The 20-seat, Japanese-style kanzume bar Ink, located in 8Arm’s former coffee cafe, opens Friday, November 30 along Ponce de Leon Avenue for cocktails, fancy teas, and caviar at 6 p.m. Ink patrons must check in at the host stand inside 8Arm’s dining room to gain access to the bar.
The menu is still being finalized, but general manager Joshua Fryer says it focuses on “mainly Portuguese and Spanish tinned fish, caviar, and pickled herring,” along with a few dishes made in the kitchen at 8Arm — like mushroom conserva, warm olives and nuts, pâté, and a couple of desserts. The tinned food options kicking off Ink’s opening on Friday include sardines with padrón peppers, spiced octopus, calamari in ragout, and razor clams in brine. Bar patrons choose from the caviar and canned foods displayed among the spirits on the back bar and on the menu. The bartender prepares and plates each order.
Cocktails are chosen by the bartender based on the flavor preferences of each guest. Ink also includes a succinct list of beer, wine, vermouth, sherry, sake, and Madeira as well as gong fu-style tea service, with teas imported from China, Japan, and Taiwan.
The renovation, overseen by George Long, sees the former cafe’s drop ceiling removed to expose the early 20th century building’s severely-pitched roof. The stark white, brick walls have been painted a soft black. Banquette seating with cocktail rounds have been installed along the windows, and a small, semicircular bar replaces the pastry case.
8Arm closed its coffee cafe in September and no longer offers weekday breakfast. The restaurant has shifted morning and coffee operations to 3heart Roastery on the Eastside Beltline located in the back of Paris on Ponce.
In 8Arm’s early days, before the patio bar opened, the cafe served coffee by day and morphed into a cocktail bar in the evenings. Skip Engelbrecht, who owns neighboring vintage market Paris on Ponce and co-owns 8Arm with chef Nhan Le, says it was always their intention to transform the space back into a cocktail bar.
Ink is open Tuesday - Thursday, 6 p.m. to 1 a.m.; Friday and Saturday, 6 p.m . to 2 a.m.; Sunday, 6 p.m. to 12 a.m.