Like the River Salon to host hairdresser forum Jan. 27, 28

Like the River logoSince 2008, Like the River Salon has been producing cutting-edge, creative hairstyles for its Atlanta clients.  The salon attributes its success to many things, among them, a commitment to community service.  It is in that spirit that Najah Aziz, owner of Like the River, decided to organize and host “Beauty Beyond the Hair,” a two-day hairdressers’ forum for technical excellence happening January 27-28 at the salon’s Inman Park location.  If you’re a beauty professional or salon owner looking to enhance your career, this event is for you!  Continue reading

New restaurants “popping up” at Atlantic Station

yumbiiIt’s no secret that opening a new restaurant can be a costly and risky venture.  But nothing breeds creativity better than the challenge of solving problems.   Enter the pop-up restaurant concept, an opportunity for a restaurant to test its menu and experience in a highly-trafficked, fixed location, but on a short-term, lower-cost basis.   Brilliant!  Continue reading

The Intown Brief: Downtown Atlanta News Shorts

Once again we provide a round-up of the biggest news and events happening around downtown Atlanta, Grant Park, the Old Fourth Ward, Inman Park, Candler Park, Reynoldstown, Cabbagetown, Sweet Auburn, Edgewood, and the rest of intown:

  • Our little burger baby is all grown up! The cult favorite Grindhouse Killer Burgers has announced it’s looking for buyers for its original location in the Sweet Auburn Curb Market  in the heart of the Old Fourth Ward. Thanks to rapid growth and popularity, owner and founder Alex Brounstein is looking to find someone to take over the downtown Grindhouse Burger so that he can focus on opening additional locations. The Old Fourth Ward location has been very popular as a lunchtime spot for downtown workers and hipster residents alike.
  • Big talk this week about renovating and beautifying the Downtown Connector. Options bandied about include exhibitions of public art, flowing ivy covering the retaining walls, light installations on bridges and underpasses, and bike trails and park-like promenades adding green space. What’s your take: admirable project to boost civic pride or a big old waste of cash? We kind of like the idea of seeing more local art get repped by the city.
  • Sick of food trucks yet? Neither are we. Looks like another street food event is popping up, this time in Inman Park. Every Saturday from 6-9 PM in the gravel lot across from Inman Perk, the Inman Food Park will feature King of Pops, Hail Caesar, Tex’s Tacos, WOW! Food Truck, Boners BBQ, Westside Creamery, Mobile Marlay, Fry Guy, Tamale Queen, and more. Fantastic date night option, we think!
  • Finally, if you’ve been hitting the food trucks too hard, The Biggest Loser will be hosting a casting call in downtown Atlanta on August 6. In case your dream is to lose weight in front of the entire country, you know.

Review: Fruttela Brings Frozen Yogurt to Inman Park

It’s hot out. Really hot. The kind of hot that makes you stupid and nonfunctional. The kind of hot that makes being outside seem oppressive. The kind of hot that demands frozen treats.

But it is also Bikini Season, and so too many poorly selected frozen treats can have unhappy ramifications. Enter Fruttela. Fruttela opened up in June of 2011 in Highland Walk and brings the tangy frozen yogurt trend to its corner of Inman Park and the Old Fourth Ward. Open daily at 11 AM and closing at 10 PM Sunday-Thursday and 11 PM on Friday and Saturday, Fruttela offers self-serve yogurt in flavors ranging from (not so) plain vanilla and chocolate to exotic fruits like soursop and passion fruit. It’s also only 25 calories per ounce, fat free, and made with 100% organic milk!

So today in the heat, we headed over to pick up some froyo. The helpful cashier offered us samples of yogurt flavors to decide what we wanted. I decided on coconut, which sounded tropical and delicious. I then proceeded to top my yogurt with some of the fruit from the self-serve topping station (and with choices like fresh blackberries, papaya, kiwi, mango, blueberries, pineapple, and raspberries, I’m not ashamed to admit I went a little nuts). Yum!

My companions went with vanilla and chocolate, and went nuts with the candy toppings (including tiny peanut butter cups! OMG!) None of us spent more than five bucks, and we got a massive amount of tasty, cold goodness. We sat outside in the ample seating area and enjoyed a brief respite from the summer heat in the shade, listening to the sweet dance music pumping out of Fruttela. After a bit, we felt refreshed, and ready to continue with the day.

As I’ve mentioned, Fruttela also has a really fantastic FourSquare promotion, with 10% off for the Honorable Fruttie Mayor of Fruttela. So, you know, you should probably go there and get on that. Also, they just announced that banana flavored yogurt will be coming soon. Yeah, I may have to become the Fruttie Mayor myself. Thanks for the delicious, Fruttela.

Updates from the Atlanta Street Food Scene

Since the last time we talked about Atlanta’s burgeoning street food culture, a lot has happened. The confusion over regulations led to the closing of a couple of businesses, while others have sprung up despite the changes.

This Saturday, April 9, your favorite Atlanta City Councilman and ours, Kwanza Hall will be hosting the Atlanta Street Food Summit along with the Atlanta Street Food Coalition and Fulton County Commissioner Joan Garner. The summit will run from 10 AM to noon at Helene S. Mills Senior Center on 515 J.W. Dobbs Ave. The summit will explain the current permitting process, as well as discuss next steps for evolving legislation pertaining to street food vendors.

Everyone from vendors to your average street food enthusiast is invited to join the discussion and share perspectives on how Atlanta can improve permitting and regulation of street vending in a city that doesn’t have the best history of clarity and ease in this area. On April 18, a proposal will go before the Atlanta City Council with the intention to update street vending ordinances from the current state, wherein two sets of permits required: a health permit from Fulton County’s Health Services Department and a vending permit from the Atlanta Police Department. This has, understandably, led to some confusion among vendors.

Enough about politics…let’s eat!

After the summit, you can head down to the Saturday Urban Picnic at the Sweet Auburn Curb Market, running from noon to 3 PM. All your favorites will be there!

Need a new reason to eat delicious food by the side of the road? Street Food Thursdays start this week outside Woodruff Arts Center. Favorites Yumbii, King of Pops, the Pickle, Good Food Truck, Souper Jenny, and others will be out serving Thursdays 11 AM-2 PM or until the food runs out. Westside Creamery and Yum Yum Cupcake will stay put, selling their sweet wares up to and during a happy hour outside that’s starting at 4 PM. Check the SFT site to see who’s on the docket each week.

Check out the Atlanta Street Food Coalition on Facebook to stay on top of all the news and make sure you can always get your eats in the streets.

Hot Fitness Trends Hit Intown Atlanta and Grant Park

Pencil Factory GymLet me guess…your New Year’s resolutions include “get in shape?” Welcome to the club. Now that it’s 2011, thousands of Americans are steeling their resolve to eat more  broccoli and get their thirty minutes in on the treadmill. Many of the apartment options within intown Atlanta offer an on-site gym for the use of their residents; the Pencil Factory‘s gym, for example, contains a variety of cardio exercise machines as well as some basic strength training options. The convenience makes these gyms extremely popular with the people living in these complexes. But just in case intowners are looking for something a little different from the gym downstairs, whether it’s just to shake up your workout schedule or to chisel out a new body in the new year, three of the hottest fitness trends of the past few years are now just a short distance from the heart of intown.

Boot Camp

Sounds scary, doesn’t it? But fitness boot camps have been one of the most popular ways to get fit for over a year now. They are group exercise classes mixing traditional bodyweight exercises with interval training and strength training, designed to resemble a military boot camp, where you can push yourself to your limits. Last Call Boot Camp, a new program that meets Monday-Saturday in the morning, afternoon, and evening at Body Blueprints Personal Training Studio or at parks in the area, offers workouts that cover every important component of fitness and that change frequently so that you are challenging your body to new heights. Last Call caters to everyone but tries to keep hours that work for servers and others who work non-9-to-5 hours, who are often left out of traditional fitness classes.

Kettlebell Workouts

Kettlebells are traditional Russian cast iron weights that look like cannonballs with handles, used by elite Russian Special Forces personnel to build strength and endurance simultaneously. They have become extremely popular in the U.S. in recent years, leading to the development of  kettlebell-centered gyms, like Condition Kettlebell Gym on Auburn Street in the Old Fourth Ward. Condition offers group classes as well as one-on-one personal training that promises to give you real results. Classes suit almost anyone’s schedule, with morning and evening options to achieve the all-around fitness we all desire.

CrossFit

Known to many as the “300 workout” (as in the movie), CrossFit is a strength and conditioning system combining weightlifting, sprinting, and gymnastics for a dynamic and famously challenging workout. CrossFit is an intense, constantly changing program that pushes its fans to the limit…no wonder it’s been called a “next level boot camp.” Atlanta has many CrossFit gyms, but one of the newest is CrossFit on the Move, located in Grant Park just a short walk from Pencil Factory Flats & Shops. If you want to have your tail whipped in the new year with no remorse, consider checking out CrossFit!