On Our Radar



     
 
Fountain History
Business/Location: Chapman Drug
Address: 615 N Central Ave
City: Atlanta
State: GA
Zip Code: 30354
Phone: 404-761-1136
Website: www.chapmandrug.com

Posted by:  Phil Lambert
Photo:  Phil Lambert
   Chapman Drug
Chapman Drug is conveniently located in the middle of Hapeville. You can park on the street in front or find a spot trackside. The Chapman Drug & Soda Fountain opened in 1921. It remains a full service pharmacy today and they still make home pharmacy deliveries. In the 1920s & '30s the fountain had curb-side service, but unfortunately that ended in the 1930s. Lunch is the busiest time for the fountain. With Delta Airlines and Wachovia so close, their employees make up a large percentage of the fountain's lunchtime crowd. Lime sours and milkshakes are the top sellers with Blue Bell ice cream in the shakes. My vanilla shake was very good. Truett Cathy (founder of Chick-fil-A) said that he comes to Chapman's to get a "real" milkshake. Not much of a lime sour person, I opted for the fresh hand-squeezed lemonade. My large lemonade, made with two lemons, was outstanding. Since 1921 Coca-Cola has always been offered at the fountain and Chapman's remains one of Coke's oldest customers. Experience this living piece of American culinary history.


BBQ Bliss
Business/Location: Jim 'N Nick's Bar-B-Q
Address: 1103 Old Peachtree Rd NW
City: Suwanee
State: GA
Zip Code: 30024
Phone: 770-255-1717
Website: www.jimnnicks.com

Posted by:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green
   Jim 'N Nick's Bar-B-Q
Atlanta's suburbanites are fortunate in some respects: stately homes on sprawling, manicured plots, zero parking headaches, MILFs aplenty, and most importantly, Jim 'N Nicks Bar-B-Que. The franchise's five suburban locations surround Atlanta like numbers on a clock, and judging by the Suwannee location, there's serious pit-mastership at work here. The venerable father-son chain stretches clear to Colorado, but they respect true Southern prep, evidenced in how they whip the trimmings from scratch (the complimentary muffins are divine) and smoke their pork shoulder over hickory for 14 hours at least (it shows). Try the two meat combo plate for a deeply satisfying smokefest that also bites at the wallet ($15.49), or stick with an array of sandwich platters for lighter, cheaper fare (about $7, side included). So what if the joint feels as authentic as Detroiters dropping "y'all." It's the old-fashioned, muscular preparation that counts.


Illumination Station
Business/Location: Progressive Lighting
Address: 650 14th St NW
City: Atlanta
State: GA
Zip Code: 30318-5446
Phone: 404-492-5833
Website: progressivelighting.com

Posted by:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green
   Progressive Lighting
A great source of focal point medallions and gaudy chandeliers, Progressive Lighting on the west side of Midtown actually has some modern, trendy touches that belong in city homes. You have to dig through the crystal hailstorm to find them. It's the largest chain of residential lighting showrooms in the Southeast, and no matter where you are in metro Atlanta, there's one down the road (see the industrial Ellsworth area for a nifty outlet). Keep an eye on seasonal sales, when the many thousands of fixtures in these sprawling (and well-lit) showrooms can drop 30 percent in price. More often than not, traditional Southern opulence (think plantation entryway) is the order of the day.


Sparkly Mecca
Business/Location: House of Bling
Address: 491 Flat Shoals Ave SE
City: Atlanta
State: GA
Zip Code: 30316
Phone: 404-254-0486
Website: www.houseofblingboutique.com

Posted by:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green
   House of Bling
Dragged in the House of Bling recently, I was happy to find a sweeping variety of things my daughter will never wear. That's not to say the merchandise isn't flashy-cool, and less pricey than the ostentatious business title might imply. Truly, anything that could ever bling is here. Wine glasses. Handbags. Panties. Just nothing that goes on men. Which is a good thing. Employees are quick to point out that 95 percent of said bling ducks under $80, which is the rumored starting point at Phipps. The boutique doubles as an event space, capable of housing 40 "Sex in the City" recaps at once. It's a colorful, quirky facet to the East Atlanta Village, best viewed (in my very male opinion) from a beer patio across the street.


Budget Mediterranean
Business/Location: Mediterranean Grill
Address: 985 Monroe Dr NE
City: Atlanta
State: GA
Zip Code: 30308
Phone: 404-917-1100
Website: www.mediterraneangrill.com/

Posted by:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green
   Mediterranean Grill
For big eaters like moi, a fulfilling meal under $7 is about as common as a Black Bear sighting in the suburbs. It happens, usually near garbage, but not often. After years of driving by, I decided last week to try the Mediterranean Grill in Midtown, tucked in a tiny shopping center where Virginia Ave. spills into Piedmont Park. The Chicken Kabob Sandwich, Kufta Kabob, the Shish or tasty Gyro can be married with a wonderful Greek salad and fountain drink for $6.49. We ordered the large (i.e., Frisbee-sized) hummus, which was overkill given the sandwich portions. During the week, don’t miss the Business Lunch Special, a veritable cornucopia of Mediterranean fare (also $6.49). My only gripe: the "patio" leaves one wanting. Two tiny outdoor tables don’t suffice when Piedmont/Midtown views are so prominent.


Canned Irony
Business/Location: P'Cheen
Address: 701 Highland Ave NE
City: Atlanta
State: GA
Zip Code: 30312
Phone: 404-529-8800
Website: www.pcheen.com

Posted by:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green
   P'Cheen
Damn it, I wish I loved PBR. Drinking this lifeblood for cheap-asses could literally save most casual bar-goers I know about $200 monthly. Every unpretentious bar in A-town hawks it for about $2 per gallon. Unfortunately, it tastes like a liquefied garden hose sucked through a dead burro's teats. Southern hipsters seem to love it, or at least the ironic look of it in their paws. I find Pabst tolerable if chilled to near-freezing (tiny icebergs within are a good sign), and guzzled while standing near a heat source (read: barbeque) or a DJ whose can is bigger than yours. Even then it's drinking for purpose, not joy.


Beautiful & Big
Business/Location: Rathbun's
Address: 112 Krog St NE
City: Atlanta
State: GA
Zip Code: 30307
Phone: 404-524-8280
Website: www.rathbunsrestaurant.com

Posted by:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green
   Rathbun's
Hard to believe six years have passed since Rathbun's signaled Atlanta's u-turn from a clubby party city to a more refined collection of world-class eateries. Or at least that's what I heard. Like one million others, I wasn't here in 2004, and I've waited far too long to indulge in this Inman Park pillar. Rathbun's and its sister, the spunky Krog Bar, are strikingly beautiful spaces, first and foremost. The bathroom murals, soaring curtains and exposed brick up the cool factor. The grub is Modern American Cuisine, relying heavily on meaty offerings like the 20 ounce ribeye with blue cheese that helped this place join America's top steak houses, or so claimed Details magazine a few years back. Menu offerings range from "big plates" to "second mortgage plates" and vary from $15 to a gulp-worthy $39. The sprawling parking lot makes, well, parking a cinch. Valet is offered, in case you get off on that.


Yo!
Business/Location: Yoforia
Address: 1402 N Highland Ave NE
City: Atlanta
State: GA
Zip Code: 30306
Phone: 404-685-3747
Website: www.yoforia.com

Posted by:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green
   Yoforia
Mix the cold, creamy smell of Dairy Queen with the aesthetics of "A Clockwork Orange" and you have Yoforia, a winning concept in the Highlands outpost that also houses Doc Chey's. The Dairy Queen comparisons pretty much end there. This is healthy, delicious stuff, with organic milk and yogurt and just 25 calories per ounce. (A large original with three toppings was a pucker-inducing $7, but substantial enough to supplant my dinner appetite). Toppings include an array of delicious fruits and wackier offerings like--no shit--Fruity Pebbles. Launched at Perimeter in 2007, the concept is spreading virally throughout Atlanta and Charlotte. Hopefully, a franchise will pop up in the 200 block of Highland Avenue before summer's famous swelter suffocates us all.


Bright Ideas
Business/Location: The Lighting Loft
Address: 593 Edgewood Ave SE
City: Atlanta
State: GA
Zip Code: 30312
Phone: 404-522-2074
Website: www.lightingloft.com

Posted by:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green
   The Lighting Loft
Looking for a nifty wall sconce? Need a large pendant (i.e., a giant, suspended hockey puck for your kitchen?) How's about an outdoor light to spice up your night? The Lighting Loft is a one-stop shop for truly superb bulb-holders. It's on Edgewood near Thumbs Up Diner, between downtown and Inman Park. Traditionalists with rooster wallpaper in the kitchen need not patronize. The Loft is contemporary cool to the gills, with some more bizarre arrangements leaning toward WTF. Don't be alarmed: the uber-friendly staff will dispel your fears of snooty, Versace-clad salespeople rumored to haunt such businesses. Wander the two-story showroom and indulge. And then save up. Adorning your home with LL-grade accoutrements is an investment, and probably worth it. Home Depot can't front.


Cents and Sensibility
Business/Location: Good Cents Cleaners
Address: 1825 Liddell Ln
City: Duluth
State: GA
Zip Code: 30096-1854
Phone: 770-925-1533

Posted by:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green
   Good Cents Cleaners
Seventeen garments. Twenty three dollars. I'll repeat that. Seventeen garments. Twenty three little smacks. That's what I paid last week, dropping off a rank heap of Express slacks and Van Heusen Oxfords. Good Cents Cleaners, a bona fide assembly line of friendly, is the best dry cleaning service I've found in metro Atlanta, both in terms of price and crispness of garment. It's worth the drive to Duluth, a stone's throw from Interstate 85, a tad south of Pleasant Hill Road. Don’t let the $2.29 sign fool you--they'll go cheaper with light starch. If the place looks vacant when you walk in, behold the maître d’ style bell on the front counter. They all switch places when you ring the bell.