I'm not sure why exactly The Tavern, or for that matter all the other bars in Buckhead feel obligated to provide oldies cover musicians. Apparently, Buckhead bar-goers have an unquenchable need to stop the world and melt with one another. But why mess with success, right? The Tavern is a crowd-pleaser. Its brick and mahogany dining area is packed, even on Wednesday nights, because its charms are ample -- it's in Phipps Plaza, so it's got ample parking and ample shopping. Conveniently adjacent to the mall's Versace boutique, so you can have a nip (or three) to soothe the pain caused by spending $125 on socks.
The Tavern's drink specialty is the martini ($8.50-$9). But to drown the sorrow I felt after seeing The Hours at Phipps' movie theater, I instead downed a bottle of my new favorite cheap wine, Guenoc Sauvignon Blanc ($18.50). The Tavern's bar-food specialty is a hybrid pizza/nacho dish called Tavern Chips. It's available in Asian, Cajun, Southwest and traditional styles. It being Buckhead, traditional includes a lot of cheese.
The Tavern at Phipps. 3500 Peachtree Road in Phipps Plaza. Hours: Mon.-Thurs. 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-12 a.m.; Sun. 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Beer $3.75-$4.50; liquor drinks start at $6; martinis $8.50; wine by the glass $4-$9.75. Live music every night. 404-814-9640. www.thetavernatphipps.com.