Come September, the new Alpharetta City Center will be home to a West Coast tavern called Citizen Soul. Created by Phillip Cooper, the man behind VIN25 bistro and wine bar in Roswell, Citizen Soul will serve California casual cuisine in an upscale environment.
“I want it to mirror the pubs and taverns I’ve visited in Northern California, Oregon, and Washington,” Cooper says. “There will be healthier options, a lot of vegetarian, some gluten-free, and produce from the Central Valley—whatever’s in season.”
Menu options may include a grain bowl, a portobello mushroom reuben, fish, pasta, burgers, and street tacos. “It’s simple food with simple ingredients, like a piece of fish with a drizzle of sauce and vegetables,” Cooper says.
A certified sommelier, he’s excited about the beverage program, which is being led by Bryan Heist and Tyler Onstott. There will be a domestically focused wine list, 22 beers on tap (mostly local), an aged bottled beer program, and craft cocktails with shrubs made in house.
“Think of it as the beer and cocktail version of VIN25,” Cooper says. “The concepts speak to the same guest in a different mood. VIN feels more like a cottage in France. Citizen Soul is much more urban. It’s downtown; it’s walkable; it’s high-energy. It’s got a rustic sophistication.”
The site was once a blacksmith shop—Cooper’s inspiration for both the name Citizen Soul and design elements in the space. “It’s meant to evoke the everyman’s bar, the soul of the community,” he says. “Think stone, concrete, wood, iron, steel, and copper to evoke a high-end, working man’s setting.”
The restaurant will seat 100 people inside and 70 on the patio under a 100-plus-year-old oak tree. There will be an indoor/outdoor bar, as well as a wine cellar.
Cooper is also starting a wine and beer club called VIN To Go, which he’ll base out of Citizen Soul. Members will be able to purchase rare wines, as well as receive monthly subscriptions of new bottles based on their flavor preferences.