Willow Bar, St. Julep opening next week at Kimpton Sylvan Hotel

The Diplomat Corndog and 13th Street cocktail from St. Julep at Kimpton Sylvan Hotel. / Photo by Andrew Thomas Lee
The Diplomat Corndog and 13th Street cocktail from St. Julep at Kimpton Sylvan Hotel. / Photo by Andrew Thomas Lee

Credit: Andrew Thomas Lee

Credit: Andrew Thomas Lee

Garden bar and rooftop lounge will offer bites, cocktails

Garden bar Willow Bar and rooftop lounge St. Julep are both set to open March 24 inside the newly-opened hotel at 374 East Paces Ferry Road.

The falafel burger at Willow Bar. / Photo by Andrew Thomas Lee
The falafel burger at Willow Bar. / Photo by Andrew Thomas Lee

Steering the culinary direction of both concepts -- as well as the Betty, which opened last month -- is executive Brandon Chavannes, formerly of St. Cecilia. While the Betty evokes a modern mid-century supper club, with dishes including Wagyu beef cheek stroganoff and linguine with Georgia clams, the menus and aesthetics for Willow Bar and St. Julep have their own distinct vibes.

Tucked away behind the hotel is Willow Bar, with a vegetable-forward menu featuring many locally-sourced ingredients from farms Chavannes has worked with over the years.

The Bee's Knees cocktail from Willow Bar. / Photo by Andrew Thomas Lee
The Bee's Knees cocktail from Willow Bar. / Photo by Andrew Thomas Lee

Credit: Andrew Thomas Lee

Credit: Andrew Thomas Lee

“I wanted to really lean into the space that we have to create something that would be special and welcoming, specifically to people with an alternative diet but also desirable to people who don’t normally eat that way,” Chavannes said. “I wanted to put all of that produce center stage instead of just as a supporting castmate to a meat-centric dish, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to do it.”

Look for dishes including charred cauliflower with tamarind, avocado and cashews, with flavors that are a nod to Chavannes’ West Indian roots, and a falafel burger with shaved vegetables, tahini ranch and crispy onions. There’s also a chef’s picnic that serves six to eight with a whole fried organic chicken, potato salad, fruit and sauces as well as oysters on the half shell.

Soft serve from St. Julep at Kimpton Sylvan Hotel. / Photo by Andrew Thomas Lee
Soft serve from St. Julep at Kimpton Sylvan Hotel. / Photo by Andrew Thomas Lee

Credit: Andrew Thomas Lee

Credit: Andrew Thomas Lee

Because dishes rely heavily on in-season ingredients, expect a menu that’s “pretty dynamic and kind of always in flux,” Chavannes said.

Designed by landscape architects Savino Miller and TSW, the 5,000 square-foot outdoor space will feature floor lanterns and lighting from within the landscaping. Willow Bar will play host to regular programming including local market pop-ups and monthly chef dinner collaborations.

The top of the hotel will be home to St. Julep, a ninth-floor rooftop lounge neon signage with outdoor and partially-enclosed spaces and a regular rotation of live DJs.

A peek at the menu suggests elevated bar food, but Chavannes is quick to disabuse guests of that idea.

The So Fresh So Clean cocktail from St. Julep. / Photo by Andrew Thomas Lee
The So Fresh So Clean cocktail from St. Julep. / Photo by Andrew Thomas Lee

Credit: Andrew Thomas Lee

Credit: Andrew Thomas Lee

“I wouldn’t call it elevated at all, I would just call it totally diabolical,” he said. “St. Julep is an outlet for me to expose my true self to a certain degree. For me, it was just trying to have something a little bit different than whatever chef-inspired bar food is.”

To that end, expect to see snacks like Szechuan tots and pork rinds with blue cheese, bacon and avocado alongside three loaded corn dog options including the Diplomat with housemade cheese whiz, sour cream and green chili.

For dessert, you’ll find an ice cream sandwich made with Snickerdoodle cookies and soft-serve ice cream options like chili mango and honey and vanilla.

Both concepts offer a selection of beer, wines by the glass and cocktail lists developed by Kimpton Sylvan Hotel beverage manager Trey Ledbetter.

Willow Bar options include an Aperol Spritz and Cypress Gin and Tonic, the Sycamore made with Herradura tequila, Canton ginger liqueur and lemon and the Bee’s Knees made with chamomile-infused gin, honey, lemon and egg white.

St. Julep’s cocktail offerings include the Hey Ya with house-blended rum, orgeat, lime and triple sec and the 13th Floor with Old Forester Bourbon, orange cream citrate, orange juice and tiki bitters.

The Hey Ya cocktail from St. Julep. / Photo by Andrew Thomas Lee
The Hey Ya cocktail from St. Julep. / Photo by Andrew Thomas Lee

Credit: Andrew Thomas Lee

Credit: Andrew Thomas Lee

Both Willow Bar and St. Julep plan to offer takeout, though Chavannes said the logistics for that are still being worked out.

St. Julep will be open in the evenings, while Willow Bar will be open for dinner and drinks, with plans to open up the space for weekend brunch serving dishes from the Betty menu.

Employees are required to wear masks and guests will be required to wear masks when not seated at their table.

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374 East Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta. thesylvanhotel.com/atlanta-restaurant/st-julep and thesylvanhotel.com/atlanta-restaurant/willow-bar

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