Each new year in Atlanta brings with it the promise of new places to eat, drink, and, for 2024 in particular, play, thanks to new concepts from Justin Amick and William Stallworth (Painted Hospitality), a cabaret at the Works, and a 1990s-themed cocktail bar in Dunwoody—to name a few.
Move over fine dining; with few exceptions, notably Lazy Betty’s big move to Midtown and chef Fuyuhiko Ito’s Omakase by Ito, many of Atlanta upcoming restaurants are going casual. Expect gourmet sandwiches, vegan breakfast, and a profanely named lamb burger.
Here’s our annual roundup of the most anticipated restaurants, bars, and “eatertainment” venues for 2024, in no particular order—plus a couple of December 2023 openings you might have missed:
Justin Amick and William Stallworth (Painted Pin, Painted Duck, Painted Pickle) have taken over the former Parish space on the Eastside Trail of the BeltLine. Slated to open in February, Painted Park will feature a gaming lawn, vintage gaming parlor, DJ booth, dance floor, dining room, and bar.
Sozou and Omakase by Ito
Chef Fuyuhiko Ito—known for Umi and MF Buckhead—is spearheading this modern Japanese restaurant coming to Spring Quarter in November. Sushi and sashimi will be made with fresh fish flown in from Japan up to five times a week. Upstairs in the same building, Omakase by Ito will offer a customized experience for reservations and special events.
Top Chef Kevin Gillespie is returning to live fire cooking, as he did at Woodfire Grill more than a decade ago. Nadair, pronounced nuh-DARE, will take over the storied Floataway Cafe space in Morningside. The restaurant will focus on an elevated level of service.
JoJo’s Beloved cocktail bar brought ’70s and ’80s vibes to Politan Row in Colony Square. Now, sister spot Okay Anny’s is slated to spin ’90s tunes and sling spins on cosmopolitans, kamikazes, and more when it opens in Politan Row Dunwoody.
The one Michelin star restaurant is slated to move into the former Empire State South space in Midtown in early spring. Here, guests will enjoy the tasting menus Lazy Betty is famous for, as well as a la carte dishes and drinks from a new bar menu. The 4,300-square-foot space will feature two private dining rooms, an expanded bar, and a large patio for dining, in addition to the main dining room.
Pickle & Social in Gwinnett may have beaten Painted Pickle in being first to open, but the Painted team promises major entertainment when it opens in January. The Armour Yards “compeatery” features pub games, sushi, potent slushies, and a wine wall, along with cosmic pickleball on weekend nights.
Fifth Group Restaurants (Ecco, Lure, South City Kitchen, Alma Cocina, and La Tavola) shuttered its Virginia-Highland mainstay the Original El Taco in March 2023. Come February, it will launch a pan-Mediterranean spot called Ela in its place. Led by executive chef Darragh Dudley, its menu will embrace Greek, Moroccan, Israeli, and Turkish flavors.
This Star Metals concept from the team behind Brush Sushi, Momonoki, and Momo Cafe is really two restaurants in one. An L-shaped bar will serve Momo Cafe-style items like mille crepe cakes, filled croissants, coffee and matcha drinks, plus draft cocktails and Taiwanese fried chicken sandwiches. A reservation-only cocktail bar will be located down the hall.
The Morning After
Slutty Vegan’s Pinky Cole is branching out into breakfast. She purchased the former Delia’s Chicken Sausage building on the Westside and is working on a vegan, cheeky take on the morning meal. Opening in early 2024, the Morning After will serve vegan sausage or bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches, plus oatmeal, bagels, and biscuits.
The Works is getting a cabaret. This multi-level dance club, lounge, and restaurant—backed by Dave Green of the Select—promises evenings of entertainment. Look for this dinner theater to open in February.
Emerald City Bagels on the BeltLine
This beloved New York-style bagel company started at the Piedmont Park Green Market, opening its first brick-and-mortar in East Atlanta Village in 2018. This year, it’s set to launch a location in Studioplex on the BeltLine. Look for bagel sandwiches with whitefish, egg salad, pastrami, and more.
Steve Palmer’s restaurant taking over H.M. Patterson
Not much has been announced about the restaurant that will reinvigorate the old H.M. Patterson Home and Gardens in Midtown, but we do know that Indigo Road Restaurants (Indaco, Oak Steakhouse, Colletta, O-Ku) founder Steve Palmer will be at the helm. The restaurant will be the centerpiece of Spring Quarter, a mixed-use project set for launch in 2024.
Hen Mother Cookhouse Alpharetta
A foodie favorite, Hen Mother Cookhouse draws crowds from all over metro Atlanta to its modest Johns Creek home. Come March, a second location—this one replacing Restaurant Holmes in Alpharetta—promises the same baked brioche French toast and fluffy brown butter buttermilk pancakes, just a smidge closer to intown.
Butter + Scotch
After operating a successful food truck and a Queens-inspired restaurant in Southwest Atlanta, chef Malik Rhasaan—better known as Che Butter Jonez—and his wife, Detric Fox-Quinlan, are taking their Afro-Caribbean fare downtown. Butter + Scotch will open in the Origin Hotel this winter with elevated comfort fare, including signature dishes such as the “That Sh!t Slambing” lamb burger.
James Beard Award winner Terry Koval, known for the Deer and the Dove and B-Side, is expanding his reach. He’s set to open a wine and amaro bar next to Cafe Alsace in Decatur in March. Expect small bites like charcuterie and wines from volcanic regions around the world.
Prolific restaurateur Alex Kinjo—the man behind MF Sushi, Yakitori Kona, Kinjo Room, and Mai Kitchen—is bringing his Japanese fare to Junction Krog District along the BeltLine. Named for Kinjo’s best friend, sake maker Yuji Matsumoto, Yuiji will channel Japanese kaiseki-style dining, in which each course is paired with sake.
Ford Fry’s former right-hand man Kevin Maxey is opening an Italian restaurant in Sandy Springs. Pendolino will take over the 4,500-square-foot space previously home to Santorini Taverna and include a patio. No details on the food have been released, but with Maxey at the helm, we expect big things.
Late 2023 openings you might have missed
These big-name restaurants snuck into 2023 just under the wire:
The sister spot to Reynoldstown’s Girl Diver, Bar Diver offers Asian small plates, dim sum, and cocktails in a “cyber-punk” atmosphere. Located in Westside Paper, it features a double-sided bar, all-weather patio, and private upstairs lounge. Right now, it serves dinner only, but weekend brunch is on the way.
The Michelin-recognized Poor Hendrix team is selling seasonal gourmet sandwiches at this counter-service spot in Avondale Estates. Select soups and salads are available, as well as a limited menu of beer, wine, and cocktails.