Representin’ : Kellie Thorn of Empire State South Is Off (Again) to Show the World the South Knows How to Drink

3 Sep
Kellie Thorn and her winning cocktail. Image courtesy Bombay Sapphire.

Kellie Thorn and her winning cocktail. Image courtesy Bombay Sapphire.

Although a true local won’t be shocked at the news, Empire State South‘s own Kellie Thorn won Most Imaginative Bartender at Bombay Sapphire gin’s regional competition, and will advance to the next round in Las Vegas on September 8.  Will the world finally recognize the superiority of the Southern cocktail? Probably not. But here’s her winning recipe to sip on while smugly knowing the truth:

Pickfair’s Garden
1 1/2 oz Bombay Sapphire
1 oz citrus juice (mix of lemon and grapefruit juice)
3/4 oz Cocchi Americano
1/2 oz spiced sugar syrup (juniper, coriander, bayleaf)
4 drops Scrappy’s Cardamom Bitters
Carrot Foam

For the Cocktail Base:
Combine all ingredients, except for the bitters and foam, with ice and shake. Fine strain into a coupe. Add Cardamom bitters”,” and carefully top with carrot foam.  Garnish with candied carrot “twist” and sprig of carrot top

Bonus knowledge: This isn’t even the first competition she’s won.

Thanks to Bombay Sapphire for sharing the recipe.


It’s About Time: A Look At the New Sun Dial

23 Aug
sun dial

Inside the Sun Dial

If you’ve been writing off the Sun Dial as an overpriced tourist trap, it’s time you took another look at the rotating dinner-with-a-view. After a $3-million makeover, the shiny new spot is dressed to impress. We visited on a cloudy, rainy Friday night–turns out, when you’re a local who’s not desperate to see all the sites, literally eating in the middle of the clouds is kind of cool and eerie.

sun dial
The cocktail menu got a shake-up. There’s a lot of fun, fruity flavors; a white chocolate mudslide that seemed popular; and bartenders who also know how to make a decent standard Manhattan.

sun dial drinks

Pre-dinner: caramel apple martini. Post-dinner: mint chocolate almost-a-milkshake

Tested and approved menu items: bacon-wrapped gulf shrimp, duck a l’orange, low country boil, magnolia buttermilk tart, and a candied-bacon-chocolate-pistachio-shortbread-caramel concoction of joy.

bacon wrapped shrimip

Bacon-wrapped gulf shrimp, pickled peaches, and peach bbq sauce


Duck l’orange

magnolia tart

Magnolia buttermilk tart


Seriously, bacon.

If you’ve never had chocolate and bacon together, you’re failing at life.

Honestly, the Sun Dial isn’t going to change the way you think about food, but where previously patrons seemed to pay for a great view and decent food, it now seems more balanced. Don’t cancel your reservations on a cloudy day, and don’t forget–this is an awesomely festive view around the holidays for those who want to see all the lights in Atlanta without having to drive.

Con: not sure if they’re trying to dump the tourist vibe, but the bar area previously had signs on the walls telling directions and a general idea of what’s currently in view (ie, “Stone Mountain” or “Buckhead”), those signs were sadly missing. Kind of sad for people who don’t know the local geography.

Get Out: Erica Domesek of ‘PS I Made This’ at Saks

12 Mar

If you’ve ever wished to be as creative as the guru behind hit blog PS – I Made This, you can at least have the opportunity to pick her brain at Saks Fifth Avenue this Wednesday. She’ll even help you make a piece of your own jewelry using Swarovski crystals, just in time for prom/wedding season. Where was this kind of budget-friendly stuff when we needed it?!

Stop by the dresses section upstairs between 4 and 7pm on March 14.

Ch-ch-changes: Perimeter Mall Edition

29 Feb


Much kudos to Eli Zandman at Tomorrow’s News Today – Atlanta for specifically tipping us off via Twitter about the new stores slated for Perimeter Mall: Madewell and Sperry Top Sider. When Bloomingdale’s announced it was pulling out of the iconic mall and would be replaced by a Von Maur, we got a little worried about the fate of the shopping mecca. But the expansion of J. Crew’s sister brand is exciting (although perhaps it would do better at North Point?) and Sperry Top Sider’s new store promises to offer more than those famous boat shoes that are currently making a huge comeback, including a variety of accessories like scarves, bags, hosiery, belts, eyewear and more.

But remember: it’s a sin to wear socks with Top Siders.

Coming Soon: DVF for Gap Kids

28 Feb

Time to get jealous: Diane von Furstenberg is creating a lower-priced line for the Gap…Kids. A bummer to anyone over 14 and childless, the collection is slated to launch on March 15 at Gap Kids stores and online, featuring DVF’s famous bright prints, colors and wrap dresses for babies, toddlers and kids. Much like the Stella McCartney collection two years ago, we expect this will 1) fly off the shelves, and 2) you will see a lot of petite and slender women trying to squeeze into them in the dressing rooms.

Images via

Ch-ch-changes: North Point Mall Edition

27 Feb

Image via North Point Mall's Facebook page

Despite the economic climate, North Point Mall continues to expand and grow. First, Von Maur opened in the almost-abandoned Dillard’s wing. Now, there is talk of converting the old Parisian space into a movie theater. Rainbow, a low-priced clothing spot aimed at teenagers, has announced a new spot. And finally, Lego and Michael Kors have announced new stores in the works for this suburban mall.

It seems that the new changes are a bit at odds with each other–while a movie theater is likely to draw loitering teenagers (who already spend time at the mall with mom and dad’s money), a Lego store will appeal to the younger crowd (and tie in with the Discovery Center opening at Phipps later this year) and Michael Kors definitely appeals to the adult women (and tie in with the “Collection” store slated to open at Phipps later this year).

Kors is striving for the “affordable luxury” success of Coach, and even Gucci, who have lowered some of their price points in the past decade to attract new consumers who are willing to splurge on a piece or two that are within their financial reach. However, as North Point seems to strive towards a more family-oriented and budget-friendly scene, will Michael Kors fit the landscape? With an American Girl store, Build-a-Bear Workshop, and now a Lego store to lure in the elementary-aged kids–plus a Forever 21, H&M, Charlotte Russe, Torrid, Abercrombie & Fitch, Aeropostale, American Eagle, Delia’s, Rainbow and a movie theater to appeal to the teenagers–will the more luxury spots like Kors and Coach be able to draw in the crowds like before? Read: will parents and young professionals still want to shop at this mall (and will parents still have money left to actually spend)?

Look Familiar? One Atlanta Artist Says Yes

26 Jan

Image via

Looks like H&M took a little too much “inspiration” from Atlanta’s own Tori LaConsay. After getting blown off from H&M, LaConsay took her tale to Regretsy, who published the awkward PR fail that started with “We employ an independent team of over 100 designers. We can assure you that this design has not been influenced by your work and that no copyright has been infringed” and ended with an apology. See the whole tale here.

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