Thursday, August 26, 2021

Flatiron Bar in East Atlanta Village

Yesterday, after running some errands, I decided to experience lunch at a restaurant that has been on my list for years. I should not have waited so long...

Flatiron Bar & Restaurant is awesome! Serving up thirst-quenching beers and libations, award-winning delicious food, in a friendly neighborhood atmosphere since 1997, this 21 and up, non-smoking bar with a dog-friendly patio is open from lunch until midnight!

Flatiron Bar and Restaurant, Atlanta | Photo by Travis Swann Taylor
Flatiron Bar and Restaurant | Photo by Travis Swann Taylor

You'll see why it's called "Flatiron" as soon as you see the building. Did you know that Atlanta has more than one flatiron building? The downtown Atlanta 1897 Flatiron Building is chapter 6 in my book and Flatiron Bar in East Atlanta Village is the "tip" on the photo page! I'll share more about this particular building further down. Keep reading!

Flatiron Bar and Restaurant, Atlanta | Photo by Travis Swann Taylor
Flatiron Bar and Restaurant | Photo by Travis Swann Taylor

One of the first things I noticed here is how attentive and friendly the staff are. I'd barely warmed my barstool before I had a menu and a draft beer in front of me. The three people behind the bar were seemingly performing an elaborate symphony—serving, chatting with patrons, cleaning, bringing food and taking dishes...it's fascinating to watch! I was here at 3pm and there was a surprising number of diners—a great sign!

Even though I use "symphony" as a descriptor you can probably tell from the restaurant's chosen font for its sign that the music of choice is Rock. I heard something about live music, so that might be something you want to ask about when you stop in.

I asked my server for recommendations for lunch. He went through a few and when I heard Spicy Fried Cauliflower my resounding "Yes!" screeched the recitation to a halt. I've had a LOT of cauliflower dishes over the years, but my Southerner love of all-things-fried has a new love. You can see the phenomenal crunch on these and the cauliflower was oh-so-creamy! I opted for the blue cheese dipping sauce, which is amazing, but there are others available. A Sweetwater 420 draft was the perfect accompaniment. 

Flatiron Bar and Restaurant, Atlanta | Photo by Travis Swann Taylor
Flatiron Bar and Restaurant | Photo by Travis Swann Taylor

The decor is, well, it's eclectic. There are stickers everywhere, an antler chandelier, neon in the upper windows around the main dining room, Edison light bulbs, various mediums of art, and taxidermy in the form of a warthog (or maybe it was a boar), a turkey, and several deer. The deer with an eye patch made me laugh. Totally made me think of Nick Fury, of the Marvel Universe, played by Samuel L. Jackson. The eye could wander for hours just on the decor, from the tin ceiling to the amazing early 20th century architecture...

Flatiron Bar and Restaurant, Atlanta | Photo by Travis Swann Taylor
Flatiron Bar and Restaurant | Photo by Travis Swann Taylor

I almost ordered the Umami Burger but opted for the Smash Burger. They all sound amazing! The Smash Burger is made with angus beef, beer-braised onions, house pickles, and American cheese, and I opted for the tots...some of the best tots ever

The tots were super crispy, just the way I love them! The burger was delicious on so many levels. I love a loaded burger, but when it has only a few ingredients, those should be meticulously curated and of the highest quality and that's what we have here. When you have a burger craving, this is one that satisfies!

Flatiron Bar and Restaurant, Atlanta | Photo by Travis Swann Taylor
Flatiron Bar and Restaurant | Photo by Travis Swann Taylor

While my tastebuds were being delighted my imagination was all over the place! Again, the decor is awesome and lends itself to all kinds of stories. I was on my own on this visit, but I highly recommend visiting with friends. Although I had a great time, I get the sense that this is a the-more-the-merrier situation. 

Flatiron Bar and Restaurant, Atlanta | Photo by Travis Swann Taylor
Flatiron Bar and Restaurant | Photo by Travis Swann Taylor

One of the recommendations my very attentive server had made earlier was the chicken wings and indeed others at the bar were enjoying them—it was obvious that I had to try them, so I got an order of the Buffalo Wings with the Blue Cheese sauce, of course. I enjoyed them later at home and they are indeed excellent! They also come in lemon pepper, barbeque, cowboy, and teriyaki.

Flatiron Bar and Restaurant, Atlanta | Photo by Travis Swann Taylor
Flatiron Bar and Restaurant | Photo by Travis Swann Taylor

In the heart of East Atlanta Village, the ground-breaking for this building was Wednesday, November 2, 1910, for the future home of East Atlanta Bank, which you can barely make out on the front of the building near the 1910 marker at the top. 

According to an AJC article the following day, socialite Miss Louise Marbut "took up the first shovel of earth". The bank, which cost $5,500 to build, officially opened at noon on Wednesday, March 15, 1911, with a capital of $25,000. Following speeches, the opening was celebrated with "an old-fashioned barbecue"! I find it fascinating that the building's roots include a nod to sharing food and drink together.

One of the profound lessons I've learned by living through a pandemic is to NOT ignore one's "want to experience" list! We've seen far too many businesses have to shutter their doors in the last year and a half. The opportunity for "I really want to go there, I'll go sometime soon" has vanished for so many places on our lists, whether written down or in our heads.

Life is short, my friends. Get out there and see and do everything you possibly can. Don't wait for "some day". Make that day today! Perhaps your list will now include Flatiron Bar & Restaurant!

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