are easy ways to reduce ABV and maintain that balance to have all the flavor and ceremony of a cocktail without the punch of hard liquor. The Italians, French and Spanish have long extolled the pleasures of Amaro, sherry and vermouth to refresh and intrigue the palate. It’s easy to make up the difference in a glass with subtler additions. The tradition of aperitifs (served before dinner) and


digestifs (after dinner) are often light in alcohol and bitter in taste. Storico Vino bartender Jose Pereiro employs the bitter and bracing Italian liqueur Campari for his Garibaldi. Named for Giuseppe Garibaldi, a main figure in the unification of Italy, Pereiro says it is the perfect cocktail to start a meal. He gives fluffy texture to freshly squeezed orange juice using a centrifugal juicer. Citrus balances the liqueur’s underlying bittersweet notes of cherry, clove, rhubarb, cascarilla bark and cinnamon. To lighten up a favorite cocktail, flip the formula. Invert the portions of vermouth and whiskey in a Manhattan, making the lower-proof spirit the base. Stir your ice cold martini with two parts vermouth and one part gin. Try a Blood Mary with Manzanilla sherry instead of vodka. The fortified wine made from coastal grapes has a saline quality that actually adds a bit of salty tang. There are classics in the low ABV

July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead


Nick’s Westside 956 Brady Ave. N.W. Atlanta 30318 770.838.3501 Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours 1133 Huff Road N.W. Atlanta 30318 404.350.5500 twistedsoulcookhouse

Angela Hansberger

class of cocktails, too. Like Negronis? Swap fizzy club soda for gin, and you have a classic, low-proof Americano. For an Adonis, mix equal measures fino sherry and sweet vermouth. For a less sweet and more herbaceous take called a Bamboo, mix equal measures dry vermouth and dry sherry and a couple of dashes of bitters. The low-alcohol package of a spritz is a category in itself. The standard combination of sparkling wine, bitter liqueur, soda and ice is a template with thousands of variations that keep alcohol in check and effervescence at a celebratory level. At Nick’s Westside, Beverage Manager Matt Gibbons makes a summertime sparkler he calls Strubarb Spritz. It begins with fresh strawberry and rhubarb stewed in simple syrup and muddled. Add to that Ramazzotti Rosato, an Italian digestive that is fresh and fruity with the flavors of hibiscus and orange blossom. A

half ounce of Dimmi Liquore di Milano adds herbal essence and aromatics of peach blossom. He then tops it with sparkling water and a skewer packed with strawberries and rhubarb. It’s a little bit cocktail, a little bit appetizer and a whole lot of the magic of summertime packed into a glass. Twisted Soul Cookhouse and Pours Beverage Manager Kursten Berry captures the fleeting enchantment of summer in her Love Light in Flight, her take on a classic Bianco spritz. The brightness of dry Italian bianco vermouth gives structure to this golden hued refresher. She imbues sultry flavors of jasmine, citrus and rose syrup that are further aromatized with the bubbles used to top off the drink. Whether you call them low ABV, session cocktails, suppressors or shims, low-proof drinks have a lightweight build but all the intrigue and complexity of a full-proof cocktail. n

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July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead 



Culinary News & Notes 


Claire Ruhlin

Katie Barringer of Buckhead’s Lucian Books and Wine shares book and wine pairings

Christy Bush




hree of life’s greatest pleasures— books, wine and food—converge at Buckhead’s Lucian Books and Wine, helmed by Katie Barringer, founder of Cover Books, and Jordan Smelt, formerly of Cakes & Ale. Styled by Seiber Design, the bookstore and wine bar, named for British painter Lucian Freud, offers shelves of visual nonfiction books on art and culture, a wine bar serving bottle selections and wines by the glass, and a concise, seasonal menu by Chef Brian Hendrickson. Guests can expect in-store events such as book signings, wine tastings and paired dinners. Here, Barringer shares her must-have book and wine pairings for summer 2021. 1. BOOK: Matthew Wong: Postcards

(Karma Books, New York) WINE: 2019 Joshua Cooper Chardonnay; Captains Creek Vineyard,

Victoria, Australia (Vine Street Imports) BARRINGER: At a time when we’re all

nostalgic for past travels and hungry for new adventures, this wonderful book of imaginary postcards painted by the late Matthew Wong fits both types of wanderlust. The Chardonnay from Joshua Cooper drinks like a top-notch Chablis.





Lucian Books and Wine owners Jordan Smelt and Katie Barringer.

great summer road trip. The book, a beautiful collection of landscape photography of the American West, is as haunting in its imagery as it is in its commentary on conservationism. The wine, a gorgeous, fruit-forward and textured Pinot Gris, is made with fruit from a vineyard that is part of the Sonoma Land Trust.

3. BOOK: Cézanne: Drawing 2. BOOK: David Benjamin Sherry: American Monuments

(The Museum of Modern Art, New York)  WINE: 2019 Clos Cibonne, Cuvée

WINE: 2020 Jolie-Laide Pinot Gris,

Tradition, Provence, France B: This new book on Paul Cézanne

Glen Oaks Vineyard, Sonoma Coast, California B: This pairing makes us think of a

showcases his lesser-known works on paper. On the subject of lesser known, this French wine is made

(Radius Books, Santa Fe)

FOOD NEWS n Gourmet market Savi Provisions opened its ninth location in Buckhead at AMLI Lenox this spring, offering locally sourced foods, fine wines and spirits. The new location also offers a 1,000-square-foot outdoor patio, as well as a selfpour, credit card-operated tap wall with 14 beers, 16 wine options and a variety of spirits.


Strawberry and papaya salad, strawberry vinaigrette, toasted peanuts and coconut from Ronald Hsu and Timothy Rufino of Juniper Cafe.

primarily from the grape Tibouren and is one of the rare rosé wines that can improve with age.

4. BOOK: Hermès Pop-Up! (Actes Sud, Paris) WINE: NV Egly-Ouriet, Brut Les

Prémices, Champagne, France B: You can’t get more classic than a

Hermès scarf, and this delightful book gives the look a playful touch. It pairs perfectly with a cold bottle of Champagne from one of our favorite grower-producers, Egly-Ouriet. n Lucian Books and Wine 3005 Peachtree Road Atlanta 30305

Road. In addition to a menu of authentic Indian cuisine with a modern twist, Tabla serves an Indian-influenced cocktail list with playful drinks such as the Bollywood Tiki, Chai Old Fashioned and Delhi Mule.

n Midtown’s Indian restaurant Tabla has opened a second location in Buckhead, bringing existing favorites and new dishes to the Modera Buckhead building on Pharr

July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead

n Flower Child opened its third Atlanta location in the Westside Provisions District in May, offering healthforward options like the

Mother Earth Bowl and Flying Avocado Wrap. Also on the menu at the Westside location is the Game Dre Meal. The dish curated by Atlanta Hawks’ De’Andre Hunter features a salmon filet with red chili-glazed sweet potato and gluten-free mac ’n’ cheese. A bonus: anyone who orders the signature dish will be entered for a chance to win an item autographed by the NBA player.

At Juniper Cafe, the forthcoming Vietnamese bakery from the team behind Lazy Betty, you’ll find this vinaigrette on the restaurant’s strawberry and papaya salad, topped with toasted peanuts and coconut for texture. At home, make the recipe to transform any salad into a refreshing summertime treat.

Strawberry Vinaigrette 7 large ripe strawberries 1 tablespoon granulated sugar 1 tablespoon water 1 large (or 2 small) scallions 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard Sliced bird's eye Thai chilis to taste (1-2) 2 limes ½ cup grapeseed oil Combine clean strawberries, tops removed, with granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon of water. Put over low heat at a 190-degree simmer for 45 minutes until strawberries’ liquid becomes transparent. Reserve liquid and discard strawberries. In a small mixing bowl, combine sliced scallion, whole grain mustard and sliced Thai chilis with seeds removed to taste. Add juice of 2 limes and zest of 1 lime, then briskly whisk reserved grapeseed oil from crisping shallots. Juniper Cafe 2250 Marietta Blvd. N.W., Suite 100 Atlanta 30318

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July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead 



works, and we will introduce them in the not-too-distant future. FUN FACT Rodbell has an identical twin who lives in Buckhead.

How did you develop the Post Meridiem recipes? Thoughtfully. We chose recognizable cocktails and classic recipes, as people appreciate familiarity. We wanted to focus on real ingredients because artificial ingredients, widely used across the ready-to-drink category, really impact the integrity of the cocktail. We worked with an award-winning mixologist to get the perfect balance and taste. We worked with packaging engineers and food scientists to ensure the quality ingredients held up in our can over time. For example, our Mai Tai closely follows the original Trader Vic recipe with a blend of funky rums, orange curacao, orgeat and, most importantly, 100% real lime juice. What's a typical workday for you? Part of the fun is not having a typical workday. I have my routines in terms of distributor management, sales and vendor management, but some days I am negotiating distributor contracts, and other days I am driving a forklift. [Now] I am glad to have more time to focus on strategic growth as we grow the team. What do you tell your kids about your job? They tell their teachers that Daddy makes cocktails. I assume their teachers think I am a bartender. Really, they know that Dad started a company that makes cocktails in small cans. They know I make delicious drinks that make people happy, and that’s good enough for me.

The Real Drinkmaster Andrew Rodbell introduces authentic canned cocktails to the Southeast from his West Midtown warehouse


ndrew Rodbell just wanted a good Mai Tai. He was at a Yacht Rock Revue concert with his friend/now business partner, Charles Sain, and he couldn’t find an authentic cocktail. With 20 years of experience in brand management and product development for companies such as Coca-Cola and Cartoon Network, Rodbell decided to solve the problem. In 2017, Rodbell and Sain launched Post Meridiem Spirit Co., a canned cocktail company that uses genuine ingredients such as barrel-aged whiskey, tequila, Italian maraschino liqueur and lime juice. Its Mai Tai,


Margarita, Daiquiri, Old Fashioned and Vodka Gimlet come in 100milliliter steel-walled cans to keep them fresh. They pack a punch at 23-27% alcohol by volume. Just pour and serve over ice. “Post Meridiem is the next tradeup consumers are making,” Rodbell says. “It’s something premixed that tastes like your bartender made it.” Previously sold only at package stores, restaurants and bars throughout the Southeast, Post Meridiem is now available for purchase nationwide through its website. We spoke to Rodbell about creating the cocktails and balancing

July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead


Carly Cooper

PHOTO: Joann


startup life with time commitments to his wife and three children, ages 5, 7 and 9. How do you choose the flavors? We have a bench of ideas. We had a delicious Aviation with crisp, dry gin; imported Italian maraschino liqueur; creme de violette and lemon juice, but during our stability testing, we confirmed that the shelf life of [fresh] lemon juice is not long enough. We refuse to use engineered lemon juice or use any fake ingredient. Therefore, we had to cut a drink we loved because real ingredients taste better. We have additions to our lineup in the

Do they ask to taste it? They do, but they know it’s an adult drink. They think the can is very cute. My middle son is obsessed with trucks, cars and anything that rolls. The greatest day of his life was when I brought him to the office to meet the shipping trucks. He got to sit in the cab and watch me drive the forklift. What do you do for fun? Between a growing business and having a family with three kids under 10, I don’t have much time or energy for anything else. I love visual arts and music. I am on the board of the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center. I also paint acrylic canvases, but nothing that will be shown at the Contemporary, I can promise you that. n


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

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 badenjan—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

BONE GARDEN CANTINA Beyond the colorful Día de Muertos dining room decor, the well-curated mezcal and tequila selections and the uber-friendly service, Bone Garden Cantina offers some of the most authentic Mexican cooking in Atlanta. Tastier guacamole and hot dipping queso you will not find, and we’ve tried! The tender-tothe-bone Mexican pork ribs are meaty, miraculous bites of earthy richness, and the tomatillo-rich pozole verde soup is pure south-of-the-border goodness. Garlic-sautéed shrimp enchiladas and adobo steak quesadilla seasoned with guajillo chile are among many fine familiar classics. Smaller plates include exemplary tamales and tacos. 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

Platter up at Das BBQ! Texas-sourced hot sausage (a breathe-easy 500 on the Scoville scale), bark-rich pulled pork and in-house-made sides.

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

FORZA STORICO The tempting tacos from Bone Garden Cantina are the epitome of fresh, hot and south-of-the border satisfying.


July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead

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-

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

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

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.

Southern sensibility meets nouvelle cuisine at Haven Restaurant and Bar in hotfrom-the-fryer Gulf oysters and cornichons on a bed of lemon-scented grits.

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

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

The Monster-in-Law roll at Starfish: deep fried soft shell crab, avocado, cucumber and masago.

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

Appetizers and salads: $9.95-$15.95 Pastas and risottos: $10.95-$35.95 Mains: $21.95-$39.95 Desserts: $7.95-$9.95

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

Note: Prices and menu items may have changed since original publication.

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

July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead 


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



Ginger Strejcek




tarted as a relief effort to help local families devastated by a tornado in 1998, Dunwoody’s Lemonade Days Festival continues to squeeze those proverbial lemons into a refreshingly sweet treat, serving up five days of fun and games this summer after COVID waylaid the signature spring event for two years running. Head to Brook Run Park on Aug. 1822 to brave thrill rides like the 80-foot Nemesis 360, rock out with the top 10 contestants of Dunwoody Idol, shop crafty creations in the country store, treat

kids to pony rides and a petting zoo, and chow down on burgers, BBQ, cotton candy and funnel cakes. Adult beverages are also on tap. Now in its 21st year, with expanded offerings including more than 30 full-scale carnival rides and a 5K, the fundraising festival still has the sunny appeal of a county fair with a neighborly mission. “As Dunwoody Preservation Trust’s primary fundraiser, it makes all of our other activities possible. All proceeds go directly back into our community in the

form of education, community celebrations and preservation of our history and heritage,” says Hope Follmer, manager of community events for the nonprofit organization. Admission is free and ride tickets are $1 each. Grab a wristband for unlimited rides ($20 Wed., $25 Thurs.Sun.; valid for day of purchase only). Parking is available at Kingswood UMC, Peachtree Middle School, St. Patrick’s Episcopal, St. Barnabas and Crossroads Church of Dunwoody.

LEMONADE DAYS FESTIVAL Aug. 18-22 4-10 p.m. Wed.-Fri., 10 a.m.10 p.m. Sat., noon-10 p.m. Sun. Brook Run Park 4770 North Peachtree Road Dunwoody 30338

July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead 



[ N E A RBY ]


Go the Distance NAVIGATE ATLANTA’S INNER CIRCLE ON A 20-MILE RUN From goats and graffiti to kudzu and construction, the oddities and obstructions on #RunTheATL are not only bragging rights for the runners who complete the 20ish-mile loop around the Atlanta BeltLine; they’re also part of the offbeat appeal. Though the terrain has grown admittedly tamer as the BeltLine progresses, this summer’s seventh annual race, set for July 25, promises just as much gritty fun. “You have to be a bit crazy to do the course,” says John R. Tackett Jr., who has slugged through mud, escaped ensnarling vines and circumvented road blocks in years past. “Many of the folks doing it are serious runners and

OCR [obstacle course racing] participants, and do it for the distance and the uniqueness of the event. Each year, there is something different.” While the “Green Mile” of kudzu has been cleared, giving way to sweeping skyline views, about half of the route remains unpaved on the former railway corridor circling the city, with a rougher stretch along the northern arc. The course is paced at 20 minutes per mile. Among the 100 or so runners who show up for this “fun but unforgiving adventure,” Erin Moore has clocked it in four hours, six hours and everywhere in between. “Since the distance and the course are always changing,

our mile times do, too,” she says. Whether going for a personal best or enjoying the sheer sport of it, organizer Matt B. Davis says the run offers an insider track through sights unseen, including 25 neighborhoods. “You will run behind the city,” he says. Registration is required.

SUMMER 2021 #RUNTHEATL July 25,8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Best End Brewing Company 1036 White St. S.W. Atlanta 30310 $25-$30

[ M U S IC ]

We’ve got the Beat


SUMMER CONCERTS CRANKING UP AROUND TOWN Concert season is back in full swing at outdoor venues in and near Buckhead. Head to Cadence Bank Amphitheatre to catch Wilco on Aug. 14 and John Legend on Aug. 15. The Chastain Park venue offers performances in a lush green setting with lawn and table seating. In Sandy Springs, music lovers can enjoy a double shot of alfresco entertainment at two series. The lineup at Concerts by the Springs at Heritage Amphitheatre includes 7 Sharp


July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead

9 on July 11 and Head Games (Foreigner tribute) on Aug. 8. City Green Live at City Springs features the Tribute-A Celebration of the Allman Brothers Band on July 23 with lawn seating and ticketed tables ($40-$60). A limited number of free tickets are available in pods of four for each series. Dunwoody is also presenting Groovin’ on the Green at Brook Run Park Amphitheater this summer with limited attendance. The next concert is scheduled for July 10 from 6 to 9 p.m.

Brook Run Park Amphitheatre 4770 North Peachtree Road Dunwoody 30338 Cadence Bank Amphitheatre at Chastain Park 4469 Stella Drive N.W. Atlanta 30327 City Springs 1 Galambos Way Heritage Amphitheatre, 6110 Bluestone Road Sandy Springs 30328

July 15- Sept. 6 Perimeter Pointe 1155 Mount Vernon Highway N.E. Sandy Springs 30338 $32.50, timed entry Grab your besties for a real-life romp through the set of “Friends,” playfully recreated by Warner Bros. and Superfly X in a touring pop-up featuring 12 rooms of interactive fun, including Monica and Rachel’s kitchen, Joey and Chandler’s apartment and Central Perk. Titled “The One in Atlanta,” the two-story experience invites fans to revisit favorite scenes from the iconic TV show, view original props and costumes, and shop for themed merch.

HEROES, SAINTS & LEGENDS GALA Aug. 19 Flourish Atlanta 3143 Maple Drive Atlanta 30305 special-events/hsl/ Support the mission and ministry of Wesley Woods at this 32nd annual benefit that raises funds to provide housing and meal assistance, pastoral care and wellness for senior adults. The evening kicks off with a cocktail reception, followed by a three-course dinner, a program recognizing the 2021 honorees and a Fund-the-Mission finale.

“IN THE TRADITION” July and August Tune in to exclusive interviews with renowned jazz artists in this free virtual series. Presented by the City of Atlanta’s Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, it kicks off the 43rd annual Atlanta Jazz Festival, which has been rescheduled to Sept. 5-6. Streaming at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays through August on the AJF website, YouTube and Facebook, the lineup includes trumpeter Sean Jones, bassist Ron Carter, singer Jazzmeia Horn and pianist Yuko Mabuchi.

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July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead 



Bob Helget and Bonnie Helget

Charlotte Margolin, Bob Margolin

John Beach addresses the group


Photos courtesy of Sylvia Small Communications & Marketing

A Judith Vanderver, Mary Virginia Davis, Frances Davis, George Hart Ann Beach, Mary Norwood

historic estate on Blackland Road set the scene for more than 125 guests to gather for Buckhead Heritage’s Garden Party in June. Funds raised support the nonprofit’s mission to identify, preserve and promote Buckhead’s historic resources. The private 1937 home was designed by noted architect Philip T. Shutze. Guests gathered for drinks, appetizers and the opportunity to explore the property’s gardens that prominently feature hydrangeas. Color-coordinated specialty drinks named after the blooms, such as Summer Crush and Shady Lady, were served. Local musician Judy Boehm provided a live soundtrack for guests as they strolled the gardens. Master Gardener Lisa Ethridge spoke about hydrangeas, and Buckhead honey and plant potting experts were on hand to answer gardening questions. Buckhead Heritage President John Beach thanked Presenting Sponsor Arrow Exterminators, and a Shutze “ghost” led house tours and highlighted key architectural features.

Stevens Koella, Brook Heiser, Craig S. Heiser

Deborah Baxter, Jerry Baxter, Dawn Mullins

Laura Kerz, Leslie Laird


July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead

Antonia Mitchell, Penny Lang, Bob Lang, Sandy Ferguson, Dave Ferguson


As shown, the McLaren GT retails at $250,000 and is available for purchase through Motorcars of Atlanta. Location: 5540 Lake Island Drive, Atlanta 30327, offered for $3,950,000 by Amy Bubes, HOME Real Estate, Hair: Blo Blow Dry Bar, Makeup: Sarai Mateo,

ROOM TO ZOOM Joanne Hayes, Simply Buckhead’s publisher, recently spent three days driving the stunning new McLaren GT. Designed for comfort, it’s the first McLaren with room for luggage or golf clubs in the rear trunk, plus additional front storage. It also features automatic push button controls and luxurious leather seating for two. PHOTO: Sara


July/August 2021 | Simply Buckhead


Your Blue Ridge Expert. #1 Agent, Northeast Georgia

662 EATON ROAD offered for $3,200,000

3794 ZION HILL ROAD offered for $2,800,000

750 CHIEF WHITETAILS offered for $1,750,000

1000 MULKEY ROAD offered for $1,700,000

437 SPRUCE CIRCLE offered for $625,000

475 TOCCOA RIVER LANE offered for $1,000,000

Kim Knutzen REALTOR®

c: 770.402.1908 o: 706.613.HOME KIM@ANSLEYRE.COM GUIDETOBLUERIDGE.COM 706.613.HOME | ANSLEYRE.COM | 116 WEST MAIN ST. UNIT 1C, BLUE RIDGE, GA 30513 All data believed to be accurate but not warranted. If you have any existing brokerage relationship, this is not intended as a solicitation. Equal housing opportunity. *Represented buyer


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floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace; it provides amazing panoramic views of Satulah, Whiteside, and Shortoff mountains as well as Blue Valley. An No expense was spared in the qualcustom bar in the corner of the room Approximately two-and-a-half ity of materials and craftsmanship offers easy access to the kitchen. The hours from Atlanta, this idyllic retreat of this gorgeous home! From the kitchen includes a large walk-in panwas designed with luxurious beautiful landscaping to the stone try and wood island with seating. relaxation in mind porches and terrace to exquisite The spacious dining room is ideal finishes, luxury greets you at every for entertaining and has walls of 6BR/5.5BA | $5,000,000 | MLS# 95883 turn. The elegant living room with windows that overlook the beautihigh, coffered ceilings and a stone ful yard and a stone terrace that offireplace with carved custom mantle are reminiscent of a fers an outdoor kitchen, hidden waterfall, and another stone Scottish manor house. The great room boasts a large two-sto- fireplace. There are two gracious master suites that include ry stone fireplace and cathedral wood ceiling with a custom stunning spa-styled baths and private sitting rooms. En suite crafted antler chandelier. A wall of stone and glass doors leads guest rooms, a bunk room for the kiddos and a theatre room onto the covered porch that has stone flooring and another complete the picture.

JUDY MICHAUD & MITZI RAUERS JUDY: (828) 371-0730 | MITZI: (404) 218-9123 488 Main St, Highlands, NC | 2334 Cashiers Rd, Highlands, NC 132 Hwy 107 S, Cashiers, NC © 2021 BHHS Affiliates, LLC. An independently owned and operated franchisee of BHHS 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 July/August 2021  

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