Atlanta’s bartending community is saying bon voyage to a bright young talent. The magnificently bearded Joe Haywood who has been running Bar Margot’s slick cocktail program at Midtown’s Four Seasons Atlanta, is headed (far) eastward to become lead barman of the hotel’s Singapore outpost. If you’re unfamiliar with the cocktail culture in the southeast Asian city-state, know that Haywood will be in fine company as the tiny nation is home to three of the world’s top 50 bars: Manhattan, 28 HongKong Street, and Operation Dagger. Haywood is more than prepared for Singapore’s fast-paced lifestyle, multi-cultural population, and throngs of international travelers having worked stints at Hartsfield-Jackson’s One Flew South and fine dining staple Bacchanalia before taking the lead role at Bar Margot.
Haywood’s creative spins on classics, personable cocktail classes, and debonair charm helped to catapult Margot’s program and Haywood himself onto Atlanta’s competitive drinks scene where hotel bars rarely make the cut. He leaves Atlanta as the city’s 2016 Woodford Reserve Manhattan Experience winner and one of Bloomingdale’s 2016 Men of Style for his dapper fashion sense. Not a bad way to bid adieu to the sunny South.
We asked Mr. Haywood to give us a few of his favorite places to sip cocktails and grab bites around Atlanta before his last call at Bar Margot.
Bookhouse Pub — especially Tuesdays for tiki night.
I love Northside Tavern. I'm a sucker for live music.
Happy hour bar/lounge
My wife and I try to rotate but end up at West Egg Cafe more often than not.
Place for drinking and dining
Bar where you're a regular
Top three bars not mentioned above
Out-of-town fave in the South
The Gin Joint in Charleston. It's a cozy little spot where you order drinks selecting a few descriptive words.
Out-of-town fave anywhere in America
My wife’s parents live in Chicago, and we have to stop in at the Violet Hour. Everything is meticulously thought out from the menu to the setting.
Go-to cocktail order
I normally try not to make decisions when I'm on the guest side of the bar. I tend to be at the mercy of the maker. But if I have to decide, I order a Negroni.
Under-the-radar bartender to watch
I wouldn't say Jose Pereiro of Drift Fish House & Oyster Bar is "under the radar," but he definitely doesn't get enough credit for his skills and sincere hospitality.