First Look: Spice Brick Oven Kitchen, Alpharetta

The new Spice Brick Oven Kitchen near North Point Mall comes from the restaurant group behind Sage Woodfire Tavern in Alpharetta and Dunwoody. Like those places, Spice leans toward drinking and entertainment as much a dining. But the namesake glowing brick oven, visible from all over the main room, is used for firing up flatbreads and pizzas.

The look: Spice took over a former Joe's Crab Shack, bringing a loungey look similar to Sage, with dark wood, low lights and heavy drapes. The long, winding bar is dotted with tiny TV screenlike boxes beaming news weather and ads. There's a small stage near the back. For a totally different vibe, you can grab a table on the patio.

The scene: The servers and bartenders are young and attractive, and the atmosphere seems designed to draw a comparable crowd and maybe spawn a late-night singles scene. But, so far, the restaurant is bringing in a mix that includes families and couples for lunch and early dinner, which prompted management to change the opening hours to 11:30 a.m. daily.

The menu: The surprisingly sprawling menu essentially consists of two things: pizza and tapas. But the small plates cover a lot of tastes, from breads and spreads, such as crab and goat cheese ($5.95) to salads ($5.55-$5.95) and sliders ($5.75-$6.75). A braised short rib atop a polenta cake ($8.95) and tuna tataki with mixed greens and wasabi ($9.95) are among the more substantial offerings. Pizzas include the likes of artichoke and mushroom ($10.95) and lamb and beef meatball ($11.95).

The drinks: The full bar features spirits and a boutique wine list, but beer is clearly the focus, with more than 75 selections, including 25 on draft ($2.95-$6.95) and rotating seasonal and local brews. Georgia-made Red Brick, Sweetwater, Terrapin and Wild Heaven are joined by American craft and import beers from Anchor, Duvel, New Belgium, Rogue, Sierra Nevada and Unibroue.

The extras: There's dancing and live Latin, jazz and acoustic music 7-11 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays. Spice also offers banquet and private dining.

Dining out

Spice Brick Oven Kitchen, Alpharetta

11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays; 11:30 a.m.-midnight Fridays-Saturdays. Bar open late every night.

Tapas, $1.95-$9.95; pizzas $10.95-$11.95.

10800 Haynes Bridge Road, Alpharetta, 770-777-0778,