A few years ago, I entered a photo contest sponsored by Atlanta's old and picturesque Oakland Cemetery. Among my entries was a shot juxtaposing a couple graves with a sign across the street -- "Six Feet Under," a well-known local restaurant. I was pretty certain that I was the only one in possession of such creative chops, and that my shot would establish me as an ironic genius (not to mention netting me the prize). You can imagine my disappointment when I showed up to the exhibition to find that I was one of about 300 people with the same idea. (Another 300 people used various photographic tricks to make it appear that lace-clad ghosts were visiting the graves. I suppose there's only so much you can do with a graveyard.)
Six Feet Under is just a little outside my normal stumbling distance, so I never actually made it down there for another couple years. My loss. It's one of the few places in Atlanta with a good rooftop, the food is good in that everything-fried way, and it's generally a pretty cool, laid-back hangout with a nice view of the cemetery (again, really pretty, not terribly grim).
And, SFU is a place that seems pretty aware of local history -- and in the way that I like, nodding to it and incorporating it rather than setting it behind a velvet rope. The menus have some info about the property's history; the building incorporates pieces of old businesses, and has a pretty awesome collection of old beer signs -- mostly from Atlanta's long-defunct Atlantic Brewery, but also a smattering of others, including one old Budvar sign that would look great in my kitchen.
Coco, Fidel and I marked an unseasonably warm day yesterday with a trip to the cemetery, which consisted of about half an hour of "yep, nice graves" and the occasional photograph before the lure of the beer across the street became too great (another good note: they have Dogfish Head on tap, not something you sneeze at in Atlanta). We sat up top and drank and gorged (I had something called "Spicy Rat Toes" -- jalapenos stuffed with shrimp and wrapped in bacon, then dipped in ranch), and I made the usual vows to start visiting more often. Probably largely empty -- like I said, it's just a little beyond my normal radius. But hopefully I'll start doing a better job of remembering that it's out there.
Six Feet Under's web site is here, with a variety of anecdotes/information about the history and area. One more reason to like them.