As everyone should know by now, the Always Awesome Gini Koch lives in Atlanta, GA (that is the South). And everyone who knows Gini knows she loves her tunes (as does Kitty) and good food.
So, what goes better together? Good food and good tunes.
Gini fills us in on the happenings at City Winery in Atlanta.
And gives us taste of The English Beat.
The English Beat at City Winery – Atlanta
It’s no secret that I love going to concerts. However, I tend to not enjoy going to clubs all that much, because the other thing I enjoy is an assigned seat. Sure, I stand a lot when the acts are playing, but when they aren’t, or when it’s a slow song or whatever, I want to be able to sit down.
I also love to eat out, and I like to have dinner before a concert – you know, the full Date Night experience. Which can be hard to do since not all venues have nice restaurants, or any restaurants, nearby. Meaning dinner beforehand can be stressful – getting to the restaurant, getting served and handling the check with enough time to get to the concert to buy swag prior to said concert’s beginning is not all that easy all the time. And if you’re driving, then the driver gets no alcohol. And in our days in Phoenix, we always drove.
Since we’ve moved to the Greater Atlanta Metro Area, we’re still exploring and trying to figure out where things are from “here”. We’ve also agreed that, for a while at least, we won’t do concerts we both don’t really want to see. We also agreed that we’ll be using Lyft for any concerts we’re going to.
Enter The English Beat. Well, re-enter, really. The hubs has been a fan of TEB since they started. I’d heard all their hits because we lived in Los Angeles in our teens and twenties, and KROQ played their music. But it wasn’t until TEB split up – half going into The Fine Young Cannibals and half going into General Public – that they hit my radar.
I was a huge General Public fan. I was heartbroken they only did two albums. I was also a FYC fan and ditto. But I loved General Public just a little bit more.
Once I met the hubs and he explained the genesis of those two bands, I also got into the English Beat. And I tell you that because the two guys who formed General Public – Dave Wakeling and Ranking Roger – have revived The English Beat. Dave tours in the US, Roger in the UK, and Dave and crew came to town, and the venue they played in redefines awesome.
City Winery is conveniently located in Atlanta in a nice outdoor shopping center. It’s a restaurant that also has a club in it – very much like The House of Blues. Only…City Winery is better. And I’ve seen shows at HoB in a variety of cities and I’m going to flat out say that City Winery is better all the way around – in terms of food, service, and concert-going experience. And I happen to love HoB.
First off, City Winery actually makes their own wine – and it’s good. It’s very good. They also have a lot of other wines, also all good. They also have a full bar. And the prices are reasonable. They also make their own food and desserts, and they’re great. I have a ton of food allergies and our waiter was extremely careful to recommend only foods that would be safe for me. The wine, food, and dessert were all excellent, and the prices were reasonable. Not cheap, but not overpriced in any way. We will definitely be back, just for dinner.
The club area is intimate and there are no bad seats. We were “in the back” on a raised platform where there are only about fifteen to twenty tables seating 2 or 4. The main floor has tables seating 4 and 6. All in all it looked to be able to handle about 400 capacity. We loved our seats and could see the stage perfectly.
The acoustics are out of this world. I could hear every word sung, every note played. Service continues during the concert, but City Winery has a very easy way of you being able to alert your server that you need him or her while you don’t have to miss anything.
The English Beat were great as well – fun, charming, so talented. They played hits from The English Beat and General Public, so that made me hugely happy. If they’re touring in your city, definitely give them a try. If you have a City Winery in your city (Atlanta is not the only lucky town where they have locations), definitely take in a meal and a show there. I cannot wait to go back.
5 Stars out of 5
About City Winery
City Winery strives to deliver the highest-end combined culinary and cultural experience to our customers who are passionate in sharing wine, music, and culinary arts. We are a unique facility, combining a fully functioning winery with intimate concerts, food & wine classes, private events in a variety of configurations, and fine dining. We have created a compelling mix for our sophisticated clientele of foodies, and active cultural patrons—bringing the wine country experience to the middle of a large city.
650 NORTH AVENUE, PONCE CITY MARKET
ATLANTA, GA, 30308
City Winery Main website
About The English Beat
The Beat (known in the United States and Canada as The English Beat and in Australia as The British Beat is a band founded in Birmingham, England, in 1978. Its music fuses Latin, ska, pop, soul, reggae and punk rock.
The Beat, consisting of Dave Wakeling (vocals, guitar), Ranking Roger (vocals), Andy Cox (guitar), David Steele (bass), Everett Morton (drums), and Saxa a.k.a. Lionel Augustus Martin (saxophone), released three studio albums in the early 1980s: I Just Can’t Stop It (1980), Wha’ppen? (1981) and Special Beat Service (1982), and a string of singles, including “Mirror in the Bathroom”, “Save It for Later”, “Too Nice to Talk To”, “Can’t Get Used to Losing You”, “Hands Off, She’s Mine”, and “All Out to Get You”.
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