Long known as the historic neighborhood associated with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement, Old Fourth Ward recently has become minted as the bustling center of a nightlife district. Talk of celebrities dropping by for the cheap drinks and comfortable bars have become national gossip in recent years, which probably hasn’t hurt the neighborhood’s profile. Whether you’re there to drink yourself blind at night or see some of the most important African-American historic sites by day, there’s always reason to make Old Fourth Ward a destination.
At owner David Robert's (of Marietta's Sam & Dave's) Community Q table runners pinch your kids' cheeks, seem genuinely concerned whether you're enjoying your meal, and just "get" what it means to make someone feel at home in an establishment. And the food definitely doesn't hurt the impact. Pleasantly imperfect hand-cut french fries with slivers of skin left on are fried to a golden brown before being showered with a savory, sweet and smoky seasoning.The meat is tender and moist with that ethereal ring of pink and a nice coating of blackened bark. Brisket is so fork-tender it only takes a mere tug of the teeth to cut it.
The overt country-club feel meshes with a distinct undercurrent of mellow booziness at this Southern-style restaurant that stands out from its surroundings on one of Midtown's seediest strips. Don't be daring. Go for the basic meat-and-two and choose the hot vegetables for sides. The fried chicken is the go-to order for generations of Atlantans. When you're looking for the dining equivalent of a comfortable old friend, visit the Colonnade.
The tiny, shacklike entrance reveals an eclectic and loyal late-night crowd. Music at this underground clubber’s club ranges from hip-hop and Brit-pop to downtempo and rare grooves. The dim basement space feels like the most happenin’ speakeasy in town.
Originally a cotton-gin manufacturer, the Goat Farm is a Westside haven for working artists and performance companies, a frequent location for movie shoots (cough cough, Hunger Games, cough cough), and a great live music venue.
Established in 1979 with city, state and federal funds, the 120-acre woodland and former Creek Indian settlement features steep inclines, a babbling creek, a waterfall, and is home to deer and more than 150 native plant species. It includes an old spring house where tourists once bathed and the remains of a quarry that produced materials to build nearby homes.
The Downtown music venue, art space, and burgeoning community center has become one of the most exciting additions to South Broad Street in recent years. On the nights when the Mammal Gallery hosts a show, the street springs to life, animated with music and modest crowds of people admiring the colorful murals from urban renewal program Elevate.
In a town where cocktails are taken very seriously, Kimball House quietly took over the title of everyone’s favorite cocktail bar. Headed by superstar Miles Macquarrie, the bar is the kind of place you go to learn about new or eccentric spirits (traditional absinthe service is offered), although they do make excellent classics such as a Sazerac. You have to try the oysters — Kimball House has one of the most extensive lists you will ever see. It’s almost impossible to leave without at least getting a dozen.