School’s out, graduation tassels turned. Memorial Day weekend shifts the focus to honoring those who have served our nation and to rolling out the red, white and blue path to summer’s fun-filled longer days and starry nights. Popular Atlanta restaurants will be open on Memorial Day, offering specials, carryout for picnics and entertaining eat-out options.
And, here’s another useful idea: drink in some sparkling cold Sunshine over the weekend. Pick up cans of the low-sugar “Better-for-You” energy beverage in flavors of ginger berry, blueberry lemonade and clementine twist at area Kroger stores to pack in that road trip or picnic cooler. Sunshine shuns artificial flavors and extreme ingredients yet keeps you alert with vitamins, electrolytes and organic caffeine.
- ATL Taco in Lenox Square Mall will be open and eager to serve lunch, dinner and in-betweens to shoppers hitting Memorial Day sales and to provide respite for those tagging along and waiting patiently. During happy hour (Monday through Friday 4-6 p.m.), buy any alcoholic beverage and receive half off an appetizer.
- For a Memorial Day treat, march into Duck Donuts in the Tuxedo Festival shopping center and watch them roll out your custom-made treat; open regular hours.
- Chama Gaúcha in Buckhead will be open, and its gauchos are eager to carve and heap slices of tender, roasted meats onto your plate. The patio’s open and makes a relaxing Memorial Day hangout.
- “Basque in the Sun” at Gypsy Kitchen on Sunday, May 27 and soak in sunshine on the rooftop patio at The Shops Buckhead Atlanta restaurant. Enjoy paella, a live flamenco guitarist, half-off select bottles of wine and $6 glasses of rosé starting at 4 p.m.
- On Sunday, May 27, dance the night away while the Cosmic Gypsies play live music at Johnny’s Hideaway. Keep rocking right into the wee hours of Memorial Day itself.
- Dine in or gather house-made pastas, antipasto and other authentic Italian dishes perfect for al fresco entertaining at Storico Fresco Alimentari, open as usual over the holiday weekend. Remember that note to self on half-priced bottles of wine at Storico on Mondays? Still stands for those dining in.
- 5Church Atlanta will be closed over lunchtime then open at 5 p.m. to serve dinner on Memorial Day.
- Atkins Park Restaurant & Bar in Virginia-Highland will be open during its regular hours.
- Babalu Tapas & Tacos, open as usual, kicks off “Margarita Mondays” on Memorial Day. Stop in for a $6 house margarita and continue the tradition every Monday. May 28 marks National Burger Day and what better to go with your margarita than the Baba Burger (Aspen Ridge natural Angus beef, roasted Roma tomato, caramelized onions, white cheddar cheese, Hass avocado, smoked bacon and chipotle aioli on a sweet sourdough bun).
- Livingston Restaurant + Bar in the historic Georgian Terrace will be open during its usual hours, featuring daily specials and the regular menu.
- Play games, cool off with a beer or handcrafted cocktail, chomp into mouthwatering sandwiches, burgers and hearty American pub fare at Ormsby’s in West Midtown; open regular hours.
- Ray’s on the River will be open from 12-9 p.m. Ray’s Restaurant Club members, look for an email coming your way offering a 25 percent discount to redeem Memorial Day, May 28 at Ray’s on the River. Note, Ray’s in the City and Ray’s at Killer Creek will be closed on Memorial Day.
- No Memorial Day celebration is complete without some sweets! Stop by Henri’s Bakery & Café in Buckhead, Sandy Springs and Upper Westside on Saturday to pick up some treats for your party.
- HOBNOB Neighborhood Tavern locations in Midtown and Brookhaven will be open on the holiday, and both are extending weekend brunch through Monday for a leisurely three-day weekend dining option.
- All Marlow’s Tavern locations will be open regular hours for Memorial Day get-togethers or a welcome-home meal and spirits for those returning to town after a weekend away.
- Buy a beer for a veteran (and for yourself) as part of the Sam Adams Salutes promotion at Taco Maclocations -- see more details below. Open regular hours.
- For those whose schedules couldn’t swing a beach trip, throw on the shades and flip-flops and find instant beach karma at The Big Ketch Saltwater Grillin Buckhead and on Canton Street in Roswell. Both are open as usual over the holiday weekend.
- Tin Lizzy’s Cantina locations will be open Memorial Day featuring their “Happy Hour” menu all day in the dining room and bar area. Settle in and share $5 munchies like queso, guacamole, taquitos and Buffalo shrimp as well as $5 drink specials including shorty shots of Patron, Jameson and Grand Marnier; Tito’s and whatever mixer of choice; the Cinco-Rita; and The O.G. (vodka and Red Bull).
- Willy's Mexicana Grill honors our military heroes with 10 percent off meal prices through the entire month of May for active duty military in uniform or with valid military ID and prior military with support document or ID. Most locations will be open on Memorial Day; check your favorite Willy’s for holiday hours.