With "casual fine dining" the trend of the day and stuffy, upscale restaurants falling out of fashion, Buckhead staple Aria is about to change with the times. Chef and owner Gerry Klaskala will close the restaurant from April 24 to May 1 so he can update the interior design, representatives tell Eater Atlanta. When it reopens on May 2, Aria patrons can expect a modern look and trade in their dressed-up threads for something a little more comfortable.
"The redesign is an opportunity for us to reintroduce Aria," Klaskala said in a prepared statement. "When we opened in 2000, our guests wore coats and ties and came in for a special occasion. These days, dining out is a part of our daily routine and restaurants can be the family table, the business desk, or just a place to unwind. We're reacting to that, providing somewhere new for our existing guests to enjoy and reaching out to a younger diner. What once was conservative will now be more playful."
What does that mean? Stacey Kirby of local firm Seiber Design will transform the space in an effort "to recreate Aria as a restaurant that will be as relevant in 2032 as it is today."
- Inside, look for warm gray walls, bright canary yellow drapes, glowing backlit custom mirrors, and new leather banquettes.
- An oversized antique mirror will be installed in the upstairs dining room, and white oak tabletops along the banquettes will be in the main dining room.
- The bar area will be opened up with reservation-free seating. A white marble bar top and walnut bar display will highlight "an array of premium and small-batch liquors."
- Black accents will be added to the door and windows to add contrast to the building's white exterior. A new Aria sign has been commissioned for installation in front of the restaurant.
When it reopens, Aria will resume normal hours, serving dinner Monday through Saturday beginning at 5:30 p.m. A rare Sunday service is planned for Mother's Day, May 8, beginning at 5 p.m. Klaskala and his team hope the revamp will match what's coming out of the restaurant's kitchen.
"We're taking away the formality and bringing more radiance and texture into the space," Kirby said. "We want the room to artfully complement and reflect the artistry of Gerry's menu."