[WARNING: 80's TV references ahead]
We all have a fantasy of becoming a "regular" at a restaurant. You know, where everybody knows your name? And you're always glad you came? When you walk in, and the server asks you "let me guess: the usual?" Well, there's a new spot on Peachtree Street in Brookwood Hills whose raison d'etre is to be the ultimate "modern-day tavern" and it's called--you guessed it--The Usual.
But whereas Cheers the TV show (and, yes, there's an actual bar in Boston upon which it was based) was a somewhat dingy, below street-level tavern with mugs of cheap beer and basic bar fare to eat, The Usual creates an airy, high-design space that feels cozy but with warm, upbeat energy. The menu is from highly-regarded chef Nick Leahy (formerly of Saltyard) so don't expect standard pub grub 101—more like a rollcall of familiar comfort food cheffed up with a Far East accents plus zingy, delicious, and fun twists. Loaded pub fries are super crispy and hand-cut, augmented with crispy pork belly or popcorn white shrimp. The fried calamari includes spiced peanuts and Thai basil. The PBLT sliders are slow-roasted pork belly, fried green tomatoes, sweet chillis and a pretzel bun. The Usual Burger is a savory behemoth that you can add a fried or duck egg too. Even the crispy chicken sandwich comes with a delicious Korean sauce. The flavors are all craveable and are a great way to give your cholesterol medicine something to do! And as far as beverages go, don't expect what Sam, Woody and Coach used to sling down the bar to Cliff Clavin and Dr. Crane. Curated cocktails, 6 taps of craft beer and 25 different wines flow at the bar and the table seating around the joint. After a couple of years of "making your way in the world taking everything you got," The Usual feels like just the right place for everyone to know your name.