First Look: Buckhead Tavern, Buckhead


11:30 a.m.-midnight Monday-Thursday; 11:30 a.m.-2 a.m. Friday-Saturday; 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Sunday.

Appetizers, $4-$12; salads, $5-$15; sandwiches and burgers, $11-$15; entrees, $17-$24; sides, $4.50-$6.

264 Pharr Road, Atlanta. 404-917-2620,

In mid-December, Buckhead Tavern opened in the former Bonehead’s space at the Eclipse Buckhead Condominium development. Johnny Esposito Jr., son of Johnny’s Hideaway founder Johnny Esposito Sr. partnered with Atlanta restaurateur Ron Barber on the neighborhood sports bar and live entertainment concept.

The look: Located at the corner of Pharr Road and North Fulton Drive, down the block from the new Buckhead Atlanta development, the build-out conjures elements of old Buckhead Village. A spacious U-shaped bar surrounded by suspended TVs anchors the center of the main dining room, where dark wood, cushy booths and communal tables come together in a refined casual style.

The scene: Depending on the time of day, the atmosphere can change dramatically. One recent Saturday afternoon, there was a surprisingly quiet mix of couples and families having lunch, and guys settled in at the bar, drinking beer and watching basketball. But happy hour and late night bring out the Buckhead party crowds.

The food: Executive chef Nicole Christner's menu offers takes on traditional tavern fare with hearty entrees and some healthy choices made with locally sourced ingredients. Beef sliders ($11) are stacked with bourbon bacon jam, cheddar and special Tavern Sauce on Holeman & Finch buns. The Buddha Bowl ($13) is a mix of Georgia greens, green beans, avocado, chick peas, carrots, tomatoes, edamame, broccoli and ginger soy vinaigrette. A thick-cut heritage pork chop ($22) is served with smashed potatoes, broccolini and rosemary apple jus.

The drinks: On the beverage menu, find classic cocktails, such as the Buffalo Trace Manhattan ($13), along with house creations, such as the Big Dog Daddy ($13) with Wild Shot reposado mezcal, rye and blackberry brandy. The recent draft beer list featured Sweetwater 420 ($5.50) and Goose Island IPA ($5).

The extras: Look for live entertainment Thursdays through Sundays. At the back of the restaurant, there's another full service bar with TVs and additional seating for private parties and sports events.