Quick Bites: Twisted Soul opens, Grain update, and more

Atlanta restaurant news


  • Photo by Tomas Espinoza
  • Grain should open by early next week on the ground floor of Midtown’s MidCity Lofts.

A new bar and eatery called Grain is opening on the ground floor of Midtown’s MidCity Lofts (845 Spring St.) any day now. It will serve an upscale twist on bar fare, the product of Cypress Street Pint & Plate co-owners Billy Streck, Rob Caswick, and Thom Williams, in cahoots with Seven LampsKevin Bragg and Drew Van Leuvan. Look for items like raw oysters; lobster mac ’n’ cheese; and stone crab toast with kimchi apple, avocado, Mexican crema, and brioche. Tons of craft cocktails, wine, and beer are on the menu, while regular DJs provide live entertainment.

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Grant Park gay bar Cockpit has closed its doors for good. Those who frequent the hip in-town neighborhood should keep their eyes peeled for a new concept soon to come, Gravy Kitchen & Bar, which will open in its place.

Sisters Novi Elder Deverell and Vita Elder Wilson opened their long-awaited wine and beer spot, the Cask Room, at 900 West College Ave. in Decatur on Tuesday, November 25. Equipped with an automatic wine dispenser, it also serves tons of craft beers, a variety of crepes, soups, fresh panini, charcuterie, cheeses, and more.

Twisted Soul, the restaurant by Deborah Van Treece that replaced MarBar in Decatur, has opened at last at 314 East Howard Ave. Having made its grand debut on Wednesday, December 3, the modernized soul food restaurant offers dishes like moonshine mussels, sweet-tea-marinated baby back ribs, meat loaf burgers, and peach cobbler.

Ian Cox, the lead bartender who helped launch The Luminary at Krog Street Market in August, is leaving the 99 Krog Street bar for a job as craft cocktail consultant for the Atlanta-based National Distributing Company on December 20. His replacement, Jeff Banks—a craft-cocktail guru formerly of Graft in Grayson—will commence his new role on December 16. He’ll gradually phase in new beverages over time.

Former Latitude and Ecco chef Micah Willix is opening a concept called Community Smith in the space formerly occupied by Briza on the ground floor of Midtown’s Renaissance Hotel. Opening January 2015, the “modern meatery” will serve all the usual suspects—chicken, fish, beef, pork, lamb, and more—but will evolve over time and with culinary trends. Diners can expect menu items like crispy clams with potato, crème fraiche and caviar; porchetta with rosemary elote, sweet peppers, and aioli; and smoked beef cheeks with berbere, coconut, and hard squash. A bar manager has not yet been hired, but renovations are currently underway.

Executive chef Joe Truex is leaving Watershed on Peachtree after more than four and a half years on the roster. After leading the eatery into new environs (Brookwood Hills) and a swankier, more modern era in 2012, he’ll depart for a new gig overseas: to work at a pizza restaurant at the mall of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. He’ll rebrand and enhance the eatery, taking the pies to the “next level,” adding antipasti, probably pastas, and desserts.