Restaurant Refresh

If you’ve only recently ventured from your pandemic pod, you’re probably noticing the many changes that have occurred to the dining landscape over the past 15 months.

Some restaurants, unfortunately, have closed forever. But, plenty of new ones have emerged on the scene. While you were at home, restaurants were busy giving a fresh face to their footprints — from patio makeovers to market additions.

During the pandemic, social media leveled the playing field, with Instagram posts beckoning hungry foodies to a plethora of scrappy new pop-ups.

Thanks to a recently passed alcohol law, bars and restaurants can bottle boozy concoctions for carryout sales, while modified open-carry regulations have increased the public spaces where you can amble with a drink in hand.

Restaurants have done a reset, and are ready to serve you this summer — almost like old times. But, we still are living in a pandemic. Some establishments still have COVID-19 safety protocols in place (for example, mask wearing). And, staffing is the latest industrywide problem in this recovery period. A reservation, and patience, are the customer’s best antidotes to disappointment when dining out.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Ligaya Figueras gives a mini guide to rediscovering Atlanta's dining scene in this season's Dining Guide. Video by Ryon Horne