New Boutique Hotel Promises Much More Than a Place to Rest Your Head

Billing itself as the “odd duck dressed a little too loudly for the occasion,” The Darwin Hotel is set to shake up the city’s Old Fourth Ward when it opens later this year.
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Atlanta-based Hospitality Ventures Management Group is currently in the process of building out and permitting a new boutique hotel dubbed The Darwin, located at 585 Parkway Drive NE, in what was formerly The Ponce Hotel in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward neighborhood. 

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According to an alcohol license recently filed with the city of Atlanta, The Darwin will include not only a hotel but also a lounge that seats 13, a bar for eight, and a 3,000 square foot patio for 75, as well as space for live entertainment. To find out more, What Now Atlanta caught up with The Darwin’s general manager, Alfonce McKinney.

First and foremost, can you tell us a bit about The Darwin?

The Darwin Hotel (111 rooms) is the embodiment of sophistication meeting eccentricity. The ambiance that we provide allows guests to be expressive and explore a new side of themselves. Even if you’re far away from home we provide comfort with a side of adventure. At the Darwin we celebrate the possibility that’s always crackled energetically here in O4W. We consider ourselves to be upscale with an edge. 

We heard you’re going to have a kitchen that hosts rotating chefs – can you tell us a little more about that?

Yes, that is correct! At the heart of Atlanta is an appreciation for culture and food that is made with passion. We are planning to have a Pop-up chef series that gives our guests something fun and different to look forward to. While we are excited to showcase some of Atlanta’s well-known chefs, we are eager to show off some unique and talented chefs most people may not have heard of. We can’t wait to share our line-up with y’all soon. We also have an established menu that will be available on days we do not have a featured chef. 

Following up on that, what are operating hours for The Darwin’s kitchen? 

Breakfast is available from 6:30am-11am. Dinner is available from 5pm-11pm (kitchen closes at 9pm). We have an amazing partnership with Radio Roasters as our primary coffee program roaster and we will be serving a variety of local pastries and treats. Our coffee program will include everything from drip coffee to espresso drinks. 

And what about the live entertainment aspect? Are you planning for bands? DJs? How big are we talking? 

Absolutely! We want our guests and customers to have a great time and experience all the talent that Atlanta has to offer. Look forward to hearing about live music shows, comedy shows, poetry readings and yes… even DJs! 

Despite being a hotel, are you trying to attract local clientele as well? Is The Darwin going to be the perfect staycation for folks in Atlanta to unwind? 

Yes! We see ourselves as your friendly neighborhood hotel with some style, [and] we consider our hotel to be a “love letter” to Atlanta. We were mindful about choosing local vendors to help build our hotel (shoutout to C+TC Design Studios, HVMG, B-10 Union, Edison bikes, Radio Roasters, Think Greatly, and Travis Love). It’s a showcase of the best of Atlanta for the people who make it the amazing city it is. We want to be a local spot for people to come in and relax after a hard day in the office… or in these days a hard day at home! 

And lastly, what can you share about the courtyard cocktail bar?

The main focal point of our lobby is the indoor/outdoor bar. We will be serving up refreshing cocktails and delicious coffee. We have a talented barista in the morning to prepare delicious coffee drinks. Our bartenders will make sure guests have an electric time at night. Our lobby has bi-folding glass doors that open up to our patio area. The patio area is an open-air courtyard space located in the center of our hotel. With beautiful up lighting and six fire pits, it’s going to be a nice cozy place to wind down after your adventure in the A.

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Drew Pittock

Drew Pittock is a freelance writer from Los Angeles, CA. He’s covered music, culture, and plant-based cuisine for various media outlets from Beijing to Tallinn and beyond. He currently lives in El Paso, TX with his wife and their cat.
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Sean
Sean
1 month ago

Amazing! Been looking forward toward to this hotel opening. The outside looks amazing! Love the renderings.

HOTCHIE PLANKER
HOTCHIE PLANKER
1 month ago

The Darwin: Survival of the Fittest. This is literally across the street from some of Atlanta’s most violent and scariest housing and directly adjacent to the notorious Family Dollar strip mall on Ponce. This fleabag motel previously was a Red Roof Inn. No thank you.

Nia Knowles
1 month ago

Looks great. But a lounge that seats 13 and bar to seat 8 sounds a bit small for a 111 room hotel..

Robin Meyer
Robin Meyer
1 month ago

This is exciting news for an area that is quickly changing in Atlanta! I have been living near Ponce City Market in O4W for the past 15 years and looking forward to checking out another cool spot in the area!

Ima Nottelin
Ima Nottelin
23 days ago

You can’t look like a Hampton Inn and claim to be ‘upscale’ and ’boutique’.

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