Truman Tavern & Bar To Open in Downtown Decatur on Wednesday


Truman Tavern & Bar – next to the Brick Store Pub downtown – has announced its opening…

Truman Tavern & Bar will open on August 31st on Decatur Square, adjacent to the landmark City of Decatur Courthouse. Truman has reinvented classic, center-of-plate dishes, like the certified Angus Beef Prime Rib and Berkshire Double-Cut Pork Chops, with simple, local ingredients. The fish (Chesapeake Bay Crab Cakes, Chardonnay Pouched Flounder) and vegetable (Naked Vegetable Lasagna, House Made California Veggie Burger) dishes add diversity to the menu without sacrificing cohesiveness. The result is an accessible neighborhood eatery hedging the line between steakhouse and tavern. Truman’s bar menu will appeal to those with vintage tastes, featuring classic cocktails such as the Long Island Ice Tea and Singapore Sling. Truman will offer dinner only on the August 31st and September 1st, adding lunch on the 2nd, just in time for the annual Decatur Book Festival. Saturday and Sunday brunch will also be added in the coming weeks.

Executive Chef, Michael Condon, of Badda Bing Catering and Calle Latina, says he was inspired by his early days as a chef in Manhattan. “I want Truman to reflect the old time values that New York City neighborhood restaurants had 30 years ago. The food was superior without being overly complex, and the service was impeccable without being pretentious. Staff remembered the names and preferences of their guests and the atmosphere was deeply rooted in the community,” explains Condon, a native of Long Island, NY and City of Decatur resident since 2003.

Along with Condon, Brian Buchanan and Paul Vinces, also owners of Truman, boast more than 70 years of combined restaurant industry experience. Buchanan spent some 15 years in front-of-house roles and 10 years in the wine and spirit business. Vinces is the current owner of Calle Latina and once owned Sweet Devil Moon in Oakhurst. All of them have deep roots in City of Decatur. Buchanan believes Truman will be filling a niche that currently doesn’t exist in in the area: “All members of the community will feel at home at Truman, from kids and families to the trendy nightlife crowd. We specialize in great food, good service, and honest drinks” he says.

The 125-seat restaurant space offers a full bar and lounge area in the front and intimate, wood-topped seating in the rear. In addition, Truman has partnered with Vincent Art Gallery to procure artwork for the restaurant. Original pieces by well-known local artists, such as Ruth Franklin and Ruby Franklin, will add sophistication to the dining room. According to Vinces, “Vincent Art Gallery has strong ties to us and to Decatur. The art is a true representation of who we are and our connection to this community.”

Truman Bar & Tavern is located at 123 East Court Square, Decatur, GA. Reservations are available through Open Table or by  calling 404-907-4116; walk-ins are always welcome. Lunch will be served from 11:30 am—3:00 pm Monday through Friday, and brunch is served Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 am—3:00 pm. A happy hour menu will be available from 3:00 pm—5:00 pm daily. Dinner is served from 5:00 pm—10:00 pm on weekdays and until 11:00 pm on the weekends.

Photo courtesy of Helvetia

19 thoughts on “Truman Tavern & Bar To Open in Downtown Decatur on Wednesday”

  1. At least in my brain, the term “Long Island Ice Tea” does not invoke “vintage” or “classic” memories, nor any fondness for “old time values.” It uncovers repressed memories that have more in common with tequila shots.

    I’ll still try out the food and beer.

    1. I think this place will become known as the go-to spot where Boomers can get a respite from all things hipster.

  2. Why “Truman”? Harry Truman? Truman Capote? The Truman Show? (I’m still waiting on why “Arlo”.)

    1. I don’t give them hell. I just tell the truth about them and they think it’s hell.
      Harry S Truman, while campaigning in Bremerton, Washington, to a supporter who yelled out “Give ’em hell, Harry.” (1948)

      … I’m not a saint yet. I’m an alcoholic. I’m a drug addict. I’m homosexual. I’m a genius. Of course, I could be all four of these dubious things and still be a saint.
      Truman Capote, Music for Chameleons (1980)

      Truman Burbank: [to an unseen Christof] Who are you?
      Christof: I am the Creator – of a television show that gives hope and joy and inspiration to millions.
      Truman Burbank: Then who am I?
      Christof: You’re the star.
      The Truman Show (1998)

      Any one of those works for me, though I lean toward Capote.

      As for Arlo, let’s hope it’s Guthrie.
      I thought I would be governor of Massachusetts. I stood on a pile of my old albums and said, “I’m the only one with a record to stand on.” (New York Times, July 21, 2009)

  3. “Center-of-plate dishes”

    First I’ve heard that term. Can I still smash all my food together when I get it?

    1. I liked that turn of phase – the restaurant is evoking a simpler time, when unpretentious food was placed in the middle of the plate. In contrast, we ate the at very hipster Staplehouse recently- Everything was plated way off center of huge charger plates. The staff had amazingly decorative facial hair and skinny man-jeans.

    2. from a Nov 2013 article:
      “No longer reserved for the perimeter, vegetables are featured more often in center-of-the-plate arrangements,” says Kimberly Perman, director at Technomic, the restaurant research specialist. “They are stealing the spotlight.”

  4. I wish the business the best of luck. For whatever reason, this location has been a challenge for restaurants in the past. If parking was an issue, the Brick Store would have problems so I don’t think its that. Maybe the food will be more appealing to the Decatur crowd. I also read that Singapore Slings will be a signature cocktail. Haven’t seen (or drank) that since the original Underground Atlanta days back in the early Seventies. One more thing, the alley. Years ago, when walking down the alley young son, I mentioned to him that the alley was around during the Civil War. Just as I was saying this, Mr. Charles McKinny, a well-known businessman walked by and offered a few more historical details about the alley. Reading this post, and one on Decaturish about a Civil War cannonball found in Oakhurst, reminds me that the past is alive and well in the City of Decatur.
    Good Luck Truman!

  5. Went there to meet some of the crew on one of their friends/family nights. Chef Michael truly seems to care about the food, where it’s sourced and how its prepared, less about the froofroo elements of running a restaurant. Nick was the best bartender I’ve met in quite a while and I was almost sad the table was ready so fast. The feel of the place is incredibly cozy. I can’t explain how warm and charming it felt. I felt like I was meant to be there.. Try it out!

  6. Plan on trying this place during the book festival, but the name sort of bugs me. Not the Truman part, but the “tavern and bar”. Why both? I know these words have slightly different meanings, but I’m pretty sure most people think of them as interchangeable. And I agree with Robert Butera about the cocktails. A Long Island Ice Tea is what you get in a dive bar when you’re foolish enough to ask the bartender for a cocktail recommendation.
    But I’m guessing the food will be good based on how much I enjoy the food at Calle Latina.

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