Books, wine and thoughtful conversations await at Lucian this June.
Jordan Smelt and Katie Barringer
If you have a taste for the finer things in life—particularly the sweet, musky smell of an aged book or a thin-lipped glass of old-world wine—Lucian Books and Wine will be a rather enticing place to spend your time. Part wine bar, part sophisticated bookshop, part cultural concept, Lucian marries a variety of things in life that are often romanticized—art, culture, wine, prose and food—in Buckhead at the corner of Pharr and Peachtree roads. Katie Barringer, founder of Atlanta’s beloved Cover Books, and her boyfriend and business partner, Jordan Smelt, formerly of Cakes & Ale, bore this concept rather romantically as well. “The lightbulb moment happened over Thanksgiving 2018. Jordan and I were in London visiting my parents, and leading up to this trip, we had found ourselves at a bit of a crossroad professionally,” says Barringer. “We were on a walk in central London and wandered into the fabulous Maison Assouline, which is just the chicest of chic. Through the shelves stacked with countless beautiful books, we saw a small bar tucked within the back of the space. The idea hit us at the same time—books and wine, not books or wine.” Joining the pair is Mickey Mixson, rounding out the team of like-minded individuals. Says Mixson, “I’m so excited about having the opportunity to give Atlanta a unique culinary, aesthetic and wine experience.”
Once inside the space designed by Lindsay Miller and Ed Seiber of Seiber Design, guests will find it filled to the brim with gorgeous coffee-table books on arts and culture—ones that you will want to read as much as you’ll want to look at. Take a seat at the tables or walk freely around the delightful bookstore space, which is shoppable for those on the go as well as relaxed for those looking for a mental escape. In terms of wine, Lucian will hold Smelt’s largest program to date, with 250 to 300 bottles to start along with specialty bottles. “All of the wines at Lucian are responsibly farmed, thoughtfully made and carefully chosen,” says Smelt. “The majority of the list will be heavily European, but great wines from the U.S., Australia, South Africa and elsewhere will also be available. It’s important for me to stress that the wines we’ll be serving are wines that we love. You’ll never find something on the list at Lucian that Katie and I wouldn’t be happy to drink at home.” To pair with the wine, chef Brian Hendrickson, also formerly of Cakes & Ale, has curated a menu of approximately 15 dishes.
An illustration of the soon-to-be location of Lucian Books and Wine
The combination of these elements makes Lucian the perfect stage for a novel itself, a backdrop for two characters’ stories to intertwine. The namesake, of course, comes from Lucian Freud, one of Barringer’s favorite painters and a contemporary artist who worked in an unapologetically confrontational style. This is undoubtedly what Lucian Books and Wine will offer, a place for the highly curious and informed who want to learn more in a sexy, juxtaposing space for both realism and romanticism. “Whether it’s a book or a wine, the experience of helping people discover new things that they love is a shared passion of ours,” Barringer says. “We are looking forward to creating a place where those moments of revelation happen daily!” 3005 Peachtree Road, Ste. 300, lucianbooksandwine.com
Photography by: Christy Bush; Illustration by Louie Crumbley