Longtime residents Steve Rabb and Shannon Fannin often thought about ways to improve downtown Woodstock. They wanted to see the area become more sophisticated, so one night over dinner they casually discussed a concept of gourmet food and cocktails prepared with simple, raw flavors. The couple had no idea that, within a matter of months, this concept would grow into a chic, downtown eatery: Wink Woodstock. A menu of small plates—favorites include steak empanadas, shrimp and grits, and charcuterie and cheese samplers—complements Wink’s diverse selection of red and white wines. Behind a steel-topped bar, bartenders mix signature cocktails, known as Winktinis, from infused vodkas and specialty garnishes such as raw lemon sugar, graham crackers, and olive-scented fireworks. According to Patch, Fannin drew on her background in interior design to produce a layout representative of both sexy LA nightclubs and downtown Atlanta bars. Steely grays, vivid purples, and electric teals flow throughout the open bar space and into themed areas such as a pillow room and VIP booth.
Project 9-6-1 celebrates five years of rocking Atlanta's airwaves with the Filthy Fifth Anniversary concert, a bass-heavy evening of raucous metal, hip-hop, and dub-step headlined by world-famous band Korn. Since 1994, the group has gripped music fans with its raw energy and signature nu-metal sound, which fuses aggressive riffs and cathartic caterwauling with thesaurus-shredding hip-hop. With more than 30 million records sold and two Grammys on the mantel, vocalist Jonathan Davis and his band of sonic swashbucklers execute an athletic set that mixes classic tracks with new thrashers from the band’s latest album, The Path of Totality. Joining the sonic mélange, dub-step DJ Datsik blows up the dance floor with helium tanks of hip-hop, Netherland rappers Dope D.O.D. drop hardcore rhymes about wooden shoes, and Canadian bass-master Downlink puts treble knobs in their place with telltale beats that haunt guilty floorboards.
Purple Rain offers a modern and sophisticated interpretation of tapas within a sleek, open, and multifunctional dining space. Like an overachieving butterfly larva, Purple Rain transforms throughout the day from afternoon café to tapas restaurant and lounge by night. Their palate merges Asian and European cuisine, with a dinner menu offering finely crafted food art such as curry-grilled quail with pad thai noodles and roasted peanuts ($13), osso bucco with braised beef short ribs and gremolata ($10), and macadamia-crusted sea bass ($18). For leisurely late risers, Purple Rain's brunch menu includes eggs benedict with lobster tail ($10), raspberry beignets ($5), and Nutella-stuffed french toast with caramelized bananas and powdered sugar ($7). Enjoy one of their spritely custom cocktails, such as a tangerine-ginger mojito or sparkling sake with seasonal berries ($8 each), or skip drinking altogether to sprawl across their effulgent purple bar and perform shadow puppet plays on the ceiling.
A few finger-taps on the digital screens inside Ai Tunes Karaoke Lounge's private karaoke rooms unlock more than 70,000 songs in English, Korean, Cantonese, Mandarin, Taiwanese, Vietnamese, or Japanese for guest singers to choose from. Servers visit the rooms to take orders for tapas and entrees that range from Asian noodles to stone-baked naan wraps. They also pour draft beer and mix sake bombs or cocktails such as the French Connection—a smooth blend of Hennessy and Grand Marnier.
There is always a lively spirit of creativity at The Sound Table, but it changes throughout the night. The upstairs dining room boasts a menu that "zigzags through global influences: Belgian-style frites, Oaxacan hanger steak with salsa verde, Chinese grilled ribs redolent of soy and chile," says Atlanta magazine, which placed restaurant on its list of the area's 50 Best Restaurants. However, the menu's capricious nature doesn't stop at the recipes, it also affects the availability. The selection changes frequently as the chefs incorporate new, seasonal ingredients. On the downstairs level, the bar is a bit more consistent, although still inventive. In addition to the international assortment of wine and beer, the bartenders mix drinks that Creative Loafing Atlanta hailed as "some of the best cocktails in the city." These shaken and stirred concoctions are separated into categories that range from bright & dry to strong, rich & strange, and they occasionally feature nontraditional ingredients such as pine liqueur or garam masala. Although the food and drinks help keep spirits high, it's the live music that transforms the two stories of exposed brickwork, booths made of wooden slats, and soft industrial lighting into a lively neighborhood dwelling. Typically starting around 11 p.m., an ever-rotating lineup of DJs and bands performs throughout the week, energizing the crowds with anything from the raw, percussive fusion of African and Latin jazz-funk to globally-influenced psychedelic.
Divan Restaurant & Hookah Lounge serves Persian-influenced Mediterranean feasts amid exotic artwork, plush pillows, and flowing curtains. Hooded lanterns cast a warm glow on murals depicting a sultan's court, colorful modern canvases, and tucked-away corners where diners share mezzes amid crimson cushions or chairs wrapped in silver cloth. As they dine upon dishes such as duck confit with black-currant relish and grilled lamb with pomegranate-mint demi-glace, guests enjoy the comforts of the hookah⎯a traditional water pipe that relaxes users with smoke that combines a touch of tobacco, sweet notes from fruit molasses, and a dash of wispy ghost.
As wispy tendrils of hookah haze dissipate overhead, diners clink glasses filled with drinks such as fruit-flavored martinis and sup on plates of blackened salmon, garlic-butter grilled shrimp, and molten chocolate cakes with hints of tarragon and raspberry sauce.