After closing in December to repair major damage caused by a burst water pipe, award-winning Atlanta restaurant Ticonderoga Club is back open at Krog Street Market. And Ticonderoga Club 2.0 promises to be better than ever.
A water pipe burst above the restaurant some time in the overnight hours of December 19, destroying the kitchen and damaging much of the electrical and plumbing, as well as the canteen dining area in front of the Krog Street Market restaurant. What caused the water pipe to burst, Ticonderoga Club partner Paul Calvert says, was likely a confluence of things: a bad fitting around the pipe; regular changes in water pressure by the city; and constant jostling for nearly two years from construction at the Krog District.
It was a perfect storm, and one that occurred a week before a polar vortex brought days of sub-freezing temperatures to Georgia that left many restaurants around Atlanta with burst or frozen water pipes.
“The burst pipe destroyed our kitchen, and without a kitchen we can’t cook. It damaged our HVAC, our sound system, our alarm system, all of the appliances. This was a third of our restaurant no longer operational,” says Calvert. “We had a lot of hard decisions to make that week.”
Calvert, along with partners Greg Best, Regan Smith, Bart Sasso, and chef David Bies, believed Ticonderoga Club would be back up and running in March. They planned for that scenario, keeping the entire staff on the payroll for as long as they could and paying for health insurance during the closure. Even when they needed to cease payroll in April, as insurance hold-ups and repairs dragged on, the partners continued paying their employees’ health benefits.
While there are some minor repairs still to be done, Ticonderoga Club reopened in early May, and the dining room and bar have been packed with regulars ever since. Despite all of the trials and tribulations and frustrating delays of the last four months, the closure gave the partners and longtime friends time to think about what they wanted the next iteration of Ticonderoga Club to look like.
The canteen at Ticonderoga Club facing Varuni Napoli inside Krog Street Market reopened for dining after being closed for nearly three years. During much of the pandemic, the space served as storage for the restaurant, and later as a walk-up bar where Ticonderoga Club served to-go food and frozen cocktails. Its reopening allows for 60 more seats and plenty of space for walk-ins. Reservations are still encouraged for the main dining room.
A small patio lit by string lights in the alleyway just beyond the entrance outside is also in the works and should open this summer.
Changes to the food and cocktail menus are already rolling out, including both menus expanding but changing less often and adding back several popular Ticonderoga Club classics.
“We used the time off to dig through the back catalog and realized we have a ton of great recipes, even some from when David worked at other restaurants,” says Calvert. “People get frustrated when we take certain dishes off the menu, so you’re going to have a big menu of TC classics now, like mussels and the Cobb salad, as well as seasonal dishes like our snapper ceviche in the summer.”
The cocktail menu is expanding from eight drinks to around 22. Calvert, Best, and Smith, three bartenders who helped spark Atlanta’s cocktail movement in the early 2010s, revisited some of their old recipes from past bar gigs, which will begin popping up at Ticonderoga Club over the coming weeks. Look for more wines by the glass, too, along with non-alcoholic options.
“Reopening felt great and we think we’re even more Ticonderoga Club than ever before,” Calvert says. “We’ve taken everything we’ve ever done really well here since opening seven years ago and distilled it into the best possible version of the Club. We’ve doubled down on who and what we are and our vibe.”
Open Friday - Tuesday, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Kitchen closes at 10 p.m. Reservations encouraged for dining room. Canteen dining open for walk-ins.