Thanks to its diverse dishes and sundry dining settings, The Porch at Collier wears many hats. There's its traditional dining room, where romantic couples luxuriate in the dinner menu's delicate pastas and house-smoked chicken amid plum-colored drapes and flower-topped tables. There's the lounge, which surrounds friends with wicker lamps and leafy plants as they revel in televised sports and sip one of 12 draft beers, and the café, whose neon-lined walls peppered with framed photographs create a classy atmosphere in which to savor the late-night menu. Finally, there's the eatery's namesake—an expansive rooftop porch—lined with wooden tables—that lets diners enjoy gourmet lunchtime fare or attempt to topple Icarus' record for getting close to the sun. Each of the restaurant's contemporary American creations is crafted with local, sustainable ingredients and a minimal dependence on artificial preservatives, ensuring that dining experiences are both decadent and eco-friendly.
As may be apparent by her name, studio director Ursula Undress is a student of both classical burlesque and its neoburlesque modern revival. At her studio, she puts together a curriculum that pays tribute to the history of sultry dance while also integrating its modern trends. Among the goals of the classes is for all women to learn to confidently swing their hips and master the subtle art of the tease—while striking up a renewed relationship with their inner temptress. Ursula and her fellow instructors also add variety to classes by integrating sexy hoop dancing, graceful ballet moves, or Latin-inspired dance forms, including salsa, cha-cha, and mambo. Students looking for a more intense workout can tone up through the studio’s go-go fitness classes that are aided by an upbeat pace and hefty gold-plated feather boas.
"The Tease." It's more than a series of scintillating maneuvers. It's a release. It's eye-popping, orchestrated doffing as an art form, and it's just a taste of the empowering and vociferous avenues chartered at The Atlanta School of Burlesque. Operated by a team of burlesque professionals who've mastered the craft of unleashing steam, the combination dance, fitness, and rehearsal studio acts as a magnet for women of all shapes, sizes, and demeanor hoping to unveil their inner starlet. Students not only explore their sexy side, they also gain physical fitness in the process, and encounter an entire community of encouraging, like-minded performers. Along the way, students learn the history of the burlesque art form and the bells and whistles of its theatrics, master the art of seduction while learning how to bump n' grind, and become experts in boa safety and proper fan-dance velocity.
Formerly Atlanta Brewing Company, Red Brick Brewing Company holds the title of Georgia's oldest craft brewery. The brew masters whip up a host of complex, craft beers, from an American IPA to a smoked vanilla porter. They also offer tours and tastings, providing samplings and insight into the nuanced fundamentals of beer creation. The tasting room, lounge, and Red Brick warehouse provide ample space for private events, and Thursday and Friday nights are open to the public for team trivia, live music, and discussions about the latest fashions in lampshade headwear.
The sounds of jazz, hip hop, and other contemporary genres fill the four large studios at Gotta Dance Atlanta's 9,000-square-foot facility. Instructors describe the dance and fitness center as a "home away from home" for dancers of all abilities, and it's not hard to see why. Beginners can learn how to cut a rug or mow a hardwood floor in "Explore" classes that require no prior knowledge of dance terminology. Even dancers who have already worked up to the professional level can find a class to match their style, be it salsa or ballet. Students of all abilities benefit from classes such as Awesome Abs and Cardio Hip-Hop, which use dance as a jumping-off point for fitness workouts that tone and shape the body.
Visiting Bone Lick BBQ is as much about the experience as it is about the food. Inside, a skee-ball machine from 1945 stands alongside classic tabletop arcade games, and old school rock n' roll spins atop a record player (patrons can even bring in their own vinyl and get a complimentary PBR for their effort). Further entertainment comes in the form of TVs above the bar and the occasional live act, including comedy every Wednesday evening.
Even with such a fun, laid-back atmosphere, the food still shines at Bone Lick. Its chefs rub beef, pork, and chicken in secret spice blends, then cook them for hours on end over hickory and pecan woods. While the meat cooks, the chefs stay extremely busy?they make everything on their menu from scratch every day.
They bake corn bread, braise collards in pork, and blend jalape?os into mac 'n' cheese. They also whip up homemade pickles and cider slaw to lay atop pulled-pork sandwiches on griddled texas toast. Even the cotton candy, funnel cakes, and Granny Pearl's pecan pie are made in-house, though no one knows how Ms. Pearl keeps sneaking into the kitchen unnoticed.
At the bar, which is made from recycled shipping pallets, mixologists concoct creative cocktails, such as bacon old-fashions. They also send out crisp Georgia drafts and American-crafted whiskies.