Hot Block: The Grove
This expanding entertainment epicenter is a thrilling adventure ripe for the picking.
The stretch of real estate between Vandeventer and Kingshighway, known formally as Forest Park Southeast, has had a surge of new tenants (think cozy restaurants and avant-garde art galleries) join established nightlife hotspots with diverse clienteles to form what has been dubbed The Grove. The result is an undeniable good time waiting to happen, whether you seek a quiet, romantic dinner or to go full-tilt at a late-night, dance-till-you-drop hotspot. This month, check out Grovefest on Saturday, September 19.
The vibe at Atomic is one cool contradiction; the atmosphere is as rowdy and raucous as it is chill and laid-back. Gather with a group and have an intimate chat around the bonfire on Atomic’s gigantic patio, flirt shamelessly with one of the cute bartenders, take in eclectic entertainment at the new Fox Hole at Atomic or dance to live music or DJ beats at this wild watering hole/entertainment megaplex.
Everest Café & Bar
We adore that the eats at Everest are a unique combination of exotic and hit-the-spot comforting. The family-owned restaurant is the only place you can find authentic Nepalese, Korean and Indian cuisine under one roof. Owner/chef Devi States uses natural, hearthealthy ingredients, shops local farmers’ markets for fresh produce and avoids sodium overload by using aromatic herbs and spices—think cumin, ginger and cilantro—to flavor his samosas, tandooris and Tibetan momo dumplings.
Craving some late-night fun on, say, a Tuesday night? Just John is just the place thanks to nightly happy hours, body-rocking house DJs and VJs, karaoke and late night dance parties that stretch into the wee hours. A favorite among the LGBT community, Just John’s friendly, come-as-you-are vibe welcomes one and all.
Chef Philip Noe’s inviting eatery offers a sublimely simple rustic Italian menu, mostly comprised of cicchetti (Italian tapas) and other coastal Italian dishes, that evolves seasonally based on the freshest ingredients available. You can’t go wrong with the smoked salmon & basil cream cheese hearth-baked flatbread pizza or the soul-warming shrimp & basil risotto with Parmesan.
With the creation of Nancy’s Place, owner Nancy Novak has introduced a lounge for women and their friends of all orientations to enjoy live entertainment—including music, comedy and burlesque, cabaret and drag shows—in an upscale, smoke-free atmosphere. Sip a cocktail at the sleek, black marble-topped wraparound bar or enjoy the final days of fair weather on NP’s lively patio.
White Flag Projects
At White Flag, take in cuttingedge art created by progressive local, national and international artists. The non-profit art gallery’s upcoming show, created and curated by musician-artists Destroy All Monsters “Hungry For Death” explores and explains their musical and artistic vision through the use of posters, banners, magazines, albums and other euphemra from the band’s collected archives. The show is on display September 19-October 24.
Photo credit: Megan Chan