THE ANT/DOTE GUIDE TO ATLANTA
FEATURES - Aug 19, 2021
Atlanta is our home. And like any home, once you get to know it, that lived-in feeling leads to new points of view and a new-found level of appreciation for it. We put this guide together in the hope of making you feel at home in our city.
CULTURE AND ARCHITECTURE
THE HIGH MUSEUM
This premier cultural institution is not exactly a secret, but that is for a reason. In addition to some gems in its permanent collection, this most prestigious Atlanta museum routinely puts on great exhibits. The Richard Meier building itself is worth the visit, as well as the newer wing created by Renzo Piano.
ATLANTA CONTEMPORARY ART CENTER
What began, in 1973, as a grassroots local art organization called Nexus, has grown over decades into a vital and vibrant cultural center for contemporary art. But despite its success, its focus still remains on the regional and the homegrown.
ATLANTA MARRIOTT MARQUIS
Atlanta has the distinction of being the capital of postmodern architecture. But the origin of its downtown was rooted strictly in the modernist vernacular. Over a period of two decades John Portman, the architect that built contemporary Atlanta, constructed a series of vertically stacked, rectilinear slabs, an imposing brutalist mass encompassing an entire block, two glistening, mirrored cylindrical towers, a Jetsons-like elliptical sphere perched atop a gridded cube, and most striking of all, the double sided, curved and sloping facade his 1985 masterpiece The Marriott Marquis. However distinctive the facade, it is but a mere hint of its breathtaking interior, a 470-ft soaring atrium lined with a series of curved balconies. The effect is utterly hypnotic, even more with the many exposed, glass fronted elevators that shoot through the entire height of the space.
SPELMAN COLLEGE MUSEUM OF FINE ART
Spelman College has a long tradition of educating Black female students. Its museum boasts a formidable collection of women artists of African descent. The collection also includes works by celebrated African-American artists including Beverly Buchanan, Elizabeth Catlett, Faith Ringgold, Jacob Lawrence, Nancy Elizabeth Prophet, Henry Ossawa Tanner, Hale Woodruff, and many others.
ATLANTA-FULTON CENTRAL PUBLIC LIBRARY
This brutalist building is one of the last masterpieces by the great Bauhaus architect Marcel Breuer. Completed in 1980, a year before his death, this monumental building remains one of Atlanta’s architectural treasures.
NATIONAL CENTER FOR CIVIL AND HUMAN RIGHTS
With its curved paneled walls, this Downtown building by the architecture firm Perkins + Will stands out among the rest. Completed in 2014, it has quickly become one of the treasures of contemporary architecture in Atlanta, as well as one of its leading cultural institutions.
THE BUCKHEAD LIBRARY
Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects is one of the most recognized firms in Atlanta, one that has built major projects all other the world. The Buckhead Library is one of their most interesting projects in their hometown. Completed in 1989, its distinct scaly façade still remains one of the most striking architectural statements.
Sure, you will ask, who rents video in physical form today? Thank god someone does, because Videodrome, the only video rental place left in Atlanta, is going strong in its 20th year despite the rest of the world going digital. Its Inman Park location is a must visit for a mind-blowing selection of independent, obscure, and cult films. This isn't your lowest-common-denominator stuff you'll find on Netflix.
FEATURES - Aug 19, 2021
Named after the popular 1950s dancer in the Clermont Motor Hotel’s “Gypsy Room,” Tiny Lou’s is a swinging French-American brasserie located downstairs at Hotel Clermont. Presenting a palate-pleasing approach to French favorites, Tiny Lou's uses seasonal and local provisions that are complemented by a French-focused wine list. After dinner you can head up to the rooftop bar and enjoy abounding views of the Atlanta skyline, or if feeling more adventurous, you can make your way around back to the basement entry for the infamous Clermont Lounge.
Poor Calvin's is a quaint restaurant in Downtown Atlanta that offers Asian-inspired cuisine mixed with a dose of Southern comfort. Originally from Vietnam but raised and trained in Germany, owner and chef Calvin Phan has brought his perspective of international culinary fusion to the front line of Poor Calvin's. Its impressive menu is filled with fresh daily seafood, locally sourced fresh vegetables, and homemade pasta.
Ford Fry’s The Optimist brings a seaside fish camp experience to landlocked Atlantans, from fresh oysters from the Alabama coast and Maine sea scallops to whole roasted Georgia trout. Tucked in an old ham-aging house, The Optimist serves beer, wine, and cocktails with hickory-roasted fish and raw oysters, while beach-food classics like hush puppies and lobster rolls transport you to your favorite coastal haunts.
The Consulate is the product of an adventurous chef and a detail obsessed interior designer, Douglas and Mei, who have made Atlanta their home. The most cunning thing about the Consulate’s cuisine is the side of the menu called Visa. It’s filled with food of a particular country for three months, before it globe-trots on to a different locale. The interior feels like a set of a James Bond film, and every corner hides something more intriguing than the next. Pop by for a night cap there in the heart of Midtown, as they are known for their impressive cocktail list.
Bacchanalia is Atlanta’s most well-known and desired restaurant. Since its opening in 1993, it unfailingly ranks as one of Atlanta's top culinary destinations. Featuring contemporary American cuisine from Chefs/Owners Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison, and a culinary team led by Jonathan Kallini, Bacchanalia is known for its light and creative plates. Its seasonal menu relies entirely on organic ingredients, many sourced from Anne and Clifford's farm, Summerland.
Another of Ford Fry’s creations, Marcel is named for the iconic European boxer Marcel Cerdan. This steak-heavy throwback sports one of the largest and finest French wine lists in Atlanta.
An Atlanta native, Culinary Director and Partner Ron Hsu honed his skills at Michelin-starred Le Bernardin and Le Colonial in New York. Modern and inventive, Lazy Betty serves tasting menus that showcase Hsu’s culinary prowess.
A staple of Atlanta since 2008, Sushi Hayakawa is an intimate and traditional sushiya in the mold of the finest sushi shops in Japan. Located on the famed international food emporium of Buford Highway, though soon to be moving next door to our permanent store in West Midtown, the serene space is positively transportive. Chef Atsushi Hayakawa curates the finest fish selection in Atlanta, sourcing offerings from Tokyo's Toyosu market and all over the globe.
Known most widely for its neon lights, stiff cocktails, and an incredible Japanese whiskey selection, Little Trouble has quickly become a Westside staple. Accompanied by delicious Asian street food to munch on, this is the perfect place to start or end your night about town in Atlanta.
SISTER LOUISA’S CHURCH OF THE LIVING ROOM AND PING PONG EMPORIUM
Sister Louisa's Church of the Living Room and Ping Pong Emporium, or simply Church, is a bar on Edgewood Ave in the Old Forth Ward of Atlanta. It is owned by Grant Henry, an American former divinity student, artist and businessman best known for his artwork and installations created under the auspice of his alter ego "Sister Louisa." We thought you needed to know that.
A former East Atlanta Village antiques mall houses this beer lovers haunt: its 7,500 square feet include a long, angular bar and multiple levels filled with tables, couches, and booths. The focus stays on American craft beers, but don’t overlook their food. Whimsies like lemon and tarragon crown wood-fired pizzas, and burgers.
Nestled in a secluded interior of newly renovated Colony Square, the lounge boasts cathedral-height ceilings, an all-vinyl soundtrack, and a brooding, romantic vibe. Expect oft-maligned favorites from the era of disco and glam. You’ll channel a time of skates and tapes, when seedy glamour, indulgence, and boogie reigned supreme.
Northside Tavern is a music and Blues destination. Voted one of Atlanta’s best Dive Bars, it never fails to deliver. The Northside Tavern was built in the 1940s as a neighborhood grocery store/gas station and it evolved over the years into a local blue-collar bar called Northside Package. A fixture of the area this lively musical gathering spot has been under continuous ownership by the same family since 1975.
Located in a quirky free-standing brick building (a former dog obedience school and scooter shop) off of Ponce de Leon, it’s the place to be on a Sunday night. Chaka Khan Hacienda is 8Arm’s Sunday block party in this mixing pot of Atlanta. The fashion scene here is unfailingly glam. From fishnets, to sheer sequin dresses, to full on drag queens, you will get a taste of everything.
FEATURES - Aug 19, 2021
CARROLL STREET CAFE
This laid-back cafe in Cabbage-Town offers freshly prepared dishes, coffees, cocktails, and wines. A favorite among artists, musicians, and locals makes it a hidden neighborhood gem.
Located in a repurposed shipping container in Westside Provisions, Brash may be the best place in Atlanta for a proper cup of coffee. Let's say they are passionate about coffee the way we are passionate about fashion. They roast their own beans, which they source from family farms in Latin America. They also have a branch at the Atlanta History Center in Buckhead and another one near the High Museum.
In the remote highlands of 9th century Abyssinia, now Ethiopia, a lone goatherd named Kaldi noticed his goats were full of energy, dancing and prancing, after eating a small red fruit from a nearby shrub. Not wishing to be left out of the fun, he tried the cherries and soon he was dancing too. According to legend, Kaldi and his goats had discovered coffee. In 1988 Dancing Goats Coffee Bar opened in Olympia, Washington, serving locally roasted Batdorf & Bronson coffee. Though Olympia is their birthplace, they’ve been in Atlanta for over 25 years.
WEST EGG CAFE
Another West Midtown favorite for brunch or a great coffee, West Egg is well known in Atlanta for its Southern charm. After six years in its original location, West Egg moved in 2010 just steps away into the White Provision Residences building at the corner of Howell Mill and Brady Avenue (across from Northside Tavern, perhaps you already took our advice above and know exactly where we are talking about!). The biscuits will make any wait you may have well worth it! The Fried Green Tomato sandwhich is one of our personal favorites here.
Long before Starbucks occupied every other street corner all over America, Café Intermezzo, located a stone throw away from the High Museum, embodied the essence of a grand old Austrian coffeehouse. Step into Café Intermezzo, and you are stepping into another time, another place, with a throwback interior and an impressive array of true European coffee and pastries. In the country that invented fast food Café Intermezzo has represented the antithesis of food and drink in a hurry for over forty years.
This Buckhead institution has been in business for decades and for good reason. It’s a treasure trove for rare vinyl, including bootlegs, remixes, and live releases, many of which are exported from Europe. The phenomenal record selection is rounded off by posters and t-shirts. We also love the everyman’s interior and exterior that’s a welcome change from the neighborhood’s sometimes overbearing poshness.
We would be remiss not to mention Wish, Lauren Amos’s original shop, located in Little Five Points. This Atlantan streetwear store has become an institution in its own right, and its newly revamped interior, which continues the bookish theme of the previous one – the building used to be a library – is well worth a look, as well as a carefully curated selection of sneakers.
THE CLOTHING WAREHOUSE
Literally in the intersection of the famous Little Five Points, The Clothing Warehouse is considered one of the best-known vintage shops in the South. Rows of vintage t-shirts cover their walls, and racks of unique dresses, jackets, pants, and skirts fill the store. They carry classic Levi’s and Wrangler jeans, cowboy boots, western shirts, plus so much more. For nostalgic music lovers, they also have an incredible offer of vintage band tees like you will find nowhere else in Atlanta. This also happens to be a favorite spot to find awesome vintage pieces of our Creative Director, they have gotten to know him there on a first name basis!
A CAPELLA BOOKSTORE
If there is one thing we are passionate about besides fashion, it's books and supporting independent bookstores. The only independent full-service bookstore left in Atlanta, A Capella has been in business since 1989. It began - where else - in Little Five Points, and now sits around the corner in the neighboring Inman Park. Don't overlook their used books selection.
California has Amoeba, New York has Rough Trade, and Atlanta has Criminal Records, a veritable mess of a record store that is a pure joy for any music fan that’s been in business since 1991 and still going strong in Little Five Points.
WESTSIDE PROVISIONS / SID MASHBURN
Westside Provisions District was a pioneer in Atlanta’s industrial-to-retail conversion renaissance. A combination of food and retail, their destination dining experiences are celebrated across the city, starting with the now-relocated Bacchanalia and finishing with Atlanta’s favorite ice cream shop Jeni’s. It’s also home to Sid Mashburn, another Atlantan retail institution that has been clothing gentlemen in fine Italian tailoring and all the upscale casual accoutrements that go with it since 2007.