April 18, 2014
by James Oxendine
Publications such as The New York Times, New York Times Style magazine and Skift, have reported recently on the trend of businesses trying to cater to the “grunge-meets-geek-meets-grad-school” aka the hipster crowd for future growth and profit. Atlanta’s suave sommelier, Justin Amick, has created a bowling alley/ entertainment venue in Buckhead named Painted Pin that is certain to contain the bandwidth to attract not only the hipster crowd but food fans as well. Amick, a renaissance man who is the son of Concentrics Restaurants founder, Bob Amick, as well as a soon to be Master Sommelier, chats about how he created Painted Pin, and how it will be a truly unique Atlanta experience.
1) How will the Painted Pin differ from the model Concentrics’ restaurant in terms of style and design? First off, the entire layout will differ because The Painted Pin is not a restaurant. It is an upscale boutique bowling and entertainment venue. We have come up with a really unique and innovative design layout to break up our large amount of square footage. Bowling alleys historically are overly large and cavernous without any natural light and usually lack a great energy and ambiance. We have broken up the monotony of lane after lane by creating all the activity and energy in our space into the middle of our venue. Everything is centered off an indoor courtyard gaming area that will house 2 indoor bocce courts, skee-ball, 10 foot regulation basketball pop a shots and shuffleboard. The courtyard will lead into our beautiful rectangular walnut bar with two Neapolitan pizza ovens as the backdrop which will be the focus of our food offering along with tacos, sandwiches and small plates all food conducive to our gaming environment. The decor and style will focus on British influenced classic accents, furniture and fabrics combined with modern finishes, fixtures and touches along the way. A little bit of old and new. Historic yet current.
2) Why did you choose a Buckhead location given the success Concentrics has enjoyed in Midtown here in Atlanta? My partner William Stallworth and I are both residents of the Buckhead community. We felt a void in the Buckhead marketplace for fun, unique and alternative forms of entertainment. Also, we really love Miami Circle because its one of those rare streets in the city that has larger warehouse space surrounded by so many businesses and different neighborhoods as well as being located close to the interstate. Buckhead was the original center of culture, dining and entertainment in the city of Atlanta for so many years before Midtown took off. Buckhead is going through a huge resurgence and renaissance right now and we look forward to being part of that development.
3) Where did the concept for Painted Pin originate; was there a particular establishment that you heard about or visited that inspired you? The Painted Pin totally came about organically. There wasn’t any specific concept that influenced our origination. I was in the midst of going off on my own from the family business and was working on a bbq concept that had a gaming component. I was in the middle of lease negotiations when I received a phone call from a business acquaintance and my now business partner, William Stallworth. He called to randomly ask me my thoughts on a bowling alley and it all started from there. We had to of talked for hours just bouncing idea after idea off of each other. I remember getting off the phone and telling my wife that I was going to see this through as I had always been a huge fan of bowling ever since I was a little kid and was already working on something gaming related. We gradually started putting together our business plan and have been working on The Painted Pin for over 2 and a half years which will finally come to fruition in April of this year. That phone call will forever change both of our lives. William and I complement each other so well. We have such similar yet still different interests and backgrounds yet our professional experience combines two very important skill sets for success in this industry which are his vast sales background with my operations and food and beverage experience. I couldn’t of found a better person to go into business with. We are lucky to have one another.
4) Can you describe some the unique features that Painted Pin will offer guests and how they are different from any other establishment in Atlanta? The Painted Pin is different than any other bowling or entertainment venue that we have ever seen. We have combined one of the world’s favorite pastimes with other classic and iconic games including bocce ball, ping pong, table shuffleboard, skee-ball, 10 foot basketball pop a shot and Northhamptonshire Hood Skittles. I’m bringing my extensive background in hospitality operations in the food and beverage business to the bowling and entertainment sector. We will offer historic entertainment with top notch service, décor, food and beverage all in a beautiful industrial warehouse space in the heart of Buckhead.
Justin Amick is a member of the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival Advisory Council.