Courtesy The Varsity

After being shuttered completely for four weeks, The Varsity has reopened in Midtown for drive-in and takeout service only. More Intown restaurants and venues have announced they are following suit  or opening their dining rooms amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Like other restaurants, The Varsity is following state mandated safety and sanitation guidelines and has limited hours – 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

Starting Monday, May 4, The Roof at Ponce City Market will open with restricted operations. Safety precautions will include limiting the number by more than 50 percent, cashless payments, and disposable menus and tableware. Of note, the tower and slide will remain closed until further notice. Also, reservations for 9 Mile Station are strongly encouraged. Visit for more.

As of today, Landry’s restaurant group has reopened the dining rooms at its chain of concepts, including Del Frisco Grille, Joe’s Crab Shack, Morton’s The Steakhouse, McCormick & Schmick’s, The Oceanaire and The Palm.

Another Atlanta icon, Manuel’s Tavern in Poncey-Highland, has announced it will reopen for takeout only starting May 4. Owner Brian Maloof posted on Facebook: “We will be open if all goes well on Monday, May 4th for to-go service only. We are not allowing guests inside during this to-go only period. The menu will be very limited and very simple. It will be our most popular items and items that travel extremely well. We plan on expanding the items offered as we reacquaint ourselves with the kitchen again. In addition to the food, we will provide beer and wine to-go. We will be taking orders by phone and uber eats. The pick-up and payment area will be outside under the back door awning and the two tents that will be added.”

Other restaurants that have reopened dining rooms and patios include Waffle House locations around the city, Bantam Pub in Old Fourth Ward,Petite Violette near Emory, Char Korean BB!Q in Inman Park (patio only), Park Tavern in Midtown has reopened for drink service and lite bites to-go, and Johnny’s Hideaway in Buckhead has reopened the dining room but not the famed dance floor. Eater Atlanta has a list of more metro restaurants that have reopened in some capacity.

More than 120 Atlanta restaurants – who have banded together as #GAHospitalityTogether – have pledged not to re-open their dining rooms until they believe the COVID-19 crisis has passed.

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.