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Talk about exclusive! Just try dropping by for lunch at CHOW

Don't bother. This popular lunch destination is not open to your everyday hungry patron, no matter who you are or how many glowing reports you've heard about the great menu offerings. It's not that you need a reservation, access is the operative word. You have to be accompanied by an architect or interior designer to get in.

The staff at CHOW
The staff at CHOW (from left) includes Jerry Marcum, Adrienne Simpson, chef Ronnie Kendrick and manager Susan Rogers. Photo by David Schilling.
CHOW is a cozy little dining space tucked away upstairs and at the back of the original two-story building in the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center at 351 Peachtree Hills Ave. Parking is downstairs in what once was an open courtyard, or in the off-street parking spaces upstairs.

Long before owner John Portman Jr., FAIA, added five floors (and dozens of new showrooms) above the courtyard, tenants were concerned when local and out-of-town decorators grew hungry while shopping at ADAC.

With no place to dine, and with clients in tow, they were leaving the center to dine, and then shop, elsewhere. Portman generously provided the upstairs space, the showrooms pitched in to supply the tables and chairs, and Dotty Travis designed the interior space. Originally known as The Unicorn, the lunchroom was an instant success.

The handsome ADAC cafe now is operated by Legendary Events, a much-acclaimed catering firm. A wide variety of fresh, delicious salads, sandwiches, soups, entrees and desserts are available to lucky designers and clients when they need a rest after becoming "decorated out" at ADAC.

So now if you know a designer or architect ...

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