Wednesday Happy Hour and Supper Club

Welcome to the first Wednesday Happy Hour and Supper Club. Starting in March, check back for the latest news, reviews and features on Atlanta restaurants, bars, lounges and nightclubs with a Retro location, menu or attitude. ATLRetro also will search the city for the most authentic and delicious retro or retro-inspired cocktails and recipes, or teach you how to make it at home.

Soon I’ll be posting our first major restaurant feature in which Dante Stephensen provides a tour of some of his favorite artifacts decorating the walls at Dante’s Down the Hatch. I remember when I first visited Dante’s at Underground Atlanta as a child and the sense of anticipation and mystery when I descended down the stairs into a giant coffin to find myself on the deck of a magnificent sailing ship. Combine that with live jazz music and fondue and you have the perfect example of a mid-century theme restaurant, conceived with care and creativity rather than the artificiality of many of today’s chains. In the 1980s when the old Underground closed (look for an upcoming Lost Atlanta feature revisiting its uniqueness, too), Dante moved the restaurant to Buckhead and rebuilt it even bigger and better. If you haven’t eaten there lately or you’ve never been, it’s a true Retro treasure.

Photo credit: Philip Nutman, 2010

Also in the works is a feature on Livingston. While Livingston has only been around for a few years, it’s located in the opulent art-deco Georgian Terrace Hotel. I’ll be asking Chef Zeb Stephenson about how its Retro location influences his recipes, giving a sneak preview of its current seasonal menu and sipping a few cocktails, too.

Then ATLRetro will take you to more iconic Atlanta restaurants that are more than 25 years old such as Mary Mac’s Tea Room, The Colonnade, Majestic Diner, Paschal’s, Trader Vic’s, The Sun Dial, Murphy’s, and even The Varsity, the Ponce de Leon Krispy Kreme and the Big Chicken to see how they’ve managed to weather the years. We’ll also go back in time to Herren’s seafood restaurant, Polaris, The Frances Virginia Tea Room, the Mansion, the Abbey, and more. And that’s just a taste because we’ll also shine a spotlight on younger restaurants and bars in Retro locations or with a modern take on Retro menu favorites.

For all you lounge lizards, ATLRetro aspires to be your one-stop for the week’s best happy hours and drink specials from classic cocktails to modern takes that celebrate the cocktail culture. In between the restaurant features, look for interviews with the city’s best mixologists and on-the-spot pieces exploring the vibe at their venues.

Finally, drop by ATLRetro on Wednesdays for news listings of menu and cocktail specials and happy hours at Retro-worthy restaurants and bars, too. Which reminds me, if you’re a restaurant with a Retro history, look, menu, or cocktail culture, be sure to add to your email lists so we can include your specials and events.

Until the next installment, cheers!

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