O’Riley’s Food & Spirits’ cooks top tables with homemade burgers and wings as their guests listen to live music from local artists or absorb sports action from the large projection screen stretched across an entire wall. On select nights, the sound system quiets and spotlights focus on the stage to highlight the fast-paced observations of local comedians. A suite of six of felt-lined tables provide an outlet for skill-based contests, whether it need be a round of pool or competitive juggling of said tables.
Culinary Fight Night rings the dinner bell and pits local chefs against one another during a fast-paced, spatula-to-spatula cook-off. Designed to showcase Atlanta's bounty of talented hash slingers, the Iron Chef-esque competition rewards winners with glory, one of several prizes, and a donation to a charity of their choice. As contestants season meats, dodge flames, and catnap inside microwaves, attendees bask in ringside sights and smells, while a panel of celebrity judges waits to score each dish for taste, presentation, and creativity. To start the new year, cameras will broadcast ambrosial bouts to a local television audience, and in February, the competition hits the road for a six-city nationwide tour with stops in such major cities as Miami, Boston, and New York. After the final plates are assembled, guests mute talkative tummies with six-course meals, and VIP pairs mingle at a reception, where judges and chefs answer questions and demonstrate secret oven-mitt handshakes.
Named in Gwinnett Magazine's Best of Gwinnet list in 2010, Everdry Roofing clears clotted gutters to encourage proper drainage and reduce roof damage. First, a blower's full-throated roar blasts away rooftop debris. Then well-trained crews will root clumped leaves out of gutters so that rainfall can dance freely through downspouts.
Named for the well-known Atlanta restaurant and bar, The Tree on Peachtree Pub & Grill welcomes guests with a diverse menu of comfortable classics. Feast on the animal kingdom's slowest student with an escargot appetizer (six for $6.95), or choose from a quintet of wing options, including lemon pepper, garlic parmesan, and buffalo (10 for $6.95). The tuna-salad sub ($6.95) partners albacore tuna with lettuce and tomato.
Flush with cash during the Roaring Twenties, Atlanta's Shriners set out to build a magnificent monument for their headquarters, dubbed the Yaarab Temple Shrine Mosque. The structure was to feature grandiose architectural touches such as towering minarets and onion domes. When a teetering economy threatened construction, the Shriners sold the building to film mogul William Fox, who finished the space as a movie palace with virtually no changes to its extravagant design. As splendid as the exterior was, audiences were unprepared for the interior. After seeing it for the first time, one Atlanta Journal reporter breathlessly remarked on the "picturesque and almost disturbing grandeur" on display.
Crafted to resemble the courtyard of a Moorish castle, the main hall's decorations begin in the back with a faux canopy of plaster and steel stretching over the rear balcony. Stone parapets wrap around the sides, culminating in a towering proscenium arch illuminated by hanging lanterns and overhung with persian rugs. Above, a blue ceiling sparkles with hundreds of recessed light bulbs, which refract through three-inch crystals. Projected clouds drift across this simulated starry night and rain on anyone who texts during a show.
The final jewel in the theater's gilded crown is the The Mighty Mo Organ. The second-largest theater organ in the world, the Mighty Mo was custom-built in 1929 for the princely sum of $42,000 to accompany any movie or live production. The instrument’s richly textured sounds erupt from 3,622 pipes of varying length, with the smallest no larger than a pen and the largest spanning five feet in diameter. Adding to the Mighty Mo's sonic tapestry is an internal glockenspiel, marimba, and xylophone, plus a system by which the stage's grand piano can be played remotely. The Mighty Mo also mimics thunder, steamboat whistles, saxophones, and its parents' voices when they're not around.