21 Plus Salute!
By Hope S. Philbrick
There’s no casino attached to Johnny’s Hideaway, but it feels like there should be…or perhaps like a dealer might step up to dole out blackjack at your table any minute. It also feels like a speakeasy, but there’s a sign out front and no entry code required…just stroll on in. When the place is empty—a phenomenon far more likely at 6 p.m. than 1 a.m.—it feels like the set of the recurring “Last Call” sketch on Saturday Night Live. Bright red with dim lighting, it also feels like a set for Vampire Diaries. With its padded tables and chairs speckled with cigarette burns, its walls peppered with images of Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, and other oldies but goodies, its throwback vibe suggests a bar my grandpa might have favored in the late ‘70s.
“I am digging this place!” my husband said, basking in the glow of a low-hanging chandelier.
He’d periodically pop up from his stool, stroll over to inspect a framed something, rush back with a report. “That’s a letter signed by Frank Sinatra!” and “They’ve got an Elvis jumpsuit!”
Named one of the South’s best bars by Southern Living in 2016, Johnny’s Hideaway opened in Buckhead in 1979 and is known as “Atlanta’s original nightspot for big kids.”
Of course you can order a drink (there are no beers on tap, and you’ll have to ask for a glass if you don’t want to swig out of the bottle) and food (the menu offers familiar bar fare like burgers, nachos, wings, quesadillas, sandwiches, and so on). All of which is tasty. But this is not a foodie destination; it’s an experience. This is an adults-only space for a night out with friends, a date, or to mix and mingle. Listen to music, play trivia, dance, reminisce, mingle, drink until you need to call a taxi—whatever you consider a fun night out can happen here.
Best of all: 21 Plus Salute! The odds of encountering children are ZERO. Guaranteed. Only adults age 21 and older are welcome.
The nightclub features two long bars, a dance floor, and a bunch of tables—“technically, we’re a reservation only club,” says one server, after I ask why some empty tables have been set with drinks. “So we put out drinks to keep those tables open until we seat someone there.” The tables nearest the dance floor are, apparently, prime real estate.
Just time your visit for the sort of experience you seek. One guy, at a table alone, perhaps hoping to meet some ladies on ladies night, wondered why the place seemed so empty at 6:30 p.m. on a Wednesday. “It will be packed by 11 p.m.,” a server promised. All tables are topped with ash trays, so my husband and I were glad to have arrived well ahead of the smokers with ample opportunity to inspect the framed photos, sheet music, etc., hanging all over the walls without disturbing anyone.
One back corner is dedicated to Elvis memorabilia and a room adjacent to the entrance honors Frank Sinatra. Music from DJs spins hits from the last four decades to today and live performances are staged, along with other events.
Events in Atlanta @ Johnny’s Hideaway
Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays feature $3 beer, $5 cocktails and half-priced appetizers.
In addition, Johnny’s Hideaway hosts several events, including:
- Sundays: live music starting at 8:30 p.m. plus DJ Spin, food and drink specials
- Mondays: team trivia at 7:30 p.m., DJ Spin at 9 p.m., food and drink specials
- Tuesdays: DJ Spin, food and drink specials
- Wednesdays: happy hour with DJ Spin, ladies night with DJ Spin
- Thursdays: happy hour 7-10 p.m., late night with DJ Spin
3771 Roswell Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30342
Valet parking is available in front of the building Tuesday-Sunday or self-park in the adjacent lot.
– Photos courtesy Johnny’s Hideaway; interiors by Henri Hollis
Featured products, services and/or travel arrangements may have been complimentary in part or in full; this affords the research opportunity but does not sway opinion. Thanks to Johnny’s Hideaway for hosting our recent visit.