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GAME DAY GET-TOGETHERS: WHERE TO HOST A “SUPER” PARTY IN ATLANTA
ATLANTA – Not everyone can afford to treat their friends or work colleagues to a suite at Mercedes-Benz Stadium for the big game. For those looking to throw a party with a crowd of fellow football fans - or host a business gathering while in town for the festivities - Atlanta makes it easy to display a bit of that famed Southern hospitality without the hassle of lots of planning and coordinating. These restaurants offer an array of bold menu options and affordable packages to ensure that any team meeting, from a dozen guests to 100, ends in victory.
The Alden, chef Jared Hucks’s acclaimed neighborhood restaurant in Brookhaven, features healthy, seasonal American cuisine. Smaller parties can dine at the intimate 11-seat tasting counter that surrounds the open kitchen. Parkview on Peachtree at 5070 Peachtree Boulevard; 678-395-6982; thealdenrestaurant.com.
Aria offers an exquisitely chic yet comfortable atmosphere and an avant-garde menu of fine American cuisine made with high-quality seasonal ingredients. Larger parties can buy out the restaurant for a private lunch or dinner in the beautiful space, which features warm gray walls, rich butter-hued drapes, glowing backlit custom mirrors and gorgeous leather banquettes. 490 East Paces Ferry Road; 404-233-7673; aria-atl.com.
The 1920s-inspired speakeasy backdrop and Victorian-era décor of The Blind Pig Parlour Bar pour out a lively yet sophisticated alternative to a private dining room. Entertain up to 80 guests with creative small plates and craft cocktails and have room for live entertainment. Call 404-931-1251 or email email@example.com. 128 East Andrews Drive; 678-705-7697; theblindpigparlourbar.com.
Gypsy Kitchen stands ready to create tasting menus, elaborate spreads or passed appetizers showcasing an enchanting mix of Spanish, Indian and Moroccan flavors, along with a beverage menu that emphasizes Old World-style wines, European beers and craft cocktails. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 404-931-1251. 3035 Peachtree Road in The Shops Buckhead Atlanta; 404-939-9840; www.gk-atl.com.
Located in the heart of Buckhead, exclusive Japanese cocktail lounge Himitsu happily accommodates semi-private events (up to 28 seated guests or 40 standing) and also is available for full buyouts (68 guests seated or 100 standing). Menus, featuring sake and signature craft cocktails, along with sushi rolls and small bites can be created especially for private events. 3050 Peachtree Road; 404-841-0040; puraibeto.com/himitsu.
The folks at Ray’s Restaurants pride themselves on event spaces and menus that add up to memorable events. Ray’s on the River in Sandy Springs boasts a variety of event spaces for groups ranging from 10 to 110 guests. The Riverside Garden and Grand Pavilion offer spectacular views of the Chattahoochee River. 6700 Powers Ferry Road; 770-955-1187; www.raysrestaurants.com/raysontheriver.
The Southern Gentleman, a popular gastropub located in The Shops Buckhead Atlanta, can accommodate up to 150 guests for a special event, with a menu spotlighting handcrafted cocktails and locally sourced Southern cuisine. For more information, email email@example.com. 3035 Peachtree Road in The Shops Buckhead Atlanta; 404-939-9845; www.thesoutherngentlemanatl.com.
Revival, Kevin Gillespie's ode to Southern dining in Decatur, can welcome up to 100 guests into private dining areas, and guests can spill and mill on the front and side porches as weather permits. Or, go outdoors and rent Communion, the restaurant’s backyard private event area. Fill out the private events page for more information. 129 Church Street; 470-225-6770; revivaldecatur.com.
Drop anchor at Drift Fish House & Oyster Bar at The Avenue East Cobb. Drift can accommodate groups of up to eight at the chef’s table, in the wine room or oyster bar, while the Shiplap room can host up to 28 guests. The covered patio area seats up to 26, and the outdoor patio accommodates up to 50 guests. 4475 Roswell Road in Marietta; 770-635-7641; driftoysterbar.com.
Seed Kitchen & Bar, located in the Merchant’s Walk retail center in Marietta, serves stylish yet accessible (and affordable) modern comfort food with knowledgeable, unpretentious service. Seed can accommodate private parties of up to 25 guests and semi-private events for 10-25 guests. The patio, weather permitting, can host groups of up to 30. Next door, sister restaurant Stem Wine Bar is available for full buyouts. 1311 Johnson Ferry Road; 678-214-6888; eatatseed.com.
A family-owned, community-focused barbecue restaurant in Midtown, 4 Rivers Smokehouse is redefining the art of smoking, one brisket at a time. Bold flavor twists and creative ingredient combinations are available for private parties and buyouts as well. 822 Marietta Street NW; 844-474-8377; 4rsmokehouse.com.
5Church Atlanta’s artful atmosphere and sophisticated menu of modern American favorites make it the perfect setting for entertaining up to 250 football fanatics. 1197 Peachtree Street NE; 404-400-3669; 5churchatlanta.com.
Turn to Babalu to thrill guests with tapas and Latin-inspired dishes made from scratch in-house with Southern flair and local ingredients. The Midtown restaurant draws folks together over shareable specialties and handcrafted cocktails served in a fun setting. Named “Best Group Dining” by JEZEBEL, the restaurant can often accommodate last-minute groups at its communal tables. 33 Peachtree Place; 404-900-9595; eatbabalu.com.
The Federal, a popular steakhouse/bistro that pays homage to the nearby Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, accommodates parties of all sizes including a full buyout for larger groups. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org. 1050 Crescent Avenue between 11th and 12th Streets in Midtown; 404-343-3857; thefederalatl.com.
Livingston Restaurant & Bar blends modern cuisine and a beautiful, classic Atlanta setting, offering private and semi-private dining spaces within Midtown’s historic Georgian Terrace Hotel. Inquire online or call for details. 659 Peachtree Street NE; 866-845-7551; livingstonatlanta.com.
Located on the Westside under the White Provisions building, Ormsby’s feels like one of the city’s best-kept secrets. But it’s a leading destination for gatherings and celebrations of all sizes and stripes, thanks to a variety of games (shuffleboard, darts, bocce ball, board games and pool) perfect for socializing. With a wide selection of craft beers and a menu of classic and creative gastropub favorites, it’s a casual crowd-pleaser. 1170 Howell Mill Road; 404-968-2033; ormsbysatlanta.com.
The quintessential downtown restaurant, Ray’s in the City offers hand-cut steaks, made-to-order sushi and seafood flown in daily from the Atlantic and Pacific all in a casual, yet elegant setting. There’s an extensive private dining menu served in newly remodeled spaces that can accommodate 16 to 75 guests. Complete restaurant buyouts also are available. 240 Peachtree Street; 404-524-9224; www.raysrestaurants.com/raysinthecity.
Both the menu and the private dining options at Saltyard seek to emphasize the social and interactive nature of dining. A robust selection of small plates and tapas emphasize the seasonal bounty from the land and sea, evolving and changing with the seasons, and versatile rooms accommodate groups of all sizes for any occasion. 1820 Peachtree Road NW; 404-382-8088; saltyardatlanta.com.
The charming farmhouse setting of Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails in historic Crabapple can accommodate parties of eight to 200 guests. Each event can be specially tailored by request, and banquet menus range in pricing. Guests will really enjoy Milton’s Acre, the restaurant’s one-acre garden perfect for special events. Drop in here to book an event. 800 Mayfield Road; 770-817-0161; www.miltonscuisine.com.
Ray’s at Killer Creek in Alpharetta caters to groups with a number of private spaces, including a covered outdoor patio and courtyard that accommodates up to 70 guests and full evening buyouts. The entire restaurant also can be bought out for daytime parties and for the evening. 1700 Mansell Road; 770-649-0064; www.raysrestaurants.com/raysatkillercreek.
Atkins Park Restaurant & Bar conveys an animated environment that’s just right for a pleasant evening. The upstairs room accommodates 30 guests for a sit-down dinner or 50 guests for a cocktail reception. 794 North Highland Avenue; 404-876-7249; atkinspark.com.
In lieu of a private dining area, Gunshow, Kevin Gillespie’s nationally acclaimed restaurant, offers different tiers for group dining events. Parties of up to seven can make reservations online, while groups of eight to 12 guests can fill out a reservation request. Gunshow also can accommodate larger groups of 13 to 70 guests; interested parties can fill out a private event request. 924 Garrett Street in Glenwood Park; 404-380-1886; gunshowatl.com.
Murphy's in Virginia-Highland accommodates a variety of corporate and social dining events including private dinners, wine tastings and cocktail receptions. Let executive chef Andy Tran and one of the restaurant’s expert wine sommeliers hand-craft the perfect menu of contemporary American comfort food and wine pairings. Murphy’s offers a warm and inviting atmosphere with gracious service and cozy seating in a variety of settings. 997 Virginia Ave. NE; 404-872-0904; www.murphys-atlanta-restaurant.com.
No sweet tooth can withstand a selection of super, football-themed cookies and cakes from Henri’s Bakery & Café. Place orders 48 hours in advance at all three locations: Upper Westside, 2310 Coronet Way 404-968-9412; Buckhead, 56 East Andrews Drive, 404-237-0202; or Sandy Springs, 6289 Roswell Road, 404-256-7934. Closed Sundays. Turn to Henri’s catering menu for sandwich trays, salad bowls and dessert trays to feed house party guests. henrisbakery.com.
Buy out the patio at HOBNOB Neighborhood Tavern in Midtown or book semi-private and private parties at HOBNOB Brookhaven or Perimeter for pre- or post-game revelry. 1551 Piedmont Ave. NE (Midtown); 404-968-2288; 804 Town Boulevard (Brookhaven); 404-464-8971; 1221 Ashford Crossing (Perimeter); 470-395-7904; hobnobatlanta.com.
Willy's Mexicana Grill provides cheese dip, guacamole, salsa, chips, burritos and crowd-pleasing catering options like build-your-own taco, fajita or nacho bars. Ten-person minimum on catering orders. For a full list of Tex-Mex flavors, view the menu at willys.com/catering-menu. Order online or call 404-422-7107; willys.com.