NFT Atlanta Kirkwood / Oakhurst

Kirkwood / Oakhurst

A few package stores are still there, but gentrification has almost swallowed the old Kirkwood whole, for better or worse. As urban colonizers swarm the area, more ‘yuppie’ shops are opening, a fact met with mixed reaction by the long-term residents. Oakhurst is a secret most Atlanta residents aren’t in on, and you’ll want it to stay that way after your first visit.


This Neighborhood Featured in...
Sister Bars

By Jim Hunt
Bars! Who needs bars?! Jim Hunt does. Like a starving man needs a meal. But Jim was getting tired of his old libatory standby. Pesky newcomers, hygienic improvements. Jim deserved more, so he took to the open highway and found six sister bars that would fulfill an old desire: A place to hang his weary head, a bartender to soothe his gaping wounds and a niche that he could call his own. Join Jim on this journey, and never go thirsty again.


On Our Radar:

Posted By:  Jim Hunt
Photo:  Jim Hunt

Almost too hip for its own good, Kavarna is an eclectic mix of wine bar, coffee house, sandwich shop and corner pub. You worry that an establishment is going to skimp in one area when they try to pull in too many diverse elements, but you don't find that here. Kavarna has done an excellent job keeping the food not only up to snuff, but quite delicious, and going the extra mile to inform you on what wine pairs best with what dish. In addition to noteworthy food and drink, Kavarna is a burgeoning presence in Atlanta's indie music scene. Every Saturday at 8:00 PM they play host to the Atlanta Songwriters Series, and occasionally offer live music on Thursdays and Fridays, too. The cozy space of this Oakhurst original has never failed to provide a good show anytime I've gone.

Posted By:  Jim Hunt
Photo:  Jim Hunt

Though the food runs a bit on the pricey side, Wahoo! Bar and Grill in Decatur is worth the splurge every now and then. It has garnered acclaim from Creative Loafing and Atlanta Magazine for its enchanted garden-like patio, lovely interior, and spicy ass fisherman's stew. I can't get myself to stop ordering the chicken sandwich, though if I go nuts and get a full entrée, it's got to be the salmon. And let's not forget that Wahoo! has one of the greatest brunches in perhaps the Western hemisphere. The Sunday brunch buffet will be the smartest $20 you ever spent. Nothing tackles a hangover like shrimp and grits. Or if the previous night's evils cannot be subdued, ease back into a gentle buzz with a choice Bloody Mary. Sitting on that patio, patting a full stomach while stirring that tomato and vodka mixture with your giant celery stalk, you may not be able to exclaim "Wahoo!" but you'll feel it.

Posted By:  Jim Hunt
Photo:  Jim Hunt

Ink and Dagger Tattoo Parlour
A fairly new tattoo parlor in Decatur, Ink & Dagger is making a name for itself with consummate professional artists who insist on helping their clients get what they want. They take walk ins for small to simple medium pieces, but require appointments for larger, more complex ones. This is because they want to make sure they go over the piece you have in mind, where you want it placed, how you want it to look, and will let you know that sometimes your perfect idea isn't going to fit just the way you want it on your imperfect body. When a buddy of mine went in with what he thought was a flawlessly finished design, his artist Russ made several tasteful suggestions, from additions to the piece to slightly varying the color scheme. Who would have thought a sperm whale on your forearm could look so good? These don't seem like the folks to go to if you want to get your girlfriend's name stamped on your bicep, but they will give you a lasting piece of art that you can keep with you forever.

Posted By:  Jim Hunt
Photo:  Jim Hunt

Thinking Man Tavern
Flags hanging from a high ceiling, board games galore behind the bar, and a taxidermy collection any southerner would be proud of provide the ambience of Thinking Man Tavern. If these attractions, or the pair of couches and the rest of the academic environment aren't enticing enough, then consider dropping by Thinking Man for one of Creative Loafing's own Lust List candidates (you'll have to look this person up and do the investigating yourself). The food is good, the beer list is more than adequate, and while the crowd seems like it might run a bit on the self-conscious side, you are hanging out in a place with a fairly large Rodin statue hanging out behind the bar. You want prettier people? Go to Buckhead. You want interesting people? Go outside for a smoke break.

Posted By:  Jim Hunt
Photo:  Jim Hunt

Mojo Pizza
Ordering in from a national chain pizza makes your stomach clench due to vivid, painful memories of freshman year. You can't remember the number of times you've been disappointed by Fellini's, and you aren't in the mood to track down the closest Johnny's. You want to go out for a good slice of pie cooked up by locals that doesn't taste like it was cooked by tyros. Well, Mojo's pizza in Oakhurst deserves your attention and business. Sitting on one of the best squares in Atlanta for seeing and being seen (at least from a hipster point of view), Mojo's also has a good beer selection, and that genuine sense of authenticity that seems to fade a little with the building of every new Johnny's or Fellini's. Let's put it this way: when you eat there, you know you're at the Mojo's.

Posted By:  Jim Hunt
Photo:  Jim Hunt

Steinbeck's Oyster Bar
Steinbeck’s Oyster Bar is a sister bar of the Universal Joint (right across the street), but you wouldn’t know it from looking at it. Steinbeck’s porch isn’t as big, neither is the space inside, or its bar. Shit, it’s only got one TV. But hang out for a little while, and the place begins to grow on you. The lighting is dark, but cool, and there’s an intimacy not usually associated with a drinking hole until you’ve been there a few times. A first visit to Steinbeck’s can be the equivalent of falling for a blind date. So if the crowd at the Universal Joint gets a little loud or rowdy for your liking, head on over to Steinbeck’s, sidle up to the bar, and see if you can’t make nice with the bartender. Their official closing time is 11:00pm, although the bar stays open later. Basically, be nice to the bartender, and see what happens.

Posted By:  Jim Hunt
Photo:  Jim Hunt

Universal Joint
What’s the right size patio for a bar? What’s too hot, too cold, and what’s just lukewarm porridge? A good place to look for ‘just right’ is the Universal Joint in Oakhurst, home of one of the more perfect patios in Atlanta. There are just enough tables and chairs to go around, and the whole of the Oakhurst Square stretches in front of you for people-watching. There’s also a rustic, double sided table with tall stools, though it’s just the right height for standing and leaning against if you’re in the mood to practice your best James Dean. Wander inside, and the digs there aren’t too shabby either. A couple of flat screens and a Golden Tee machine offer entertainment, while the liquor shelves lined with decorated-and-desecrated one dollar bills call to you as unclaimed wealth with each downed beer. Stop by for lunch, stay for a lazy afternoon, and call a cab when you realize it’s time for this former gas station to shut down its pumps.

Posted By:  Jason Cent
Photo:  none

Mezcalito's Cantina
Most people, until recently, knew this Oakhurst Village hotspot as Billygoats Cantina, but a change in owners has brought a change in name too. Everything else is the same, including the menu, recipes, and prices. If it’s offered, I typically will gauge a Mexican restaurant’s quality on their tamales. My Cow’s did a decent job with preparing my single but large tamale. The flavor was pleasant, but not as spicy as some I’ve had. Still, it was a good value for the price and the ambience at My Cow’s is comfortable and not too noisy. The outdoor patio area is small and feels like a parking lot more than crowd-watching. The chips did not appear to be homemade, though, which was disappointing.

Posted By:  Sara Cheshire
Photo:  Courtesy of Oakhurst Jazz Nights

Scottish Rite
I don’t know about you, but Atlanta has started to really bore me. That’s why I was thrilled to find a relief from concrete and cultural stagnation in laid-back Oakhurst Village. This month Oakhurst hosts jazz concerts out on the lawn of the old Scottish Rite building. Bring your blanket (sorry, no chairs) and enjoy live music in candlelight. I’m happy with the diversity of jazz offered - a little bit of Latin and Dixieland along with vocalists singing old standards. If you need back support or a place to set your wine, you can reserve a table (seats four) for $20. See their website for the form – first come first serve.

Posted By:  Mariam Qureshi
Photo:  Mariam Qureshi

Situated in quiet Oakhurst Village, Palate is a 2300 square foot dessert and wine bar utopia, which also offers patrons a fine art gallery. The interior is deliciously dressed in comfort and rich wood, with snug furniture purposefully positioned for intimate conversation. The soft lighting and melodic tunes, coupled with the style of décor carries an air of 1920's nostalgia. From the street, the wall of windows entices passers-by with the vibrantly-hued works of Teresa Brazen, whose paintings consider the meaning of "Chasing Intimacy". The owner Jill also showcases her documentary-style travel photographs, and other artists will be displayed in the upcoming months. Wednesday nights feature local musicians, while Thursday evenings are the most popular with jazz singer Nicole Chillemi. Space is limited so get there early! The wine menu changes every fortnight and goes delightfully well with the desserts. Small plates of salads or Panini sandwiches are offered, but the real treat of the establishment is the unfussy and smooth ambiance.

Powered By Subgurim( Maps ASP.NET

See Kirkwood / Oakhurst...
Restaurants (6)
Nightlife (6)
Shopping (1)
Landmarks (1)