Think of old world markets of the past or those outdoor types you’ll still find in other regions of the world — a huge expanse where you can shop for fresh produce or flowers, grab a coffee or tea, enjoy the atmosphere with a book and break bread with a friend. We now have a chic, indoor version of that in Atlanta — Bazati.
Bazati, a 7,000-square-foot hybrid of shopping, dining and lounging, just opened on the Atlanta Beltline, housed inside a 1940s industrial warehouse. This dramatic space, inside the Common Ground development, evokes a time and place perhaps forgotten or unknown by Atlantans. Bazati’s aesthetic and vendors remind me of the time I spent in Europe years ago, meandering across the cobblestone streets and perusing market square after market square.
Every inch of Bazati is used in a thoughtful manner to entertain, entice and impress all who visit. Enter Bazati’s doors, and the open space feels freeing — a way for your mind to open to the new experiences awaiting you. The space is reminiscent of a cool hotel lobby, with seating throughout for those who need a break and others who just want to show off their cute new shoes. Specialty shops dot the area, offering unique goods you may not find anywhere else.
First up is The Fleur Shop, a floral boutique inspired by the “fleuristes,” or street florists, of Paris. The Fleur Shop creates stunning artistic arrangements that are available for ITP deliveries. Megan Carty, owner of The Fleur Shop, has been working on her floral design talent since the age of 19 and has been in Atlanta for five years fine-tuning her craft. If you really want to pick Megan’s brain, she offers a Booze & Blooms series, with upcoming classes like Fall Wreath Making and Fall Centerpieces. The Fleur Shop is the perfect complement to the on-site Parisian-inspired café and bar, The Brasserie.
The calming effect of The Fleur Shop’s flowers matches the calming effect of Bazati Books, the library shop filled with interesting reads from renowned European publisher, Taschen. Choose a great new book, find a classic to buy or just get cozy at Bazati and spend an hour or two reading, right then and there.
As your wistful international trip through Bazati continues, hit up retailer Taller Maya, a Mexican design brand formed by artists from the Yucatán Peninsula, selling quality handmade wares from the talented people of Mayan communities. Blumarino, another Bazati retailer, offers uniquely beautiful and detailed Colombian leather goods, including handbags and accessories. Other shopping standouts include sunglasses from Bamboo Life, magazine and stationery collections from global media brand Monocle, and fine wines and cigars from the upcoming Amphora and Cinis, respectively.
All that shopping obviously builds up quite an appetite, and this is where Bazati really shines. The mixed-use development’s showstopper is The Brasserie, a restaurant and bar inspired by the glitz and glamour of 1920s Paris. The soaring, 23-foot tall ceilings and contrasting tones of navy and white create a sophisticated setting to enjoy The Brasserie’s extensive menu, inspired by brasseries of the past. So what French delicacies will you fill up on during a visit to Bazati? Start your meal with a classic French onion soup, prepared with cave-aged gruyère, sherry and croutons, or pissaladiére (think of it as a delicate pizza topped with caramelized onions, white anchovies and olives). I’m obsessed with Niçoise salads, and The Brasserie’s iteration doesn’t disappoint — complete with confit and seared ahi tuna, fingerling potatoes, anchovies and a fantastic Niçoise olive vinaigrette. Stand-out entrées include the sweet potato pancake, coq au vin, duck confit and many other tasty picks. Prefer a liquid lunch? The Brasserie’s cocktail menu is full of creative concoctions, with my favorite St. Germain Spritz bubbling with St. Germain, Bouvet-Ladubay Cremant and soda.
If French food isn’t your thing or you want to try another dining option at Bazati, head to the rooftop and make your way to Estrella, a Yucatecan-inspired cocktail club and restaurant. With a style all its own — a clever combination of 1950s art deco Miami and modern Yucatán Mexico — Estrella, which means “star,” truly is a shining spot in Atlanta’s dining scene. The menu is a showcase of the regional meals of Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula, with featured items like cochinita spring rolls, stuffed with pulled pork, pickled onion and achiote jus; chayitas, akin to flat corn cakes, served with a savory Mayan sauce; and Yucatecan pork belly, complemented by radish pico, avocado purée and corn tortillas. Estrella offers guests a refreshing drink from its gin and tonic cart or from its extensive tequila list.
Bazati, a Croatian word that approximately translates to “lounging around,” is an amalgamation of international glamour and ease, where relaxing never looked better. Visit this Eurocentric retail-dining destination the next time you want a great French or Latin meal, need to grab a few gifts from around the world or just can’t afford a transatlantic plane ticket.
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