Vortex, Kaiser’s, and Word of Mouth Restaurants Push Reopenings, Plus More From Today’s COVID-19 Daily

CHIRINGA will be donating 25 percent of all online orders in May, FolkArt Decatur now open for takeout.

Welcome to COVID-19 Daily, our round-up column covering coronavirus-related brick-and-mortar news with intel like restaurants that are reopening for takeout and delivery, charitable happenings, virtual classes and services, and miscellaneous feel-good tidbits. Send us an email for inclusion consideration in tomorrow’s roundup.

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Although Atlanta’s restaurant are allowed to start reopening dining rooms on Monday, April 27, the list of restauranteurs opting to wait longer is growing.

Here’s the latest string of restaurants delaying reopening, and what owners had to say about the decision:

The Vortex Bar and Grill

“As you may have heard, Governor Brian Kemp is allowing restaurants to resume dine-in services beginning next Monday, April 27, 2020.

While we are very anxious to completely reopen, we do not feel that doing so at this time would be in the best interest of our guests or team members.

Health and safety will continue to be our top priority, and with that in mind, we will continue to operate our Little 5 Points location as a takeout restaurant from 1:00 pm to 8:00 pm daily, while our Midtown location will remain closed for the immediate future.

While we have not chosen a specific date to return to “dine-in” service, we will continually share updates on our website as this situation develops.

We will require ample time to review the new government guidelines and assess the best way to move forward. The decision about our next steps will be driven by careful consideration of the latest data we receive. Please understand that this process may take some time.”


“As you’re probably aware, Governor Kemp recently announced that restaurants are allowed to open their dining rooms next week.

Unfortunately, we don’t believe the time is right to reopen Kaiser’s based on information provided by a variety of public health officials. The health and safety of our employees, our guests, and our community is our top priority and we’re committed to protecting those around us, at all costs.

This was not an easy decision.

I’ve received an outpouring of calls and texts from our wonderful customers asking about reservations, hours, and even what specials we have planned. I can’t tell you how much your enthusiasm lifts our spirits and it truly breaks my heart to remain closed. Please know that we’re doing our part to keep each other safe, and I want to thank you for your patience in these uncertain times.

We look forward to the day when we can welcome you back and we are ready to raise a drink (or several) together in celebration.”

Word of Mouth Restaurants

“We just wanted to give you all a quick update of how we plan on responding to and acting on the recent announcement that was made by Governor Brian Kemp. While we are extremely excited and anxious to resume “business as usual” and actually see all of our wonderful guests in person, at this time we still think that we need to remain prudent and keep our dining rooms closed. We will obviously continue to closely monitor the overall situation on a day-to-day basis, and we will surely keep you all updated accordingly. It is crucial that we adhere to recommended medical and scientific guidelines, as the health and well being of our employees and our guests is paramount. When we do re-open and welcome you back into our dining rooms, we want to be fully prepared for the “new normal” and we want you to be completely confident in our ability to foster an incredibly safe dining environment.

In the meantime, we will continue to offer all of our current take-out services and amenities, including our recently launched Apple Valley Commissary, which allows you access to many of the same high-quality ingredients that we use in our kitchens. Your support of our take-out services as simply been incredible thus far, and we are grateful beyond words. We certainly hope that you will continue to keep us in mind as you plan daily meals for you and your families. Please also remember that we have enabled online ordering through all of our websites, and we are offering delivery to select Brookhaven neighborhoods.

As we continue to support our family of employees, we have also recently partnered with Big Frog Custom T-Shirts & More in Buckhead and you can now visit our online store and purchase Word of Mouth custom embroidered shirts and tote bags. $10 of each purchase goes directly to a fund established to support our furloughed employees.”

The Tamarind Resatruant Group

“After reviewing Governor Kemp’s recent announcement to allow Georgia restaurants to reopen for in-house dining next week, we have made a cautious decision to maintain our current business model of only offering takeout and delivery services at this time.

Our absolute first priority is the safety of our team, customers, and community. We will continue to monitor the national and global guidance on the proper steps of reopening a safe dine-in experience. We will keep you updated as we gather more information, and educated decisions are made.

In the meantime, we promise to continue providing world-class Thai cuisine via our curbside pickup and delivery outlets, all while keeping our local community safe. Thanks for the continued support. We look forward to putting all of this behind us soon.”

Here are some more updates from What Now Atlanta’s COVID-19 Daily:

Post Meridiem Launches Curbside-Sales

Post Meridiem Spirits Co., a new Atlanta-based cocktail-in-a-can producer, has launched curbside pick-up from its West Midtown production facility, at 1303 Logan Circle NE, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every other Friday. Check the company’s Facebook page for updates.

Its lineup of Atlanta made cocktails include:

  • The Real Lime Juice Margarita- 27.5% ABV
  • The Double Old Fashioned- 37% ABV
  • The 1944 Mai Tai- 23.5% ABV
  • The Lemongrass Vodka Gimlet- 25% ABV
  • The Hemingway Daiquiri- 27% ABV

CHIRINGA To Donate 25 Percent of All Online Orders During The Month of May

Alpharetta’s CHIRINGA will be donating 25 percent of all online orders during the month of May to non-profit organizations that are helping to supply food to local heroes that need it most, including Atlanta Community Food Bank, Open Hand, Giving Kitchen, and Goodr

For more information and to order online, visit www.chiringa.com or call 770.802.8940.

The Atlanta Guys Dinner Group (AGDG) Launch Pantry Drive

AGDG, a group of guys who get together once a month to break bread, socialize, and give back to the Atlanta community, has launched a Pantry Drive “to help support our city’s out-of-work restaurant workers; the workers who have hosted, served and cooked for the group over the past two years.”

AGDG is currently delivering bags of food to those restaurant workers who cannot make it to scheduled food donation sites due to lack of transportation. Per donations, the AGDG offers contactless porch and curbside pickup and offers the same for delivery to workers. AGDG is collecting non-perishable items such as the following to help feed Atlanta’s food family. To schedule a donation, drop off or pick up, please email [email protected] or [email protected]

Items in need include:

  • Canned proteins (chicken, tuna, SPAM)
  • Rice, Pasta, Beans
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly
  • Soups and SaucesCrackers, Cereals, Snacks
  • Powdered Milk, Teas, and Coffee
  • Toiletries
  • Baby Food and Diapers

FolkArt Now Open in Decatur for Takeout

FolkArt Decatur, at 174 W Ponce de Leon Ave., has reopened for takeout only from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

The menu includes Southern Comfort, Folk Southern Fried, Cobb Salad, Impossible burger, and other signature dishes. FolkArt will also be providing family-style lunch and dinner (serves 2 to 4 people).

Mad Mama Gourmet Launches ‘Mad Mama’s Must-Have’s’

In an effort to help the local farming community respond and adapt to the current climate, founding vendor of the Brookhaven Farmers Market and owner of Mad Mama Gourmet, Amy Smith, launched Mad Mama’s Must Have’s to bring the farmers market to her customers’ doorsteps.

Mad Mama’s Must-Have’s! is a curated CSA-style cornucopia of Smith’s favorite foods sourced from her favorite farmers and culinary artisans—pastured eggs, smoked salmon and trout with aioli, heritage pork sausage, polenta, grits, breads, crackers, butters, cheeses, honey, salsas, sauces, cookies, coffee, kombucha, elderberry syrup—plus a bountiful grab bag of hand-selected and safely-handled organic and conventional produce.

Customers simply shop and preorder produce and provisions online at MadMamaGourmet.com and select safe, no/contact delivery, or pick-up in Brookhaven on Thursday or Friday each week. Subscriptions are available.

[Editor’s note: The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is rapidly evolving as is its effect on Atlanta, and the City’s businesses and its residents. Click here for What Now Atlanta’s ongoing coverage of the crisis. For guidance and updates on the pandemic, please visit the C.D.C. website.]

Caleb J. Spivak

Caleb J. Spivak

Caleb J. Spivak

Caleb J. Spivak