This weekend, Philips Arena’s new fine dining restaurant RED, made it’s debut.  After a somewhat slow period of new restaurant starts in the last year, this is only one of a number of high profile restaurants with plans to open in the next few months, with The Optimist, The Spence, Lure and KR Steakbar just to name a few.

View from the bar

The arena shelled out $2 million for the two-story restaurant, which seats 250 and is open to all Atlanta Hawks ticketholders and will also open for selected concerts.  I attended a media preview party on Friday before regular service began the next day.

They’re certainly counting on plenty of cocktails to recoup their investment and struck a deal with Diddy’s favorite vodka company to splash their name on the bar.  I snapped a couple of photos on my iPhone and hadn’t planned on putting up a blog post but I changed my mind and it wasn’t for the Ciroc.

I was really happy to be able to go to a professional  sporting event and see a nice array of local craft beer taps on display along with their big beer compadres.  Both the bartender and our server seemed a bit confused when I ordered Wild Heaven‘s Ode to Mercy and Terrapin‘s Hopsecutioner, but this was only their second service ever and I’m sure the service kinks will be worked out.

In addition to those beers, SweetWater 420 and Red Brick‘s Blonde were also available. Knowing my friends at Monday Night Brewery, I’m sure it’s only a matter of time until they muscle their way into the bar as well.

Once exiting the restaurant, my craft beer high was let down, where the big boys still hold court on the beer taps, even in the club seats, so I’ll definitely remember that the next time I head to a Hawks game. I’m not the biggest basketball fan but I had a good time.

SIDE NOTE: The wonderful Laura Carson Miller interviewed me for an article on southern food picks in Atlanta. I get asked this question a lot by readers and could’ve easily mentioned Empire State South, The Colonnade, Miller-Union etc. but decided to take one safe pick and one unusual one. Please check out the piece on


RED 1 Philips Drive, Atlanta, GA 30303 404-878-3604
Red on Urbanspoon