Photo: Bita Honarvar/ AJC FILE
Photo: Bita Honarvar/ AJC FILE

The Vortex to keep its 21 and over policy and other Atlanta dining news from the week

If you were concerned that The Vortex’s decision last  to month to go smoke-free would mean a change in the restaurant’s longtime 21-and-over policy, you’ve got nothing to fear.

The restaurant -- which operates locations in Midtown and Little Five Points -- addressed the policy in a blog post this week.

When we originally opened The Vortex back in 1992, we allowed parents to decide whether or not to bring their children into our bar. Sure, it was smoky, loud and full of questionable characters, but hey, your kid, your choice. It wasn’t until Georgia passed the Smoke-Free Air Act of 2005 that we changed our admission policy. That law required bars to become 100% “non-smoking” unless minors were banned from the premises. Easy choice. Bye-bye kiddies. And the best part? Our loyal patrons LOVED the change. In hindsight, I can’t believe we didn’t ban the little buggers sooner.

In case you hadn’t heard, as of February 1, 2019, The Vortex has eliminated ALL smoking inside our premises, not by government decree, but as the result of a month-long online customer survey. The poll was taken by 11,000 participants. Interestingly, there was a common theme in the comments section of our survey – and I’m paraphrasing here; “Whatever you do – please, for the love of god – stay adults only!”

During the survey a few sweet, naive, adorable folks also asked us the question, “If you go smoke-free, will you become an ‘all-ages’ venue again?” Hahahahaha! Oh, wait – they were serious. Well, the short answer is “no.” A slightly longer answer is, HELL NO. But if you are interested in a little extra context, sure – I’m all about transparency – so I’ll give it a shot.

Detail of the house rules at the Vortex.

The post goes on to list its reasons for keeping its policy intact, citing “the ridiculous messes that kids make” and the fact that once they become mobile, “they love nothing more than to flee the confines of their table (and their parents), and stagger around the premises – also like drunks.”

The main issue, the post states, is that allowing in customers under the age of 21 makes it difficult for the restaurant to “enforce various liquor laws to maintain our Liquor License.”

The Vortex, which will celebrate its 27th anniversary this year, is not the only metro Atlanta restaurant to ban kids from its premises.


Marietta Square Market announces opening date
Porter Brew and Que opens in Dunwoody

Multiple Atlantans named 2019 James Beard Award semifinalists

Pauley’s Crepe Bar closes in West Midtown

Cultivate Food and Coffee open in Collier Hills

DeKalb Athletic Club open on DeKalb Avenue

Folk Art to open second location in Decatur

Shake Shack food truck now available to rent in metro Atlanta

Pressed Panini Bar closes in Marietta

Read the 2018 AJC Fall Dining Guide: Dining on Buford Highway 

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