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JULY 2020 PONCE CITY MARKET EVENTS

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 6/24/20

Every Tuesday, 4-6pm – Ponce City Farmers Market
Located at The Yard in front of Mountain High Outfitters, Ponce City Farmers Market is now open as an in-person mini-market and pick-up location for ShopCFMATL.org orders, with local fruit and produce available to purchase on-site. For a contactless option, ShopCFM offers CSA-style veggie boxes in addition to their usual offerings.

Fri., July 17 & Fri., July 31, 5:30-7:30pm – Cocktail Classes at 12 Cocktail Bar

12 Cocktail Bar on The Roof at Ponce City Market is hosting cocktail classes taught by their award-winning barmen and Beverage Director Randy Hayden. Guests can enjoy an exclusive and intimate class setting and receive hands-on experience creating four hand-crafted cocktails. Tickets ($75) are available here and include complimentary cocktails, one-on-one demonstrations, four cocktail recipe cards to take home and a 12 Cocktail Class Certificate of Completion.

Every Wednesday, 9:30pm – Movies on The Roof

Guests can catch their favorite flicks from new heights at Movies on The Roof! Classic and new favorites will be played every Wednesday evening at 8:30pm. All guests with 9 Mile Station reservations OR unlimited gameplay wristbands for Skyline Park have access to the movie. The huge Rooftop Terrace has open air and plenty of space for a comfortable experience for all guests, and seating is first come, first served. Tickets available here!

Thursday through Sunday – Velvet Residence Presents “Live at Ponce”

Ponce City Market has teamed up with Velvet Residence, an Atlanta-based platform for artists around the world to be seen and heard, to bring free live music to the community destination every Thursday from 5-8pm and on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11am-2pm and 5-8pm. Performers will be positioned on the Central Food Hall’s Second Floor between Elk Head Clothing and Cobbler Union, and this week’s acts include Symone Royale, Anna Field, Rex Evans, Jaylon Ashaun, Mona and Lee Vasi.

Every Sunday, 11am-3pm & 6-10pm – Summer Sundays at Skyline Park

Each Sunday, guests can enjoy family activities at Skyline Park with friendly competition, balloon artists, and craft stations. From 6-10pm, 9 Mile Station will have live music by local artists and bands. Interested guests can book a reservation for 9 Mile Station here.

THE BATTERY ATLANTA JULY HAPPENINGS ARE TOO HOT TO HANDLE 2020

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 6/24/20

Kick off summer with endless restaurant specials and fun in the sun

Beat the heat with summer fun from select reopened restaurants and retailers at The Battery Atlanta! With longer evenings and higher temps ahead, all ages can experience unique dining and shopping options at the open, outdoor campus. Cobb County’s hottest lifestyle destination – designed for relaxation and recreation – offers a mix of outdoor events to keep visitors active as well as entertainment ranging from themed game nights to live music. Visitors craving a taste of summer can dine alfresco on patios or order takeout from chef-driven restaurants for a hassle-free and socially distant picnic on the Plaza Green. Haagen Dazs and River Street Sweets Savannah’s Candy Kitchen are serving up classic summer treats, and refreshing brunch libations are fan favorites at Superica, CRU Food & Wine Bar and Goldberg’s Fine Foods.

Outdoor Activities:

Wellness Series: Yoga by Kaiser Permanente
Every Monday at 6:30 p.m.
Start the week off stress-free with an outdoor yoga class presented by Kaiser Permanente on the Plaza Green. This free event is limited to 25 people. Registration and the event participant waiver are available online. Participants are required to bring a mat and show ID upon arrival. Those unable to attend in person can follow along with the live stream on Facebook or recorded sessions on YouTube.

The Battery Atlanta Walking Trail presented by UnitedHealthcare
A brisk walk can curb cravings! Get out and get active on the 1.5-mile loop circling the campus.

Cornhole ATL Summer League
Every Tuesday at 6 p.m.
A tailgate favorite is now a league of its own! Spectators are encouraged to watch the action and cheer on league participants as they play games leading up to the season’s final tournament on July 28.

Farmers Market presented by United Healthcare
Every Sunday 1-4 p.m.
Families and friends are invited to stroll and shop a variety of handcrafted and homegrown products on the Plaza Green. Locals can also preorder items from select vendors, including David’s Garden Super Bee, Pearson Farm, The Cheese Straw House and The Cocktail House Shop.

Select Retail and Restaurant Promotions:

Singo Night at PH’EAST
Every Monday at 5 p.m.
Music lovers can test their knowledge in this version of bingo played with song titles and compete to win for $5 off their tab at the Asian food hall.

Kids Eat Free at Goldberg’s
Every Tuesday
Bring the kids for an after-school treat! A free kids’ menu item is available with the purchase of one adult entrée at the New York style deli and restaurant.

Wine Wednesday at Yard House
Every Wednesday
Wine lovers can celebrate making it to mid-week with half-off bottles of wine at this modern American gathering place for food and drinks.

‘Ketel One & ?’ at BURN by Rocky Patel
Every Thursday at 4 p.m.
Cool off with a refreshing botanical cocktail for just $8! Guests can enjoy new Ketel One Botanicals – a vodka distilled with real botanicals and infused with natural fruit essences.

Champagne Thursdays at CRU Food & Wine Bar
Every Thursday
Patrons can enjoy 50% off a bottle of bubbly. Guests are also invited to eat their fill of fresh artisan cuisine from the extensive lunch and dinner menu.

Live Entertainment at Sports & Social
Every Thursday – Sunday
A variety of live entertainment returns to the outdoor space Thursday through Sunday afternoons and evenings!

The most up-to-date list of restaurant and retailer happenings are available on the website. Details and hours of operation are subject to change.

NETHERWORLD’S ESCAPE GAMES REOPEN THIS FRIDAY, JUNE 19

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 6/19/20

Attraction to Reopen with New and Enhanced Safety Guidelines in Place

Ready to switch up your quarantine routine, Atlanta? After three months of being closed due to COVID-19, NETHERWORLD’s escape room games, dubbed Escape the NETHERWORLD, will reopen to the public beginning Friday, June 19. Guests can once again get all the thrills and chills they’ve come to expect from the creators behind one of the country’s most beloved haunted houses at NETHERWORLD’s four escape rooms.

“We are so excited to be reopening our doors to the public,” said NETHERWORLD Haunted House Co-Creator Billy Messina. “While this time has given us plenty of opportunity to prep for this season’s new haunts, we have missed hosting our community at our year-round attractions. As always, the safety of our guests, staff and community is of the utmost importance to us, so we are taking all necessary precautions to ensure the safety of everyone’s health while still having fun.”

While the COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented, NETHERWORLD remains committed to putting the health and well-being of team members and guests first. Read on for details regarding procedures put in place by NETHERWORLD to ensure safety and comfort, and click here for a downloadable infographic.

Private Bookings:
All games will be private and cost $28 per person with a minimum purchase of four players (fewer may participate). All games must be booked online at least two hours prior to the scheduled start time. Guests can call ahead at 678-580-5642 if they would like to schedule a room inside that booking window. While walk-ins are discouraged, walk-in customers will be accommodated if a private room and game master are available but cannot be guaranteed.

Amended Check-In Procedures:
Upon arrival, guests will call from the car prior to entering the building where they may be asked to wait in the vehicle while NETHERWORLD prepares for their check-in. Social distancing will be highly encouraged, so please follow guidance on NETHERWORLD’s downloadable infographic. All guests will be asked to wash their hands thoroughly prior to the start of the game. To facilitate the check-in process, NETHERWORLD asks that most belongings be left in vehicles. Small personal items like purses and cell phones can be brought into the game. Cell phones and cameras may not be used during the game.

Face Coverings and Other PPE:
NETHERWORLD requests the use of face masks and/or face shields by guests while in public areas of Escape the NETHERWORLD. This includes but is not limited to the lobby, public bathrooms, outdoor picnic tables and benches. Hand sanitizer is available at several locations throughout the property, and disposable gloves are available by request.

Cleaning and Disinfecting Procedures:
NETHERWORLD has added extra measures to their already thorough cleaning regimen which includes disinfecting props, doorknobs, and touch surfaces with high grade disinfectants. Each room is cleaned before and after each game. As appropriate, additional cleaning procedures may include but are not limited to fogging the rooms with a non-toxic hospital grade disinfectant. The lobby, bathrooms and other public areas will also be disinfected regularly.

Staff Health and Safety:
For the health and safety of staff and guests, employees will be wearing face coverings while interacting directly with each other and their groups. They may choose to wear additional PPE at their discretion including gloves and face shields. Staff members will have health screenings regularly which may include but are not limited to temperature checks and interviews about health and possible exposure and will wash their hands regularly throughout their shift.

Right to Refuse Service:
NETHERWORLD reserves the right to refuse entry to anyone exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. If guests are feeling ill, are exhibiting symptoms, or have had a possible exposure to the coronavirus, please call to reschedule your game.

Updated Hours:
Escape the NETHERWORLD will reopen with limited game slots on Fridays and Saturdays. See below for more details:

Friday:
Nosferatu – 6:00pm, 8:00pm, 10:00pm
Tiki Island – 6:20pm, 8:20pm, 10:20pm
Haunted – 6:40pm, 8:40pm, 10:40pm
Sasquatch – 7:00pm, 9:00pm, 11:00pm

Saturday:
Nosferatu – 2:00pm, 4:00pm, 6:00pm, 8:00pm, 10:00pm
Tiki Island – 2:20pm, 4:20pm, 6:20pm, 8:20pm, 10:20pm
Haunted – 2:40pm, 4:40pm, 6:40pm, 8:40pm, 10:40pm
Sasquatch – 3:00pm, 5:00pm, 7:00pm, 9:00pm, 11:00pm

Guests can book their escape room game through NETHERWORLD’s online booking platform. Be on the lookout for discount codes and special gift vouchers to celebrate reopening by joining NETHERWORLD’s mailing list or follow along on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Details on the reopening of NETHERWORLD Laser Adventure Battle Arena will be announced soon.

9 Mile Station: Stunning Sunsets Included

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 6/8/20

The orange and yellow rays of the sun fade behind a Midtown skyscraper throwing a cascade of pinks, blues, and purples over the clouds in perfect unison. Once the sun finishes its descent, the lights of the city illuminate the sky with a pale yellow halo. It’s a jaw dropping site that everyone should experience! Sitting on the corner of the Ponce City Rooftop, 9 Mile Station is the go-to place to spend a warm, sunny sunset over the Atlanta Skylines like we just described, while enjoying a refreshing cocktail, and nibbling on a light bite with your favorite people. Stunning sunsets included! On top of that, fill your stomach with great food and drinks that pair well with any weather. Color us impressed.

From a large beer on tap menu, cocktails, wines, and more, 9 Mile Station has a good selection of local and national brews, an array of wines, and a fun cocktail menu. The first cocktail we sampled was One Way Ticket to Mars and it reminded us of the color of the setting sun. In flavor, it is deeper and richer of the two cocktails we tried with a sweet and citrus nose to start and finished off with slight mint and tart. From the deepness and warmth of the whiskey, to the richness of the passionfruit, to the mint, lemon, and bubbles, it’s a fun drink to sip all the way around. Also, beautifully presented in a champagne flute, you’d never know it was a whiskey and sparkling wine combo cocktail. Our second cocktail was refreshing and perfect for the rooftop, sunset vibe you get from 9 Mile Station. The Rose All Day 2.0 is a combination of gin, hint of lemon, rose wine, and sparkling rose wine. It’s one of those drinks you could sit on their ledge seating and just sip on for hours. You’d never get tired of the view or the drink.

From sipping a cocktail while taking in the sunset view, why not stay for a bite while you relax at the firepit and enjoy the nighttime vibe by the fire? They have some delicious options, we were impressed with the array of starters, as well as entrees. Plus, 9 Mile Station has blown us away with their presentation. Seriously beautiful, like the croquets had an array of color and the wings were stunning. It elevates the experience, like your eating at an upscale restaurant!

One of the best little all-around balanced bites was the smoked trout croquettes. They are a delicious ball of flavor from the light, flaky fish, perfectly crunchy fried shell, and the earthiness and cream of the mint tarragon yogurt. Make sure to get yogurt and a bite of the pickled onions in each bite, it’s perfection. Beyond that, the lemon pepper wings were some of the best wings in Atlanta. The whole wing was perfectly cooked, charred evenly, and the skin popped when you took a bite. The lemon pepper sauce was balanced with the right amount of lemon and pepper, as well as the richness of the butter. We cannot say enough about how delicious these wings on their own, you MUST but dip every bite in that perfect Alabama White BBQ sauce, because it’s one of the best white sauces EVER. The perfect blend of spices and creaminess is to die for. What a wonderful bite!

When you enter the elevator to Ponce City Market and head to the roof, you know you’re in for something special. You get that on the roof. Beautiful views, food, drinks, and if you still have room for more fun, why not try your hand at a carnival game or a round of mini-golf? Next time we head up to the roof, we’re going to try a 9 Mile Station Beer Smash (beer cocktail) and eyeing the smoked baby back ribs. Reservation for two, please.

ROCK ‘N’ TACO KICKS OFF SUMMER WITH LIVE MUSIC SERIES

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 6/8/20

Late-Night Gourmet Taqueria and Live Music Hub Now Offering Fun for Everyone

Rock ‘N’ Taco, Roswell’s favorite late-night gourmet taqueria, live music venue and incubator of local musical talent, is excited to splash into summer with a live music series. Rock ‘N’ Taco kicks off its summer music series this Friday, June 12 at 9:30pm with local favorite Aunt Betty. Rock ‘N’ roll lovers can also see featured artists like Carter Horne, Francisco Vidal and the Justin Borgman Band.

“Rock ‘N’ Taco has always been a launching pad for amazing homegrown talent that have gone on to compete on TV shows like ‘The Voice’ and ‘American Idol,’” says co-owner John Michael Brunetti. “We’re excited to bring music back to Roswell residents.” Guests also can catch local bands Denim Arcade, Dueling Pianos , 84 (a Van Halen tribute band) and more. To check out the live music line-up, visit Rock ‘N’ Taco online.

Rock ‘N’ Taco showcases rare music memorabilia and boasts a state-of-the-art audio and video system that makes the restaurant one of Roswell’s best-sounding live music venues. The varied menu features authentic Mexican and Tex-Mex favorites with a distinct rock ‘n’ roll attitude, along with healthy salads and creative cocktails.

“Our large, open garage doors make room for plenty of patio seating and fresh air while guests enjoy the music, and we continue to follow all safety guidelines and maintain social distancing to keep our guests, staff and musicians safe,” says Brunetti.

When the music is not playing, guests can expect to see headline events like the UFC International Fight Week featured on Rock ‘N’ Taco’s abundance of high definition TVs.

ATLANTA RESTAURANTS GO ABOVE AND BEYOND TO ENHANCE SAFETY MEASURES

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 5/17/20

Safety and Wellbeing of Staff and Guests Remain Top Priority as Dining Rooms Reopen

The restaurant industry has been devastated by COVID-19, causing closures and service industry employees to lose their jobs. Many establishments have turned to takeout and delivery to stay afloat while others remained completely closed. As the stay-at-home order has been lifted by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, restaurants are preparing to reopen, and some are going above and beyond required measures to ensure the safety of staff and guests.

Johnny’s Hideaway, the iconic Atlanta nightclub, has partnered with CleanWell, the exclusive certified applicator of Monofoil in the Southeast. Johnny’s is the first nightclub to use this nanotechnology-based cleaner that sticks to surfaces and provides protection for 30-60 days. It molecularly bonds to any surface and provides ongoing efficacy in physically killing pathogens that can carry viruses. CleanWell will come to Johnny’s every 45-60 days to reapply the cleaner.

Marlow’s Tavern has installed an upgraded Reme Halo air filtration system that kills 99% of all germs and viruses. They are temporarily installing plexiglass dividers between booths and sanitation stations throughout the taverns. Single-use paper menus and QR code menus will be available for guests to read on their phones. Marlow’s Tavern also will be controlling the number of guests entering the building.

Following the trend, Murphy’s owner Tom Murphy is taking proactive measures to implement new safety protocols and improve the air quality at his iconic Virginia-Highland restaurant with the installation of Synexis, a biodefense technology to reduce the opportunity for infectious microorganisms. Murphy’s is the first independent casual dining restaurant in Atlanta with this state-of-the-art microbial reduction system. Synexis is the same advanced technology used to continuously reduce bioburden in sectors such as schools and hospitals and is effective against airborne and surface viruses, bacteria and fungi.

Ray’s on the River and Ray’s at Killer Creek are also implementing increased precautions to ensure a healthy, safe environment for all guests and employees. Added precautions include installing UV lights by Global Plasma System to combat dangerous pathogens and viruses that may be in the air, single-use menus, contactless pay options, plexiglass booth dividers and more.

Rock ‘N’ Taco, Roswell’s late-night, gourmet taqueria spot, has taken several steps to ensure a safe reopening. While the eatery was closed, the team renovated, updated décor and strategized on how to serve their guests safely. All employees are now required to wear masks and practice extensive hygiene protocols. They have a handsfree, virtual menu so that guests do not have to unnecessarily touch anything. Rock ‘N’ Taco is opening its six, large garage doors to encourage patrons to eat on the patio so that everyone is getting fresh, clean air. Additionally, the restaurant has made more room on the patio by roping off some of its large parking lot for extra, spaced-out seating.

Taco Mac is following strict sanitation guidelines upon reopening and implementing several additional safety recommendations from the local, state and federal governments, as well as the CDC. Staff performs a thorough cleaning and sanitation of the entire restaurant before opening a dining room, utilizing ready-to-use peroxide disinfectant to regularly spray all contact surfaces. All employees are required to wear masks while in the building. Taco Mac has installed sanitation stations throughout the restaurant and removed all caddies and condiments from tables. Team members will bring out sanitized salt and pepper shakers as well as single-use condiments upon request. Dining areas have been rearranged for intentional social distancing through limited seating as well as planned traffic flow and taped six-foot markings in key areas to show guests where to stand when waiting. Taco Mac is continuously monitoring the situation and applying additional measures as needed. View detailed guidelines and safety measures here.

It is important for people’s livelihoods that these restaurants reopen, and guests need to know that their health and safety is of the upmost importance to the owners of these establishments. As patrons return to their favorite local restaurants, they can take comfort knowing restaurants have gone above and beyond to enhance protocols for their wellbeing.

Piastra: The Perfect Date Night IN

In the early days of quarantine, we took a drive to Marietta Square to pick-up some Italian food for our first date night IN. The square had some kids playing close to the fountain and a couple sipped on wine at a table outside the restaurant. For a Friday night, it was eerily quiet. Piastra reminds us of that local Italian restaurant that you’d go to on Friday Night, grab a bottle of vino to share at the table and split a pizza or a hearty bowl of pasta, while finished off with some silky tiramisu. This time, when we picked up, we got the duck carpaccio, the rigatoni Domenica, and a Salsiccia pizza. What a meal.

Starting with the duck carpaccio, show of hands who DOESN’T love a solid carpaccio? Told you, everyone does! The duck will melt in your mouth. The fattiness and savory of the duck pairs well with the sweetness of the honey in a melody of flavors topped with earthiness of arugula and acidity of citrus vinaigrette. Pro tip: eat all ingredients together. This way it’s every flavor and done so well. This is a must get.

The best all-around ingredient we loved at Piastra was their mild fennel sausage, crafted in house. The two main entrees we sampled had it in both. While fine Italian restaurants are known for their wine selection and pasta, can’t they also be known for an outstanding Pizza? We got their Salsiccia with the mild fennel sausage and pomodoro and it was an all-around great pizza. From the sausage, crushed tomatoes, and mozzarella, to the tasty and well-seasoned bread, it would be a crowd pleaser for any meat pizza lover. We’ll have to try this when it’s pipping hot at Piastra when restaurants re-open. If it’s this good when you get it home, it must be even more amazing hot!

The other dish we got that featured the sausage was the Rigatoni Domenica. Talk about a truly authentic delectable pasta dish, you got it right here. The sausage was savory, meaty, slight spicy but mild, and very tender. You mix that with handmade rigatoni that’s perfectly cooked between soft and al dente, covered in a tomato-based sauce and a hint of cream, that’ll hit the spot. Creamy, savory, sweet, spicy, such a wonderful dish. Next time, we want to try a Secondi Salmon, Pork Chop, or half Chicken. They all sound amazing.

Piastra is open for curbside pickup and delivery through DoorDash and Zifty. They also have $10 and $15 bottles of wine. Who’s hungry for Italian fare and a good bottle of wine tonight?

FRONTLINE DINE INITIATIVE 2020

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 4/9/20

TRUE STORY BRANDS LAUNCHES “FRONTLINE DINE” INITIATIVE WITH SPANX BY SARA BLAKELY FOUNDATION TO DELIVER MEALS TO WORKERS AT CHILDREN’S HEALTHCARE OF ATLANTA

Starting 4/10, Atlanta Hospitality Group will Cook & Deliver Thousands of Meals to Healthcare Workers 

With meal deliveries beginning this week, True Story Brands (10 Degrees South, Yebo Beach Haus, Biltong Bar) is set to deliver nearly 2,500 meals per week to workers of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta as part of new “Frontline Dine” initiative. The initiative is funded by Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation, the charitable arm of Spanx that has donated millions of dollars to charities around the world since its inception in 2006.

The idea for Frontline Dine was born as a collaboration between longtime friends Justin Anthony, Founder of True Story Brands, Sara Blakely, Founder of Spanx, and her entrepreneur husband Jesse Itzler, who see it as a way to help provide for two communities: the hospitality and healthcare industries. Over the course of two weeks, with hopes to continue longer, the initiative will be responsible for delivering nearly 2,500 meals a week to workers at three Children’s campuses (Scottish Rite, Egleston and Hughes Spalding) during shift change.

Prepared at Biltong Bar at The Shops Buckhead Atlanta, the meals will feature traditional South African dishes like Savory and Sweet Curry with chicken or beef and Peri-Peri Chicken. Ideation and execution of the menu will derive from Anthony’s parents, Derek and Diane, who are also the Executive Chef team behind True Story Brands’ flagship restaurant 10 Degrees South. Derek and Diane Anthony, along with Biltong Bar’s Chef plan to serve a menu that honors the South African tradition of convivial, family-style dining while also supplying healthcare workers with hearty and nutritious meals to help get them through this challenging time. In March, Anthony’s young cousin was diagnosed with a severe case of coronavirus and was cared for by the staff at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite. She is now on the road to recovery, but Anthony says his cousin’s experience at Scottish Rite played a large role in his decision to take action. He, along with staff from True Story Brands’ temporarily closed restaurants, will deliver meals to each Children’s campus.

“Now more than ever, it’s important to do our part to help the community and we’re so proud to announce this initiative in collaboration with the Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation,” says Anthony. “Not only will it help those on the frontlines battling COVID-19, but this will help provide work for True Story staff who have been temporarily furloughed because of the pandemic.”

RALLY WITH #ATLFAMILYMEAL TO SUPPORT ATLANTA’S HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 4/5/20

Setting the Table to Feed, Nurture, and Support Atlanta’s Hospitality Industry.

Link to our full article on City Lifestyle as well: https://citylifestyle.com/atlanta-ga/articles/life-and-culture/rally-with-atlfamilymeal-?utm_source=Influencer&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=liz-and-john-attaway

Help. Support. Come together. Do good. These are not new concepts. As humans, in good times its harder to look past your own situation to see others in need, but in bad, it’s amazing how it brings us together and makes us stronger. With the onslaught of hospitality worker unemployment or under employment, a slew of non-profits and charities have popped up to answer the desperate call of the industry. We’re living in unprecedented times at the moment, and it’s all we can do is if we have the means to pitch in. They were there for us, giving us advice, cooking us delicious meals, and taking care of our every need, and now they need us! From charities that have always been doing good, like Giving Kitchen, to the growing list of newbies, #ATLFAMILYMEAL is answering the call to help feed your favorite bartender, sous chef, and everyone from the industry in need.

In a nutshell, #ATLFAMILYMEAL’s mission, “is to feed, nurture and support hospitality workers and their families experiencing hunger and joblessness in the metro Atlanta community.” They’ll leverage all of their industry knowledge, supply chain, and workers to coordinate, deliver, and feed Atlanta’s hospitality community. We took a moment to talk to Michael Lennox of Electric Hospitality, which Muchacho, Golden Eagle, and Lady Bird are a part of, about his #ATLFAMILYMEAL initiative and here’s the take-aways from that conversation.

Adventures in Atlanta: How did you come up with #ATLFamilyMeal? 

Michael Lennox: “#ATLFAMILYMEAL is the result of looking around and seeing the potential for almost every Atlanta-area restaurant and hospitality company closing their doors, leaving hundreds of thousands of hospitality workers without jobs. The majority of people in the hospitality community live paycheck-to-paycheck. If that means there are a ton of chefs and cooks out of work, we all still know how to cook, we all still have access to food, so the idea behind ATLFAMILYMEAL is that we can rally together as a hospitality community to raise money to help pay for food, staff to cook it, prepare meals for out of work hospitality workers and use technology to deliver it to their doorstep. After I started telling people about the idea, an inspiring and surreal amount of positive energy started bubbling to the surface, culminating with a lot of people wanting to do something but not having an outlet to get organized effectively en masse. We also recently filed for 501(c)(3) designation, so donations are tax deductible, and as we continue picking up speed with #ATLFAMILYMEAL, I think what we have now is a powerful channel for as many in the industry as possible to focus our energy and resources under one flag to feed as many hospitality workers as possible.”

Adventures in Atlanta: What’s the most important/one thing you want people to know about #ATLFamilyMeal?

Michael Lennox: “The most important thing to know about #ATLFAMILYMEAL is our ability to scale. We are working with some of the smartest minds and best resources across food and technology with the goal of ultimately helping hundreds of thousands of newly unemployed hospitality workers across the metro Atlanta area gain access to free meals each week. During this increasingly challenging time, we noticed that it had become difficult for those in the hospitality industry to consistently have access to meals, so we are grateful for the overwhelmingly positive response to our efforts. It’s going to take a united effort from the hospitality community to cast as wide of a net as is needed, so we are really banging the drum and inviting everyone into our tent.  We are excited to watch #ATLFAMILYMEAL grow as we move forward and build up our network.”

Adventures in Atlanta: Could you tell us a little bit more about how someone would apply/what’s the process for aid through #ATLFamilyMeal? Who qualifies?

Michael Lennox: “Currently, restaurant and hospitality businesses can apply through the Restaurant Signup page on atlfamilymeal.org. Once they have been onboarded into our system, our technology allows for a seamless collection of their employee contact information, so that we can begin delivering meals right to their doorsteps.

We’re also working closely with other businesses in our network and adding their employees to our system so they can start receiving free meals in the weeks ahead. Our goal is to eventually open sign-up directly to hospitality workers in the community, but in the meantime, we encourage hospitality workers in metro Atlanta to reach out to their employer and encourage them to apply to #ATLFAMILYMEAL.”

Adventures in Atlanta: Is there anything else you’d like to emphasize beyond what’s in the backgrounder or on the website? 

Michael Lennox: “We wanted to create an all-encompassing community for hospitality and restaurant workers, as well as business owners, to rely on for up-to-date information, relevant resources, food, and other essential supplies. While we are still in the early stages of implementation, we are confident that growing our community and contacts will lead to exponential growth, support, and impact.”

Adventures in Atlanta: What’s your plans for #ATLFAMILYMEAL beyond the COVID-19 crisis?

Michael Lennox: “#ATLFAMILYMEAL is a nonprofit created amid COVID-19, but our mission is much larger than the current crisis at hand. We plan for the tools, resources, and foundations we’ve developed to continue assisting hospitality workers in the future. Beyond this crisis, our purpose is to continue broadening our reach and offer a growing digital library of resources for the hospitality community. This will include everything from Georgia Restaurant Association-supplied advocacy and regulatory updates, to crowdsourced best practices surrounding things like banking and cash flow, to a variety of health and wellness resources, and more, so we can help hospitality businesses and workers get back to work. Last but not least, we see big opportunities to build on the momentum being generated right now to advocate for a stronger safety net for the hospitality community so we are better prepared if and when another pandemic or crisis occurs in the future.”

Adventures in Atlanta: Anything else you’d like to add? 

Michael Lennox: “Since launching #ATLFAMILYMEAL last week with the help of participating chefs and hospitality groups like Gina and Linton Hopkins, Electric Hospitality (Golden Eagle, Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall, Muchacho), King of Pops, Fox Bros., and more, we’ve delivered approximately 2,600 free meals to hospitality workers across Atlanta, and in the coming weeks, our goal is to exceed 100,000 meals per week. These deliveries are currently happening twice a week and we couldn’t be more proud of our diverse and elite leadership team from the hospitality industry, business, and nonprofit world here in Atlanta.  A $20 donation supplies 4 meals to a hospitality worker in need, and donations can be made on our website (atlfamilymeal.org), so we encourage anyone who is interested in learning more and donating to the cause to please check us out online and follow along on social media. In spite of this being a tragic moment for so many, we are inspired by the way that Atlanta has been rallying around this cause so far and are positive that we are going to get through this together.”

So, by using their network and resources, leveraging donations, they’ve created a place for anyone in the industry to find their next meal. Did you see their goal to send out exceed 100,000 meals a week? That’s amazing. We’re in! Are you ready to donate? Get involved? Find out more about #ATLFAMILYMEAL? Go to atlfamilymeal.org and start your journey!

Photos provided by Luke Beard via Blue Hominy PR.

#ATLFAMILYMEAL LAUNCHES TO HELP HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 3/25/20

#ATLFAMILYMEAL is a community of Atlanta area chefs, restaurant owners, hospitality workers, and business/non-profit leaders rallying together to help the Atlanta hospitality community and its people survive and thrive. In the hospitality industry, “family meal” is a universal slang that encompasses the sacred time before or after a shift where the entire restaurant staff comes together, breaks bread over a humble, hearty meal, enjoys each other’s company, and finds their center. Chefs and hospitality groups who are actively participating in this effort include Gina and Linton Hopkins, Electric Hospitality (Golden Eagle, Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall, Muchacho), King of Pops, Fox Bros., and more.

MISSION + VISION: The mission of #ATLFAMILYMEAL is to help feed, nurture, and support hospitality workers during and immediately after the COVID-19 crisis by activating and connecting the Atlanta restaurant community unlike ever before. There are more than 500,000 hospitality industry workers in the state of Georgia, and more than half of this group live and work in the metro Atlanta area. The majority of these hospitality industry workers live paycheck to paycheck and have found themselves jobless overnight.

This initiative involves a united front across the industry supply chain, with extraordinary teamwork, communication, and a commitment to attain a common goal––doing whatever it takes to feed the ATL restaurant family. #ATLFAMILYMEAL is a newly-formed nonprofit with end-to-end logistics capabilities actively seeking funding, sponsorships, and in-kind donations to purchase, prepare, and deliver free “family meals” to the doorstep of hospitality workers across the metro Atlanta area, potentially employing hundreds (or thousands) of out-of-work hospitality professionals in the process.

ABOUT: Spearheaded by Michael Lennox, CEO & Founder of Electric Hospitality (Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall, Golden Eagle, Muchacho), the #ATLFAMILYMEAL movement is focused on building a virtual dinner table for the community to gather, share ideas, leverage resources, feed, and provide support for hospitality workers experiencing distress. ATLFAMILYMEAL, Inc. is a Georgia nonprofit that is in the process of seeking its 501(c)(3) designation, and is actively building a leadership team and raising funds to support the following areas of focus:

(1) building and nurturing an online community engaging around ways to help the hospitality community survive and thrive

(2) aggregating, combining, and deploying existing assets in the community (food, money, production space, hospitality leadership and personnel, delivery vehicles) and pairing them with sophisticated logistics/distribution software to route “family meals” across the city to feed tens of thousands of hospitality workers in their homes in metro Atlanta

(3) supporting Georgia Restaurant Association’s (GRA) vital advocacy work on behalf of the restaurant and hospitality industry

HOW WILL IT WORK:

  1. #ATLFAMILYMEAL will take existing resources in the community (food, people, money, delivery vehicles) and connect them in a new way to create temporary links in the supply chain and local economy that have disintegrated during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Specifically, the team of industry leaders and experts is working together to leverage existing resources in the community that are not currently being utilized for food production (e.g. food product in storage, restaurant/catering/banquet kitchen facilities, catering and food-service delivery vans/trucks, etc.) by raising money to reactivate these resources and the talented workers in these industries.
  1. Interested restaurants and hospitality businesses can sign up with #ATLFAMILYMEAL by emailing info@atlfamilymeal.org, share available resources (i.e., kitchen space, food product, staff, catering equipment, etc.) and #ATLFAMILYMEAL provides administrative and logistics support, and access to specialty equipment, as well as a variety of online tools and resources to help them feed their staff.
  1. #ATLFAMILYMEAL then uses donated funds to buy food, pay workers to prepare the food, and pay delivery drivers to deliver the food directly to unemployed restaurant and hospitality workers in the metro Atlanta area, all while following strict federal and state health and safety guidelines over food production and distribution.

CONNECT: In the spirit of hospitality and connection, help build the virtual dinner table by using the #ATLFAMILYMEAL hashtag online and on social media to build awareness for the movement, share ideas, connect dots, leverage resources, and show support for those experiencing distress in the hospitality industry. While we may not physically be together, we can work alongside one another to emerge stronger on the other side. Join the coalition on Facebook (@ATLFamilyMeal) and use the #ATLFAMILYMEAL hashtag to share ideas or resources to support this movement. For more information, please visit www.atlfamilymeal.org.

DONATE/SUPPORT/VOLUNTEER: Donations are being accepted online through www.atlfamilymeal.org, and 100% of donated proceeds will go toward helping feed and support hospitality workers in the metro Atlanta area. #ATLFAMILYMEAL is also actively seeking and receiving in-kind donations of the following: perishables, non-perishables, food packaging, supplies, delivery capabilities (i.e., vans/trucks). Do you have expertise in one of the following domains: Logistics, Packaging, Distribution, Marketing, Communications, HR, Legal, Accounting, Design? #ATLFAMILYMEAL is also actively seeking part-time volunteers with specialized backgrounds in core functions that support #ATLFAMILYMEAL’s mission and work. Inquiries and interest: please email info@atlfamilymeal.org.