Introducing Birdcage, Grant Park is a little bit sunnier thanks to restauranteur Leslie Cohen and chef Shaun Whitmer, the creative culinary duo best known for fan-favorite haunt, Firepit Pizza Tavern. Their new highly-anticipated, Latin-inspired restaurant is now open for lunch and dinner in the 3,000-square-foot standalone, historic building adjacent to the popular pizza joint at the Larkin on Memorial directly across from Oakland Cemetery.
“We are beyond thrilled that Birdcage is finally open, and our entire team is humbled by the ongoing support and enthusiasm we have received from the community and our Grant Park family,” says Cohen. “We’ve poured our heart and souls into every detail of our second concept and are ready to show it off. As it says on our wall, ‘Come As You Are,’ and be ready for the triple threat of vibrant décor, energetic staff, and our chef-driven menu bursting with Latin flavors. It’s our goal to create an experience so each guest leaves as a fan.”
Designed by Nikki Bachrach of Bachrach Creative in tandem with Cohen, it’s no surprise Birdcage’s airy, contemporary design is inspired by “The Birdcage,” the iconic 90s movie set in South Beach starring Nathan Lane and Robin Williams. Greeting guests with gusto, a larger-than-life, pink neon sign that says, “Birdcage” hangs on the stark white facade of the historic building that was once an automotive service center. The narrow building lends well to an expansive bar area and roomy dining room with plenty of seating, designed with their already loyal community of friends, family, and neighbors in mind, giving new and old guests alike a comfortable, stylish, and fun space to convene day and night.
“We brought the interior to life with fresh botanicals, saturated colors, warm woods, soft metals, and classic textures accessorized with flamboyant feathers and neon,” says Bachrach. “The rhythm of the space portrays warmth, vibrancy, and acceptance.
Clean wood lines contrast with bold teal Moroccan tile intended to look as though it has been a piece of the building for years. In the bar area, rattan and terrazzo complement the organic, custom wall covering designed with Parete Walls NYC. Palms and show-stopping pink feathered chandeliers will sway on a spring day when the garage doors open and the frozen cocktails flow. An abundance of natural light during the day will contrast with the ambient lighting in the evenings.
Whitmer, who is part owner along with Cohen, is at the helm of the kitchen. His genuine passion behind the menu is palpable. Expect elevated, eclectic Latin-inspired dishes packed with flavor and made for sharing. Catering to both individuals and families, think mouthwatering rotisserie chicken and fall-off-the-bone ribs, bold salads, seasonal sofrito squash entrees, crispy red tacos, street corn, Michelada shrimp cocktail, and more.
“We like to think of our menu as a love letter and ode to the people we’ve worked with over the years who we greatly respect,” says Whitmer. “We’ve put our unique spin on dishes they’ve introduced us to from various regions in Latin America. It’s what we’ve come to know and love during staff meals, behind the scenes, and in their homes.”
Complimenting Whitmer’s thoughtful and dynamic menu, Beverage Director Alli Estadt’s playful cocktail program invites guests to sip while dreaming of sun-kissed breezes and royal palm trees. Frozen concoctions along with whimsical cocktails like Look At Your Pinky – a mix of vodka, prickly pear liqueur, Aperol, lime, and bubbles; Agador Spartacus – bourbon, coffee liqueur, amaretto, orange juice, and Peychaud’s bitters; and the zero-proof Goldman? Coleman? Rita are sure to be instant hits. Estadt, a familiar face behind the bar at Firepit since it opened its doors, has made sure that local craft beers, wine, and seasonal drinks round out their drink offerings.
Birdcage is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week and is located at 519 Memorial Drive SE, Suite E1, Atlanta, GA 30312. For more information, visit birdcageatl.com. Stay connected on Instagram.com at @birdcageatl.