Inside Cooks & Soldiers

Space planning and flexibility allow for multiple vibes in one spot.

Pegged as a combination of funky, energetic and contemporary, the Castellucci Group’s new Basque-inspired eatery (its fourth spot in Atlanta) caters to the mixed but monied crowd in the West Midtown area. The 4,600-square-foot space was designed with socializing in mind, says President Fred Castellucci. That meant creating open but separate areas that foster a lively atmosphere without sacrificing intimacy. cooks and soliders

Seen but not heard

Displaying the kitchen behind a window lets guests watch without clanging pans disturbing the experience, Castellucci says. Plus, it makes for a less stuffy work environment when cooks can speak freely.

Flexibility by design

Curtains, not walls, block off private-dining areas, so those spaces can be open and used when not booked. Still, Castellucci will curtain off sections of the restaurant to assure the best experience, if need be.

Made to mingle

Banquettes and cocktail tables are bar height to encourage standing, making room for more patrons when wait times climb. That’s also why stools are barside only, leaving open space around the tables.

Private vs. profits

The largest of the three private rooms is rarely used as such. “We have had huge waits and people holding the room and not spending a lot,” Castellucci says. So he raised the minimum, and now takes only a few weekday parties.


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