The Daily Tavern opened in Inman Park in late October, taking over the space on the corner of Inman Village Parkway most recently occupied by Indian restaurant Amara, which closed earlier last month to make way for a quick bit of refurbishing.
Amara owner Sandeep Kothary partnered with DASH Hospitality Group owner David Abes on the new venture, conceived as a cross between a neighborhood tavern and a sports bar, with plenty of HDTVs.
Abes’ background includes director of operations for Here to Serve Restaurants and COO for the Buckhead Life Restaurant Group. At the Daily Tavern, he put together a team that includes general manager Dave Lynn, who’s worked at a number of Atlanta restaurants, and executive chef Chris Lantz, who previously worked at Ray’s on the River and Pure Taqueria.
The design is essentially a carryover from Amara. You enter from street level on North Highland Avenue, where you’ll find tall windows surrounding a cozy lounge area with couches and coffee tables. Beyond, there’s an 18-seat bar overlooking the cavelike sunken dining room and bright open kitchen.
Lantz’s menu, with several suggestions for favorites from Abes, reads like a mashup of elevated pub grub and comfort food.
You’ll find wings and a double-patty house burger. But a giant pretzel is covered in bubbly crab topping. Whipped feta is flavored with local honey and served with celery sticks and warm pita. A warm smoked turkey sandwich is layered with apple, brie and arugula on toasted sourdough with cranberry Dijon mustard.
More substantial, the “Hot Suppa” entrees come with two sides, and include grilled salmon, roasted chicken, Berkshire pork butt, and a cast-iron rib-eye. Sides range from mac and cheese, fries and onion rings to green beans, creamed spinach and Brussels sprout slaw. There’s also a Daily Tavern chalkboard special most days, and brunch on Sundays.
In addition to running the front of the house, Lynn, who is a longtime bartender by trade, is in charge of the beverage program, which tends toward kicky cocktails like the Future Soccer Mom. It’s mixed with Ketel One, lemon, hibiscus, triple sec, vermouth, soda and Sprite, and served in an IV bag with a straw.
Last week, Abes, Lynn and Lantz gathered around the bar to talk about the food and drink, and the atmosphere they hope to create at the Daily Tavern.
“The bar program here is trying to be approachable for everybody,” Lynn said. “Just your basic, everybody’s welcome sports bar and tavern. Approachable wines, with six whites and six reds, bubbles and rosés, plenty of craft draft beer, beers in the can, and a nice spirits program.
“But people are loving the bar, and hanging out. We have games, too, with foosball, Connect Four, Giant Jenga, lawn darts, board games, and we play Tic Tac Toe on the windows by the bar.”
“We just wanted to create a bar, like a regular tavern,” Abes said. “People want TVs and all that stuff. But that’s why it’s named the Daily. We want people to feel like they can just come in here every day, no matter what they’re wearing. You don’t have to get dressed up when you come here to enjoy good food and a good drink.
“This neighborhood is a drinking neighborhood, and that’s what they want. We added some more draft to the bar. The dining room just needed some warmth and some character. It’s a great location in the neighborhood for a hang-out spot. We want to be part of the neighborhood, and part of the community, be involved, and be a local spot. But we’ve already had some people from Buckhead and Sandy Springs who’ve ventured down here from the Beltline.”
Speaking about the menu, Lantz noted that it was the first he’d ever written.
“I had a lot of input from David, and we’d go through it and work it out,” Lantz said. “It was a nice back and forth. And being the first one I’d done from scratch, it was a lot of fun. I had a few recipes, but a lot of it was sitting down at a laptop thinking about ingredients and what would look great on the plate.
“A lot of the places I’d worked before were very corporate, and very structured. Here it’s much more creative, and for a chef, that’s what you want. I love people to come by the kitchen and say hello to me and tell me how we’re doing. I got into this because I like to see people eat and smile.”
870 Inman Village Parkway NE, Atlanta. 470-305-7405, dailytavern.com.
Scroll down for more images from a First Look at The Daily Tavern in Inman Park
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism. AJC.com. Atlanta. News. Now.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism.