UPDATE (September 14, 2018): Dennis Lange’s Adalina Restaurant in Post Riverside Nears Opening
Dennis Lange—formerly of Yakitori Den Chan and an original cofounder of Five Seasons Brewing Co.—has started demolition on one of Atlanta’s long-forgotten restaurant spaces for a new concept, Adalina.
The 5,500-square-foot space, nestled under apartments in Post Riverside, at 4403 Northside Pkwy, was home to The River Room for roughly 15 years and most recently Sip, a wine and tapas bar, for less than a year.
The space has sat empty for five years as Post sought out the right tenant, Lange told What Now Atlanta in an interview Tuesday.
“[Post] needed someone that could come in and create a destination restaurant in an established neighborhood,” Lange said. “How do you make people drive up the hill and how do you make them want to come in?”
Adalina, a Northern-Italian concept, gets its name from “an Italian woman would spent her life cooking because that’s what made her happy.”
“Northern Italy is the most interesting portion of the country when it comes to food. We’re going to focus on playing with foods that are seasonal. In-season foods are most delicious and the most cost-effective. In December, you can find a watermelon but they suck and they’re expensive.”
Lange will use his “connections with 30 local farms” to source seasonal ingredients and plans on adjusting the menu, and cocktail and wine program depending on what customers want.
“The notion of a chef-driven restaurant disgusts me. I want a customer-driven restaurant. You can run a restaurant without cooks but you can’t run a restaurant without customers.”
The space, which is being designed by Flags of Origin, “is going to mess with people who have [Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.]
“My overwhelming feeling when I spent a couple of weeks in Italy is spaces can be a few thousand years old with a portion that’s been fixed recently and another portion that’s been replaced 500 years ago. We’re going to apply that aesthetic to Adalina. Almost like a quilt without a pattern.”
Lange and his team are completely gutting the space for the new concept, incorporating a circular bar drawing inspiration from around the country and around the world.
“You’re going to see elements that are modern mixed with old and some abrupt use of colors here and there.”
Plans to demo the space last week were filed with City of Atlanta.
“When you drive up you’re going to be drawn to Adalina instantly.”