Love perusing through social media to find out what your favorite influencers are up to? Get a closer glimpse into how they spend their time in Atlanta with “ATL Closeup,” an AJC feature that explores the leisure lives of some of the city’s most notable personalities as they go from work to play mode over the course of a typical weekend — from their favorite places to dine to the little-known spots where they find retreat.
Amber Nash has reached many of her milestones at Dad’s Garage. The actress joined her first improv ensemble, launched her voice acting career and even met her husband all while working at the Old Fourth Ward theater.
“It’s crazy. It’s such a huge part of my life,” she told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I’m still a part of the ensemble. I’ve been at Dad’s almost 20 years.”
But the Lilburn native doesn’t reserve her talents just for the audiences there. Her reach is international.
For decades, she’s traveled the globe teaching and performing improv at camps, schools and workshops. From the U.S. to Canada to Europe, she’s been diligently sharing her passions for the arts with folks from all over.
And since 2009, she’s voiced the character of Pam Poovey on FX’s award-winning animated series “Archer.”
“It’s amazing that I get to stay in my hometown. It’s a dream come true,” the 42-year-old said. “If you want to make something happen in Atlanta, you can make it happen. It’s not Hollywood. It’s not Broadway. We just do our own thing and make our own art. It’s a really cool city because of that.”
When the Cabbagetown resident isn’t doing voice work or making people laugh onstage, she is carving out time to hit up her favorite places. Here’s where you’ll likely find her on any given weekend in Atlanta.
Finger-licking good meal
One of Nash’s go-to places for a delicious bite is Wisteria in Inman Park. The eatery is her top spot for date night with her husband or dinner with friends and family from out of town.
“It’s this great little small restaurant. There are not that many tables in there, but their food is incredible,” she said.
The menu, which features American entrees with a southern flair, changes often, but the actress, who is a pescatarian, always gets one of the fish dishes.
“They do a North Carolina trout with grits, vegetables and yummy sauces. It’s so good,” she said. “It’s hard to switch it up, because I know what I like. My husband is great at checking everything out. I think he’s tried everything on the menu.”
Her top dining pick:
Wisteria, 471 North Highland Avenue Northeast, Atlanta. 404-525-3363, wisteria-atlanta.com.
“Rag-O-Rama is great if you’re looking for regular clothes,” she said. “But if you’re looking for something a little more sassy for special occasion stuff, Clothing Warehouse is great.”
She especially loves The Clothing Warehouse’s massive boot collection.
“It’s insane,” she raved. “If you want cowboy boots, they have a room full of them. That’s a really good place to go.”
Her top shopping picks:
Rag-O-Rama, 1111 Euclid Ave. NE, Atlanta. 404-658-1988, ragorama.com.
The Clothing Warehouse, 420 Moreland Ave NE, Atlanta. 404-524-5070, theclothingwarehouse.com
Dad’s Garage isn’t just work for Nash. It’s also play. Whether she’s performing or enjoying a play, it’s always a good time.
“This is pretty much where I go to hang out with people,” she laughed. “It’s always so much fun. People come out and they are in such a good mood and everybody is laughing.”
The two-story space, which used to be a church, includes a bar and smaller stage for intimate shows at the bottom, and the top floor seats 200 people for bigger performances.
A production, improv class or special event is taking place at the award-winning non-profit several times throughout the week.
Nash said, “It’s kind of impossible not to have a good time here.”
Her top party pick:
Dad’s Garage, 569 Ezzard St SE, Atlanta. 404-523-3141, dadsgarage.com.
The wind down
The entertainer travels a little bit outside of the city to Duluth for the ultimate spa treatment at Jeju Sauna.
For just $30, you get access to all nine saunas, the workout room and the nap space, while other services, like massages, are available for an additional price.
“All the rooms are jewel encrusted and have different temperatures,” Nash described. “You can kind of go and just lizard out, lay on the floor and bake.”
And she never has to worry about Jeju closing its doors, because it’s open for 24 hours a day, seven days a week — even on holidays.
“I always tell my husband that if I became homeless, I’d just go stay at the spa,” she joked. “When I go, I usually get a foot massage and maybe a full body massage. I get scrubbed every time, and my skin looks really great afterwards.”
Her top relax destination:
Jeju Sauna, 3555 Gwinnett Pl Dr NW, Duluth. 678-336-7414, jejusauna.com.
There are tons of movie theaters throughout the metro area, but Nash keeps it old-school by frequenting Starlight Drive-In Theatre on the Southside.
“You just feel like you’re going back in time,” she said. “When my sister, my niece and I do it, we have a cooler full of stuff. We bring our lawn chairs and set them up in front of our car.”
Nash insists the best flicks to see there are horror and comedy, and taking advantage of the concession stand is a must.
“It needs more shine,” she said. “I even need to be going more often. It’s so fun.”
If you go:
Starlight Drive-In Theatre, 2000 Moreland Ave. SE, Atlanta. 404-627-5786, starlightdrivein.com.
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