In our constant search for what’s next in culture, we’ve often wondered what will become of the movement for well-made craft cocktails. It’s certainly been a trend to celebrate – bringing back classic recipes and methods, taking time to build and enjoy a drink constructed with premium ingredients. But perhaps Paper Plane is the most nuanced answer for what’s on the horizon.
“Today the minimum is to have a great cocktail program – it’s spreading and everyone is creating craft cocktails – which is great,” says Paul Calvert, co-owner of Paper Plane, the soon-to-open spot in Decatur. “Here I wanted to move beyond that and create a truly balanced beverage program with equal emphasis on wine, beer and cocktails. I wanted to do something that was bigger, more about the entire experience with all types of drinks and good food.”
Consistently recognized as one of Atlanta’s top bartenders, Paul has certainly earned the credibility to create such a place. After leaving his latest gig at Pura Vida, his friendship with the owners of Victory led to the idea for Paper Plane. “I always wanted to open my own place and so when those guys said they were opening a Victory in Decatur, we started talking about having a connected, but distinct concept,” Paul told us.
As he explains it: if Victory is the relaxed place where the rugged, everyman goes after working on his motorcycle in the garage, then Paper Plane is that same guy after he gets cleaned up for the night and picks up his date. In some men, there is a simplicity that gives Victory its appeal, and yet there is also an element of refinement without pretension that will make us also feel right at home in Paper Plane.
When it opens in late March, you’ll walk down an alley or through the back of Victory and enter a small, low-lit room with a mod, retro vibe, complete with mahogany-panel walls, powder-coated library shelves, black-padded booths with custom, overhanging lamps and a long, hand-buffed zinc bar.
“We hope we are creating something different from anything else in Decatur – or Atlanta for that matter,” says Paul. “Interesting, welcoming, fun, clean, sexy, adventurous, but not too cool or unapproachable – this is what we want you to experience and it comes from how we treat and serve you. We are here to help make you feel comfortable on a night that you look good and want to keep the evening going.”
The bar and restaurant will serve an eclectic, balanced range of drinks and a modern American menu of food that will frequently change – aggressive and approachable at the same time. “These days people know how to make house cocktails and good meals at home, but what you can only get here is Paper Plane – the service, the atmosphere, the experience with the other guests, the personalities with our staff, the aesthetic, the food. You still go out for a reason, and we want to contribute to the conversation.”
Look for updates on the opening of Paper Plane here: www.vicsandwich.com.
Photo by Andrew Thomas Lee