Son of Concentrics Restaurants founder Bob Amick and advanced sommelier Justin Amick is leaving his position as general manager and wine director at the Spence to break away from his family’s business and start his own.
“I want to make my own name and my own experiences,” he says.
With the opening of the Painted Pin in Buckhead’s Miami Circle this spring—Amick is aiming for April—,he’ll do just that.
Amick will continue to oversee Concentrics’s wine programs, but he will no longer be involved in the day-to-day operations come late February. Though his experience is in restaurants, Amick stresses that the Painted Pin does not follow suit. He calls it an “upscale boutique bowling and entertainment venue.” Amick recently finished navigating a complicated legal battle with local business owners who felt that a restaurant/bar would cause parking headaches. As a result, the Painted Pin will provide valet parking at all times.
Amick says patrons will check in at a Four Seasons-style concierge desk and get fitted for balls and shoes, which will be delivered to their respective bowling lanes. All areas of the Painted Pin will be full service: everything from paninis and tacos to wine and cocktails can be ordered, paid for, and consumed at the lane.
In addition to bowling, there will be classic, iconic, “throwback” games, including bocce, ski ball, shuffleboard, Ping-Pong, and Northamptonshire Hood Skittles—a British pub game where two teams of two throw a wooden block known as the “cheese” at pins on a granite-topped table. Games will be housed in the center of the venue in an indoor courtyard bordered by masonry walls and lit with gas lanterns.
“Old bowling alleys were large and cavernous with no natural light. They lacked energy and ambiance because they were so spread out,” Amick says.
Located in an area best known for antiquing, the Painted Pin will serve food and beverages. Thomas Collins, formerly of Parish Food & Goods, is on the food, which will be centered around Naples-style wood-burning pizza ovens visible from the large rectangular bar. Though the menu is still in development, it will likely include upscale pub fare and small plates, as well as charcuterie and cheeses. There may be house-made nachos and a poutin-based dish, such as dressed fries. Trip Sandifer of the Spence will craft the drinks. Expect five or six signature cocktails, plus a twenty-five cocktail throwback list. Craft beer and high-caliber wines will round out the offerings.
“We’ll have more traditional varieties of wine, plus some fun selections you might not see at other bowling alleys,” Amick says. “Drier, mineral wines more conducive to the environment in Atlanta, more refreshing wines, more acidic whites, and from pinot noir to Sicilian reds.”
The look will be similar to an industrial speakeasy using natural light and only an etched plaque and some gas lanterns to mark the entranceway. The furniture will have a “preppy, British vibe,” including customized Chesterfield couches in navy, dark brown, and dark green. Every lane will have one red pin standing out among the traditional white. Though the Painted Pin is not a Concentrics venue, Bob Amick is serving as design consultant.
Originally, Amick considered opening a barbecue restaurant with a gaming component. When he received a phone call from longtime-friend William Stallworth inquiring about a bowling alley concept, Amick abandoned his plans and joined forces with Stallworth, now Painted Pin co-owner and director of events.
“I played basketball at Tulane, and I’ve always been a competitive person,” Amick says. “Bowling has been one of my favorite hobbies since I was a little kid. William and I share a passion for games.”
The 24,000-square-foot space will be open only in the
evenings during the week and from 11 a.m. on during the weekends. Starting at 7:30 p.m., only those ages 21 and up may enter, and there will be a loosely defined dress code.
“We are taking pride in the attention to detail here and want to make sure our guests and supporters follow that same attention to detail,” Amick explains.
To that note, Painted Pin will skip the disco nights traditional bowling alleys are known for and opt instead for occasional live music. To encourage walk-ins, leagues will not be allowed and only a limited number of lanes can be reserved for an extra fee.
"We want this to be a great convivial neighborhood venue," Amick says.