Well, this is certainly a blog post I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d be writing. As you all know, Georgia was one of the first states to open back up during the pandemic. My thoughts on that are a whole think piece and not very Lushworthy, so I’ll leave that one alone. The hospitality industry opened up in various stages: from outdoor dining to close to full capacity. I did wait it out a bit, but I eventually did venture out for a good sip and a meal. So, I want to give you all my thoughts on some of my favorites.
Also, I have to absolutely say this, if you find yourself at a bar or restaurant, don’t be an a-hole. It’s a privilege that you’re even being served in the first place, so act accordingly and tip the hell out of your server.
Two Urban Licks
Ahhh, memories. Two Urban Licks was the first restaurant I visited during the pandemic and I’ll say that it’s also the restaurant I’ve felt most safe in thus far. When you first walk in there’s a table where you check in with your reservation (reservations are also highly recommended these days FYI). Your temperature is taken and you’re also informed that masks are required as you make your way through the inside of the restaurant.
Two Urban Licks is huuuge both inside and outside, so distancing is no problem. I will say that the sun hits like a mofo if you’re not under an umbrella, so keep that in mind as we’re still battling it out with summer. While I never indulged in one, Two Urban Licks sells two of their cocktails in fun pouches (think adult Capri Suns). I’m an Old Fashioned lover, and their OF was appropriately boozy and tasty. On the food end, do not pass on their Smoked Salmon Chips.
A speakeasy style bar that was once membership based, 12 Cocktail Bar is by far the most chic destination I’ve visited in recent months. They don’t even have a cocktail menu. It’s just that chic, my friends. Instead of ordering from a menu, you just tell one of their mixologists what you like. I’ve yet to meet a craft cocktail I didn’t enjoy, so I’m okay with being fully surprised. And Jarrett at 12 has come through every time.
So, 12 Cocktail Bar is the only bar/restaurant I’ve dared to sit inside of since there is no outdoor space. I’ve gone twice: once on a Friday and once on a Saturday. Surprisingly, Saturday was less crowded. In the future, I probably will bypass the weekends at 12 and instead shoot for weekday evenings because their space isn’t that big and that’s what I’d be more comfortable with.
Eight Sushi Lounge
Eight Sushi Lounge how I love thee so. As a food/drink writer I don’t think I’m supposed to have a favorite when it comes to restaurants, buttt Eight Sushi Lounge is my favorite. I frequented Eight quite a few times when they first opened a few years back and had a bit of a hiatus, but I’ve been there three times in the past month and a half because I stan for Moshi Moshi Oysters, Tuna Crisp and their bread pudding.
Upon returning to Eight Sushi Lounge after having not been in years, I was afraid that my favorites would no longer be on the menu. Babayyy, the gang was all there. Even the cocktails seemed to remain the same. Temperature checks are required at the restaurant and they also have ample outdoor seating, which is fully covered.
The Omni Hotel At The Battery Atlanta
From Friday to Sunday, the bar at the pool at the Omni Hotel inside The Battery Atlanta is open and they serve a mean Pina Colada (make sure you get a dark rum floater). From what I’ve heard, the pool has been pretty litty on weekends due to the recent Atlanta Braves games. The pool area has seriously impressive views of the stadium where the Braves play, so it brings in a lot of baseball fans.
I went once on a Saturday and if you want to avoid any kind of a crowd I’d encourage you to get there early. Around 1 PM it started to get a little too full for me, so we bounced. Also, although the pool bar isn’t open on weekdays, you can visit their third floor bar and grab a cocktail to bring to the pool. I have to give kudos to the mixologists at both the pool bar and lobby bar at The Omni Hotel because they were all really nice and helpful.