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Perfect patio perches: Our favorite outdoor drinking, dining spots along Ga. 400

Like flowers blooming with the year’s first warm weather, another spring staple is starting to awaken across the Ga. 400 corridor.

With cold weather behind, for the most part, restaurants along the corridor are opening their patio, outdoor and rooftop sections. Like the restaurants themselves, each outdoor area has its own feel and specialties.

Luckily, there is something along 400 for whatever locals are looking for.

The Mill
590 Mimosa Blvd, Roswell
(770) 817-9345

The Mill is also a mainstay during Alive After 5, a popular event held on the third Thursday of warm weather months in the Roswell Square featuring entertainment, shopping, food trucks and many other forms of entertainment.

“Basically this entire park and square shuts down,” Long said. “Our patio always seems to be the biggest hit, because it’s the only place to sit around Roswell. Every other place doesn’t have a patio.”

Beyond the special events, Long said that the outdoor section would be popular until nearly winter.

“We’re finding that 70 percent of our people would rather sit outside than inside,” Long said. “So, inside almost looks slow from now until the end of November.”

South Main
9 South Main St, Alpharetta
(678) 691-4622

While some restaurants might have outside dining, and others may have rooftop dining and bars, South Main Kitchen in Alpharetta doesn’t want to limit itself.

Instead, South Main, which serves a new take on Southern classics, offers a rooftop bar with seating, an outside dining area and a brand new lounge-style section.

“We have just opened that, we haven’t set anyone out there yet,” said Christy Stone, executive chef. “I’m anxious to see how that is received … we might even have another bar out there.”

If the decision is made to open a new bar, it will join the two, one inside and one outside, currently at the restaurant. Stone said that the outside crowd is similar to those who stay indoors.

“I think they’ve done a fairly good job of keeping the vibe consistent with the inside and outside,” she said. “Maybe a little more relaxed on the outside if anything.

“We’re not a super formal restaurant anyway; we’re kind of a casual restaurant.”

Of course, as a chef, Stone does notice a slight change in tastes for those upstairs.

“People tend to sit upstairs and drink and order small plates,” she said. “Outside, we get the same mix of food that we do inside.”
In addition to more outside seating, those eating at South Main will have a new selection of springtime food.

“I’m bringing in a lot of fresh [vegetables],” Long said. “We just said goodbye to all of our squash … so we’re bringing in … asparagus and snap peas and just everything local and spring. Lots of color.”

5755 North Vickery, Cumming
(678) 341-6962

In Forsyth County’s Vickery Village, Cinco Mexican Cantina looks down on surrounding businesses. Or at least some of their rooftop patrons do.

Cinco offers two areas for those who want to enjoy the sunshine; an outdoor patio and a rooftop bar, which is only open to those 21 and over. It’s also a great place to hear some local music.

“It’s an area for the adults to enjoy themselves; live music is here every Thursday to Sunday,” manager Shelia O’Brien said. “The live music is a lot of cover songs. We get a nice mix of different talents in the area. They do some country … it depends on which musician.”

From the bar, customers can have a view of a pavilion area and a horse pasture located just across Post Road, which O’Brien said adds to the atmosphere.

“It’s definitely a casual feel up here; it’s more relaxed. You just come up here and take away the stress,” she said. “We’re a neighborhood spot, so I think just being a part of the neighborhood makes them all unwind.

Even though it’s beside a busy road, you don’t feel like you’re in the busy-ness of everyone else.”

Cinco offers outdoor seating on the ground level, as well, and a solarium for those who would prefer to look at the scenery from the inside.