More than anything, Ormsby’s is an entertaining place. The new Westside tavern has the sub-rosa aura of a speakeasy and the easygoing conviviality of a neighborhood hangout.
Longtime Atlanta bar man Warren Bruno, of Atkins Park, and former Sweetwater Brewing Co. sales manager Michael Goot partnered on a concept that mixes updated pub grub and craft beer with fun and games.
Ormsby’s is tucked below street level in the White Provision building on Howell Mill Road. Park in the deck behind the mixed-use complex and walk back and down the stairs to discover the hidden-in-plain-sight entrance.
Inside, the space is surprisingly open, resembling a lodge, with lots of wood, a sprawling bar, and sections of booths and tables arranged around a stairwell. Take the plunge down the steps to arrive in a warren that serves as rough- hewn rumpus room. There’s a second, cozier bar and the game area has pool, shuffleboard, darts and a surprise indoor bocce ball court.
The menu, created by Atkins Park chef Andrew Smith, features playful takes on bar food favorites, along with snacks, such as boiled peanuts and popcorn, and desserts, such as maple sugar cotton candy.
The hefty Bruno Burger ($10), a half-pound grass-fed beef patty topped with caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms and provolone cheese, comes with hand-cut fries or ale-battered onion rings. Uncle Fred’s Ultimate BLT ($8), ups the ante of usual ingredients with apple wood-smoked bacon, butter lettuce, house-made mayo and sunny side-up eggs.
But some of the most winning items are in the section titled “Bangers, Links and Wieners.” That’s where you’ll find an assortment of house-made sausages served with a variety of toppings and bakery buns. The smoked kielbasa ($7) has a tangy blend of braised cabbage, beets and apples on a pretzel roll. Spicy lamb merguez ($9) mixes the Middle Eastern flavor of tzatziki with pickled onions on a potato bun. House-made watermelon or okra pickles ($3) make bright, crunchy accompaniments.
Look for a homey special for each day of the week, including pot roast on Sunday, veal and mushroom meatballs on Wednesdays, and fish and chips on Fridays.
The beer list keeps up with the current thirst for more and better craft brews. There are at least 18 different selections on draft.
Lately, that’s included Bell’s Two-Hearted, Dupont Foret , North Coast Brother Thelonious and Tripel Karmeliet . And there are plenty more offerings in the bottle, as well as wine and classic cocktails.
Ormsby’s, 1170 Howell Mill Road, 404-968-2033
Signature dish: House-made sausage
Entree prices: $6-$11 (daily features may be higher)
Hours: 11 a.m.-3 a.m. Mondays-Fridays; noon-3 a.m. Saturdays; noon-midnight Sundays.
Credit cards: Yes
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