Checking Out New Bar Spots In Atlanta

Two friends belt out Toto’s “Stop Loving You” in the karaoke bar, one of the four bars inside Moondogs. Photo by Dayne Francis | The Signal

For some, if not most young adults, all bars are the same sticky place to pay $8 after tip for a Guinness draught and avoid the aggressive Mr.Hyde-esque drunk who keeps picking fights. It is inevitable, however, that the same dive bars with the same Top 40 hits playing with the same eight girls grinding on each other on industry-style tables will eventually get old. While it is unlikely that anyone will actually get (or want) to try every bar in Atlanta, there are a few gems less popular than Church that are worth checking out.

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East Atlanta Village is an oft-talked about but less-frequented hot spot for niche, unique bars in Atlanta. While Argosy and Graveyard have their individual followings (not to mention the Graveyard’s underground club in its literal basement), their neighbors don’t get as much love. For example, Gaja, a hip Korean joint located across from the Earl, artfully combines a vintage Korean aesthetic with a hipster one. They offer food served on cafeteria trays along with soju, a clean-tasting Korean liquor, and other cocktails. You can also opt in for a burlesque show for one Alexander Hamilton.

If you’re absolutely married to Edgewood, there’s a “secret” bar above the Music Room in Sweet Auburn. The exterior looks like your everyday, benign, barbecue place, but in the back of the restaurant is a large bookshelf that leads to a new room and full bar. They host events, like 9 p.m. Sunday comedy, and have a DJ on most other nights.

Also in Downtown, Peachtree Street caters less to college students trying to get wasted, but offers picturesque views of the skyline and the sense that you are genuinely out in a populous city. No list of bars would be complete without the notorious Red Phone Booth, inconspicuously nestled in front of a pizza place on Andrew Young International Blvd. Designed like a speakeasy, you have to enter a literal red phone booth, enter a code on a rotary-style telephone, and open the door into the Prohibition-style bar. The restaurant owners and bartenders on Peachtree Street can provide you with the code, but only if you tip generously. Here, you can order all the absinthe your soul desires and your wallet allows.

If you want to get more booze for your buck, though, check out the Independent at Midtown Promenade. Nestled upstairs behind Trader Joe’s and the Midtown Art Cinema, the Independent is an easy-going bar with too many games to get bored of your too-drunk friends and an utterly exhaustive list of beers.

Last but never least (expensive) is Foxtrot Liquor Bar, just over a mile from the Independent in Midtown. Known for their craft cocktails, fancy barstools, and handsome servers, Foxtrot will become your new favorite liquor lounge. Charmingly decorated, it has a coffeeshop-like vibe and truly feels like it’s a bar just for the locals.

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