Food & Drink » Bar Review

Tippling at the Tavern


A cop-out, perhaps, but sometimes "very Buckhead" is the best possible description for an Atlanta bar. The description applies to The Tavern At Phipps. What else can I say about a place where drunken, just-out-of-college bleach blondes scream approval at the one-man cover band when he begins his rendition of Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes"? He even did the African wailing part at the end of the song. When he was done, he obliged a request for "Jessie's Girl."

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.

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