Larakin, a petite wine and coffee bar, opens on 12th Street across from Cafe Lucia near Piedmont Park this summer. Owned by Jordan Chambers (Steady Hand Pour House), look for coffee and espresso drinks and mostly natural wines served by the bottle and glass here, alongside a tight menu of breakfast dishes and local baked goods in the morning and tinned fish and cured meats later in the day.
Coffee is familiar territory for Chambers, who co-owned Emory Village coffee shop Steady Hand Pour House with Dale Donchey of Spiller Park Coffee before the duo closed the business in 2013. Chambers went on to oversee the coffee program at former Emory Village restaurant Ink and Elm, and eventually began working for his current employer, coffee roaster Intelligentsia.
“When I went to culinary school, I took a wine and beverage course. That’s how I first got into coffee,” Chambers says. “Having an understanding coffee and wine are made from fruits and harvested yearly, it was always in the back of my mind to open something in Atlanta combining both.”
An Australian slang term describing a person who’s a bit of a scamp living life with fervor, Larakin merges two passions for Chambers in coffee and wine, while also fulfilling a dream to open a relaxed neighborhood hangout where the majority of the seating is found outdoors.
Larakin shares the ground floor of the building with a three-story, short-term rental hotel sporting 13 units and a small backyard. Other than a 16-foot bar, handful of stools, and a couple of tall cocktail tables, Larakin is standing room only inside. Accordion doors open to a large, seated patio flanking the front of the building. Chambers refers to the patio as the heart of Larakin.
“It’s really tiny inside. The ceilings are tall and its pretty wide, but you don’t have a lot of depth to work with,” Chambers tells Eater. “We have to get creative with this indoor space. We might not even have a register, it will likely be two people walking around with handhelds taking orders where people are standing.”
Chambers says he plans to keep Larakin’s coffee program simple and focused on a high level of execution, offering drip and iced coffee, espresso, cappuccinos, and lattes with light breakfast items, including bagels from Donchey’s pop-up Dear Friend, Bagels. As the day progresses, Larakin will open for wine and snacks, like tinned fish, cured meats, and a few small dishes from Staplehouse chef Ryan Smith. Expect five wines by the glass and no more than 40 wines by the bottle.
“My business partner is Australian and, like me, we’re a little mischievous and get a bit rowdy, but it’s all about having fun, relaxing, and enjoying each other’s company,” says Chambers. “The soul of Larakin is local and people living in and around Midtown. It’s meant to be off the beaten path and a place to chill with friends.”
208 12th Street NW, Atlanta.