Ten Atlanta, which sits on the corner of 10th Street and Piedmont Avenue across from 10th & Piedmont, is bringing an upscale restaurant and bar experience to Midtown. So far, the reception has been great, according to both owner James Nelson and media liaison Andrew Moon.
“The crowd’s been really good. Everyone’s been really responsive. Everyone loves the space, everyone says it’s really good to have a nice upscale bar,” Moon said.
Ten Atlanta had a well-received preview on Pride weekend and the bar has been open since just before New Year’s Eve. The space has been extensively remodeled to feature new floors, two different bar areas, many big, airy windows and art pieces decorating the walls. (The pieces are for sale to interested buyers.) There are also some cushy black booths located in a side nook featuring a large display screen for a projector.
One of the bars is backed by mirrored walls with shelves of various liquors. At night, those shelves light up in different colors. So, even though Moon said that patrons don’t tend to stray far from their favorite drinks when they come to Ten Atlanta, the light effects will make those drinks look good and appealing anyway.
The other bar is backed by a row of windows facing Piedmont Avenue and the outdoor patio space, which will soon be stocked with furniture to encourage outdoor dining and drinking as the weather gets warmer.
In addition to flat-screen TVs that will make Ten Atlanta a great place to catch a game, there is a unique, state-of-the-art sound system. Here’s how it works.
Say that a DJ is spinning tracks in Stockholm, Sweden. The distance doesn’t matter because his audio can be fed into Ten Atlanta live, no matter where he is. Moon said a smartphone app is in the works to let people hear whatever is being played inside the space, no matter where they are. Inside the restaurant, music sounds loud and crisp.
Though the bar aspect of Ten Atlanta is now open, the restaurant is still being developed. Nelson said he wasn’t perfectly satisfied with the menu, so he is tweaking the final selections.
However, they are planning to really develop and promote Sunday brunch, which will include a variety of choices like a brie plate, steak or veggie Benedict, salads, burgers and even some decadent dessert options.
Chef Jennifer DePanicis will be handling the kitchen duties. She attended Le Cordon Bleu in Tucker, has experience at Chops Lobster Bar and 103 West and has high ambitions for Ten Atlanta. One of her plans is to have vegetarian and gluten-free menu items featured as weekly specials. Her focus is on making comfort food, but with a sophisticated, upscale twist to keep people coming back again and again.
Dinner will be served from 5 to 10 p.m. nightly, but when the clock strikes 10, Ten Atlanta undergoes a change to become exclusively a bar space. Tables are moved back or taken away to give patrons more room to mingle, dance and drink. That transformation is the inspiration for the name, not the fact that the space is on 10th Street, Moon said.
Nelson wants to see how the community likes that restaurant-to-bar transition. The model has worked out for other businesses like Hamburger Mary’s, which has locations in seven states, so the aim is to see if it will work in Atlanta as well. Should the community enjoy that change, Nelson can see Ten becoming a franchise and opening posts in other cities, although that’s a more long-term goal. He’s been in the Atlanta business community for 12 years and recently sold Gravity Fitness, also located in Midtown, to train his focus on Ten.
In the meantime, Moon wants people to bring their out-of-town guests to Ten Atlanta and show it off as the pinnacle of what the city has to offer. The fact that the bar is nonsmoking may also draw in guests. He said that he recalls some friends of his coming into town, going out and complaining that they smelled like an ashtray. That won’t be happening at Ten Atlanta.
Nelson thinks it’s time for a change anyway and it starts with ambitious individuals.
“I think it’s time Atlanta had a nonsmoking bar,” he said. “If the city or the state isn’t going to change it, I guess we have to take it upon ourselves as individual business owners to make it happen.” He said that even smokers have told him they enjoy not being in a smoking environment when they visit Ten Atlanta.
He also enjoys the location because finding a good spot is half the battle, especially for bars and restaurants.
Ten Atlanta is open from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. Monday to Friday and 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Follow them on Facebook at facebook.com/10Atlanta or check out tenatlanta.com. On-site parking is available.