by Jonathan Baker - 319 Reviews - 185 List
One of Atlanta's most fascinating, undiscovered neighborhoods also has some of its most fascinating, undiscovered bars. Sitting just south of the Georgia Dome, facing railroad tracks that shield Spring Street, Castleberry Hill is the only true industrial loft district in Atlanta and that gritty feel enlivens its bars. So whether you're looking for a nightcap after the neighborhood's massively popular Second Friday Art Stroll or you just want to discover a new Castleberry Hill bar, we've got the neighborhood's best.
Updated: June 21, 2010
Sitting quietly in a freestanding loft, Elliott's is the `hood's secret weapon. There's a self-serve keg with honor system chalkboard, New York-style deli sandwiches wrapped in butcher paper, and when someone rings the bell, everyone gets a shot. It's like "Cheers" for the artist crowd.
One might not think of hitting a minimalist sushi spot for drinks, but don't underestimate Wasabi in the drinking game. There is a short (but select) seasonal beer and sake selection, a few inventive martinis and a bar that's rarely overcrowded. And just because folks don't yell when you order a sake bomb, doesn't mean you shouldn't give it a try.
This isn't really a tapas lounge, but a place that serves small sandwiches. Sandwiches, however, are not why you came. 255 is beautifully indicative of the neighborhood, with an open store front, brick walls and tiered levels for social optimization. Boozy Slush Puppy-like concoctions are the drink of choice, perfect for summer months.
For the art stroller who also happens to enjoy sports, we give you JR Crickets. Slickly lodged in the new development (Castleberry Point) and lined with flat screens, it's more like Taco Mac than a wing shack. There are even televisions that face the windows so patrons on the patio can catch the action. Order a pint and settle in.
The flagship bar of Castleberry Hill is uber-colorful No Mas Cantina. Lodged in the middle of the neighborhood, it's a perfect spot for drinks before or after the Art Stroll. While the elongated bar provides plenty of elbow room, look to the covered patio for optimum evening seating.