Atlanta >Food & Dining > Smiths Olde Bar
1578 Piedmont Ave, Atlanta, GA | Directions 3032433.797590 -84.368766
Monday To Friday From 03:00 PM To 03:00 AM Saturday From 12:00 PM To 03:00 AM Sunday From 12:00 PM To 12:00 AM
Neighborhoods: Northeast, Piedmont Heights, Northeast
One of the most racist bars in Atlanta! – The statement in the description that this place has a relaxed atmosphere is funny. As soon as you order a drink they're asking you to pay then if you can't or won't leave a credit card. And honestly it's not so much the policy as it is the way it is presented. If you are black this is presented in the most suspicious of tones as if they expect you to run out with the freshly poured merlot right then. The other day the bartender threw my change down on the bar like I was trash and wondered why I didn't tip her. This is one of the most racist bars in the city of Atlanta. Do not be fooled by the one or two black artist posters on the wall. Instead look around at how many blacks work there, and how the blacks whose names aren't incidentally known to the staff are treated. Better yet don't look around because it's not worth the trip. If you are a decent person, you shouldn't spend a dime of your money in there to support such a racist Atlanta institution.
Bad place to watch a performance – I've heard the upstairs music room is a great, intimate place to see a performance. Are you kidding me? I went to see Bob Schneider. By the time he came on after the opening act, around 10:00, half the people in the place were drunk. It was loud, the people were rude, talking and yelling while he was singing. You couldn't hear him half the time. I don't know why half the people were there....they didn't want to hear him they just wanted to get drunk and party. I will never go there again. It's Eddie's Attic for me.
They stiff their musicians – Well, I'm sure they pay the big names or those who threaten them, but if they think they can get away with it they will stiff you. As an extension to the customer scam WranglerGuy described in his review, they promise you one thing and then duck out. They promise 80 percent of the door after the first five people. When the show is over, however, the manager is long gone. This is not a matter of one or two unscrupulous employees. This is STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE at this venue. I've had several other musicians warn me about it, but until it actually happened to me I didn't believe it. What a rip off. If you like live music, please get out and see some. But go to Eddie's Attic or any other place where they don't have a formal policy to rip off musicians. Support venues that treat ALL musicians fairly, not just the big stars. A pox on SOB—the acronym says it all.
Fun Place! – Awesome bar food..... killer pool tables and darts. Cover charge for music sucks, but overall I go back again and again.. So they do something right.
Good food, what happened to the good bands? – I can attest that the food at Smith's is still top-notch for bar food. They launched Fox Bros and have some of the best chicken fingers in Atlanta.
But back in the day it was always a haven for the regionally known, on-the-rise rock bands. Their walls are covered in framed posters with the likes of Cake, Train and Better Than Ezra. As a decade has gone past, they seem to have lost their touch for booking rock 'n' roll outfits. Nowadays it's jam bands or quirky (goofy) national groups that have a following but get no press that guarantee to fill the room. As an Atlantan that grew up hitting Smith's to see what was new, be it Kings of Leon or Shawn Mullins or the week long brilliance of Open Mic Madness.... it's sad to see Smith's go down this road. My last three trips to Smith's have seen a cover band, a Incubus clone, and a funk/jam/hardrock fusion band. Perhaps I should stick with the other venue known for it's food... The EARL.
Established rock club doubles as a cool neighborhood joint. – In Short
One of Atlanta’s most iconic rock ‘n’ roll clubs, Smith’s Olde Bar conveniently doubles as a neighborhood nosh that boasts pool tables, sports-happy flat screens and an acoustic room dubbed the “Atlanta Room.” With a menu of better-than-average bar eats (including the city’s best chicken fingers) and a hopping nightlife, it’s a place where you could go a dozen times without ever realizing the main venue is upstairs. But in the attic is a shining spot, a cozy 200-seat music hall that is utilized as both, a launching pad for on-the-rise local bands and an imitate spot for national headliners looking to take a night off from the theatre circuit. The circular stage and multi-level perimeter make for better viewing and the sound system is easily the best in Atlanta. However, expect everything from the domestic beer to the price of admission to be higher than most.
Fantastic music venue (and awesome tater tots!!) – The upstairs music room is the perfect size -- small enough to be intimate and close to the stage, yet big enough for dancing and having a great time. The bartenders are super nice, and the no-smoking policy annoyed my friends but was just fine with me. It's nice to go somewhere to unwind to great music and not feel like I have tuberculosis when I get home. :) Also, downstairs is great, with the big bar and pool tables.
Decent sound... over-priced beer – So, I went to Smith's Olde Bar a while back to see my buddies in Doomsayer and Zoroaster with no small amount of trepidation, having always done a pretty good job of avoiding those crowds of Buckhead yuppie 5cum and the fat drunk frat boy mobs that are found throughout the Highlands and parts of Midtown, and here I was entering enemy territory. Thankfully, the music venue is located upstairs, so I didn't even have to see any of the above mentioned 2 groups of people. The overblown $11 or $12 cover charge discouraged them from hanging with the big boys upstairs. I have to admit the door guy was fairly cool as he took most of my money, although I took an immediate dislike to the pretentious bartender who took my last $5 for a PBR.
The sound was killer, so I was assuming the fed the gear a giant bowl of Wheaties that morning so it could handle the bone crushing sounds of Zoroaster and Doomsayer.
Watch your bank account – We went here to meet up with some friends and watch a guy play music Saturday night the 21st. Food was good, service was slow but that was expected because they seemed a little crowded. We ate, and the bill was $26. I paid with my Debit card and left a tip on the table. Went to watch the band and ordered a $4 beer and gave a $20 and got back $14 in change... My friend ordered a $4 beer, gave a $5, got no change back.. Both waitress claimed that was standard bar procedure for tips. Got home and checked my bank account and they are charging me for my $26 meal ticket plus another $46.15 and now I am in a dispute to get the $46 back charged.
Bottom line, don't go unless you plan to pay cash and like to watch your money magically disappear.
Great Laid-back bar. – You can play pool, eat, and see a good show here. I have never had a bad time at Smith's Olde Bar. The staff is great. The music is awesome.
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