First Look: Red, Philips Arena

Credit: Becky Stein

Credit: Becky Stein

Dining Out

Red, Philips Arena

Open 90 minutes before, plus during and after Hawks games, concerts and other ticketed events.

Starters and sides, $6-$14; burgers, sandwiches and flatbread pizzas, $12-$15; entrees, $18-$41.1

Philips Drive, Atlanta. 404-878-3604,

Red is billed as the first sit-down dining spot inside Philips Arena open to anyone with a ticket to a game or event. As such, it's a kind of groundlings alternative to the private suite set. But the sleek $2 million build-out and sweeping bird's-eye views are anything but lowly.
The look: Designed by the Johnson Studio, the 10,000-square-foot space offers 250 seats in soaring terraced dining areas and at a chic rectangular bar. Bright red and shiny steel accents mix with the glow of flat-screen TVs and a light tower that resembles an arty lava lamp. The open kitchen features another bar where you can watch the chefs in action.
The scene: Last week during the Roger Waters concert, a black curtain hung between Red and the arena to shield the performers and audience from distractions, but it also prevented the crowd enjoying drinks and snacks at the bar from seeing the show. Plans to install blinds on the back windows and lower the lighting to match the ambience of the nearby suites mean the curtain can be removed soon.
The menu: A collaboration between Buckhead Life and Levy Restaurants, the menu hits multiple price points while riffing on modern pub and steakhouse favorites. Starters include chicken and brisket sliders ($12) and creamy mac n' cheddar bites ($9). Burgers ($13-$14), flatbread pizzas ($12) and a loaded iceberg wedge with sliced beef tenderloin and onion rings ($18) are among the bigger bites. Entrees top out with a 16-ounce fried lobster tail with Thai chili glaze ($41).
The drinks: Red's bar partner Ciroc Vodka offers signature drinks, such as the Skinny Cosmo and the Coco Connection. There's a concise by-the-glass wine list, plus 15 beers on tap, including Terrapin Hopsecutioner and Wild Heaven Ode to Mercy.
The extras: Opportunities to check out Red at upcoming shows include LMFAO on June 20, Coldplay on July 2, and Aerosmith on July 26.