Summer in Atlanta can be more than a little unpredictable — one minute it’s sunny and the next there’s a downpour. So it might seem difficult to plan alfresco dinner dates or cocktail hours, but with the recent addition of two restaurants to the Atlanta scene, it’s a problem no more. Both Villains Wicked Heroes and King + Duke opened this spring, and both boast outdoor bars well suited for all kinds of weather.
One of the great things about the bar at Villains is that it’s situated right against the Midtown restaurant’s front wall, so seating is available both indoors and outside. Because of the heavy awning above the outdoor seats, they’re great for people (or storm) watching, regardless of the weather report. Grab a cocktail or two (we’re partial to the Prohibited at Turner Field, made with peanut-infused bourbon and Mexican Coke), as well as some Cajun broiled peanuts, and enjoy the view.
If you’re in the mood for something a little more substantial, Villains offers a rotating selection of tasty bar snacks, such as chicken satay skewers, served after 5 p.m. There’s also a full menu of “wicked hero” sandwiches (including the Montgomery Burns with sliced ribeye, a foam-like Brie, mushrooms, onions, roasted peppers and chilli ketchup) dreamed up by co-owners Alex Brounstein, Jared Lee Pyles, and Jason McClure, who put together their combined experiences at local fast-casual restaurants Grindhouse Killer Burgers, HD1 and Flip Burger Boutique when they opened the Midtown eatery in late April.
Forbes Travel Guide Tastemaker Ford Fry’s fourth restaurant, King + Duke, opened in May, and it’s one of the hottest spots in town. Inspiration for the Buckhead eatery’s name originates from Mark Twain’s famous novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, whose main character encounters two con artists who refer to themselves as a king and a duke. This popular spot is close to many an office building — and with its comforting décor (bookshelves, rustic wood), expansive covered patio and outdoor bar, King + Duke is a welcome respite in the busy Atlanta neighborhood.
To add to the restaurant’s novel theme, each of the cocktails on King + Duke’s menu is paired with a quote from a great work of literature. There’s a line from Richard Adams’ Watership Down alongside a drink made with Blackwell rum and Watership Brown ale; Jane Austen dialogue follows a ruby port cocktail called Sense and Sensibility. As for the cuisine, it’s upscale comfort food at its finest. Executive chef Joe Schafer’s offerings include burgers, steaks, grilled cheese sandwiches and more, all cooked over the restaurant’s signature 24-foot open hearth.
Photo Courtesy of Villains Wicked Heroes