A walk-up counter serving boozy shaved ice and hot dogs to go opens at Inman Quarter cocktail bar Little Spirit Thursday, April 29. Called Sideshow, the counter is located next to the entrance to Little Spirit beside wine shop VinoTeca on North Highland Avenue.
Owner Randy Pechin closed the bar for several weeks at the start of the pandemic in March, before reopening Little Spirit last summer with limited capacity. Despite being allowed by the state to operate at full capacity, Pechin is still running Little Spirit at just under 50-percent capacity inside. The intimate cocktail bar normally seats between 20 to 25 people. Pechin says offering this new takeout service should help decrease wait times for drinks and food, especially on busy evenings and weekends.
“With Sideshow at Little Spirit, we can serve guests that are enjoying the common area spaces at Inman Quarter where there has been a lot of additional seating added since the beginning of the pandemic,” Pechin tells Eater. “We also wanted to focus on supporting other local businesses during the recovery with a large expansion of our local beer offerings and collaborations featuring several local chefs.”
The drinks menu for Sideshow includes to-go cocktails and alcoholic and non-alcoholic shaved ice from bartender Andie Osby (The Grey), like the tequila-based Can’t Elope made with passionfruit liqueur, fresh mango, cantaloupe, and Tajin spice. A shaved ice play off of the bar’s King Peach cocktail called the Cream Peach features bourbon, Aperol, lemon, mint, allspice dram, sugar, and condensed milk.
In addition to serving Fripper’s hot dogs, Pechin plans to also offer specials on the menu in collaboration with local chefs and restaurants, starting with El Tesoro’s barbacoa served as a trio of sliders on toasted Hawaiian rolls topped with jicama slaw, lime crema, and crispy onions.
A bill to officially make to-go cocktails from restaurants legal is currently on the governor’s desk awaiting his signature. Once signed, restaurants and bars serving food would be allowed to sell up to two cocktails per takeout entree ordered in approved, sealed containers.
While to-go windows aren’t new in Atlanta, the outdoor, counter-service model saw a rise in popularity last year as a creative solution to safely offering takeout during the health crisis. Many of these to-go windows have now become permanent fixtures, including at Brick Store Pub in Decatur and Varuni Napoli and Whiskey Bird in Morningside.
Sideshow open Thursday - Sunday, 3:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Hours may shift based on demand.