In April of 2011, a group of friends on a fishing trip—all veterans of the hospitality industry—got to talking about their love of food as they cooked their dinner around a campfire. The smoky flavors, crackling flames, and friendship merged into an idea to create a barbecue joint with traditional Southern comfort fare and an interactive dessert element.
Today, diners pile into wood-backed booths to dig into ribs slathered in house sauce, smoked sausages, and a menu stocked with homestyle fare. From three types of mac 'n' cheese—traditional, broccoli, and pulled pork—to fresh-ground burgers made with short ribs, brisket, and ground chuck, the kitchen crew crafts its own takes on classic comfort fare as flat-screen TVs flicker above the bar. The dessert section includes do-it-yourself s'mores that are toasted tableside by a portable burn pit and touted as "the only dessert in town that requires a disclaimer," an honor previously held by torch-it-yourself crème brûlée.
Owners Monica Webb, Helena Thornfeldt, and Deborah Schjodt, a trio of former professional athletes, foster their life-long love of competition with 10 Diamond tables and replenish nutrients with inspired American fare. Dominate on the sweeping emerald, fueled by a full bar with more than nine taps and unlimited cue sharpenings. The menu, a profusion of time-tested fodder, includes wings tossed in 11 different sauces ($7.49 for 10), the classic Stix burger ($6.99), and the Sledgehammer sandwich, a soaring duet of salami and roast beef accompanied by warm provolone baritone ($7.99). Pizza rolls encase troves of toppings, such as ham, jalapeños, and bacon, in a hearty, hand-tossed crust ($6.99), much like Chef Boyardee smuggles secret recipes in his hat.
Behind the horseshoe-shaped bar, Cedarcrest Tavern's bartenders pop caps from beer bottles, pull draft taps, and shake cocktails with top-shelf liquors. More than 20 televisions broadcast sports games throughout the tavern, from their ceiling mounts above the bar or tucked into individual booths. Elegant candelabras, framed mirrors, and wood accents contrast the utter modernity of the sprawling flat-screen monitors.
The TVs aren't the only sizeable rectangles at the restaurant—the large menu presents hand-cut fries, burgers, and steaks, which can be enjoyed over games of trivia on Tuesday nights. Other events—such as ladies' and guys' nights, college football celebrations, and live music or DJ's—make Cedarcrest a leisurely destination, unlike Accounting World, where you get to ride rollercoasters, but only while filling out 1040 EZ forms.
From the brick-paneled walls and booths lined with dark wooden accents to the seasonal selection of gourmet American cuisine, Blackstone embodies every aspect of the classic steak house. A selection of hearty cuts anchors the menu, whether as solitary 8-ounce cuts of filet mignon, or massive 22-ounce cowboy rib eyes adorned with béarnaise sauce, jumbo lump crabmeat, lobster-shaped earrings, and other edible accessories. Guests can also savor a taste of the seas with plates of Atlantic salmon or pan-fried trout. Blackstone's wine list collects more than 35 pours, including 19 by the glass.
J's Lounge aims to be all things for all people. The casual, laid-back space features the dim lighting and neon accents of a club-like lounge, the flat-screen televisions of a classic sports bar, and the extensive shisha collection of a hookah bar. Groups can decide to settle in for the evening and share a hookah, choosing from any of the 30 available tobacco flavors. As the slightly sweet smoke begins to drift throughout the room, guests can indulge in a round of beers or a pitcher of frozen margaritas from one of the two bars before perusing the food menu. Much like the rest of the lounge, the menu features a similarly broad focus. Beer-battered onion rings, half-pound burgers, and New York-style pizzas topped with discontinued subway tokens represent classic American fare, although the selection also features baklava and gyros stuffed with lamb that spent 18 hours slow-cooking in assorted spices. The revelry-inducing atmosphere doesn't end until as late as 3 a.m. on Friday nights, which is the evening when live DJs lure crowds out onto the lounge's dance floors.
During the 45-minute video consultation, a Georgia Billiard Academy instructor leads students as young as six years old through fundamentals and drills while recording the students’ motions from three angles, gauging their skill level, and offering criticism. One-on-one training sessions, where instruction is based on the data gathered from the consultation, include drills and tips that will help students earn street cred in streets where cred is solely based on being good at pool. While GBA's Saturday morning appointments are reserved for junior players, those older than 13 can schedule appointments from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday–Friday and until 6 p.m. on Saturdays.