6 Southern Restaurants & Bars With Neighborhood-Inspired Cocktails You Have to Try

Across the Southeast, restaurants and bars are toasting their roots through inventive, neighborhood-inspired cocktails. From the Marigny Daiquiri – a Big Easy take on the famed Hemingway Daiquiri – at The Franklin to the Lakeview Blvd – an Alabama twist on the classic Boulevardier cocktail – at Birmingham’s Automatic Seafood & Oysters, the cocktail menus’ winks are appealing to neighborhood regulars and visitors alike. 

1. THE FRANKLIN

Partner: Ken Jackson

Executive Chef: Dane Harris

Location: New Orleans, LA

About: The Franklin, located on the corner of Dauphine Street and Franklin Avenue in New Orleans’ Marigny neighborhood, is a warm and inviting gastrobar that celebrates the city’s rich food and drink culture, love for art and design, and vivacity. Housed in a former corner grocery store, the historic space embraces its neighborhood’s vibrant and eclectic personality, featuring an elevated but casual culinary and bar program, thoughtful art collection, and curated music selection. The Franklin's cocktail program is designed by veteran New Orleans bartenders Evan Wolf, Matt LoFink, and Jason Sorbet (The Company Burger, Cure, Barrel Proof) and features cocktails, both classic and new - with an emphasis on the Martini and its variants, as well as a robust wine list that highlights natural wines, and a diverse beer selection.

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Cocktail: Marigny Daiquiri | The Franklin’s Marigny Daiquiri is an ode to the eclectic neighborhood that’s home to The Franklin. Made with White Rum, Lime, Orange Almond Oleo, Tiki Bitters, the perfectly-balanced drink is at once sweet and sour.

2. TERRA 

Bar Manager: Andy Haddock

Location: Columbia, SC

About: Located in Columbia, South Carolina, Terra is the capital city’s go-to destination for seasonal and innovative cuisine, set amongst a backdrop of sweeping skyline views. At Terra, Chef Mike Davis presents elevated Southern classics made with ingredients sourced from local Midlands purveyors, allowing the fundamental elements and flavors of each dish to shine. The rotating dinner menu is accompanied by seasonal beverage offerings, including a featured cocktail menu, selection of craft beers, award-winning wine program, extensive spirits list, and after-dinner sippers. Chef Mike is proud to say hello to diners during each dinner service and welcomes guests from near and far to share in his beloved restaurant.

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Cocktail: Brookland Soda | The 'Brookland Soda' is a fun, easy cocktail named after Terra’s historic neighborhood of West Columbia – Brookland – and made with a Miller High Life Pony and Aperol.

3. MINERO

General Manager: Patrick Schultz

Location: Atlanta, GA

About: Minero is a casual Mexican eatery from The Neighborhood Dining Group located in Atlanta’s burgeoning Old Fourth Ward neighborhood. The menu, built around live-fire cooking, offers a collection of dishes inspired by the flavors of Mexico, including flavorful tacos, burritos, and chef-created daily specials while incorporating southern touches. Craft cocktails, housemade margaritas, and a formidable list of tequila and mezcal round out the experience in a fun and lively environment.

Social Media: Instagram

Cocktail: South of Ponce #3 | Made with Bourbon, Mango, Ginger, Orgeat, Lemon, Angostura, and Herbsaint, the South of Ponce #3 is named for Ponce De Leon Avenue. Often simply called Ponce, this street is a major thoroughfare across Atlanta and is also the home to Ponce City Market, where Minero is located.

4. THE GROCERY

Beverage Director: Kevin Johnson

Location: Charleston, SC

About: Established in 2011 by husband and wife duo, Kevin and Susan Johnson, The Grocery was born from a dedication to celebrate the authentic flavors and spices of the seasons. Centrally located in Charleston’s lively Upper King district, The Grocery is a neighborhood gathering place full of warmth and familiarity. Partnering with artisanal local producers year-round, the eatery features an evolving menu that reads like a love letter to the Lowcountry’s bounty. An innovative cocktail program and curated wine list are available, along with craft beer on tap.

Social Media: Instagram, Facebook

Cocktail: Cannon Furniture Co. | This cocktail, made with Dolin Blanc, Cynar, Cava, not only shares the name with the original tenant of the space The Grocery occupies today, but also the restaurant’s location (Cannon Street) and neighborhood (Cannonborough).

5. CATHEAD DISTILLERY


Location: Jackson, MS


About Cathead: The first legal distillery in the state of Mississippi, Cathead was founded in 2010 by friends and blues fans Austin Evans and Richard Patrick. Originally located in Gluckstadt, the distillery moved to the heart of downtown Jackson, the state's capital, in 2015. Led by Distiller Phillip Ladner, Cathead Distillery currently produces seven products in small batches: Cathead Original Vodka, Cathead Honeysuckle Vodka, Cathead Pecan Vodka, Bristow Gin, Bristow Barrel Aged Gin, Hoodoo Chicory Liquor, and Old Soul Bourbon Whiskey. The name “Cathead,” a term first coined by Mississippi blues musicians as a nod to respected artists, is the brand's way of paying homage to the state’s rich musical heritage; in this spirit, Cathead also donates a portion of proceeds to nonprofits that contribute to the region’s abundant arts and culture. Cathead Distillery is an event-driven facility and a place for both locals and tourists to enjoy product tastings, live music, community, and a cold beverage. 

Social Media: Instagram


Cocktail (served at Mediterranea in Atlanta): Grant Park Lemonade | With Cathead Honeysuckle Vodka, Lemonade, and Basil, Mediterranea’s Grant Park Lemonade is a refreshing sip with a Southern punch of honeysuckle flavor, due to the addition of Cathead Honeysuckle Vodka. The drink is named after the restaurant’s surrounding neighborhood, Grant Park.

6. AUTOMATIC SEAFOOD & OYSTERS

Chef: Adam Evans

Location: Birmingham, AL

About: Chef Adam Evans opened his first restaurant, Automatic Seafood & Oysters, in Birmingham, AL in April 2019. The restaurant, named for the building’s past life as an Automatic Sprinkler Corporation manufacturing facility, is located in the up-and-coming Lakeview neighborhood of Birmingham. Working directly with local vendors, markets, and fisheries, Chef Evans’ menu features simple, high-quality seafood dishes, primarily sourced from the Gulf, which he combines with bold flavors and classic technique. Comfortable, elegant, and classic, the space at Automatic lends itself to a coastal setting — not speaking directly to one specific body of water or region, but drawing inspiration from all shorelines. Previously, the Muscle Shoals, AL native made his mark on Atlanta’s culinary landscape through his signature seafood dishes at The Optimist (where he earned national recognition such as Esquire’s Restaurant of the Year and Bon Appétit’s Top Ten Best New Restaurants). In 2015, Adam opened Atlanta’s Brezza Cucina with Chef Jonathan Waxman, and in 2017 he returned home to Birmingham, AL with the goal of opening his dream restaurant with his wife, interior designer Suzanne Humphries Evans. 

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Cocktail: Lakeview Blvd | The Lakeview Blvd – George Dickel rye, house vermouth, amontillado sherry, Campari, bitters – is a take on the classic Boulevardier, but made with Rye. It’s named after the restaurant’s surrounding neighborhood.