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The Best of the City

With an influx of Hollywood heavyweights and new developments booming from Peachtree to Ponce, Atlanta was on fire this year. With an even steamier forecast for 2016, here’s your go-to guide for what is hottest now in the A.

The Atlanta Opera’s production of The Pirates of Penzance sizzles onstage this season.

SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion makes a runway-ready debut.

Stunner Katherine Mason shapes up Atlanta with SculptHouse.

Atlanta’s own Brian Carter is the brains behind Jim Thompson’s new studio B line.

Seafood spot The Big Ketch makes a splash in Roswell.


State of the Arts
Reynoldstown’s WonderRoot Community Arts Center is building on its success—with plans to move into the neighborhood’s former Tech High Charter School building to transform Atlanta’s arts scene.

“We are excited about the WonderRoot Center for Arts & Social Change and what it represents as the next phase of WonderRoot’s growth as an organization,” says Executive Director Chris Appleton, who co-founded the nonprofit with Alex West in 2004 and went on to create the membership-based arts center on Memorial Drive in 2008.

Construction is expected to begin on the approximately 54,000-square-foot building by spring, with plans to move programming there by 2017. The new center will be funded by a mix of local and national public programs and philanthropic support, offering private studio space for artists, nonprofits and small creative businesses; an arts gallery; a venue for theater, dance, film and music; a cafe; educational spaces; and production facilities. “Success at WonderRoot means being able to create and expand on programming and organizational growth... to impart change on the world around us and the city we love,” Appleton says. “We’re still working toward that goal and have a long way to go, but we’re thrilled about where we are in the journey.”

Readers’ Choice: Art & Culture
The rich mix of new additions and stalwart cultural institutions prove that Atlanta’s diverse art scene is thriving.

1. Best Museum SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion, a new museum on Savannah College of Art and Design’s Atlanta campus, celebrates the universal language of fashion through exhibitions, film screenings and educational events. 1600 Peachtree St., 404.253.3132 2. Best Gallery The gallery space at Alan Avery Art Company is the oldest sustained contemporary art gallery in the city, exhibiting art from emerging, midcareer and internationally renowned artists. 315 E. Paces Ferry Road, 404.237.0370 3. Best Festival Award-winning chefs, sommeliers and restaurateurs come together with the local foodie crowd at the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival for a weekend of sampling, imbibing and networking. Midtown, 404.474.7330 4. Best Performance Space With a variety of award-winning shows and performers taking the stage, it comes as no surprise that shows at the Fox Theatre remain the hottest tickets in town. 660 Peachtree St. NE, 855.285.8499 5. Best School Founded in 1938, The Atlanta Speech School is the most comprehensive center for language and literacy in the nation, offering clinical programs, summer classes and a Professional Development Center, along with schools for children and their families. 3160 Northside Parkway NW, 404.233.5332

Top Five: Must-See Shows This Season
1. The Book of Mormon
Happening at the Fox Theatre, this nine-time Tony Award-winning stage production, from the creators of comedy series South Park, will keep you laughing and pondering long after the show ends. Tickets $150, Jan. 12-24, 660 Peachtree St. NE, 404.881.2100

2. Disgraced
This winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for drama graces the Alliance Theatre stage to tell the story of a young businessman distancing himself from his Muslim roots. Tickets $55, Jan. 27-Feb. 14, 1280 Peachtree St. NE, 404.733.4650

3. Moulin Rouge
The most famous cabaret tale of love, loss and stardom in theater history is sure to dazzle during the Atlanta Ballet’s run of this Parisian ballet at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. Tickets $127, Feb. 5-13, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, 404.892.3303

4. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
This renowned Alvin Ailey-led dance company will provide an evening of breathtaking entertainment and talent at the Fox Theatre. Tickets $56, Feb. 10-14, 660 Peachtree St. NE, 404.881.2100

5. Pirates of Penzance
Expect plentiful high jinks at this Atlanta Opera performance as an up-and-coming pirate fulfilling his apprenticeship attempts to court a major general’s daughter. Tickets $130, March 5-13, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, 404.881.8885

Street Smarts
1970s poet, musician and graffiti prodigy Jean-Michel Basquiat honed his signature painting style through obsessive scribbling in his notebooks. Opening Feb. 28, Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks will debut at the High Museum of Art. Experience an exclusive look at 160 notebook pages illustrating Jean-Michel Basquiat’s unedited imaginative works that have transformed into the exceptional pieces marveled at across the globe. These rarely seen notebook writings range from narrative poems and wordplay to Basquiat’s observations of New York’s street life to lists of celebrities and notes from his personal life. These texts followed a strict format including right-hand page writings and a scarcity of color. Basquiat primarily penned his work in black ink with capital letters resembling his street graffiti. The notebooks will be accompanied by 30 paintings (some from the museum’s permanent collection), including handwritten texts, sketches and mixed-media pieces from Basquiat’s private collections. Tickets $20, 1280 Peachtree St. NE, 404.733.4444

High Regards
After 15 years as director of the High Museum of Art, Michael Shapiro stepped down from the helm of the Southeast’s leading museum in July 2015, relinquishing the reins to Oklahoman Randall “Rand” Suffolk. Many were curious as to who would replace the Atlanta arts icon—who during his time at the High nearly doubled the museum’s permanent collection, partnered with museums worldwide to stage groundbreaking exhibitions such as Louvre Atlanta and helped raise nearly $230 million—but rest assured, his successor is up to the task of sculpting the institution’s next chapter. “It’s precisely because of the work that Michael and his team did that I’m excited about being at the High,” says Suffolk, most recently director and president of Tulsa’s Philbrook Museum of Art. Look for Suffolk to share the same goals as Shapiro...with a proven track record in Tulsa that included the addition of 2,800 new works to the permanent collection and developing major collaborations with national and international institutions. “The High is an extraordinary institution with an important collection, wonderful architecture and an impressive history,” Suffolk says. “That’s a powerful combination. ... Plus, it’s located in one of America’s great cities.” What exhibition is he anticipating most once he comes aboard? “Always the next one,” Suffolk masterfully says.


Tres Chic
Famed fresh fashion house Roger Vivier stepped out last year with a sparkling shop tucked inside Lenox Square’s Neiman Marcus. As the exclusive spot to score Roger Vivier in Georgia, the 210-square-foot boutique stocks the brand’s beloved bejeweled pilgrim pumps and fashionable flats as well as handbags. Accredited with developing the stiletto, Vivier designed shoes for Dior in the 50s and 60s, before his iconic pilgrim pumps made their debut on Catherine Deneuve in the film Belle de Jour. Known as the “the Fabergé of Footwear,” now the designer’s sophisticated styles can be seen on belles of the Southern sort! Roger Vivier at Neiman Marcus, Lenox Square, 3393 Peachtree Rd., 404.266.8200

Top Five: Best New Shops in Atlanta
1. Billy Reid at Buckhead Atlanta
This Alabama-bred designer draws on his Southern roots with the bowing of his newest store in The Shops at Buckhead Atlanta, fully stocked with racks of classically stylish separates, made-to-measure suits, and accessories for men and women. 3035 Peachtree Road NE, 470.881.8532

2. DVF at Lenox Mall
The timeless style of Diane von Furstenberg is now on offer at Lenox Square. The Belgian-born American fashion designer’s bold, vibrant clothing, iconic wrap dresses and artful accessories are perfectly poised to become wardrobe staples no matter the season. 3393 Peachtree Road, 404.857.1996

3. Frye at Ponce City Market
The Frye Company has crafted high-quality leather footwear and bags for men, women and children since 1863. Step out in its latest styles this winter when you shop the new store in Ponce City Market. 675 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE, 404.685.3793

4. Tom Ford at Buckhead Atlanta
Designer extraordinaire Tom Ford is slated to unveil his new stand-alone boutique at the bustling Buckhead shopping mecca this spring. Anticipate racks of Ford’s sleek and sexy looks for men and women, along with accessories and more. 3035 Peachtree Road, 678.704.0900

5. Warby Parker at Buckhead Atlanta
As the company’s first freestanding store in the Southeast, Warby Parker’s new Atlanta outpost features an array of specs on offer, displayed in an interior outfitted with tufted leather, Wayne Pate artwork and a photo booth to boot. 262 Buckhead Ave. NE, Ste. C315, 404.479.9755

“With an explosion of 5th Avenue’s finest gorgeous boutiques opening here in Atlanta, I’m excited to see how our fashionable crowd meshes even more luxurious looks with their daily southern style.” –Stylist Shaye Strager Gilmartin,

Readers’ Choice: Style
With a variety of luxury offerings, our readers divulge their stylish mainstays and new go-tos.

1. Best Boutique Offering at-home styling and an expertly curated stock of chic clothing, Westside boutique Kane is the spot to score the latest looks. 691 14th St., 678.705.8983 2. Best Shoe Department Luxe labels and styles to match any event or occasion make Saks Fifth Avenue at Phipps Plaza a must for shoe shopping. 3440 Peachtree Road, 404.261.7234 3. Best Jeweler Laura Pearce began her career as a buyer with Tiffany & Co. before opening Laura Pearce Ltd. in 1989. Today, the Buckhead bauble boutique offers everything from Pearce’s custom creations to designers like Penny Preville and Temple St. Clair—plus the best selection of estate jewelry in town. 2300 Peachtree St. NW, Ste. A103, 404.350.9207 4. Best Custom Suits At Hideoki Bespoke, your experience and your suit are completely tailored to you, making this studio a one-stop shop for dapper gents. 678.825.3470

Savannah College of Art and Design’s new SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion made a runway-ready debut this fall and promises many seasons of sartorial splendor to come.

Adding 10,000 square feet of gallery space to the limestone temple dedicated to the cultural arts at 1600 Peachtree, SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion also houses a fashion resource room and media library where fashion films will regularly screen. The museum’s permanent collection of more than 1,000 pieces includes garments donated by style icons such as C.Z. Guest, Patricia Altschul and Anna Wintour. After the debut Oscar de la Renta show closes, a collection of Jonathan Becker’s photography (opening Jan. 21) is sure to wow. With other upcoming exhibitions undergoing final fittings, we expect the museum’s next season to be a showstopper! 1600 Peachtree St. NW, 404.253.3132


Shaping Up
With her unique formula for fitness, former model and exercise expert Katherine Mason is determined to help Atlantans look their best. 

“It’s high-intensity treadmill training combined with the Lagree method,” the former fitness model and statuesque stunner explains. “It works for everyone, whether you’re Matt Ryan or a guy on his lunch break.” If Mason’s face looks familiar it is because the 26-year-old fitness guru spent two years in NYC modeling for some of the biggest names in sports, including Nike and Adidas, as well as for a slew of magazines. Now, the Charlotte, N.C., native has settled in Atlanta, where she’s unleashing her passion for a good workout onto Buckhead with the upcoming SculptHouse. Opening early this year, SculptHouse will offer up a roster of 50-minute class formats mixing cutting-edge machines with good old-fashioned cardio and more. Classes from $32, $350 for a 30-day unlimited class pass, 3167 Peachtree Road, 470.553.0080

Number Crunch
110: The average number of lashes applied at Atlanta’s newest eyelash extension studio, Amazing Lash. As the 39th installment of the fab franchise, the Buckhead studio offers four flexible styles of both semipermanent and specialty lashes tailored specifically for you. $60 per month for members, including one prepaid fill, 4365 Roswell Road NE, Ste. 4413, 404.255.5274

Saving Skin 
Founded by Ph.D.-packing scientist Sara Palmer Hussey and former Spanx COO David Wasilewski, Lumity offers an all-natural anti-aging supplement that works with the body’s ability to repair, restore and sustain youthfulness from within rather than correct aging superficially. Top docs like Dr. Theresa Jarmuz with Buckhead Facial Plastic Surgery are prescribing the skin supplement for beauty that is beyond skin deep. $108 for a four-week supply

Man Up
The Spa at The Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation on Lake Oconee unveils a new, posh place for gents to get groomed.
The newly renovated 27,000-square-foot spa offers a private room just for men and a new throwback fantasy menu complete with old-fashioned steel razors, shoe shines, mustache trims, haircuts in a classic barber chair and nail grooming. Gentlemen can enjoy complimentary small-batch bourbon tastings during any 50- or 80-minute service (many include whiskey-inspired treatment names, such as the On the Rocks shave or Neat brow and nose trims). A flat-screen television to catch the latest game ensures this spot is a home run. $30-$125, 1 Lake Oconee Trail, Greensboro, 706.467.0600

On the Ball
Major league soccer team Atlanta United is slated to take the field in 2017, but the buzz has already begun. When it came time to choose a technical director, retired pro soccer player and two-time MLS Defender of the Year Carlos Bocanegra scored the role and set to work building the team. “We will put a team out there that Atlanta can be proud of. It’s a great challenge, but one we are facing head-on, with big goals and success in mind,” says Bocanegra. Goal-minded, indeed.

Readers’ Choice: Health & Beauty
Get refreshed for the new year with this bounty of beautification spots to help you look your best.

1. Best Spa Choose from an array of feel-good services at Bella by Alethea—including Venus Freeze ($300), facials ($125), laser hair-removal ($95) and more. 4603 Wieuca Road NE, 678.908.3491 2. Best Salon Buckhead beauty mecca Van Michael Salon offers cuts (from $55), plus color and styling by seasoned pros who are unmatched elsewhere in town. 39 W. Paces Ferry Road NW, 404.237.4664 3. Best Stylist Award-winning industry vet, salon owner and ambassador stylist Steve Hightower ($75 for cut and styling) has won over the city’s well-coiffed set with his impeccable skills that ensure you’ll leave his chair with a smile. 646 Lindbergh Way NE, 404.264.9006 4. Best Beauty Boutique Makeup artist extraordinaire MiMi Johnson recently opened The Glamatory to offer a curated selection of cosmetics from Becca, Kevyn Aucoin and more (on-site makeup application from $60). 1675 Cumberland Parkway SE, Ste. 408, 678.424.1253 5. Best Waxing The best spot to banish unwanted hair is Sweet Peach Wax & Sugaring Studio, with locations in Buckhead and Virginia-Highland that offer sugaring and waxing treatments (from $10). Multiple locations, 404.875.5700


Prints Charming
Atlanta artist Brian Carter is the designer behind Jim Thompson’s latest line of fabrics, studio B.

Known best by interiors industry insiders for his fabulous hand-painted wall work, Atlanta-based artist Brian Carter is the designer behind Jim Thompson Textiles’ latest line, studio B. Featuring nine graphic patterns, the chic collection is composed of Carter’s original hand-painted artwork printed on linen in unexpected color combinations (think espresso brown with Kelly green, caramel with coral and chartreuse with sea blue). “I like colors that react to each other, playing up the tension between positive and negative space,” says Carter. A refreshing respite from the computer-printed designs dominating decor today, Carter’s beautiful brushwork adds an authenticity and originality to the fabrics. “All the fabrics in this collection are the result of some sort of handwork, either hand-drawn, painted, cut out or stamped… in essence there are no straight lines,” explains the pattern-loving artist. Sounds like a fine line to us! Fabrics to the trade from $124 per yard, Jim Thompson, ADAC, 351 Peachtree Hills Avenue NE, Ste. 304, 404.709.2050

“I think there is universal appeal to images that retain a hand-worked quality. We embrace them as welcome relief from the computer-generated images that surround us today.” –Atlanta artist and Jim Thompson Textiles studio B designer, Brian Carter

Prep School
Posh purveyor of prep Kate Spade New York unveils a new home furnishings collection.

The inaugural line debuted at High Point Market last fall and the expanded collection of 325 pieces hits stores like Matthews Furniture + Design this spring. The impressive interiors offering spans four categories including chic and cheeky furnishings through EJ Victor, lighting through Visual Comfort, iconic print rugs through Jaipur, plus clever fabrics and wallpapers through Kravet. “We translated iconic Kate Spade New York designs like subtle bow accents, as well as signature colors and fabrics, such as shocking pink linen and turquoise velvet, into stylish and unique home items,” says Deborah Lloyd, president and chief creative officer. Consider the chic collections your lesson plan for luxurious living.

High Society
As an avid art collector and patron, it’s only fitting that longtime Atlanta developer John Wieland is building a project for which he’d like to be remembered in the heart of the city’s cultural center.

He’s partnered with architects Mack Scogin and Merrill Elam, and contractors Brasfield & Gorrie to build the luxury condo residence One Museum Place across the street from the High Museum of Art and Woodruff Arts Center in Midtown. “Instead of constructing a glass tower, I reserved the property to build the kind of home where I would want to live,” offers Wieland. “One Museum Place is destined to complement the masterworks of Renzo Piano and Richard Meier with an impeccable design for livability and luxury by the best and brightest team I could assemble.” When it’s completed in early 2016, the project will feature 44 spacious two- and three-bedroom condos (up to 5,300 square feet) with special touches including Gaggenau appliances, Waterworks fixtures and outdoor Lanai areas fully outfitted with gas grills. Other amenities include a fitness center, a concierge and a dog park. Further curate your condo with upgraded wine storage or teppanyaki cook surfaces. Priced from $900,000 to $3.5 million, these haute homes are surely the hottest ticket in town.

Readers’ Choice: Design & Realty
Whether you’re looking to do a multiroom renovation or simply craving a refreshed interior style, these home and design destinations have you covered from wall to wall.

1. Best Home Store Ultraluxe home emporium RH Atlanta, The Gallery at The Estate in Buckhead has served as a go-to source of inspiration for homeowners since its 2014 grand opening in Buckhead. 3030 Peachtree Road NW, 770.804.9040 2. Best Furniture Store For over 30 years, Mathews Furniture + Design has showcased the latest lines and chicest contemporary furniture collections. 1240 W. Paces Ferry Road NW, 404.237.8271 3. Best High-End Home Consignment Kelly Wolf-Anthony’s chic boutique Swoox Curated Consignment stocks the best in trendy pieces, with wallet-friendly prices. 56 E. Andrew Drive, Ste. 32, 404.869.0042 4. Best Showroom Seamlessly meshing an artistic eye and high-end textiles, the J Nelson ADAC showroom serves up fine furnishings from the likes of Nancy Corzine, Cache and R Jones. 351 Peachtree Hills Ave. NE, Ste. 417, 404.477.2225 5. Best Interior Designer Not only does renowned designer Bryan Kirkland boast a résumé that includes Bloomingdale’s, Lewis & Sheron Textiles and more, but his sense of style and customer service keep locals coming back. 912 Huff Road NW, 404.350.3233 6. Best Architect With decades of experience under his belt, Yong Pak’s architectural designs focus on impeccable craftsmanship, a keen eye for enduring spaces and a dedication to quality materials. 600 Virginia Ave NE, Ste. 200, 404.231.3195


Private Eyes Only
Password protected, Atlanta’s newest and swankiest sips spot is for elite eyes only—literally.

An iris scanner at the door keeps on file the identity of Atlanta’s A-list, allowing exclusive entrée into Himitsu. Having earned fervent following among Atlanta A-listers ranging from Elton John to Matt Ryan, sister spot Umi offers an indulgent experience of Japanese culinary perfection from start to finish. And now with luxe lounge Himitsu next door, chef Fuyuhiko Ito and co-owners Farshid Arshid and Charlie Hendon have cornered the market on hot hangouts. “It’s a place where James Bond and Sammy Davis Jr. would meet for a martini,” says Arshid. Famed London-based interior architect Tom Dixon and Design Research Studio created a darkly theatrical speak-easy. With an elegantly lit, beautiful copper bar as the centerpiece of the 1,300-square-foot space, Dixon juxtaposed sleek metals against rougher, natural materials all punctuated by an installation of Tom Dixon Melt pendants that evoke the feel of molten metal. After you soak in the stylish atmosphere, kick back with curated cocktails like the Yuzu (a riff on the margarita (featuring blanco tequila with shiso, agave nectar and yuzu, $17) and nibble on highbrow bites like the caviar brioche (market price).

Readers’ Choice: Food & Nightlife
Indulge in a delicious experience at these hot spots offering the best in dining and drinking around the city.

1. Best Restaurant High-end plating and curated cocktails meet 20th century art-adorned interiors at The St. Regis Atlanta’s elegant eatery, Atlas. 88 W. Paces Ferry Road NW, 404.600.6471 2. Best Bar Ford Fry’s latest foray, Bar Margot, shines as a swanky lounge nestled inside the Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta. 75 14th St. NE, 404.881.5913 3. Best Chef Kyma’s executive chef, Pano Karatassos, remains a top chef thanks to his dedication to fresh ingredients and full flavors. 3085 Piedmont Road NE, 404.262.0702 4. Best Caterer Whether it’s a black-tie gala, a private party or any elegant event in between, Bold American Events & Catering is on-hand serving up the most delectable passed apps and small bites in town. 887 W. Marietta St. NW, 404.815.1178 5. Best Brunch From their famous fried chicken ($19) to their Benton’s ham Benedict ($12), South City Kitchen offers up a refined riff on regionality. With locations in Midtown, Vinnings and now Buckhead (opening this spring), this southern charmer offers the best brunch in town. Multiple locations, 404.873.7358

Fresh Ketch
Already home to a handful of buzzy restaurants, downtown Roswell’s Canton Street adds another to its roster with the opening of The Big Ketch Saltwater Grill’s second outpost. The kitchen of the approximately 5,000-square-foot space from locally based Southern Proper Hospitality will be helmed by chef Derek Dollar (of Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails), with a lunch and dinner menu chock-full of fresh seafood dishes—such as basil-Blue Moon mussels and clams ($10), Big Ketch’s signature grouper sandwich ($17) and a Charleston curry seafood quinoa bowl ($22)—that perfectly complement the eatery’s splashy seaside-themed, Marty Mason-designed ambience. 1105 Canton St., Roswell, 770.993.5749

Hall of Fame
Mosey along Ponce City Market’s new Central Food Hall and you’ll discover a kind of Southernfood Walk of Fame: Sean Brock’s Mexican spot, Linton Hopkins’ burger and chicken joints, Anne Quatrano’s fish camp. But celebrated chef Jonathan Waxman offers an Italian import to join the esteemed culinary collection.

Brezza Cucina is the newest offering from Waxman, the chef who introduced California cuisine to New York in the ’80s and became one of America’s first culinary rock stars. Partnering with chef Adam Evans, who made Ford Fry’s The Optimist a Westside destination, Waxman essentially transports the successful formula of Barbuto, his beloved Italian joint in Manhattan, to the hallowed halls of the newly transformed brick monolith on Ponce de Leon Avenue. “Ponce City Market is quickly becoming a culinary destination in Atlanta, and we wanted to be a part of it,” says Waxman. 675 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE, Ste. 158, 404.724.9700

Top Five: New Restos to Try Now
1. BeetleCat
Fresh ocean fare meets remixed classic cocktails at this new seafood outpost that master restaurateur Ford Fry describes as “a neighborhood oyster, raw and wood-roast bar.” 280 Elizabeth St., 678.732.0360

2. Cape Dutch
10 Degrees South’s Justin Anthony brings South African flavors to Atlanta with this new hot spot in the former Woodfire Grill space. 1782 Cheshire Bridge Road NE, 404.343.0313

3. Dolce Italian
This swanky LDV Hospitality spot in The Shops at Buckhead Atlanta serves up craft cocktails and classic Italian-inspired dishes in a luxe midcentury-modern interior. 3035 Peachtree Road NE, 678.686.2267

4. JP Atlanta 
Opening in the new Hotel Indigo downtown, JP Atlanta is the latest eatery from famed architect John C. Portman Jr., who launched his first restaurant, The Midnight Sun, in 1965. 230 Peachtree St. NE, 877.424.2449

5. Marcel
As another one of reigning top toque Ford Fry’s hot spots, Marcel is a knockout that delivers a one-two punch of sensational steaks and throwback, boxing themed interiors. 1170 Howell Mill Road, 404.665.4555