8ARM debuts its new outdoor kitchen and bar called Sidepiece on Wednesday, June 10, in the parking lot of the Ponce de Leon Avenue restaurant, after closing for dine-in service in March.
Sidepiece and the patio bar at 8ARM offer counter-service food and drinks, takeout options, and expanded outdoor seating. The restaurant’s dining room remains closed for now, but general manager Joshua Fryer tells Eater Atlanta 8ARM’s intimate wine bar will reopen soon for reservations.
Like so many restaurants and bars across the city, March saw 8ARM shut down its dining room and two bars as the COVID-19 crisis grew in Georgia. After pivoting briefly to takeout, the restaurant closed its kitchen and began offering a weekly CSA program online, championed by 8ARM chef Maricela Vega.
Now with the opening of Sidepiece on Wednesday, Vega, Fryer, and co-owners Skip Engelbrecht and chef Nhan Le hope to begin slowly ramping up service again at 8ARM. The outdoor kitchen and bar expands the restaurant’s seating options beyond the dining room, providing a safer alternative to dine-in service during the ongoing health crisis.
A recent survey conducted by Eater Atlanta saw nearly 70 percent of respondents saying they hoped to see more outdoor seating at restaurants, with some people citing feeling safer eating outside.
Sidepiece features new wooden seating constructed around a tree in the parking lot and bleacher-type seating in front of the wine bar. A new outdoor kitchen has been constructed in a fenced off area near the patio bar.
Vega’s menu includes roasted vegetables, meats, kabobs, and flatbreads cooked in the outdoor kitchen’s wood-fire oven, paired with beer, wine, cocktails, and frescas from the bar.
People order food and drinks via QR codes that are scanned using a barcode app on their smart phone. The new ordering system helps limit contact between patrons and servers. In addition to staff wearing masks and gloves and following the state’s COVID-19 restaurant requirements, 8ARM also provides an option for people to leave their contact tracing information, which is scanned using a separate QR code.
As for 8ARM Wine, Fryers says to expect the bar to reopen soon, along with Three Heart’s new coffee truck parked alongside the outdoor kitchen. Once reopened, the wine bar will feature a prix fix menu of snacks and wine pairings, with people reserving seats in two-hour blocks.
People should follow 8ARM on Instagram for updates.
Sidepiece, 8ARM Bar open Tuesday - Saturday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Stay home if sick. Check the Georgia Department of Public Health website for guidance and updates on the latest number of reported COVID-19 cases.