For those who don't know, Retro Futurism is a style popular in the post atomic age and 1960's space age. This theme permeates every aspect of Birmingham's newest night spot, The Atomic Lounge! As the brain child of newlyweds Rachael Roberts and Feizal Valli, a trip to The Atomic is like stepping back though time to a Golden Age of Americana.
"Honey, I'm home!"
From the moment you walk though the doors of The Atomic, (2113 1st Ave. N) you feel as if you are in a 1960's living room. Feizal and Rachael paid close attention to the smallest of details when piecing together their masterpiece. Immediately to your left is an elevated 60's themed living room that has a working TV embedded inside a vintage television console! There are copies of "Atomic Ranch" magazine on the coffee table and a funky sofa that make it feel like you are about to gather 'round to watch the Apollo 11 moon landing.
One of the neat things about the layout of the lounge is that it encourages interaction by creating the sense of being gathered around the kitchen table, television, or fireplace depending on which part of the bar you choose to hangout in. The back hallway offers a more intimate setting with a few smaller booths, but eventually leads to a Tiki style area that can be reserved for private events!
Ode to Birmingham
Our favorite part of The Atomic is that it has multiple stories to tell! One way that it does this is in the form of artwork. One piece of art is a giant Andy Warhol style painting that features some familiar Birmingham faces! We were pleasantly surprised to see quite a few friends, from various circles, included in this piece. It emphasizes Birmingham's connectivity.
The other large work is a take on the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover, but instead of The Beatles it features local Birmingham symbols, icons, and personalities! If you check Atomic's website, you can click on each face to get a link to their backstory. Feizal and Rachael knew it was important to include both symbolic (and literal) links to Birmingham's past.
Feizal, who came to Birmingham post hurricane Katrina, told us a story about the "New Orleans Duck Lady" who would walk around with her real pet ducks then with fake ducks later in life. She passed away, but will always be a part of a specific time in the history of New Orleans. Rachel compared this to interacting with Marty Eagle or having a pizza at Cosmo's. These experiences, shared by many, now reside in our memories and have transitioned into the rich history of our city.
Wait, that looks familiar...
Another unique way to pay tribute to and engage customers isn't as obvious as a large painting on the wall. You may notice some trophies above the fireplace. Upon further inspection you will find that while most of them are from Rachael and Feizal's past, some belong to local residents! You too can contribute to the trophy collection. Bring an old trophy by and every one will know that you were a 1989 Homewood t-ball champ!
In addition to the trophies, Feizal and Rachael did some Facebook stalking. You may find your own adorable childhood photos hanging on the wall! (We're talking to you, Josh Vasa!)
Cocktails & Costumes
You can feel and see the passion that was poured into bringing The Atomic Lounge to life. According to Feizal, one of the hardest parts of the process was not working at a bar for the past year. He's definitely ready to dive back into it!
Of course the drink menu is also inspired by locals. It features a great drink selection, including the "Sex Panther" which comes with a temporary panther tattoo. Patrons also have the ability to order a costume to wear while hanging out, because why not?!
We are so excited that The Atomic Bar & Lounge opens Friday, Feb. 3rd! They are located downtown on 1st Ave N and are open 4pm-Midnight, Tues.-Thurs. & 4pm-2am on Friday and Saturday! Be sure to stop by with some friends, play some games, and meet new people! At the end of the day, bringing Birmingham together to share in great memories, new and old, is what The Atomic is all about!
Check out more of our sneak peek shots of The Atomic Lounge:
You'll feel right at home in the retro living room.
How many Birmingham Stars can you name?
Angela Davis looking fierce! Entrance to the private room. Turntable. Feel free to bring your own vinyl.
Ask not what Birmingham can do for you, but what you can do for Birmingham.
In case you want some one-on-one time...
Private Lounge can be reserved for events.
I wonder if Vatican City plays the Morning Blend with Reg and Will.