Hidden Gem in Atlanta’s Old Fourth WardBy: Lia Grabowski
This hidden gem in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward, the Wylie Hotel was once home to the legendary Mrs. P’s Tea Room, one of Atlanta’s original gay bars in the 1950s and 60s (which boasted a leather-and-western theme). It was frequently raided by police when, at the time, homosexuality was considered a crime. It ultimately closed in the 1980s. In 1994, the first incarnation of acid jazz club MJQ moved in for a three-year stint (its unique brand of rave-like underground nightlife still exists up the street at 736 Ponce de Leon Avenue, open from 11 pm to 3 am).
Today’s Wylie Hotel pays tribute to its LGBTQ-trailblazer roots, from the name of its onsite restaurant to the “P” and “Q” suites. Adorning each floor of the Wylie Hotel are framed original copies of Great Speckled Bird, the foremost of Atlanta's counterculture newspapers. It covered everything from women’s rights and gay activism to Black power and civil rights from 1968 to 1976.
THE NEIGHBORHOOD: The Old Fourth Ward is home to Ponce City Market—next door to the Wylie Hotel—and a number of worthwhile restaurants in walking distance. A quick trip up Ponce de Leon Avenue puts you at 8ARM, a Japanese-inspired daytime cafe and evening cocktail bar with an extensive natural wine program.
You’re also near the Hotel Clermont’s in-house restaurant Tiny Lou’s and rooftop bar. Enjoy street food and frosé on astroturf.
THE FOOD SCENE:
Mrs. P’s Bar & Kitchen at the Wylie Hotel captures all the plush-velvet-and-brass-accent glory of mid-century decor without feeling like you’re stepping onto the set of Mad Men. It’s split into four spaces for cozy, intimate seating. The main space holds forty guests while the sunroom and two terraces’ capacities range from sixteen to twenty-four.
The menu is equally small and quaint. The curated selection of dishes makes local produce the star. Think Georgia peaches, lightly warmed, tucked among cool burrata, and drizzled with aged balsamic. Or go for grilled octopus set atop a potato-bacon puree and adorned with olives and grapefruit slivers.
THE DIGS: With just over one hundred rooms, the Wylie Hotel is a luxury-boutique experience in the heart of Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward. Rooms are appointed with rich textures and muted colors. The analog touches like pour-over coffee setups inspire vibes of upscale relaxation.