is a Virginia-Highland favorite.
Chef Andrew Smith was born and raised in Georgia and attended the Art Institute of Atlanta for culinary school. The importance of local, seasonal, farm fresh food has been ingrained with his style of cooking which is evident in the menu he has helped shape for the past seven years at Atkins Park.
Warren Bruno, the owner of Atkins Park, has been in the restaurant business for 42 years. He started as a bartender at 21-years-old and has since gone on to be involved with 12 different restaurants. His wife, Sandra Spoon, who helps run the business, has 30 years of experience and Kyle Taylor, their business partner, has 15 years of experience.
Atkins Park is steeped in history.
The building was built in 1922. Originally it was a delicatessen named after the saint streets that make up the Atkins Park neighborhood.
In 1981, the building was refurbished and at that time there were no restaurants in the neighborhood. Atkins Park was just a classic bar which has become much more.
From burgers and wings to shrimp & grits and steak, Atkins Park has something for everyone.
Patch: What are some of your specialties and more popular dishes?
Warren, Sandra and Kyle: People come from very far away for our southern fried chicken. We have people that will sit down and not even look at the menu for the past 10, 15 years and just order the chicken. We do actually have a secret but it’s the same recipe we’ve been using forever. It’s tender and it’s just delicious. Our burgers are also very good. But the most important thing is that people are always surprised by the food. We’re real proud of the food. I think that’s what really gets them.
Patch: What is something people might not know about Atkins Park the first time they visit?
Warren, Sandra and Kyle: Definitely the history. In 1907 there was just a house at this location. Then in 1922 they elevated the house and built the delicatessen under it. The name of the place comes from the neighborhood. St. Charles, St. Louis and St. Augustine are the Atkins Park neighborhood. If you look at one of the really old maps of the Virginia Highlands it’s divided up into small subset neighborhoods. So the saint streets are the Atkins Park neighborhood and the delicatessen took the name. When they elevated the house, the family lived upstairs, the bar was the deli and the dining room was a retail store. There are still fireplaces upstairs and our offices are the old bedrooms.
Patch: Describe the atmosphere you have created for Atkins Park.
Warren, Sandra and Kyle: It’s just comfortable, that’s the bottom line. If you remember the old sitcom Cheers, I think we’re synonymous with what Cheers is. We are truly a neighborhood restaurant. Atkins Park has been here for almost 90 years. Everybody’s welcome and we have something for everyone. The families come in, we have a private dining room upstairs, and we have the bar and an outdoor patio. When you’re here we just want you to be comfortable you can have great service and great food.
Atkins Park is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. until 3 a.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. until midnight. Brunch hours are Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. The menu changes seasonally depending on what vegetables are in season.