EAST ATLANTA — Even hard-core partiers and hipsters grow up and out of the club scene.
But grown-up hipsters still want to have a good time and go out, even if their heads are a little grayer and they're pushing a stroller or two.
The owners of the Argosy, the restaurant and bar slated to open today at 470 Flat Shoals Ave. say it aims to be that place for them.
Argosy [pronounced ARE-GUH-SEE] is the brainchild of Armando Celentano, Donald Durant and Ben Rhoades.
The trio are longtime friends and for years have worked for Rhoades at his nightclub venue, MJQ, the hipster haven in Virginia-Highland.
Argosy, derived from the Italian word referring to a merchant ship, is to be more laid back and relaxed than MJQ, Celentano, who is managing partner, told East Atlanta Patch.
"We feel like this place is a moving collection of great things," Celentano said. "That's kind of what an argosy is — a moving collection, a moving cargo ship of things from all over."
They purchased the 7,500-square-foot space in September of 2010, applied for a building permit that December but didn't receive it from the city until December of 2011.
The three partners stripped the space that was once the Big Buy Food Store and later an antiques store to its bare essence, showcasing its high ceilings and its Chattahoochee brick walls.
They built a wood shop on-site to reuse the materials including reclaimed Georgia long-leaf heart pine to make much of the furniture and wall decorations. The fixtures and design elements pay homage the nautical connection to "argosy" as well as the pulp fiction literature of the 1940s and 1950s.
"We pretty much let our imaginations run wild," Celentano said.
The idea behind the design was to create a multi-level, open space — there are three levels overlooking the main floor — where patrons would feel comfortable and relaxed, he said.
All of that is centered around a chef-driven kitchen and menu of what he called simple, new-Southern food with a selection of craft beers.
In advance of the open, Celentano sat down with Patch recently to discuss the philosophy behind Argosy and showcase the work they did in creating their vision for the space.
Please click on the video to see pictures of the space and hear portions of our interview.