* photography by Andrew Thomas Lee
BeetlCat is the sister restaurant to The Optimist, both named after a type of sail boat serving seafood, oysters, wine and craft cocktails. The building is a new development in the heart of Inman Park, Atlanta built with 2 levels intended for 2 separate concepts. NO Architecture combined the 2 levels into a single concept with exterior patios on both levels, main kitchen and dining on the upper level and the smaller cozy cocktail lounge – The Den – on the lower level. It feels like the parents are upstairs and the rowdy kids downstairs. Working with Ford Fry’s in-house designer Elizabeth Ingram, we created a tall billowing space for the dining anchored with a substantial Oyster bar. The two levels are connected with an oversized stair allowing servers and guests ample room to circulate between the 2 floors. The bar downstairs is defined by a low wood ceiling and glowing bar. Both levels are entered through large custom doors which evoke the windows of tugboats and fishing trawlers. The windows at the bar were inspired by windows in a VW van.