Atlas Bar is coming sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas to South on Main. Proprietor Tony Poe plans to use his love for travel and his family’s adventurous spirit to help “bring the world to Little Rock and spark and imagination for travel,” he said.
At 1224 Main St., Atlas Bar will be a cozy, intimate space that Poe says he hopes will invite conversation. “I want it to be a bar that feels like it’s been there for a long time,” he said. “I want it to be a stimulating place for people who are curious about going places around the world.”
Working with interior designer Larry West Jr., Poe says the bar’s art deco decor is inspired by his many international journeys and will include artifacts and relics from the travels of his father, the late Fred Poe of Poe Travel. “If my father walked into this place, he would glow with pride,” Poe said. “For me to share his artifacts with the community, that’s what would really make him happy.”
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“High quality spirits from around the world” will stock the bar, according to Poe, as well as beer and wine. A focal point in the space will be the bar itself, as the back bar was originally behind the reception desk at the Albert Pike Hotel in downtown Little Rock. The cocktail menu will feature international drinks, including a Singapore Sling, and will regularly change to make room for new recipes. The bar will also offer small plates of global street food and comfort food, which will also change regularly.
Tentative hours will start at 3 p.m., and last call will be at 11 or midnight because “nothing good happens after midnight,” according to Poe. The space will boast only one TV monitor playing anything from a Bollywood movie to camel wrestling, said Poe, in an effort to foster conversation among patrons and “make people wonder a little bit.”
After working in the family business and in the travel industry in Fort Worth and in New York, Poe recently worked in sales for the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau. But he’s is now working full-time on Atlas.
Although he’s lived in many places over the years, Poe wanted to bring Atlas Bar to Little Rock. “I could have done it anywhere,” he said. “But I want to make an impact in my hometown.”